Ladies and Gentlemen,
The period during which we experienced the fall of communist totalitarianism is not too far away. We believed in the global peace and the existence of huge armies seemed unnecessary. The 9/11 attacks and the related rise of terrorism have been a cruel awakening for us from a dream that military industry is an anachronism. The today's globalized world is facing new threats and the professional army with modern military equipment is a must. That is why I feel honored to participate in such an important conference, which is the 12th edition of the Future Forces Forum.
Protecting the security interests of the Czech Republic is now among the forefront interests of the Czech government. Terrorist organizations are now typical with their structure of transnational networks of interconnected groups, which, even without a unified command, share resources, information, ideology, goals and plans to achieve them. They present a direct threat both to people and national critical infrastructure. Another are the troops activities outside the country in a different geographical, climatic and cultural environment, which also newly defines the army's needs. The non-existence of a direct military threat to the Czech Republic allows us to limit quantitative parameters of the army. Nevertheless the nature of action in foreign operations requires a new definition of the needs of modularity of weapons systems and military equipment and mobility and interoperability when sharing information with our allies.
A state investment in military research and development have always been the engine of technological change and revolutionary inventions. Many of them are now commonly used in our everyday life. Military systems have been and will be at the forefront of development and always one step ahead of the civilian resources. In these efforts, the Czech Republic does not want to stand aside and will always support those components of industry that contribute to this development. This is also related to a sophisticated system of state export promotion, which actively encourages export activities of these firms. Above all, I would emphasize the Client Centre for Export as a joint project of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the CzechTrade agency. The Client Centre for Export serves the Czech entrepreneurs who want to expand into foreign markets by providing consultations on export and investment plans. Through a unified international network of Czech embassies and foreign offices of the CzechTrade, it is capable of mediating services in more than 90 countries.
A selected export specialist advises the client according to the nature of his request, facilitate his orientation in the state export promotion and will be in contact with him throughout the processing of the request. The Client Centre also offers services for big companies with a large-scale contracts. Export consultants have available a daily updated list of export opportunities, foreign inquiries, projects and tenders, investment opportunities, offers of foreign companies and opportunities in various fields, including energy.
In addition, Czech Business and Investment Development Agency CzechInvest support existing and new entrepreneurs and foreign investors in the Czech Republic. Agency contributes to attracting foreign investment and developing domestic companies through its services and development programs. CzechInvest also promotes the Czech Republic abroad and its task is also to provide potential investors current data and information on its business climate, investment environment and investment opportunities.
Ladies and gentlemen, I believe that the 12th edition of the Future Forces Forum will be an important enrichment for us and will bring a plenty of information on current trends in the field of defense and security.
Minister of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic