Trade between the Czech Republic and Belarus has been steadily growing over the past decade, with Czech exports to that country having risen by more 250 percent over the last five years. Belarus has also become an important destination for Czech investors, and its significance is set to rise in light of the Ukrainian crisis.
Thomas Szende, a Budapest-born management consultant moved to the Czech Republic in 2005 where, along with his wife, he founded the Prague Thrift Store. When we met up to talk about his successful endeavour, I noted that the stores are charity-oriented, which is quite a rare thing to see in the Czech Republic.
The Czech tram manufacturer Inekon has won a tender to sell trams to the US city of Detroit. The deal, worth 30 million crowns (roughly 652 USD), involves shipping three sets of trams to Detroit by the end of the third quarter of 2016, the server E15.cz reported this week, citing the company’s head of foreign sales Milan Haloun. The company is now seeking to secure bank guarantees.
Czech authorities have streamlined the system of support for exporters, creating a joint network of services for companies trying to enter foreign markets. The new system, which includes a central Prague-based client centre, comes after the ministries of foreign affairs and industry and trade agreed to coordinate their activities in support of Czech exporters. But the country’s main association of exporters remains sceptical about the move and is calling for a more hands-on approach.
The government has moved to protect the Czech food market against cheap imports diverted to the country due to Russia’s embargo on food products from the EU. Importers are now required to report some types of incoming food products to two days before their arrival, and inform the authorities of their estimated retail price. But some in the Czech food industry are questioning the effectiveness of the measure.
Stricter rules for food imports to the Czech Republic come into force on Friday. Importers of animal products and selected vegetable foodstuffs are now required to notify the authorities of incoming shipments two days ahead of their arrival, and report the assumed retail prices of the products. The measures have been introduced to counter potential flooding of the Czech food market with products sold at dumping prices due to the sanctions between the EU and Russia. Czech vegetable growers said on Thursday that shipments of vegetables from Poland, originally destined for Russia, had reached shops in northeast Czech Republic.
The draft budget for next year, approved this week by the Czech government, projects a deficit of some 2.3 percent of the country’s GDP. Government officials say the budget will allow for higher public investments and hikes in public sector salaries and pensions. But critics argue the budget is unambitious, and a missed opportunity to narrow the Czech public finance deficit at a time of an economic recovery.
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