Exporting to the Czech Republic has long been an excellent choice for many Italian companies. What are the most promising sectors? What are the opportunities that our companies should not miss?
Thanks to sustained economic growth in recent years, combined with an industrial policy favourable to foreign investment, the country has long been one of the most attractive destinations for international trade within Europe. This condition is favoured by its strategic position on the continent: the Republic borders Poland, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary and Germany, making it an ideal logistics hub for goods bound for these countries.
Despite the fact that the pandemic crisis of 2020 has inevitably led to a drop in trade for many commodities, as shown by Infomercatiesteri.it data, there continue to be significant opportunities in several sectors.
First and foremost is agri-food, which also increased its exports last year, exceeding the 322 million euro mark. Among the products that have seen an increase in exports is wine: one of the symbols of Made in Italy which, in the face of a complex period, has continued to enjoy success in this area.
This has led to a strengthening of the leadership of Italian wine production, with a market share of 23.5%, making our country the top supplier ahead of Germany (16.6%) and France (14.9%).
The generalised reduction in Italian exports that we have witnessed should not distract us from the need to restart in the right way: this is why making up ground by focusing on the Czech Republic could be a winning choice. Despite a year-on-year drop of 8%, Italian exports have settled at over 6 billion €: a figure that reflects the solidity of relations between the two countries.
This figure reflects the solidity of relations between the two countries. First and foremost, there are opportunities for automotive components manufacturers, which have always been one of the leading sectors of our economy: the automotive sector is the beating heart of Czech industry, generating about 9% of the national GDP and contributing 26% of manufacturing production. With over 150,000 employees and the presence of major international groups such as Volkswagen and Hyundai, the sector plays a key role in the country’s Eastern European exports. Among the vehicles, buses, historically one of the sector’s leading products, stand out.
The design of industrial machinery is another of the Czech Republic’s manufacturing vocations, with over 5,200 active companies. The production of high-tech and medium-tech solutions with high added value has been growing in recent years, with consequent opportunities for Italian operators in the machinery supply chain who could play a role in the supply of equipment and components, including electrotechnical ones.
One segment of Czech manufacturing that deserves a mention is applied nanotechnology, with highly innovative research centres for nanofibres and nanomedicine. The production of electric microscopes is also extremely important. Worldwide, around 30% of these devices are produced in the Czech Republic.
Another sector where interesting growth margins have been identified is ICT: the solid IT infrastructure and extensive fibre-optic network have encouraged strong development of companies in the sector in recent years with an increase in employment and growing investment in cybersecurity, an issue to which the Czech authorities have long devoted great attention. The result is business opportunities for Italian companies in this sector looking for new partners abroad.
Another strong point of the Czech Republic is undoubtedly its good transport network, which makes it an essential hub for reaching the rest of Central and Eastern Europe. In addition, the public authorities provide favourable conditions for foreign investments, especially for the large-scale ones: it is no coincidence that many Italian companies have long established a presence here.
Finally, exporting to the Czech Republic could be an advantageous choice for those sectors of Italian manufacturing where there are wide margins for improvement: in particular, fashion and furniture.
The former, which has been considerably challenged by the health emergency, is in fifth place in the ranking of suppliers to the Republic, with the possibility of growth particularly for medium-high range clothes and accessories.
Finally, our furniture also enjoys considerable appreciation among Czech consumers: Italian design can, however, aspire to better results, especially if we consider the large gap separating us from Poland, China, Germany and Slovakia, the Czech Republic’s main furniture exporters.
The excellent consideration Italy enjoys in terms of culture, tourism and manufacturing is certainly a facilitator in the development of new business relations with the country, which will continue to be one of the most receptive destinations for our exports in the coming years.