The government agency CzechInvest concluded 147 projects in 2014 - worth 87 billion crowns - with both Czech and foreign investors in 2014. Company representatives made the announcement on Tuesday, specifying a total of 16,000 new jobs would be created, with more than 6,000 in Moravia-Silesia and Ústí alone - regions often suffering from high unemployment.
According to Czech Minister of Industry and Trade Jan Mládek, an increased interest and activity by foreign investors reflected the gradual recovery of the European market spurred mainly by the automotive industry. He cited Czech firms as expanding in the fields of the engineering, and textiles as well as the food industry. Mládek called the Czech Republic one of the most attractive areas in the region for investors. The Czech News Agency noted, for comparison, that Poland’s PAIiIZ mediated investments worth the equivalent of 50 billion crowns in 2014 (1.8 billion euros) last year. In the Czech Republic, the two largest groups of foreign investors were from the US and neighbouring Germany.
The automotive and metal work industries saw the most investment. First among investment projects in the Czech Republic was South Korea's Nexen Tire, which is to build a tire plant in the Triangle industrial zone near Žatec, northern Bohemia, for 22.8 billion crowns. Second, was the expansion of Brose CZ in Rožnov pod Radhoštem and Kopřivnice, both in northern Moravia, for 2.65 billion. Most of investments in the Czech Republic were in the first half of the year, when investors benefitted from more advantageous incentives.
"The second half of the year was weaker, so we have to make a greater effort to attract investments,” said CzechInvest CEO Karel Kučera, adding that “a draft amendment on the law on incentives, one which is more accommodating towards investors, was ready.”. He also said that a new strategy by CzechInvest would see a more active approach to investors.
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