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.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has set out for South Asia this week. Together with Industry Minister Marta Nováková and a delegation numbering dozens of Czech business representatives, the PM is visiting important economic hubs in the region. Expanding science, research, education and defence cooperation is also on the agenda.
Tuesday's vote against Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal has raised fresh concern in the Czech Republic regarding the uncertainty that lies ahead and the possibility of a “hard” Brexit. According to the leading Czech business daily Hospodářské noviny a “hard” Bexit would result in a drop in direct and indirect Czech exports to Britain and the loss of an estimated 40 thousand jobs on the home market.
Some 18,306 companies were registered in the Czech Republic last year, the
second-highest number in history. At the same time, 13,328 companies ceased
to exist, the greatest number on record.
According to the Czech Credit Bureau (CRIF), at the end of 2018 there were 31,634 companies in total still registered as operational.
CRIF analyst Věra Kameníčková said the number of newly established firms stayed close to historical highs for most of 2018, in line with continued economic growth and prevailing optimism among businesses and consumers.
In annual terms, there were 929 fewer new companies registered than in 2017 while 1,135 more disappeared in 2018 than in the previous year. The net increase thus decreased by 2,064 year-on-year and was the lowest in the last five years.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš met with Singapore’s President Halimah
Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Monday at the start of a
two-day official visit to the Asian state. Mr. Babiš said he saw Singapore
as the centre of economic activity in Southeast Asia.
The Czech PM hopes to primarily discuss trade cooperation in the wider region as well as partnerships in science, research, education and defence. Accompanying the prime minister is a delegation including representatives of 42 Czech companies.
The visit is part of a larger tour that will see the Czech PM also travel to Thailand and India this week. Babiš says that Asia and Africa offer the Czech Republic the opportunity to diversify its exports beyond the European Union.
The Czech Republic is Europe’s top toy distributor, exporting more than 50 billion crowns now annually, according to a new study by UniCredit bank. LEGO, Playmobil and similar plastic toy sets account for two-thirds of that, though the country is also churning out various miniature sets and dolls. Along with neighbouring Slovakia, the Czech Republic has been the fastest-growing toy exporter in the EU since 2004. I asked UniCredit bank senior economist Patrik Rožumberský how and when this country became the top exporter.
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