PRAGUE, November 16. /TASS/. A delegation comprising 150 Czech businessmen will travel to Russia for talks, Czech President Milos Zeman said in an exclusive interview with TASS First Deputy Director General Mikhail Gusman, ahead of his visit to Russia. He added that the businessmen were interested in cooperating with Russian counterparts in fields such as the energy sector, transport, nano-and biotechnologies.
"A total of 150 Czech businessmen will accompany me during the visit," Zeman said. "It will be the largest delegation in the past 25 years, which proves that Czech businessman are willing to boost economic ties with their Russian partners," he added.
According to Zeman, cooperation between the Czech Republic and Russia has reached the most significant level in the energy and transport sectors, with a window of possibilities for manufacturing and renovating buses and trolleys. The Czech president also pointed to the joint activities of Czech and Russian scientists at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Moscow region.
Zeman said he expected to discuss manufacturing localization for Czech companies active in Russia with the country’s President Vladimir Putin.
"There is a certain potential in the economic field that we haven’t utilized yet, particularly as far as Czech companies’ investment in Russia go. In some cases, Russian companies hinder the process because there are requirements concerning manufacturing localization [the federal law on industrial policy and a government regulation stipulating a certain level of manufacturing localization necessary for foreign companies - TASS]. You know, this is what I would like to discuss with Mr. President," the Czech leader noted.
Zeman is scheduled to make an official visit to Russia on November 20-24. He plans to hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on November 21. On November 22, the Czech leader will meet with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. He is also expected to address the Russian-Czech Business Forum in Moscow.
The Czech president, accompanied by a large delegation of businessmen, will also visit Russia’s Urals city of Yekaterinburg, where a business forum bringing together Russian and Czech entrepreneurs is going to take place on November 23.
Zeman’s visit to Russia will be one of the last foreign trips during his five-year presidential tenure, which expires next spring. The Czech Republic will hold presidential election in January 2018, during which the incumbent leader will seek re-election for a second five-year term.