Czech Republic

Workgroup Discussed Implementation of Support Plan of Czech Exporters

25 September 2014

On Thursday 25th September the special government workroup designed and created to cope with the effects of sanctions imposed on Russia and vice-versa from Russia on EU member counties discussed the implementation of support plan of Czech exporters. The results of the debate reflected government decision to create posts of twelve new economic diplomats that would help to open new markets for the Czech exporters. The respective locations will be chosen in cooperation with Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic and with the Czech Chamber of Commerce. Also the support of tourism was discussed during the meeting along with the introduction of kurzarbeit. Also according to the survey of the Czech Statistical Office more than half (50.7 %) of Czech export goes to four neighboring countries (Germany, Slovakia, Poland and Austria). One of the most rapidly growing and most significant trade relationships is with China that grew the fastest between 2005 and 2013. During these years import from China grew for example by 222 %. The workgroup is to prepare the final recommendations for individual ministries on 1st October after giving it to the Czech government.

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Czech National Bank Fear of Deflation Continues

25 September 2014

As governor of the Czech National Bank Miroslav Singer confirmed after the meeting of the banking council that the monetary intervention will last at least until the end of 2016. The unsatisfactory state where anti-inflation risks prevail is according to the governor not caused by the situation on Ukraine that doesn’t affect it that much but mostly by the unsatisfactory result of the first row of cheap bank loans to commercial banks by the ECB when the commercial banks used less than 25 % of total amount. Chief economist of Roklen group Lukáš Kovanda said to this that after the announcement the Czech National Bank was less likely to introduce new interventions and it could lead the effort to the European Central Bank. What doesn’t change is that the Czech National Bank would continue to intervene on the CZK exchange rate and would keep it near the level of 27 CZK for 1 EUR.

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Czech Republic is First in Food Quality and Availability in Eastern Europe

25 September 2014

According to Global Food Security Index ladder that is composed by the analysts of the Economist journal the Czech Republic is the best in quality and availability of food among the post-communist countries. According to the ladder the Czech Republic placed 23rd of the 109 compared countries. Aside from the quality of food the index is composed from diversity of offered food and also form the food price / household income relationship. Compared to the previous year the Czech republic retained its place but it slightly improved its score. On the first place of this ladder placed the USA followed by the Austria and the Netherlands along with Norway. On the contrary worst countries were Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad and Madagascar.

This week also Czech Confederation of Commerce and Tourism commented another survey published by Eurostat where the Czech Republic is at 84 % of the food price level in comparison of EU countries only to be followed by Hungary, Lithuania, Romania, Bulgaria and Poland. But according to the Czech Statisical Office the problem is that GDP in PPP fell from previous 75 % to only 74.1 %. According to those data president of the Confederation Marta Nováková said that the retail businesses are forced to apply lower profit margin than in other countries with higher PPP. Problem is that these data especially concerning profit margins are very difficult to verify.

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Czech Budget for 2015 Approved in Government

22 September 2014

On Monday 22nd September the Czech government approved draft of national budget of the Czech Republic. The deficit of Czech budget should be 100 bn CZK and it should remain under the rate of 3 % in relation to GDP. When setting parameters of the budget government managed to find an agreement with its social partners and with the representatives of regions with whom the draft was consulted. Among the main goals of future budget is to boost investments as a tool of active employment policy, to stabilize the healthcare sector, lower the tax burden for the families with children, increase pensions and last but not least to increase the salaries of the employees in the public sector ie. civil servants, teachers, policemen, firemen and others. Also the investments to transportation infrastructure should be boosted. Although the government claims that the government is restrictive many analysts claim that the budget is much more generous and that the government is wasting the opportunity to level incomes with expenditures and spending too much on expansionary policy.

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Most visited touristic destinations in 2013

16 September 2014

On Tuesday 16th September the CzechTourism agency made public the list of the Czech most visited touristic destinations in the year 2013. On the first three places in the overall TOP 20 placed Prague Castle, Prague ZOO and Aquapalace Prague. First location that was outside Prague placed fourth and it was Landek Park in the area of lower Vítkovice. In the TOP 10 castles and chateaux the order was: 1st Prague Castle, 2nd Chateau Lednice and 3rd Chateau and Castle in Český Krumlov. From the nature sites:  Path in the Treetops Lipno, Punkva River Caves and Macocha and third the Gorges of Kamenice. The list was made in the cooperation of CzechTourism and other cultural and nature preserving agencies. You can find additional data in the attached spreadsheet.

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Unrest in Ukraine speaks for the completion of Czech nuclear plants

16 September 2014

Czech Minister of Industry and Commerce Jan Mládek during his speech at the Business Forum Conference on Europe Natural Gas Supplies said that the situation in Ukraine was the argument for the completion of nuclear power plants in Dukovany and in Temelín. He also added that if you had the nuclear fuel and energy engineers you were energy self-sufficient. Furthermore, Minister warned about the potential crisis in Balkan in the case the Russian gas stopped flowing. He also added that most European countries did enough to prepare themselves but some like Bulgaria did very little and could face serious humanitarian catastrophe if EU didn’t start solving the problem. Temelín can easily assure its fuel for 3 years from its current Russian supplier TVEL which is supplier from July 2011 when it substituted Westinghouse. Also all other Czech reactors including the commercial and scientific ones run on Russian fuel.

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Czech company can save thousands from Ebola virus

15 September 2014

One Czech company named EGO located in Zlín has developed and is currently producing special bio sacks and other innovative protective devices (Bioboxes) that can prevent the spread of the Ebola disease from patients and dead people to other people during their treatment and transportation of bodies. The EGO company will present their products at the Czech embassy in Belgium where it would meet the representatives of MSF whom EGO already delivered 4 bio sacks and the representatives of WHO, NATO or European Commission. EGO is one of the few companies that can actually respond to the WHO calls for immediate help. Outside the countries affected by Ebola also Brazil already ordered bio sacks in the preparation for the upcoming Olympic Games in 2016. Also its second product Biobox which allows doctors to treat patients without the risk of transfer of the disease is one of a kind and when presented on both world’s greatest medical fairs in Düsseldorf and in Dubaj it had no competition. This product is used for example at the hospital Bulovka on its isolation ward.

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Amazon could build its third warehouse near Prague

15 September 2014

According to the information provided by the E15 journal the Amazon company could build its third warehouse for the returned goods in the Pavlov near Prague. According to one of the sources the Panattoni company, which situated Amazon to its location in Dobrovíz where the construction has already begun, is interested in the plots there. This information is not yet officially confirmed however previously Amazon vice-president for Europe said that there are many interesting places for Amazon in the Czech Republic. The construction of the warehouse in Pavlov near the speedway R6 could mean creation of at least 1 000 workplaces.

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Ups and Downs of Czech Tourism

12 September 2014

According to the Czech National Bank data that was presented on 9th September the income from the tourism for the second quarter of 2014 reached 37.5 bn which is 12.3 % more than previous year. The lower number of Russian tourists was compensated by the tourists from neighbouring countries and from China and South Korea. Year-on-year the incomes for the first half of the year from the tourism grew by 6.7 % and reached total amount of 70.6 bn. But recently the efforts of Czech travel agencies and other tourism related services were seriously undermined when Prague mayor Tomáš Hudeček revoked partnership status with Moscow and Saint Petersburg. This move was deeply criticised by the Association of Czech Travel Agencies, Union of Spas of the Czech Republic and Association of Hotels and Restaurants of the Czech Republic. This move caused sharp decrease in willingness of Russian tourists to come to the Czech Republic and more than 30 % of reservations were cancelled by the Russian tourists.

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Věra Jourová’s Post in European Commission.

10 September 2014

On Wednesday 10th September new European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker presented its new European Commission. Czech nominee Minister of Regional Development Věra Jourová obtained the agenda of justice, consumer protection and gender equality. According to her own words Věra Jourová doesn’t consider it a failure. Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka congratulated Věra Jourová on this occasion said that obtaining this agenda means a great success and recognition of Czech qualities. This agenda is according to the Jean-Claude Juncker part of the 10 main areas in the period that is to come. Věra Jourová could also benefit from her knowledge of law as she had studied it at the university.

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