捷克:「一帶一路」在中東歐的連結點

2017年07月19日

Among the newer EU member states, the Czech Republic's largest airport, the railway network is also very dense, among the best in Europe, so many multinational companies have chosen to set up regional logistics center in the Czech Republic. Czech air traffic is very convenient, there are many flights to the mainland of China, among the Central and Eastern European countries can be described as one of the best. In addition, the increase in passenger capacity of passenger aircraft, coupled with the new freight service of Hong Kong to the Czech capital Prague, has further strengthened the competitive advantage of the Czech Republic, which has attracted the attention of Asian traders and investors.

In recent decades, the Czech manufacturing and information technology industry thriving, many local enterprises have been fled, can seek further development. Some business owners consider working with reliable overseas partners to expand their business or sell the entire company. At the same time, the Czech Republic's relations with China have improved markedly since the ruling of President Milosech Zeman in 2013; by March 2016, Chinese President Xi Jinping's historic state visit to the Czech Republic for three days and the relationship between the two countries The

 

Sino-Czech relations continue to improve relations, creating a more favorable business atmosphere. In fact, some investment transactions involving Czech companies are conducted through Hong Kong. Some Czech companies are committed to expanding the Asian market and thus have offices in Hong Kong to manage their Asian operations.

Czech is an important logistics interface

The Czech Republic has been committed to the development of air to overcome the adverse factors of landlocked countries, and therefore have better air links with Asia, there are many flights from and to Hong Kong, Central and Eastern European countries can be regarded as second to none. For example, the Václav Havel Airport Prague has regular flights to Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu, three Chinese cities.

Photo: Prague Vazhar Havel International Airport: The newest member of the EU's newest member airport.
Prague Vaslav Havel International Airport: The largest airport among the newer EU member states.
相片:布拉格瓦茨拉夫哈維爾國際機場:歐盟較新的成員國當中最大的機場。
布拉格瓦茨拉夫哈維爾國際機場:歐盟較新的成員國當中最大的機場。

The passenger fleet of these passenger flights has a certain cargo capacity and the full cargo flights between Hong Kong and Prague have been in service since May 2017 (operated by Air Cargo Global, based in Slovakia, in Turkmenistan, Turkmenistan Greek airport technology stop), the Czech Republic is more capable to deal with China and Asian companies freight needs. Europe's cross-border e-commerce is booming, and these companies are hoping to learn from business opportunities.

The Czech Republic, unlike other V4 countries (Vishabrad four countries), has no common border with the CIS region and therefore can not be the main railway station for container transshipment and can not benefit directly. The role of the railway station is to transfer the containers of the wide rail (1,520 mm) trains used by the former Soviet Union countries such as Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus to the standard gauge rail (1,435 mm) trains used by China and the European Union.

However, the Czech Republic has an airport that links the rest of the world, as well as the dense rail network. The Czech railway network is one of the most intensive rail networks in Europe, only after Luxembourg and Belgium. This means that the Czech Republic is still very competitive and attracts multinational companies such as Foxconn and Amazon to set up regional logistics centers to deliver high value-added electronic products to Europe and deal with online orders The

The railway is very important to the Czech Republic, not only to build a logistics hub. The Czech railway industry has a 200-year history and a wave of privatization of railways in Europe in recent decades, which has helped the Czech Republic become a global leader in railway applications and has provided the country with another way for Eurasia The extension of the railway contribution to the director.

The world's rail systems are expanding rapidly, with many Czech companies participating, and the wheel manufacturer, GHH-Bonatrans, is one of them. GHH-Bonatrans is Europe's largest manufacturer of railroad wheels and a high quality global rail transportation solution provider. The company secured a contract for the Hong Kong Railway Company Limited in 2015 to supply passenger train wheels for the latter; Bonatrans Asia Limited was established in Hong Kong last year as the first Asian stronghold.

