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Speech of the President of the Czech Republic during the Czech - Romanian business seminar


Dear Mr. Governor, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, dear colleagues,

I have a business delegation with me – a delegation of Czech exporters and investors. I prefer investors, because an investor is like a tree with deep roots, whereas exporter can represent one-sided export or import without long-term consequences.

I can divide those investors into two groups. One of them has already some contacts in Romania and they try to evolve them. They have won for example a tender; some of them have been second in a tender in Romania. By the way, do you know, what is the difference between Olympic Games and a tender? – In Olympic Games you have three medals; in tender you have only one. These companies have already some supplies. They are for instance prepared to export Czech beer to Romania (the best beer all over the world, of course), or they are prepared to import Romanian fruit and vegetable to Czechia, why not.

Compared to the first group, the second group of companies on my list expects a completely new opportunity. What does it mean a new opportunity? Do they expect that there will be some client waiting at the airport? If it really were so, it would be a nice girl and it might be a client of some sort, but definitely not a business partner. Business is not so much about waiting for opportunities. In business it is necessary to use the happy hunting ground, which exists in countries like Romania. Mr. Governor mentioned the process of convergence of economies in European Union, which means that we may expect greater growth right in Romania. And this is our chance, our challenge. But we must be used not to wait for a nice girl, but to establish contacts with new business partners. I am very happy that there are six hundred Czech companies active around Romania and I firmly hope that my visit and visit of my friends will help to increase this number.

Let me add a few remarks concerning the topic, which was mentioned in the speech of Mr. Governor:

We know that economic models are not only engaged in equations about real product, but also about potential product. And I would like to enlarge the term of potential product, which is not only the full capacity of production, but also the potential of growing country inside the block of European Union. I firmly hope and I wish that Romania will increase its potential product in the process of European integration.

As for integration; in EU we have Minister of foreign affairs, Lady Ashton, but why not to have common minister of finance? He may be right from Romania, who knows? Anyway, integration means banking union and fiscal pact, but I am sure that we need also common currency. 

My last remark concerns common currency. I told Mr. Governor that Romania has two currencies. One of them is called green certificate. One of our biggest energetic companies – ČEZ – invested into wind mills in Romania and he is paid in green certificates. Nevertheless, nobody knows what does it mean, nobody knows what will be the amount and the term of payment. So, green certificate, dear Mr. Governor, is something like a bitcoin. I am sure that in order to improve credibility of investment, not only from Czechia but also from any other country, it would be good to pay in standard currency (national one or European one) and to forget bitcoins and green certificates. Dear Mr. Governor I fully support the cooperation between banking sector and so-called productive sector. But I cannot forget the words of Jacques Attali, the first governor of European Bank, who said: “The banker is a man who offers you an umbrella, under the condition only, there won´t be any rain.” I firmly hope that this slogan will not be valid in the case of cooperation between our banking and productive sector. I always repeat my simple recommendation: it is very good to sell the apples, it is very good to buy the apples, but the best is to plant the apple tries.

Thank you for your attention.

Miloš Zeman, President of the Czech Republic, Bucharest, 20th May 2014