Foreign filmmakers and TV crews spent nearly 5 billion crowns last year in the Czech Republic, a jump of nearly two billion crowns compared to 2017. With the state having paid out some 800 million crowns through an incentives scheme, the return on investment is solid. But competition is fierce – and heating up.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš’s tweet that he was lobbying for the opening of an Apple Store in Prague received much attention from Czech media. However, server iDNES.cz reports that the Czech PM also discussed the possibility of introducing American telecoms giant AT&T as the fourth major mobile phone operator in the country.
One of the important points on Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček’s agenda during his two-day visit to Ukraine has been the strengthening of economic relations. While bilateral trade sank significantly in the immediate period following the 2014 revolution, it has been growing steadily since 2016 and now lies at nearly EUR 2 billion per year.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš is in Davos this week talking to international leaders. On Thursday he met with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and Apple CEO Tim Cook. According the Mr. Babiš there is much potential for Czech companies in what is currently the country’s second largest trading partner in South America.
The Czech economy is by some measures the most competitive in Central and Eastern Europe. But productivity has not kept pace with the rapid wage growth of recent years. And without greater state support for applied research and to encourage innovation, the Ministry of Industry warns, long-term competitiveness – already now “frozen” – could plummet.