His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai greets Radek Vondracek, Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Parliament during his visit to the UAE last year Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

The Czech Republic and the UAE share a number of common basic interests, which include promoting science, technology and innovation through strengthening bilateral cooperation. Trade between the two nations has been growing steadily and now stands at over $840 million.

“We have observed with great admiration the excellent economic and social development of the UAE and I am happy that the exchange of visits of high ranking officials followed by business delegations from both countries continues successfully,” says Radek Vondracek, Speaker of Parliament, who led the recent delegation to the Emirates.

Vondracek’s delegation followed the visits of the President of the Czech Republic, Milos Zeman, to the UAE, in 2015, and the Minister of Industry and Trade in 2015 and 2017. The UAE Minister of Economy, Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, accompanied by a business delegation, visited the Czech Republic in April, 2015.

“In September, 2018, Dr Amal Abdullah Al Qubaisi, Speaker of the Federal National Council received me and we discussed the means of developing parliamentary relations between the UAE and the Czech Republic in light of the desire of their leaderships and governments to establish further overall relations,” says Vondracek.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the FNC and the Czech Chamber of deputies with the aim of promoting dialogue and coordination, exchanging opinions on issues of mutual interest, strengthening communication between both countries, organising mutual parliamentary visits and events, and holding bilateral parliamentary meetings.

“The highlight of my visit was meeting with Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

“I now look forward to welcoming Dr Al Qubaisi to the Czech Republic and hope she will be able to visit us this year.”

Reflecting the high priority the Czech Republic places on furthering mutual relations, the UAE was among the first countries visited by the Speaker upon taking office. He was accompanied by a large business delegation, which was very satisfied with the outcome of their discussions.

“The diversification of a national economy is a long process and many Czech companies can contribute to the further growth and development of the UAE. Our successful industry and modern economy are now looking for a way into the world, and seeking new opportunities, markets and cooperation partners, especially in machine-building, aerospace, nano technology, aerospace, transportation systems, healthcare and education.”

The Czech Republic will have an impressive presence at Expo 2020 with its grand pavilion located in the Sustainability Zone. The pavilion design refers to the revolutionary Solar Air Water Earth Resource (S.A.W.ER.) system, which creates water out of air using solar energy and cultivates the desert using subsurface cultures. This will comprise the technological core of the Czech national exposition.

“The vision of sustainable economy and society based on the knowledge potential of UAE is very far-seeing and responsible. Carbon resources will not last forever and everyone must be ready for that. The Czech Republic also has a substantial share of renewables in its energy mix and a very strong industrial base of companies involved in environmental technology, including renewable and eco-waste technologies.”

“I also see new possibilities for boosting industrial cooperation in the defence industry. Our defence sector has a good reputation in the UAE and therefore a lot of potential for the future. The main items are radar systems, handguns, ammunition and combat vehicle components. Many of our companies have already proven that they are best placed to work with foreign partners in industrial production.”

“I also appreciate the UAE’s ambitious space research program which is indeed commendable. The UAE is now leading the Arab renaissance in space exploration, covering not only the admirable Mars probe. But perhaps the main message I took from the UAE during my visit was the message of Tolerance and peaceful coexistence. It was something that we could all strongly feel and which came across in every meeting and every moment of our stay.