AmCham published its 1st Policy Report on Good Governance and Economic Development in 2016.
Last fall, AmCham debated what our advocacy priorities should be for 2016. We made a strategic choice. We would get back to what we like to do: pursue economic development issues. Since so many others had jumped into the fight against corruption, we felt we could cut back our hours there, and start examining how research could contribute to higher value-added exports, or how the Prague-Brno corridor could become the primary catalyst for the Central European region. We slid good government to fourth, and last, place among our economic priorities. Read the report...
OECD recently published data on R&D expenditures for 41 countries, including the Czech Republic. The country, with R&D expenditures amounting to 2% of GDP (622.9 USD per capita (2014)) ranks slightly above the EU average, but bellow the OECD average. South Korea spends 4.29% of its GDP on research and development, followed by Israel with 4.11% and Japan with 3.58% of GDP in 2015.
In 2014, the least energy-imports-dependent Member States were Estonia (8.9%), Denmark (12.8%) and Romania (17.0%), followed by Poland (28.6%), the Czech Republic (30.4%), Sweden (32.0%), the Netherlands (33.8%) and Bulgaria (34.5%). At the opposite end of the scale, the highest energy dependence rates were registered in Malta (97.7%), Luxembourg (96.6%), Cyprus (93.4%), Ireland (85.3%), Belgium (80.1%) and Lithuania (77.9%). At the same time, the Czech Republic is the only Member State recording a peak of its energy dependency in 2014, Eurostat announced.
Radio Prague: New (Czech) dean of NATO Defense College: Our perception of what presents a threat sometimes differs
Brigadier General František Mičánek, head of the Centre for Security and Military Strategic Studies at the University of Defense in Brno, was recently elected Dean of NATO Defense College in Rome. He is the second Czech to secure a high post in NATO defense structures, following General Petr Pavel’s appointment as chairman of NATO's Military Committee. Read/listen to an interview with him on Radio Prague.
Transparency International Czech Republic asks MPs to push forward debate, adopt reform of political finance | OECD: Financing Democracy report
Transparency International Czech Republic asks Czech MPs to push forward debate and adopt reform of political party financing. The draft act has been waiting for its turn in the Chamber of Deputies for quite some time. The bill proposes establishing of an authority that would monitor political party financing, impose sanctions and be in charge of public oversight over political finance, among others. One of the problems TI Czech Republic mentioned in their analysis relates to "transparent accounts" of political parties; most political parties made publicly accessible information on money inflows only, and not the outflows...
CNB: Interest rates at technical zero, currency interventions commitment unchanged, GDP growth in 2016 slower than in 2015
At its on 4 February, the Bank Board of the Czech National Bank decided unanimously to keep interest rates unchanged at technical zero. The Bank Board decided to continue using the exchange rate as an additional instrument for easing the monetary conditions and confirmed the CNB’s commitment to intervene on the foreign exchange market if needed to weaken the koruna so that the exchange rate of the koruna is kept close to CZK 27 to the euro. Also, the Czech central bank estimates GDP growth in 2015 at 4.7% and according tthe CNB's forecast, the growth of the Czech economy will slow markedly in 2016.
In Policy Pipeline policy developments in the Czech Republic and abroad are monitored to bring better understanding of current topics and trends.