Breakfast with Minister of Transport
2004/01/13, Discussion meeting on the topic of "Current Priorities of the Ministry of Transport in Motorway and Road Infrastructure in the Czech Republic"
On January 13, 2004 took place another working breakfast from the series of these discussion meetings between ministers and major foreign investors, organized by the Association for Foreign Investment and auspiced by CzechInvest (the Investment and Business Development Agency).
The January working breakfast was kindly attended by the Minister of Transport, Mr. Milan Šimonovský.
Ministr Šimonovský commented on the main points of strategy of his department, "The advantageous geographical location of the Czech Republic as part of future EU expansion represents a challenge in the form of the need for a well worked out and compatible transport network that will contribute not only to the state economy but also bring development to the areas the roads will go through."
The suitable geographic location alone, however, is meaningless if it is not connected with a high-quality infrastructure at the national and local levels and to the networks of neighboring countries. The Czech Republic will therefore in this respect gain from connection to the "European multimodal corridor" (out of the 29 planned, 4 will go through the country). Of paramount importance to existing investors as well as new incoming investors are connections between the main transport corridors and the location of their production.
A response to these demands is the "E-Roads" programme, whose aim is to build and maintain roads of key importance for the development and connectivity of the country's industrial areas in order to provide maximum support to economic development. Local governments also play a major role in these projects. Cooperation with investors is their priority and they try to be as flexible as possible in these situations. This is also the case of the plant construction of TPCA (Toyota-Peugeot-Citroën), whose representatives upon meeting with the Transport Minister praised the city of Kolin's flexible approach.
In addition these programmes also represent investment opportunities, in which the ministry is attempting to combine financing from state and private sources on the principle of Public Private Partnerships. Several pilot projects already exist to construct or maintain roads financed by private capital.
But the MTCR's plans are not limited to this country. In order to attain the ambition of making the Czech Republic one of the major transport hubs in the new Europe it is necessary to reach new heights. This year a new terminal at Prague's Ruzyne Airport will be opened which can handle 10,000 people a day and intends to compete with the largest European airline hubs. Also under preparation is the transfer of former military airports to local government ownership.
These airports fall under the Schengen Treaty and it is expected that the regions will operate them in cooperation with private entities. The MTCR's objective is also to support investment aimed as much as possible at integrating high-speed railway networks and air transport and to encourage railway administration, airport administration and airlines to work together on mutually connected networks. The Czech Republic as the transport and logistics hub of Europe - this is the goal of developing transport infrastructure adopted by the Government and implemented by the Ministry of Transport of the Czech Republic (MTCR).