US TRADING COMPANY OPENS OFFICE IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA

US TRADING COMPANY OPENS OFFICE IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA

A new U.S.-based company fostering U.S.-East European trade and investment opened its first East European office in Prague, Czechoslovakia, last week.

NPD Trading (USA) Inc., the New York-based subsidiary of National Patent Development Corp., views Czechoslovakia as the East European market with "the greatest long-run potential" for U.S. business, said Donald Hasfurther, the trading company's vice president.U.S.-Czechoslovak trade last year totaled only $140 million, even less than U.S. trade with Bulgaria.

But, said Mr. Hasfurther, who manages the firm's Washington office, this low level of trade has reflected political, not economic, factors. With the new Czech government, he expects a slow but substantial trade upturn.

Although he does not anticipate any "dramatic" Western investment in Czechoslovakia over the next several months, Mr. Hasfurther cited likely opportunities for U.S. investors in the automotive, machine tool, computer, consumer electronics, chemicals and textiles sectors.

NPD Trading will guide U.S. businessmen hoping to enter Czechoslovakia and other East European nations as well as East European companies seeking trade and investment partners in the United States.

Managing the firm's Prague office, in the Czechoslovak Palace of Culture, is Alois Mika, a former official of Transakta, a Czech state agency overseeing joint business ventures.