On May 16th, the World Trade Center – Kansas City with the International Relations Council and the Czech & Slovak Club of Kansas City, hosted the Ambassador of the Czech Republic Hynek Kmoníček and the Consul General of Slovakia Ladislava Begeç for a celebration of the Pittsburg Agreement followed by a business roundtable. The visiting dignitaries discussed the role of the modern states of Czech and Slovak Republics with a focus on the important economic, social and cultural ties they share with the United States.
The luncheon was a unique opportunity bringing together a local population of first, second or third generation Czechs and Slovaks with foreign dignitaries speaking to the cultural significance of their heritage. The business roundtable that followed was a candid Q&A with Ambassador Hynek Kmoníček discussing the future of the European Union, international relations between the Czech Republic and pertinent countries, and the economy in the country of just 10 million.
Ambassador Kmoníček pointed to the fact that the Czech Republic has one of the fastest growing GDP’s and one of the lowest unemployment rates in the European Union. Their geography lands them in the heart of Europe between the E.U. powers of France and Germany and to the East the strength of Russia. He openly discussed the future of the Czech Republic joining the Eurozone, with it simply being a matter of time.
When Ambassador Kmoníček was asked about logical trade connections between the Czech Republic and the Kansas City region, he spoke highly of the strategic location and economy of Kansas City. Kansas City has an educated labor force, a high quality of life and perhaps most pertinent to trade it sits as a logistics hub connecting regions in all directions.