Czech Republic

Public Procurement Act amendment approved by the Chamber of Deputies

12 December 2014

On Friday 12th December the Chamber of Deputies of Parliament of the Czech Republic approved the amendment to the Public Procurement Act. The amendment brings few substantial changes to the process of public procurement. First of them is introduction of more criteria than just the price, namely organization (company) assessment and qualification and experience of employees involved in the public contract. Also in the case of highly qualification demanding contracts (consulting, architecture) the quality of performance would be assessed. Part of the assessment criteria could also be the social impact of the procurement contract meaning for example employing socially endangered groups or promoting corporate social responsibility and non-discrimination. Also the obligation to cancel the process of public procurement competition if there is only one applicant is omitted leaving this possibility at the discretion of the contracting authority. Also the way of treating extra work has changed as the contracting authority that has drafted the public procurement proposal with due diligence is now allowed to pay the extra work – if it should occur – without the fear of being penalized. The Public Procurement Act amendment now goes to Senate to be discussed there.

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Tourists spent in the Czech Republic in 3Q. 1.5 bn more than last year

12 December 2014

According to the balance of payments that was made public by the Czech National Bank on Friday 12th December the revenues from tourism for the third quarter of the year 2014 amounted up to 36.4 bn CZK that is 1.5 bn in year-on-year comparison. That means year-on-year revenue growth by 3.4 %. According to the statistic the tourist spent in the Czech Republic 103.6 bn CZK in total from the beginning of the year 2014 which means 2 % growth in year on year comparison. The main countries of origin contributing to the growth were Germany, Poland, Austria, Slovakia, Netherlands, Hungary, Italy, Spain and united Kingdom. From the Asian countries China (+22 %) and South Korea (+20 %) were the most contributing. Czech Republic was the destination for 6.2 million tourists from the beginning of year 2014 that is 2.9 % more in year-on-year comparison. Jan Herget assumes that the last quarter of the year including advent city breaks would contribute to this positive trend.

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Czech National Bank and Ministry of Finance advise not to accept Euro at this time

12 December 2014

Czech National Bank and Ministry of Finance of the Czech Republic recommended to the Government in their joint report that the Government should not yet specify the precise date of the accession to common European currency Euro. This means that the Czech Republic should neither enter the mechanism ERM-2 where the Czech currency is fixed to Euro. Apart from participating in ERM-2 mechanism the Czech Republic already met all the criteria for successful accession to Euro. These are: less than 3 % deficit of public finance and less than 60 % budget deficit in relation to the GDP. Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka declared that the first realistic date for the Czech Republic to introduce Euro was the year 2020. Earlier PM declared that the setting of precise date of accession to Euro wouldn’t probably be part of this government’s agenda.

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Companies complain about tax uncertainties

11 December 2014

According to the research results published by Deloitte 71 % of companies in Czech Republic perceive that there is high tax uncertainty. The number grew in relation to previous year when this was the opinion of 70.5 % companies. This is in contrast to the EMEA countries to which the Czech Republic is compared. There the ratio actually decreased from 60 % to 54.2 %. The companies of the Czech Republic were among 800 compared from 25 European and 4 Asian countries. As the most important factors contributing to the feeling of uncertainty in the Czech Republic are frequent changes of tax legislation and ambiguity of tax rules and their imperfections along with rapid changes of tax administration offices stance. As a good example of this we could take the current situation with VAT where the respective law was rejected by the Senate and returns to the Chamber of Deputies for further discussion. This brings great uncertainty as whatever the outcome would be it would be known no earlier than during or after Christmas holidays which give the companies very little time to adapt as it would be effective from the beginning of 2015.

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Call for submission of grant applications

05 December 2014

Ministry of Regional Development issued during the past week couple of calls for submission of grant applications in various areas. Some are designed for municipalities and groups of municipalities such as for the development and reconstruction of housing and housing environment, support of the countryside or on providing greater accessibility for handicapped people (Euro locks for example). One area that is open to entrepreneurs is the area of support of tourism. It is divided into four subsections: 1) Renovation / construction of rest areas, service centers for tourists and sanitary facilities for pedestrians, cyclists and disabled tourists, 2) Opening the sights to general public, 3) Establishing / improving / creating the navigation and information systems for sensory-disabled tourism participants, 4) Acquisition of equipment for secure bike parking and luggage storage (parking houses, towers). The budget for this area is 50 million CZK for the year 2015. Applications will be accepted from 5th December 2014 until 12th February 2015. The money would be provided in the form of subsidy and would cover 50 % of total eligible expenditures being compatible with the “de minimis” regime. The program is open for both entrepreneurs and municipalities. Eventually the grant opportunity for the introduction and modernization of ICT systems to the local administration was reopened for applications as the funds available for allocation have been raised to 697 million CZK and it is open to all as long as the project meets the evaluation criteria.

