2012-13 Policy Priorities_Briefing for Prime Minister Petr Nečas

AmCham- represented by Zdenek Vilimek of Coca-Cola and Dan Tok of Skanska- met with Prime Minister Petr Nečas Thursday to discuss our objectives (see attached) for the coming legislative year.

We began the session by stressing that the business and political community need to focus on policies which can generate growth and which can build a deeper level of trust between the various parts of society. Zdenek and Dan emphasized three priorities: public procurement, research & development, and political party finance reform.

In public procurement, we need to turn the principles of the new act into reality. That will take political will and administrative competence: the forces opposed to reform will use the requirements for more accountability and better planning to accuse the act of unmanageable complexity.

Publicly funded research needs a goal. Government does not give money to science for the sake of science. It gives money to science to achieve national objectives that make the country more prosperous and secure. We believe research policy should be aimed at creating more jobs producing innovative products for export. We do not care whether that research is basic or applied: we just want it to be world-class.

This country will not have highly effective governance until conflicts-of-interest are tightly regulated and the public participates actively in more political processes than voting on election day. Neither will happen as long as political party finance is intransparent and only those individuals and companies who want a high return on their donation contribute to parties. We will urge all parties to implement the recommendations recently submitted by the Council of Europe to the government.

Weston Stacey
Executive Director
American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic

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