Czech Republic

List of fraudulent Chinese companies was created

27 February 2015

As a reaction on the current state of affairs when more than 50 small and medium Czech companies fell victim to fraudulent Chinese companies the Association of Entrepreneurs published the list of these companies and handed over this list to the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in order for the investigation to be started. These Chinese fraudulent companies often promise the opportunity of entering Chinese market, communicate on very professional level or even invite Czech entrepreneurs to travel to China and then demand payments in advance for materials, for bribes, for registration. Once the money is transferred they either send the products in lower quality than promised and stop all communication or simply stop communicating at all in the first place. Another bad practices are sending fake e‑mails from domains very similar to those of established companies or offer to sell the Chinese .ch domain for exaggerated prices.

For the list click here.

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Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and Minister of Transportation Dan Ťok visited South Korea

27 February 2015

On 23rd-27th February Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka accompanied by Minister of Transportation Dan Ťok in accordance with government priorities of acquisition of investments and securing new jobs visited South Korea. There PM Bohulsav Sobotka met with Korean President Park Geun-hye and discussed mutual cooperation. As a result four important memoranda were signed. First one was Joint Declaration on the strategic partnership between the Czech Republic and the Republic of Korea outlining specific areas for further cooperation and promoting the relationship of both countries to the level of strategic partnership. Other memoranda were Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of regular political consultations, Memorandum of Understanding and on cooperation in railway transport between the Ministry of Transportation and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of the Republic of Korea. These latter one was signed by Minister Dan Ťok. And Eventually also the Memorandum of Cooperation between Ministry of Defense of the Czech Republic and Ministry of National Defense of the Republic of Korea. As a result future cooperation in transportation, for example in constructing rail to Prague airport, in nuclear energy, in construction of new blocs in Temelín when the competition is resumed, or cooperation in joint defense programs is possible and Czech companies could benefit from this cooperation. Also the CzechInvest agency opened its mission in South Korea and some contracts, for example in the value of 120 million CZK for the porcelain manufacturer in Dubí, were already negotiated.

For more click here, here, here, here and here.

According to the court the Czech Republic unlawfully taxed emission permits

26 February 2015

According to the ruling of Court of Justice of the European Union the donation tax of 32 % on emission permits issued in between 2011 and 2012 was not in accordance with the European Law if more than 10 % permits were affected. According to the EU Directive the donation of emission permits in 2008-2012 should have been free and could only be paid for if the amount didn’t exceed the 10 % limit of permits. Last year ČEZ and Alpiq requested the tax reimbursement and company Ško-Energo addressed the court. The case finally got to the CoJ of the EU which ruled that the tax wasn’t in accordance with the European law. Using the above mentioned donation tax of 32 % the Czech Republic raised in 2011 4.8 bn CZK and in 2012 2.7 bn CZK that partly covered the program of support of the renewable resources. Now the Czech Republic will be forced to reimburse at least part of this money to the affected parties.

For more click here and here.

Government approved the so called “financial constitution”

23 February 2015

On its meeting on Monday 23rd February the government approved the act on fiscal responsibility, so called “financial constitution.” This act is originally drafted as the implementation of EU restrictions towards indebting of the member but in the Czech regulation it is extended and also includes the regulation of regions and municipalities. The key ratio is 55 % where the public debt in relation to GDP could not be higher than that otherwise the government would be forced to function on the basis of budgetary provisory and to cut the wages of state officials such as deputies, senators, judges etc. For the municipalities the ratio is less strict and is set to 60 %. In order for this act to be approved the government coalition needs to negotiate the constitutional majority within the Chamber of Deputies. These additional votes could be obtained from the deputies of Úsvit Movement that recently split themselves from their formal leader Tomio Okamura.

For more click here, here, here and here.

Institute for Nuclear Research began new promising project

22 February 2015

According to the press conference held on Monday 16th February the Institute for Nuclear Research in Řež began in December 2014 new promising research of properties of fluoride salts that could become the coolant for the IV. generation of nuclear reactors because of their excellent properties. This research was made possible thanks also to the Agreement on cooperation signed between the Czech Minister of Industry and Commerce and US Minister of Energy. Also the material for this experiment in the form of container of pure fluoride salt was provided by the USA. Last week the Institute also presented results of its study of small modular reactors with the output of maximum 300 MW that could power cities and smaller regions instead of classical gas or coal power plants. Core supporters of this technology claim that it could be used already in the next decade. This study was done in cooperation of Institute of Nuclear Research in Řež and Nuclear and Engineering Faculty of ČVUT.

