Czech Ambassador Lukas Kaucky: Bulgaria has Good Conditions for the Development of IT and New Technologies #AmbassadorTalks
His Excellency Lukas Kaucky is the latest guest in Novinite's series of interviews: Ambassador Talks.
The Czech ambassador shared with us his perspective on what Bulgaria can offer Czechs and people around the world, who might not see the potential our country has and is still associated mainly with holidays by the Black Sea.
1. What is your opinion on the bilateral political and business relations between Bulgaria and your country?
Traditionally, mutual relations on the political and economic level have been at a very good level, we have no unresolved issues from the past and in many areas, we have the same or similar views. This is also true within the EU and NATO, where as allies we often jointly support key initiatives and proposals. We see great potential for deepening our cooperation in the future, especially in trade and investment.
2. What kind of improvement of these relations do you see in the near future and also long term?
We would like to strengthen cooperation and mutual contacts at the highest level, but also on a working basis within the framework of consultations between individual ministries. Contacts between parliamentary representatives of both countries, as well as between regions and municipalities, are also an important part of building political relations. Although trade between our countries is growing year on year, we believe that by intensifying cooperation, particularly in key sectors such as defence, energy, transport infrastructure, health, rail transport and IT, we can achieve even better results for the benefit of both economies.
3. In your humble opinion, what is the place of Bulgaria in the modern world?
Bulgaria has an important geostrategic location, it belongs to the key members of the EU and NATO. At the same time, it is a country with great economic potential, a popular tourist destination. It is important to use this potential.
4. If you want to promote Bulgaria to investors from your country, what would be the 5 most important advantages you would mention?
In our meetings with Czech companies that could be potential investors in Bulgaria, we most often mention the skilled labour force, the competitively attractive costs of its use, the generally stable macroeconomic situation, the favourable geographical position of the country, the traditional proximity of both our countries and the country's membership in the EU. As for more specific recommendations, we often mention good conditions for the development of IT and new technologies thanks to interesting startups and incubators.
5. Do you think Bulgaria can improve its image or branding and if yes - do you have an idea or advice you could share with us?
Most countries in the world are involved in image promotion and positive branding. Certainly, I am not saying anything new - Bulgaria should focus on raising the profile of its strengths, be it its beautiful and diverse nature, its cultural and historical heritage, the stability offered by its membership of the EU and NATO, its forthcoming membership of the Eurozone or its negotiations to join the OECD. Using the specific example of the Czech Republic, I can see that there is still great potential for greater and better targeted advertising of Bulgaria, which most Czechs still associate mainly with holidays by the Black Sea, which is only part of what the country has to offer.
6. What would be the 3 most important events for your Embassy until the end of this year?
As you know, the Czech Republic holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of this year, which is why our main activities are related to this key task. We would like to organise three meetings of EU ambassadors here in Sofia before the end of the year, where we meet with top Bulgarian officials to exchange information and views on current developments and also positions on important agendas. In addition, together with our colleagues from our Embassy in Skopje, we have prepared the Ways of Understanding initiative, aimed at improving relations and strengthening cooperation between Bulgaria and the Republic of Northern Macedonia, the three parts of which are taking place successively in Sofia, Skopje, Petrich and Strumica. Together with the Czech Centre in Sofia, we have prepared a very rich cultural programme for this semester, not only here in the capital, but also in other parts of the country. We are not leaving aside the standard events such as the traditional reception for the national holiday, etc.
7. How deep has the COVID pandemic affected the bilateral relations between Bulgaria and your country?
Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected our relations with each other as well as with other countries. The frequency of contacts at the official level has significantly decreased, a large part of business meetings has moved to the online space, and there are fewer Czech tourists than in previous years. On the other hand, the basic preconditions for stability and a good level of our relations have not changed and, for example, the direct air link between Prague and Sofia was one of the two air links that did not stop working despite the pandemic. I firmly believe that this chapter and the limitations associated with it are largely behind us and that the conditions for the development of bilateral cooperation will once again be favourable.
8. What advice can you give to Bulgarians who want to do business with people from your country?
We would recommend them to find out as much information as possible about the Czech Republic - whether through the Bulgarian embassy in Prague or through Czech institutions that can help them with contacts to potential Czech partners such as CzechTrade or CzechInvest. A very useful source of specific information is, for example, the web portal www.businessinfo.cz. In order to become more familiar with the market situation, it is advisable to consider participating in one of the fairs organized by, for example, Brno Exhibitions and Fairs or PVA Letňany in Prague. They can also contact us for possible consultation.
9. Tell us about yourself - what was your professional diplomatic career, how long have you been in Bulgaria, and what are the most fascinating places or even dishes for you in Bulgaria?
I have a Master's degree in modern history from the Charles University in Prague. Before I was appointed Ambassador to Bulgaria in 2019 I had been serving as a Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for five years. Bulgaria can be proud of its beautiful nature, especially the mountains, as well as a number of beautiful historical cities, be it Plovdiv, Veliko Tarnovo or Nesebar. When it comes to food, I love the Bulgarian yogurt I have for breakfast every day and amazing Shopska salad.
10. If you must describe Bulgaria in just three words, what would they be?
Magically miscellaneous country.
Ambassador Lukas Kaucky graduated from Charles University in Prague, after completing his M.A. in Modern History. From 2005-2006 he was the Parliamentary Assistant to the Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Office of the Government. After working for some years in the private sector, from 2009-2010 he was Head of the Office of the Member of the European Parliament. A year later he became Chairman of the Committee of the City Assembly in Prague, a position he held until 2018. For one year between 2013 and 2014, he was the advisor of the Minister of Foreign Affairs for Government Agenda. After that, he became the Director General of the Office of the Minister, in the Ministry of Health. Between 2014 and 2019 H.E. Lukas Kaucky held the position of Deputy Minister in the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Since 2019 he is the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Czech Republic to the Republic of Bulgaria. He is married and has one child. The ambassador is fluent in English and German.
Novinite.com presents its new series titled: “Ambassador Talks”. It consists of interviews with Ambassadors or Heads of Missions accredited to Bulgaria in order to see their point of view on current developments - both domestic, bilateral and international. Each interview will have the same 10 questions.
Our Honorable guests so far:
Ambassador of China, His Excellency Mr. Dong Xiaojun. You can read his interview here.
Ambassador of Denmark, His Excellency Mr. Jes Brogaard Nielsen. You can read his interview here.
Chargée d'Affaires ad interim of Germany Irene Maria Plank. You can read her interview here.
Ambassador of Spain, His Excellency Mr. Alejandro Polanco Mata. You can read his interview here.
Ambassador of Italy, Her Excellency Mrs. Giuseppina Zarra. You can read her interview here.
Ambassador of Brazil, Her Excellency Mrs. Maria Edileuza Fontenele Reis. You can read her interview here.
Representatives of Embassies based in Bulgaria can contact Novinite for more information at Office@novinitegroup.com
Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency) is the largest English-language news provider in Bulgaria, with coverage of domestic and international news for more than 20 years. The agency is read in more than 120 countries all over the world. A news archive is kept for years in many governmental and business institutions and the website is quoted globally on a daily basis.
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