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Electronics Production | December 21, 2006

US companies are running to Czech Republic

Over 60 percent of foreign direct investments announced by United States-based companies in the Czech Republic in 2006 are research-and-development projects in innovation industries.

According to data collected by CzechInvest, an agency of the Ministry of Industry & Trade of the Czech Republic, a high percentage of these projects were design projects in information technology and software. "In 2006 we've seen U.S. technology companies look to the Czech Republic for highly skilled infrastructure technology and software engineering talent," said Radomil Novak, Director, U.S. Operations-West and Adviser to the CEO, CzechInvest. Out of 16 U.S. companies announcing new investments or major expansions in the Czech Republic 12 are R&D and high value-added services projects. New projects include the following: Some of the recent investments made by US-based companies in Czech Republic: Solectron Corporation announced this month it is establishing a new high-tech repair center in the Czech Republic. Hewlett-Packard established a computer technology supply chain headquarters to serve Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Honeywell International established a global aviation center. Sun Microsystems opened a new development and technology center. Microsoft opened its first worldwide center for mobile applications. In 2006, approximately 30 percent of new investment in the Czech Republic was R&D or services-related. International companies have opened more than 40 development, technology and distribution centers in the Czech Republic in the past two years. CzechInvest's Silicon Valley-based office is experiencing an increase in the number of companies in the IT and software sector considering offshoring R&D. Out of nearly two dozen new projects and inquiries under negotiation, more than 70 percent are interested in the country's engineering R&D talent, mainly in IT and software. Approximately 30 percent of the new projects and inquiries have originated from small enterprises based in Silicon Valley seeking affordable, high-end design. Over the last few years, the Czech Republic has worked to capture FDI dollars and bring high-tech jobs to its highly skilled and educated workforce through economic incentives. The Czech Republic is one of the fastest-growing nations in the European Union. "In our Chicago-based office, we see a similar trend in increased interest for R&D in the automotive and aerospace industries. Overall, companies are looking for world-class talent, solid infrastructure and the ability to reach key European markets," said Bohuslav Frelich, director, CzechInvest-Chicago.
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