On 11 September 2018, AmCham Brno-based members met with the mayoral candidate Oliver Pospíšil, ČSSD, in OREA Hotel Voroněž in Brno to discuss the vision for the city. Zoning plan was at the centre of the debate throughout the discussion. An outdated zoning plan as well as related transportation, accessibility and housing issues lead to lower motivation for investors to come and for educated workforce to stay after they graduate from Brno’s high-quality universities. There are around 70-80 thousand commuters to Brno each day to study or work.
"Business community would like to see continuous development of the city with a focus on innovation economy. And we would like to see political representation to adopt that as a strategic direction and develop infrastructure to support that," says Michal Klimeš,Hewlett Packard Enterprise, lead of the Brno Council of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic, comprising Brno-based member companies of the chamber. "Also, we see a strong need to develop Brno as the center of the metropolitan area, as participation of the population outside of Brno on the economic development is very important," he adds.
Many US companies decided for Brno in the 1990s, based on a set of political and economic criteria.When making choice between Prague and Brno, they decided for the latter. The main reason was the high share of workforce with attained tertiary education combined with lower wage level compared to Prague.
There is a snowball effect - US investment attracts even more US investment. Y Soft Corporation, a Czech business that has grown global, is based in Brno, too. Masaryk University in Brno and Jihomoravské inovační centrum were at the beginning of the corporation’s story.
Some participants feel that in the past years, the investment inflow into Brno has slowed, among reasons being the missing highway to Vienna or the low profile of Brno airport. Other issues mentioned were long permitting processes for new development or brownfield revitalisation - and the legislation that enables them. The legislation adopted at the central level often makes life difficult at the local level. Hotels feel that there is a lack of taxi drivers in the city and it is difficult to satisfy the guests and the demand.