Photo: GHH-Bonatrans was founded in 1808 and is headquartered in the Czech Republic to manufacture all kinds of rail vehicles.
GHH-Bonatrans was founded in 1808 and is headquartered in the Czech Republic to manufacture all kinds of rail vehicles. (1)
Source: Bonatrans Asia Limited
相片:GHH-Bonatrans於1808年創立,總部設於捷克,製造各類軌道車輛輪組。
GHH-Bonatrans於1808年創立,總部設於捷克,製造各類軌道車輛輪組。(1)
資料來源:Bonatrans Asia Limited
Photo: GHH-Bonatrans was founded in 1808 and is headquartered in the Czech Republic to manufacture all kinds of rail vehicles.
GHH-Bonatrans was founded in 1808 and is headquartered in the Czech Republic to manufacture all kinds of rail vehicles. (2)
Source: Bonatrans Asia Limited
Photo: GHH-Bonatrans was founded in 1808 and is headquartered in the Czech Republic to manufacture all kinds of rail vehicles.
GHH-Bonatrans was founded in 1808 and is headquartered in the Czech Republic to manufacture all kinds of rail vehicles. (2)
Source: Bonatrans Asia Limited

Bonatrans Asia Limited is actively looking for business opportunities in Asia, in addition to Hong Kong and mainland China customers, but also with other Asian countries have business, including India and ASEAN countries. The company has offices in Hong Kong, primarily responsible for sales and service for Asian customers, manufacturing and ancillary facilities in India, which facilitates the company to promote new products and provide after-sales solutions to Asian customers. China China Automobile Co., Ltd. is a major Asian customer, estimated to account for about 12% of Bonatrans delivery in 2015-16.

Asia's high-speed development of the railway network, business opportunities, the Czech railway application program providers in the price of very competitive, but also hope to grasp the opportunities. For example, the total mileage of China's high-speed railways in 2016 is 22,000 km. With the emergence of local production [1] high-speed train wheels and axles, China's dependence on such imported products is gradually declining. However, due to the Czech suppliers to provide the train parts, to meet the 450 km per hour driving speed of the most stringent requirements, so they are still welcomed by the Chinese railway operators welcome partners. In addition, the Czech Republic also has advanced technology, can reduce noise, strengthen the railway and wheel contact protection, which is another important advantage of the country.

Hong Kong's railways are world-leading in terms of safety, reliability, customer service and cost-effectiveness, together with a wide range of professional services in Hong Kong and a wide range of global networks and links to enable Hong Kong to attract Czech companies. Asian investors, especially in the context of China's " one-on-one " and / or interregional development initiatives. Hong Kong has long been a conduit for direct investment in mainland China, not only as a key role in promoting capital flows, but also providing the necessary local knowledge and reliable support to the new Czech market.

China in the Czech Republic set off a wave of mergers and acquisitions

Another trump card of the Czech economy is the strong and competitive industrial base. The Czech Republic is the most industrialized EU country, with industry accounting for more than 47% of total economic activity. As can be seen from the chart below, the Czech Republic's ranking is higher than that of Poland and Slovakia. As a result, the Czech Republic has a significant advantage in attracting foreign investment.

Table: 2016 - 2017 Global Competitiveness Rankings
 
Table: 2016 - 2017 Global Competitiveness Rankings
 

After decades of thriving, the manufacturing and information industries of the Czech Republic have matured and can seek greater development after many local businesses (mostly family business). Some business owners are considering expanding their business with reliable overseas partners, and some are interested in selling the entire company; these companies have become foreign acquisitions. In 2016, the Czech Republic was the most active Middle Eastern and European countries in M ​​& A transactions, completing 288 transactions, estimated to total $ 9.9 billion.

Table: M & A activity in Central and Eastern Europe and Southern Europe
 
Table: M & A activity in Central and Eastern Europe and Southern Europe
 

CzechInvest (Czech Republic Investment Agency) launched the CzechLink program to help them find qualified investors and conduct pre-assessment in order to assist Czech companies in negotiating transactions. The website of the department publishes the list of Czech companies known as Targets from time to time, that is, companies that are actively looking for partners / investors for joint venture projects or acquisitions. The department also provides more detailed information on prospective investors who have signed confidentiality agreements, including private equity funds and investment advisors.

Table: List of investment target companies announced by the Czech investment agency (as of June 5, 2017)
 
Table: List of investment target companies announced by the Czech investment agency (as of June 5, 2017)
 

China and Czechoslovakia's trade relations significantly improved, also make the wave of mergers and acquisitions. Since the Czech president Milosez Zeman came to power in 2013, the relations between the two countries have improved markedly. By March 2016, Chinese President Xi Jinping's historic state visit to the Czech Republic for three days, and the good relations between the two countries have come to a higher level. As of March 2017, the total number of Czech companies owned by Chinese investors amounted to 2,101, with a total capital of approximately HK $ 5.5 billion, or about $ 240 million.

