The History of the Association of Exporters
The Association of Exporters has been helping Czech exporters for 20 years. Its establishment dates
back to 18 April 2002 when representatives of 40 signatory companies of the “Trutnov Call”
(Trutnovská výzva) met in Trutnov. In addition to the entrepreneurs, the meeting was attended by
the President of the Czech Chamber of Commerce – Dr. Zdeněk Somr. He supported the signatories’
opinion that the Trutnov Call was an autonomous initiative which would continue to act
independently and without strong ties to professional associations and other organisations. The
signatories discussed and adopted specific requirements, which would be advocated by a delegated
eight-member team. Within a few days, the Trutnov Call was signed by 180 companies demanding
that the government and the Czech National Bank (CNB) do something about the appreciation of the
koruna. Several days later, the Czech National Bank cut the interest rates.
The interest rate cut was the key requirement of the Trutnov Call. The entrepreneurs’ appreciation
for the bank’s step was made even more profound by the fact that the political atmosphere was not
in favour of such a solution. The sharp cut of rates by 0.5% signalled that the CNB understood the
risks stemming from the rate that was stabilised in the short-term, but still overvalued by
speculations. The signatories considered it crucial that government representatives and other
politicians not undermine the effort of the central bank with their ill-considered statements. On the
contrary, they wanted them to contribute to the creation of a stable economic environment.
Therefore, they called on the government to discuss its intentions – especially those concerning the
sale of state shares in privatised enterprises – with the bank.
Gradually, the activities of the Association of Exporters have expanded. Its aim is to preserve and
increase the competitiveness of Czech companies, especially ones focusing on export. The
Association’s representatives monitor the tendencies and legislative development of the European
Union and point out potential risks for the Czech Republic. The Association’s members foster
communication with the government during preparation of export supportive measures and also
contribute to consolidation of the relationship with the CNB representatives. The Association also co-
operates with top analysts and focuses on analysis of data that indicate the influence of domestic
export companies on the Czech Republic economy.
The Association promotes its goals in media and organises and holds educational, social and
promotional events. The Association now also communicates via social networks such as Facebook
The Association’s members may attend the Export Forum, which is held twice a year. There have
been 22 of them so far, and these expert meetings have gradually become a prestigious event where
exporters, banks and the government exchange their opinions. In the last four years, the Association
has also closely co-operated with the Export Guarantee and Insurance Corporation (EGAP).
Another integral part of the Association’s activities is the regular preparation of the Export Index. The
Export Index is a unique tool used to predict the development of the Czech export performance
several months ahead based on a number of statistics and chosen leading indicators. Its current form
is the result of in-depth co-operation between Raiffeisenbank and the Association of Exporters. The
Index includes the following parameters: the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) of the Eurozone, the
real effective exchange rate of the Czech koruna against the euro adjusted for the inflation in
industry, German industry contracts and Czech contracts from abroad. Interviews with Czech
exporters regarding their expectations concerning the future development of export are also
conducted out on a quarterly basis as part of the Index preparation.