29 April 2017 | Last updated 10:54 PM

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Czech Republic’s visa centre inaugurated
Sakal Times | Friday, 24 March 2017 AT 11:04 PM IST
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Pune: To improve people to people connect and boost educational, industrial and cultural ties with the city, Czech Republic inaugurated its visa application centre in Pune on Friday. Ambassador of Czech Republic Milan Hovorka inaugurated the centre at the VFS office in Viman Nagar.

Hovorka said that this is the 12th visa application centre to be inaugurated in the country in the last 18 months. “Earlier, if people wished to travel to the Czech Republic, they had to pay a visit to the embassy in New Delhi. We then decided that documents and not people should travel to Delhi. We wanted to bring the application process closer to people’s homes and hence, we started application centres in Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and other prominent cities in India,” Hovorka said.

He said that the opening of the centres in various cities has shown results. “Over 66,000 Indians travelled to Czech Republic in 2016 and spent an average of three and a half days there. The data is based on the accommodation statistics for the year. Many others may have travelled and stayed at friends’ or relatives houses,” Hovorka said.

Speaking about ties with Pune, Hovorka said that there is a need to test the willingness of Czech industry to set up base in Pune. “With Pune being a manufacturing hub and the presence of Czech companies like Skoda here already, Pune is the place to attract more Czech industry,” Hovorka said.

Hovorka further stated that the Czech Republic is also looking at strengthening educational ties with the city. “During my next visit to Pune, I will be visiting universities in the city to facilitate student exchanges and the potential for this is enormous,” Hovorka said.

He also said that they are also trying to provide a boost to tourism. “We are going to inaugurate an office of Czech Tourism in Mumbai in the near future. We also hold regular meetings with travel agencies and tour operators to have a dialogue and obtain feedback about their experience,” Hovorka said.

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