到目前為止,捷克迎來的中國投資者當中,規模最大的應該是總部設於上海的中國華信能源。該公司已在布拉格成立了第二總部,被視為許多中國牽頭的投資交易背後的主要推手。自2015年9月以來,華信能源促成了多項惹人注目的大型併購交易,其中涉及捷克最大的航空公司Travel Service,捷克最大的網上旅行社Invia.cz,捷克第五大啤酒釀造商Pivovary Lobkowicz Group,五星酒店如布拉格文華東方及Le Palais Art Hotel Prague,布拉格最大的辦公大樓Florentinum,媒體機構如Médea Group、Empresa Media 及 Barrandov Television Group,高端冶金工程公司ŽĎAS,以及捷克歷史最悠久的足球會SK Slavia Praha等。

華信能源除了推動本身的投資外,亦不斷建立平台,以促進中國企業在捷克的投資。華信能源於2016年3月收購了J&T Finance Group,成為第一家擁有歐洲銀行的中國民營企業。之後,華信能源與中國工商銀行合作,設立了「中國—中東歐投資合作基金」,為中國與中東歐之間的投資穿針引線,特別是與「一帶一路」有關的項目。

香港發揮商業管道的作用

香港是中國內地對外投資的管道,處理內地近60%的對外直接投資;香港本身也是捷克一個主要的亞洲投資來源地 [2]。中國在捷克掀起併購熱潮,在捷克亦有大量投資,在這些商業活動裡,往往有港商參與其中。事實上,有些中國內地牽頭的投資交易是通過香港進行的。其中一項備受注目的交易,是在2016年12月,由中資背景的香港公司Eurasia Development Group收購了捷克公司Mountfield,後者是捷克一家大型的自行組裝(DIY)產品和園藝工具銷售商。

Photo: In 1991, Mountfield opened its first store in the vicinity of Prague's Mnichovice, which has expanded to 56, making it one of the best self-assembled (DIY) product chains in the Czech market.
1991年,Mountfield在鄰近布拉格的Mnichovice開設第一家店舖,至今已擴展至56間,成為捷克市場數一數二的自行組裝(DIY)產品連鎖店。
資料來源: www.mountfield.cz
Photo: In 1991, Mountfield opened its first store in the vicinity of Prague's Mnichovice, which has expanded to 56, making it one of the best self-assembled (DIY) product chains in the Czech market.
In 1991, Mountfield opened its first store near Mnichovice in Prague and has expanded to 56, making it one of the best self-assembled (DIY) product chains in the Czech market.
Source: www.mountfield.cz

一些有遠見的捷克公司也傾向在香港設立據點,通過這個穩妥可靠的門戶去打進亞洲市場。例子包括一些知名的捷克玻璃和照明產品公司,例如Lasvit 及Preciosa,他們在香港成立了區域代表辦事處或控股公司,一來可以靠近中國內地的生產基地,二來也方便踏足亞洲興旺的住宅和商業地產市場。這些捷克公司除了為高級酒店、辦公大樓和豪宅提供特別訂製的照明裝置及玻璃藝術品外,亦借助香港作為試驗場,以評估在亞洲建立更大據點的可行性。

香港與捷克簽署的全面性避免雙重課稅協定(CDTA)已於2012年1月24日生效。這樣,捷克公司在規劃一些涉及香港的投資和擴展活動時,可以更有把握作出明確的預算。稅務上的彈性安排,促使Lasvit與本港的高級百貨公司連卡佛(Lane Crawford)合作,把家居零售系列引入香港發售。Lasvit在香港設有控股公司,監督亞洲的銷售事務和項目。

香港是一個免稅港,物流效率卓越,法規公開透明。香港也是一個蜚聲國際的貿易中心,鄰近中國內地的高增值生產基地,這些因素使香港成為不少捷克公司開拓亞洲市場時的首選據點,GHH-Bonatrans、Lasvit 及Preciosa便是其中一些例子。這些公司希望借助香港這個平台去展示技術、尋找投資者、實踐商業意念。中國在捷克的投資方興未艾,加上中國與中東歐國家通過「一帶一路」和「16+1模式」的合作與日俱增,在這背景下,香港勢必擔當日益吃重的角色。

 


[1] 舉例,太原鋼鐵集團於2014年生產了第一批中國本土製造的輪組及車軸,並於2016年完成必需的測試。

[2] Hong Kong ranked seventh in the list of Asian investors in the Czech Republic, with the top six in Korea, Japan, mainland China, Singapore, India and Thailand. As of the end of 2015, Hong Kong's cumulative direct investment in the Czech Republic was $ 23.7 million.

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