Czechs are known around the world for a number of inventions, such as soft contact lenses or the Semtex plastic explosive. But not many know that they also invented the so-called síťovka or net bag, which was a predecessor of the widely used plastic bags. Czech Radio paid a visit to a Prague-based company, called Czech Net Bag, which has been trying to revive the nearly hundred-year-old product and bring it back into fashion.
The fall of communism 30 years ago and the transition to a market economy had a major impact on many Czech producers and even the country’s iconic brands. Some of them failed to survive the tough competition they suddenly faced, others adopted a fresh strategy and stayed at the top. Czech Television recently presented a list of the winners, such as the companies Eta, Kofola or Botas.
Nearly 17,000 will cease to exist in the Czech Republic by the end of 2019,
according to the estimates of the Czech Credit Bureau (CRIF), which is the
highest number in the country’s history.
The first three quarters of this year saw nearly 12,000 companies close, which is only 15,000 more than for the whole of 2018.
At the same time, around new 31,000 companies are expected to be registered in the country in 2019, which is the third-highest number since 1989 and only a two-percent drop on the previous year.
The Czech Republic has placed 41st on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing
Business ranking for 2019. New Zealand topped the list, followed by
Singapore and Hong Kong.
A country’s performance is judged on a variety of factors, and a higher ranking indicates better, usually simpler, regulations for businesses and stronger protections of property rights.
The Czech Republic excelled in conditions for foreign trade but did poorly as concerns excessive bureaucracy in starting a business and in gaining a construction permit where it placed 134th and 157th respectively.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš hopes that Toyota will expand its investment in the Czech Republic and start manufacturing hydrogen powered cars in its factory in Kolín, Hospodářské Noviny reported on Thursday. The car manufacturer is a world leader in alternative fuel automobile technology and is considering increasing its production in mainland Europe in case of Brexit complications.
Despite the country’s recent fall in the World Economic Forum’s global competitiveness report, Czech technology start-ups seem to dominate in the Central European region. At least according to the latest ranking published by the accountancy firm Deloitte on Thursday, which placed 19 Czech businesses among its list of the top 50 home-grown technology companies in Central Europe.
Forgotten Czech net bag makes a comeback
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