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Fourteen new diplomats to help boost Czech economy in 2016

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Prague, June 16 (CTK) – Prague will send 14 new economic diplomats to reinforce the staff of embassies and CzechTrade offices abroad next year, Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek (senior government Social Democrats, CSSD) told reporters Tuesday.

This year, ten specialised diplomats along with five experts in agriculture and one in science and research will be sent abroad.

Economic diplomats will assume posts at Czech diplomatic missions in New Delhi, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Toronto, Chicago, Kuala Lumpur, Pretoria, Manila, Taipei, Amman and Accra and in the Czech Trade offices in Seattle, USA, and Lagos, Nigeria, in 2016, while the last post is still subject to negotiations.

In the future, more economic diplomats should also be sent to Germany, the biggest business partner of the Czech Republic.

Deputy Foreign Minister Martin Tlapa said the establishment of a new post in Berlin or in Munich had been discussed.

The sending of new economic diplomats will cost up to 42 million crowns next year. The money has been approved.

However, the Finance Ministry wants to cut the Foreign Ministry’s budget by almost 77 million crowns next year.

Zaoralek said he was not satisfied with the budget draft and that he would like to debate it with Finance Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) during the summer.

Zaoralek considers support for economic diplomacy important to preserve the economic growth of the Czech Republic.

This is why his office would also assess economic diplomats according to uniform criteria. The ministry plans to present the assessment system on the occasion of the annual meeting of economic diplomats in Prague in late June.

This year, the Foreign Ministry has reinforced or will reinforce economic posts at diplomatic missions in Los Angeles, Dakar, Nairobi, Rangoon, Bogota, Kuwait and Astana.

CzechTrade will open new offices in Singapore and Bengalore, India, and will employ another expert in Shanghai.

A new Czech “agricultural” diplomat will leave for China at the end of the year. Such posts will be also established in Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia and Ukraine. A diplomat in charge of science and research will work in Israel.

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