FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, December 6, 2010
CONTACT OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Czech Republic Minister of Industry and Trade Martin Kocourek today signed a Joint Declaration that will strengthen commercial relations between the two countries and develop new opportunities in the resurgent nuclear energy sector. The U.S. Energy Secretary is also a signatory of the Declaration.
In addition to expressing the commitment of both nations to commercial cooperation on current and future civil nuclear projects, the Declaration also encourages scientific and research cooperation, including training and human resource development. Opportunities in the Czech Republic represent potential for $12.5 billion in U.S. exports in the next five year.
“Nuclear power will play a key role in the production of low carbon energy in the global market for years to come,” Locke said. “Deepening commercial cooperation on civil nuclear technologies and services will help both the United States and the Czech Republic meet our shared climate and energy challenges while encouraging our respective nuclear industries to seek commercial opportunities.”
As a result of a recent trade mission led by Under Secretary for International Trade Francisco Sanchez, the United States and the Czech Republic will launch on Tuesday the U.S.-Czech Economic and Commercial Dialogue. This bilateral engagement represents a significant step in furthering the U.S.-Czech economic and commercial relationship. The Dialogue, which will include representatives from U.S. and Czech government agencies, has four main goals: to increase bilateral business development and trade promotion; to facilitate investment expansion; to foster innovation; and to identify and resolve market access issues.
U.S.-Czech trade totaled $3 billion in 2009. Through September 2010, U.S. exports are up 54 percent compared to the same period in 2009 and U.S. imports from the Czech Republic are up 30 percent. The United States is among the top five investors in the Czech Republic with $6.6 billion in foreign direct investment. The Czech Republic has attractive investment incentives, a central location and a well-educated and relatively inexpensive work force.