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Money from the Czech Republic to ESA is diminishing

05 December 2014

Chief of the Czech Space Office Jan Kolář warned that the Czech cosmonautics was in danger of appreciable attenuation. According to his information the Czech Republic in past two years decreased its contributions to one half of its commitment of 20 million EUR from 2012. According to his opinion the Czech Republic lacks not only financing but also clear concept. That could be demonstrated for example by state’s vague differentiation of research and practical application. In present the Czech Republic is part of 13 programs but the Czech delegation to ESA didn’t get the mandate to broaden Czech involvement in the future and to take part in future projects. The Czech Republic is also not present in Moon and Mars projects. Jan Kolář criticizes the approach of the Ministry of Transportation which is responsible for financing of this area and argues that its short term perspective is okay for application programs but not for the general research that is essentially the investment to the future.

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Chinese CEFC to invest additional 19 bn CZK to the Czech Republic

04 December 2014

During the meeting with Czech President Miloš Zeman the president of CEFC company Chan Chauto according to presidents spokesperson announced that the investments already promised on the base of acquisition of 1/3 share of J&T Bank in the amount of 19.4 bn CZK would be doubled to 38 bn CZK. Part of this additional investment should be the cooperation with Moser and exclusivity of CEFC as its dealer for the Chinese market. CEFC also plans to build its branch office in Prague for approximately 100 million CZK. As for the CEFC it is the sixth largest privately held company in China and one of the largest corporations in the world, inter alia with the focus on finance, energy and infrastructure. Its turnover by Fortune Global 500 enterprises reached 33.6 billion USD.

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Rules for labeling food will be stricter

04 December 2014

In these days the Ministry of agriculture is finishing the draft of the ordinance regulating the use of of label “Czech food” that would have to be manufactured by the Czech seated company on the territory of Czech Republic and made at least from ¾ from Czech ingredients. Also the markings homemade, fresh, living, dia or natural are to disappear from the packaging of food along with the pictures of fruits on products that use artificial aroma only or disambiguation of names of products that are strictly defined. The draft is now in the phase of recommendations from other resorts and other relevant actors. The final ordinance should come into force in April 2015.

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To hide from the tax inspection in Prague will no longer be available

29 November 2014

The journal Lidové Noviny announced that the Directorate general of Financial Administration would use the tool of so called “delegation” to move the sites of companies that are not effectively doing their business in Prague from the capitals to their respective cities and regions. This measure is introduced to prevent the companies to hide in the herd as for example at Prague the average time between individual controls of one company is 190 years. This situation comes from the fact that according to the General Directorate database there are 43 000 registered “virtual” companies with their headquarters at only 280 addresses in Prague compared to 10 000 companies in the rest of the republic. Lidové Noviny further wrote on this matter that Prague has effectively become “heaven of entrepreneurs” as they moved their headquarters from the region they were doing business in to Prague.

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Companies have founded Association of the Nanotechnology Industry of the Czech Republic

27 November 2014

On Thursday 27 November the Association of the Nanotechnology Industry of the Czech Republic has been founded at the premises of CzechInvest. The 12 founding members are IQ Structures s.r.o., NANOVIA s.r.o., nanoSPACE s.r.o., Advanced Materials - JTJ s.r.o., SPUR a.s., NanoTrade s.r.o., ASIO, spol. s r.o., PARDAM, s.r.o., Výzkumný Technologický Institut s.r.o., HE3DA s.r.o., JIMIPLET, s.r.o. a NAFIGATE Corporation, a.s. The aim of the association is to expand and develop the reputation of Czech nanotechnology industry that is globally recognized. It focuses on finding additional support and cooperation opportunities at the academic and commercial level. Jiří Fusek, Specialist on Nanotechnology of CzechInvest, added that the Czech excelled in the field of nanofibers and optics where they could build on tradition and discoveries of professors Jirsák and Delong. He also stressed that the Association had the potential to raise the profile of the Czech Republic as the superpower in nanotechnology in the eyes of foreign investors.

For more click here.

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