Czech Foreign Minister arrives on Sunday

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New Delhi, Nov 16 (UNI) Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic, Karel Schwarzenberg, will arrive here on Sunday on a three-day visit to India for talks with External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

He will also hold talks with the Minister of New and Renewable Energy and visit Skoda automobile factory in Aurangabad.

A Memorandum of Cooperation between the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) and the Czech Diplomatic Academy is to be signed during the visit.

The visit is taking place against the backdrop of significant increase in bilateral trade and investment, an External Affairs Ministry spokesman said here today.

Bilateral trade has shown significant growth during last few years, topping 665 million US Dollars in 2006.

India and the Czech Republic have traditionally enjoyed warm and friendly relations dating back to medieval ages, the Kingdom of Bohemia.

India's trade and economic links with Czechoslovakia also pre-date independence.

Czechoslovakia established a Consulate in Bombay in 1920 and in Calcutta soon thereafter. This year, India and the Czech Republic are celebrating 60th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations commencing from November 13, 2007.

A number of Czech companies such as Skoda Auto, Czech Shoe Company, Bata Works, Tatra Joint Venture established an early presence in the country.

Indian and NRI investors as Mittal Steel, Infosys Technologies, Ashok Leyland and Tata Tea have established presence in the Czech Republic.

Cooperation between CSIR and the Czech Academy of Sciences is ongoing and both sides are exploring ways to take this further.

The visit of the Czech Foreign Minister follows the visits of Czech President in November 2005 and Czech Prime Minister in January 2006.


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