For more click here and here.

Minister of Industry and Commerce Jan Mládek went to Ukraine

19 February 2015

On 16th and 17th February the Minister of Industry and Commerce Jan Mládek went to Ukraine on a business trip. Before the the trip Ministe Jan Mládek stated that his goal there would be to look for the opportunities on how to engage Czech firms in the process of reconstruction of Ukrainian economy. Once there Minister Mládek met with Ukrainian ministers of economic development and business, of infrastructure and of energy. Jan Mládek also spoke with PM aide for the stabilization of export Valeriy Piatnicky , deputy of Ukrainian Parliament Oksana Prodan and President of Ukrainian Confederation of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Anatoliy Kynach. Among the key discussed topic were energy and energy security in terms of transit of oil, start of the Free Trade Zone with the EU that is scheduled to 1st January 2016. As for the proclaimed goal of this bussines trip the Czech Minister discussed it with his Ukrainian Minister of Infrastructure. They discussed the involvement of Czech companies in infrastructure projects and possible Ukrainian governmental guarantees accompanied with insurance of project from Czech Export Bank or EGAP.

For more click here and here.

President’s influence on CNB and on CZK exchange rate

19 February 2015

During his visit of Region of Hradec Králové on Wendnesday 18th February President Miloš Zeman further criticised Czech National Bank’s decision to intervene to keep CZK under the exchange rate of 27 CZK to EUR. Further adding to this matter President Miloš Zeman said that with his power to appoint members of the Czech National Bank Board of Governors he would appoint only those bankers that would be in favour of Czech accession to European Single Currency. In reaction to this statement CZK appreciated in the following hours and days up to the value of 27.20 CZK for 1 EUR. This triggered the speculation whether CNB would hae to intervene again in order to keep CZK under the limit of 27 CZK. UniCredit economist Pavel Sobíšek commented President’s statement as having various potentially unwanted side effects including the rapid appreciation of CZK or potential change of behaviour of some potential candidates for the 4 seats of CNB Board that remain to be changed during current president’s electoral period to be more to his liking.

For click here and here.

Czech state to cooperate more with the private sector on cybersecurity

16 February 2015

On its meeting on Monday 16th February the government approved the National Strategy for Cybersecurity for the years 2015-2020. Among the priorities aside form already mentioned protection of critical national infrastructure and information systems belongs the pursuit of active cooperation with the private sector and the support of education and of the information society. The document itself belong to the series of security of measures documents including Security strategy, steps leading to vesting greater powers to intelligence agencies. It is also forms the basis for the creation of additional directives and recommendations.

For more click here and here.

Minister of Regional Development discussed the Czech-Italian cooperation in tourism

13 February 2015

During her working visit to Italy Czech Minister of Regional Development Karla Šlechtová met the President of the Regional Council of Venice Clodovaldo Ruffato and discussed both countries’ mutual relationship and possibilities of cooperation in tourism. Minister Karla Šlechtová stressed the need of closer cooperation and mentioned that the Czech Republic was last year host to 370,000 Italian tourists with the average period of stay exceeding 3.5 days with 80 % that were headed to Prague. Both representatives discussed various events that are to come in 2015 and 2016 that the Czech Republic would use to attract Italian tourist such as music festival Prague Spring, celebrations of birth of Charles IV., Pilsen the European Citi of Culture 2015 and others. Also EXPO as the event of key importance was mentioned as Minister Šlechtová had the chance to be informed of ongoing preparations and of possible future opportunities related to it. She also appreciated growth of the number flights between Prague and Milan that happened last year, work of local branch of CzechTourism that managed to contribute to more than 4500 trips to Czech Republic. Czech Republic cooperates with Italy not only on the governmental and EU level but also within the UNWTO.

For more click here.

Czech government supported another important investment

10 February 2015

During its meeting the government agreed on the mandate for Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka to sign the Memorandum of Cooperation among the Czech Republic and company Škoda Auto and the region of Hradec Králové on the extension of production in the strategic industrial zone Solnice – Kvasiny and thus creating around 1,300 workplaces. The investment itself would cost at least 7.2 bn CZK with 570 million CZK funded by the state and 300 million from the regional government. The investment will also be closely connected to establishing new industrial zone connected to Kvasiny zone. Also additional 400 workplaces at the Škoda contractors are likely to emerge. As for the investment within the PM Sobotka’s government working period the state already funded 4 projects (Nexen Tires, Hyundai Mobis, Lego and JC Interiors) in the total value of 30 bn CZK.

For more click here, here and here.

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