Czech Republic

World fashion brands invest in opening new boutiques at Prague prestigious addresses

19 April 2014

Many world fashion brands consider opening new representative stores at prestigious addresses as the best practice and focus mainly on investing into them in favour of other marketing tools. For Prague the case is the same. Various clothing chains invest millions of Euro in shops located on Wenceslas Square or Na Příkopě. Among the most recent occupants belong Tommy Hilfiger store, Spanish Berschka or new C&A store (already its second store there). For many brands it is a relatively cheap mean of marketing. For others these stores are the most profitable of all their stores located elsewhere; for example for New Yorker is the store on Wenceslas square its most profitable one. Many brands feel that physical presentation of assortment is better than any other mean of marketing. Today many brands are even staring to open their second stores there. This wave of openings of stores in Prague began in 2005 after reconstruction of several suitable objects there.

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Government coalition agreed on the introduction of new VAT rate for medicaments, books, baby diapers and irreplaceable child nutrition in 2015

17 April 2014

All three coalition parties agreed on Wednesday night on moving medicaments, books, baby diapers and irreplaceable child nutrition from reduced rate of 15 % to the new special 10% that is to be introduced in 2015. Ministry of Finance will be responsible for the change and for the introduction of new legislation. However, the new third VAT rate is opposed by the entrepreneurs. Patria Finance economist David Marek explains that the introduction of third VAT rate would bring additional administrative costs. Pro Factum Consulting tax consultant Petr Frisch claims that the change would not mean lower prices for end consumers but it would mean approx. CZK 20 bn loss from VAT collection that would have to be compensated by stricter tax collection control. David Marek adds that the retail price change is dependent on the price elasticity and the impact will vary for example for books v for medicaments. Also the move of baby diapers to this reduced rate will have to be negotiated and agreed on with EU which could cause further delay in implementation of tax legislature.

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Government accepted its National Reform Programme

16 April 2014

On its meeting the Czech government accepted its National Reform Programme. It’s the strategic document consisting important measures that should help in boosting economic growth and competitiveness of Czech economy. These measures are derived from the coalition agreement and consists of priorities in using of European structural funds, transparency of public finance, efficiency of institutions, attractive business environment, crucial industrial infrastructure, working workforce market, educational system, social inclusion and growth based on research and innovations. During the meeting the proposed Civil Servants Act was also discussed and agreed that future costs of the act for 2015 will be calculated by the end of this June and the government shall be informed accordingly. Eventually government was made aware of Czech Republic Readiness and Response Report elaborated on the request of International Atomic Energy Agency and of Result report of State Office for Nuclear Safety that marked nuclear power plants Temelín and Dukovany as safe.

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Foreign investments reach USD 5 bn in the Czech Republic in 2013

15 April 2014

In 2013 according to the Czech Statistical Office foreign direct investments reached the amount of USD 5 bn in the Czech Republic which is equivalent to CZK 97.7 bn. The investors spent in the Czech Republic altogether CZK 155.6 bn for both reinvested profits and new capital investments which is the highest amount since 2007. As for the period from Czech accession to EU in 2004 until 2013 CzechInvest managed to mediate foreign direct investments in total amount of USD 20.8 bn which is equivalent to CZK 415.9 bn. These investments consisted of 949 projects and created 145,323 jobs as a result. The most successful year so far was 2006 with 129 projects and 29,288 created jobs.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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