In recent years, the Czech Republic has seen Russia as an increasingly important economic partner. Czech exports to Russia have grown tenfold over the past decade, and about 70 percent of Czech oil and gas imports come from that country. But the ongoing crisis in Crimea has highlighted the risks of the Czech economy’s exposure to Russia. In this edition of Panorama, I discuss the implications of the Crimea crisis for the Czech-Russian relations with deputy foreign minister Petr Drulák and commentator Erik Best. I first asked Mr Drulák to sum up
Porcelain is one of the country’s traditional export articles and the famous Bohemia blue-onion tableware, produced in Dubí ever since 1885 has found its way to 90 countries the world over. Like most Czech producers the Czech porcelain joint stock company in Dubí felt the crunch of the global economic crisis, hitting a low point in 2010, but now it appears to be over the worst and is once again showing a healthy profit.
The US online retailer Amazon still believes it will be able to build a large distribution centre in a location outside Brno, the developer CTP Invest, which works with the firm, said in a press release on Wednesday. The company remains hopeful despite the fact that the plans have been rejected by Brno City Hall over zoning issues. The developer said it hoped Brno municipal assembly would next month vote to change the zoning limits, allowing for the plan to go ahead. The firm also said it was not considering an alternative location, offered by the South Moravian Region. Amazon is planning to invest some 2.7 billion crowns in Brno, creating around 1,500 jobs. Another Amazon distribution centre is to be built in Dobrovíz outside Prague.
The Ministry of Finance’s special financial analytical team has prepared criminal charges against the two top figures in state controlled electricity producer ČEZ. Cases have been prepared against general manager Daniel Beneš and his deputy, Martin Novák, the ministry confirmed. The cases relate to the buyout of minority shareholders in the North Moravian regional electricity distribution company. The suspicion is that around 350 million crowns of ČEZ funds was misused in the out of court settlement with the small shareholders, some of whom were represented by the company Associated Energy. ČEZ says the settlement was approved by the board and the deal probably saved it around 700 million crowns.
Councilors of the south Moravian region on Thursday approved a sales offer of land to the company Amazon which is seeking to locate several warehouses in the country. Details of the offer have not been released. Regional governor Michal Hašek said the local authorities were ready to enter into negotiations with both Amazon and the agency CzechInvest in view of securing the lucrative investment deal. The offer comes just hours after the city of Brno definitively rejected Amazon’s offer of a three-billion crown investment project which would have secured around 1,500 new jobs. The prime minister said he was very disappointed by Brno’s decision.
A recent expansion of the Dutch company Ahold in the Czech Republic reflects the country’s changing retail market. Ahold, which bought 50 stores from the loss-making Austrian firm Spar, is now set to become market leader, a new situation for the fragmented Czech market. But analysts say more changes are in the pipeline, including customers’ move away from supermarkets to smaller speciality stores.
The South Moravian region will make a new offer to the US-based online retailer Amazon, the region’s governor, Michal Hašek told a news conference in Brno on Wednesday. The announcement comes a day after Brno’s municipal assembly rejected Amazon’s plan to build a distribution centre outside the city. Mr Hašek, of the Social Democrats, did not mention a specific location but said if accepted by the retailer, the project would be approved by regional authorities. The state CzechInvest agency also said it would offer the company alternative locations. Amazon’s planned 2.7 billion crown investment in Brno was rejected over problems with altering the city’s zoning plans. A similar distribution centre for Amazon will be built outside Prague.
Plans for US-based e-commerce giant Amazon to build a second distribution centre on the outskirts of the Czech Republic’s second city, Brno, appear to have been thwarted. Other Czech sites are also being offered while Slovakia is also trying to land the investment and the estimated 2000 jobs going with it.
Fragile Czech growth could be wiped out if the Ukraine crisis take a worse turn and sterner sanctions are imposed by the European Union, including the Czech Republic, and Russia retaliates. Exports of Czech machinery and engineering equipment could be threatened and Russian tourists could head elsewhere.
Over 1,000 skeletons discovered during renovation of Kutná Hora “bone church”
Language exams for foreigners seeking permanent residency permit to become tougher
Why are Russian and Chinese spying activities in Czech Republic so intense and how exactly do they do it?
Prague’s historical Koh-i-noor factory to be converted into residential area
The history of the “German Czechs”