Czech Republic

Czech consumers spent more than 58 billion in e-shops

11 April 2014

According to the survey made by Mediaresearch for Association for Electronic Commerce (APEK) Czech consumers spent more than 58 billion Czech crowns in e-shops. This means 16 % increase compared to 2012. According to the survey only 3 % of the active internet population above the age of 15 never used e-shop which leaves us with vast majority of 97 % that have at least some experience with buying goods or services online. More precise statistics show that only l 7 % of people use e-shops less than once a year and more than 75 % of them who buy something at least once a year bought something 4 or more times last year. Only 6 % of them use e-shops on weekly basis. Most of the respondents spent on internet the average amount ranging from 5 000 to 10 000 Czech crowns per year. Also the percentage of satisfied customers is favorable with 34 % with the best experience, 65 % with rather good experience and only 1 % of them with rather bad experience.

For more click here and here.

ČEZ cancelled the tender for the completion of Temelín

10 April 2014

Parastatal Czech company ČEZ informed all contestants, MIR. 1200, Westinghouse and previously excluded Areva that it had cancelled tender for the completion of two new blocks of nuclear power plant Temelín which started in 2009. The reason for the decision is that the new government and newly elected chamber of deputies decided not to adopt the system of state guaranteed buyout prices of electricity for the electricity from Temelín power plant, those prices would have to be in between 90 and 100 Euro per KWh which is above current market prices of electricity. According to ČEZ Business and Strategy director Pavel Cyrani, building new blocks now without these guarantees would not be economically sensible and it would harm shareholders. However, it is possible that ČEZ could focus on renovating second Czech nuclear power plant Dukovany instead and on building additional reactor for it to be in operation in 2035 as Dukovany plant is expected to operate at least until 2035.

For more click here and here.

Coallition deputy proposed an amendment to the Cybersecurity Act

09 April 2014

ČSSD deputy Jan Birke proposed an amendment to the government draft of Cybersecurity Act currently discussed in the Chamber of Deputies committees. This amendment concerns government procurement with respect to necessary security measures in the process of selection of suppliers of information systems of critical information infrastructure, communication systems of critical information infrastructure or key information systems. As for the selection process, above mentioned information systems’ related conditions should not be considered unlawful or restrictive in respect to the free competition as the authorities would be obliged to implement security measures in order to increase or stabilize cybersecurity of information and communication systems. These security conditions would be implemented not only in the technical documentation but also in requirements for the applicant.

For more click here.

Prague ranked 5th best tourist destination

08 April 2014

In the Tripadvisor.com ladder of the top 25 tourist destinations of the world Prague ranked 5th. This is a major improvement in comparison to 2008 with 12th place or to previous year with 9th place. This year Prague was defeated only by Istanbul, Rome, London and Beijing. On the contrary Prague left behind such cities as Paris, New York, Florence, Buenos Aires or Dubai. Prague is highly appreciated for its combination of beautiful architecture and atmosphere with plenty of shopping opportunities and favorable Czech crown exchange rate (especially for American tourists). Prague also placed 4th among European cities with only Istanbul, Rome and London ahead. This Tripadvisor ranking is so important because it is made of more than 100 million monthly tourist reviews and the website is visited by more than 200 million people monthly. This website surveys thus belong to the most watched in its domain.

For more click here and here.

Retail sales in the Czech Republic increased by 8.1 % year-on-year

04 April 2014

According to the Czech Statistical Office retail sales in February 2014 increased by 8.1 % year-to-year and 0.3 % month-to month. The growth of retail sales was mostly contributed by automotive sales and repairs. In retail trade excluding automotive sales but including sale of automotive fuel (CZ-NACE 47) sales increased by 3.2% year-to-year. The growth of retail sales started in November 2013 and it is one of the signs that the Czech economy is starting to recover from the recession.

For more information click here and here.

Ministry of Finance to postpone taxation legislature

04 April 2014

The Czech PM Bohuslav Sobotka expressed his concerns of Minister of Finance Andrej Babiš asking him to extend the deadline for preparation of two taxation legislation analysis, namely of taxation of illegally obtained assets and of property declaration act. In that case respective laws wouldn’t probably come into force on time in January 2015. PM Bohuslav Sobotka perceives this as a negative signal as the adoption of various taxation acts is stated in the Coalition Agreement. On the contrary, spokesperson of the Ministry of Finance Zeman denied that there was a problem and stated that the delay was caused by legal and technical issues in order for the acts to be in accordance with the Constitution and with legal system.

For more information click here.

Amazon decided to leave Brno

03 April 2014

Amazon, according to its Director of Operations in Europe Tim Collins, decided to abandon the negotiations with authorities in Brno regarding its plans for logistics center that was to be built on Černovická terasa. Brno thus lost the investment of 2.7 billion and potential creation of 1500 permanent jobs. Tim Collins said that the company didn’t feel welcome anymore after repeated rulings of deputies of Brno and that it would find a place for the center elsewhere in the region. The behavior of authorities of Brno was also criticized by PM Bohuslav Sobotka and Minister of Finance Andrej Babiš. One of the prospective locations for the logistics center could be Holešov in the Czech Republic or Bratislava in Slovakia.

For more information click here, here and here.

Czech government decided to reintroduce “green diesel” reimbursement

02 April 2014

On its meeting on 2nd April 2014 Czech government decided to reintroduce the benefit for farmers. So called “green diesel” means reimbursement of excise tax on mineral oils for farmers as they don’t use roads that much. The reimbursement was lowered from 60 % to 40 % by Nečas government in 2013 and it was cancelled at the end of 2013. Now it is going to stay at 40 % (58 % for diesel with bio-additive) and the law could come into force in July 2014. If the legislature is adopted it will mean expenditure of approx. 1.3 billion Czech crowns. According to PM Bohuslav Sobotka, most of the EU countries also have the reimbursement of excise tax on mineral oils with the exception of Austria, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, and Slovakia and Czech farmers would be in disadvantage in respect to other countries on European common market.

For more information click here, here and here.

Governmental Committee on Staffing

31 March 2014

The Government set up the Committee on Staffing. The Committee should be an advisory body of the Government. It should have a say in staffing of supervisory boards of companies with state participation, state companies and a national company. A confirmative stance of the Committee should precede any nomination to a supervisory board. The Committee consists of three members that are appointed directly by the Government (each coalitional member appoints one person). The Committee is of a temporary character as the Government aims at introduction of the Bill on Civil Service.

For further information, click here.

Ministry of Education: Vocational Training year 2015

24 March 2014

The Ministry of Education announced a tight cooperation with the Confederation of the Industry of the Czech Republic on promotion of vocational training. The aim of the cooperation is to improve the situation on the labor market where firms feel the lacks of technically trained manpower. According to estimation of the Confederation of Industry, nearly 70 per cent of firms report lack of the respective manpower. The cooperation seeks to improve the status of technical and manual skilled students. The Ministry of Education aims at increasing financial means that should be spent within the technical education sector. The vocational training should be organized by both schools as well as firms. The Ministry also strives for tax abatement for those firms that would take part in the program of vocational training. The Minister of Education Marcel Chládek announced that this highly-profiled issue has been a part of his ministerial program for a long time.

The OECD recommends some of the mentioned measures to the Czech Republic in its annual report (click here).

For further information, click here.

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