Agriculture Minister Marian Jurečka said on Monday that should the EC fail to help farmers and food producers hit by the EU sanctions against Russia, the Czech Republic might ban the imports of goods for dumping prices. Czech farmers and food producers fear that the expected glut of food products in Europe stemming from the sanctions might result in the Czech market being flooded with goods sold for prices below production costs.
Intensive negotiations are underway to try to cushion the impact of the Ukrainian crisis on Czech exporters. The Agriculture Ministry has estimated this year’s loses at around 300 million crowns while the Confederation of Industry is talking about billion crown losses due to disappearing contracts, problematic funding and heightened competition from Asian exporters on the Russian market. One of the officials attending the government-led anti-crisis talks is Radek Špicar, vice-president of the Czech Confederation of Industry. I asked him for his
Czech textiles firms have benefited significantly from the Czech National Bank’s intervention to weaken the country’s currency the crown last November. According to a report in Thursday’s edition of the financial daily Hospodářské noviny, manufacturers in the sector saw 12-percent year-on-year growth in the first half of 2014.
The Czech Foreign Ministry is planning to improve visa services through outsourcing in over a dozen states where the process is hampered by limited consulate staff. The ministry is now selecting local firms who would pre-process applications and increase the number of visa-application points. The new service should see the opening of 25 visa centres in countries such as China, India, Turkey and South Africa.
President Miloš Zeman on Tuesday received Czech ambassadors from around the world at Prague Castle. The president highlighted the growing significance of economic diplomacy, particularly in view of the Ukrainian crisis, and said he considered it a success that Czech representatives in Brussels had helped moderate the scope of the EU’s anti-Russian sanctions in favour of Czech exporters. The president also stressed the need to diversify the country’s export strategy and seek new markets further afield. In connection with developments in Iraq, the Czech head of state said international terrorism must be fought on all fronts.
Czech exporters expect to lose tens or even hundreds of millions of crowns in contracts over the next twelve months due to the current sanctions between the EU and Russia, according to a poll conducted by the Czech Chamber of Commerce. The poll, which was carried out among 140 Czech firms, reflects that the sanctions do not apply to contracts signed in 2013, explains the chamber’s president Vladimír Dlouhý, adding that exporters will only know the amount of their possible losses before 2015.
Czech food exporters are bracing for the impact of Russia’s sweeping ban on food imports introduced in response to EU sanctions over Ukraine. In terms of agricultural commodities, Russia is the Czech Republic’s most significant export destination outside of the EU. Czech exports of food and agricultural commodities to Russia last year totalled 2.4 billion crowns and in particular dairy producers are now scrambling to find new outlets for their goods.
In Business News this week: Mining group NWR comes up with better than expected results but crunch meeting over restructuring still looms; tax offices are getting tough over dubious breaks for research and innovation; |Slovak government jumps in over Slovenské Elektrárne sale; Swiss developer plots arbitration over Prague land purchase; and Czech Railway showcase service could hit rails.
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