Sourcing supplies and manufacturing has got a lot more complicated and fragmented with globalization. In many cases, countries are just partial providers or stops for goods or services before they end up with the final consumer. But appreciation of the more complex creation of wealth and trade flows is only beginning to be pieced together by international and national policy makers.
Hungarian oil refining giant MOL has sealed a deal to become the second biggest petrol retailer in the Czech Republic with the purchase of 125 AGIP filling stations. The value of the purchase from Italian refining company ENI was not revealed. MOL also revealed that it has made an offer to buy out ENI’s almost 33 percent stake in Czech petro-chemical firm Česká Rafinérská. Polish controlled Unipetrol though still has first option to buy that stake.
Czech industrial production moved up a gear in March according to the latest figures from the Czech Statistics Office. Production was 8.7 percent higher than a year earlier compared with the 6.7 percent advance in February. The value of new orders was 16.6 higher in March than a year earlier with most of that demand coming from foreign firms but domestic demand also sharing a substantial slice of the new contracts.
Data published by the Czech Statistics Office indicate that the choice of food imports to the Czech Republic is still directed mainly by price, with retail chains favouring competitive German, Polish and Slovak producers. Higher quality but less affordable Czech products are often left lying on the shelves.
The results of a study released by Nielsen this week suggest the last 15 years have been less than kind to small grocery and variety stores in the Czech Republic. While in 2000 there were more than 10,600, the number has since dropped by roughly a third. The reason? Hyper- and supermarket chains which have largely changed how Czechs do their shopping.
Squandering of public funds in ill-conceived investment projects has always been a big problem for Czech state administrations. Now the centre-left government is setting up a watchdog body which should assess the necessity for major investments and make sure that the money is spent according to plan.
Councillors in Brno have voted to sell land to a company that was to have developed it as a site for an Amazon distribution centre. The move comes despite a recent announcement by Amazon’s head of European operations that the internet retail giant had given up on building in Brno and was looking at alternative locations in the region. However, the developer, CTP Invest, said on Tuesday that there was a chance Amazon could in the end go ahead with the distribution centre in the Moravian capital. As well as a change of mind on Amazon’s part, that would also require councillors voting to change Brno’s territorial plan. The centre would create around 1,500 jobs.
CzechInvest has mediated investments of CZK 415 billion in the Czech Republic since the country joined the European Union in May 2004, according to figures released by the state agency quoted by the Czech News Agency. The investments have resulted in the creation of 145,000 new jobs. 2006, the year when Hyundai decided to build a plant in north Moravia, saw the biggest investments of CZK 94 billion.
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“Einstein in Bohemia” – Part II: how alienation in ‘half-barbaric’ Prague led him to a new theory of gravity, eventual love of a free Czechoslovakia
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