Ostrava is the second and third largest city in the Czech Republic, with regard to its area and population respectively. Thanks to its proactive approach, it is, together with Prague, the most attractive investment destination in the Czech Republic as well as the entire CE region. This metropolis has a population of 303 thousand and, moreover, it is the administrative centre for the Moravian – Silesian region, where over 1.2 million people live. Ostrava is strategically located in the north-eastern part of the country, on the route of the north-southern corridor between the Baltic and Adriatic Seas. Benefiting from extremely easy access to the Polish and Slovak markets, the city confirms its position as the economic, business and cultural centre for the entire Euroregion. Moreover, Ostrava has excellent traffic infrastructure, with an airport, motorways, railway corridors and an efficient integrated regional public transport system in place. The importance of the city also steadily increases as a result of its major railway junction and Leoš Janáček International Airport suitable for all types of aircraft, which is in the vicinity.
One should also emphasise the considerable potential of human resources in the form of vocational school leavers as well as college graduates, with technicians in the majority. Crucial is the rise in the level of education which is especially due to the dense network of public and private schools. There are four universities in the city, with more than 36 thousand students. Tuition is also given in English by several schools such as the 1st International School of Ostrava and equally important is that the city enjoys support from science, research and innovative industries. With a population of about five million within 100 kilometres of Ostrava, there is high concentration of people as well as the increasing number of businesses and rising economic power, which helps to explain why the local markets are booming. Also, adequate networks and equipment are in place, including optical fibre, and technical infrastructure facilities which allow customers to increase current consumption levels without any extra investment costs. Offering good prospects for implementation of strategic investment projects, close cooperation among organisations and the development of partnerships, the city and the region enjoy a growing reputation among investors.
When the process of construction of industrial zones had been crowned with success, numerous foreign and domestic investors arrived. Major companies have chosen Ostrava as their seat, including PEGATRON Czech, Tieto, SungWoo Hitech, CTP Invest, ArcelorMittal, Siemens and so on. With regard to the investment flow to the region, the arrival of the South Korean Hyundai Motor Company at the Nošovice Industrial Zone (near Ostrava) proved to be a milestone in 2007. Thousands of new vacancies have been gradually created and the latest data indicate a steady trend towards the growing numbers of investment schemes requiring highly qualified labour, examples being the CE Money Centre of Customer Service and the HSBC Regional Service Centre and so on. Ostrava is also enjoying a boom in development activities.
Ostrava continues focusing on new strategic opportunities of the city and region. The City authorities, in cooperation with their partners, have refined the concept and strategic development planning since 1998. An update to the Strategic Plan of the Development of the City up to 2015 was produced in 2008. Regardless of the current economic crisis, the latest strategic vision of Ostrava is gradually coming true as its metropolitan function is being strengthened and the human, economic and natural potential is being further developed.