In the week’s business news: the Czech government goes out of its way to reassure the public that the Czech economy will not be directly threatened by the global economic crisis, although a fall in growth is expected. A leading Czech glass maker axes two big companies, putting 1,800 people out of work, and 700,000 households are bracing for a steep rise in rents next year.
A Czech butcher has won an award for producing the world’s best klobása, a kind of traditional sausage. Václav Klátil, who runs a family business in a town called Pacov in south Bohemia, picked up first prize in the sausage category at an unofficial butchers’ world championships in the Austrian town of Wels at the weekend. On the line from his shop, Mr Klátil told me why his klobása is the best.
The Czech exports of services are rising but the country still lags behind
the rest of the developed world, according to an analysis by the Czech
Industry and Trade Ministry. Last year, the Czech Republic exported more
than 341 billion crowns, or over 20.6 billion US dollars, worth of
services, which was 10 percent more than in 2006. Imports of services in
the same period rose by seven percent to 286 billion crowns, or more than
17.2 billion US dollars. The share of services in total exports however
dropped to just over 12 percent which is less than in other EU and
Around 80 percent of the Czech exports of services went to other EU countries, especially to Germany, Slovakia and the UK. The analysis by the Industry and Trade Ministry estimates that the exports of service will keep increasing in the coming years.
A former minister walks the entire stretch of a highway after losing a bet it would be completed on time, Czechs poke fun of the government’s sugar cube campaign ahead of the country’s EU presidency and, a restaurant owner kills his business by going on a reality show. Find out more in Magazine with Daniela Lazarova.
A new report entitled Doing Business 2009, which evaluates the ease of doing business across the world has rated the Czech Republic in 75th place out of 181 countries. Singapore, New Zealand and the United States top the list, while Congo and the Central African Republic are at the bottom of the table. In comparison to the Czech Republic, Slovakia finds itself in 36th place, while only Greece ranks lower out of OECD countries than the Czech Republic. Georgia also beats the Czech Republic in the list. Key problems that continue to haunt the Czech Republic according to analysts in terms of doing business are a complex registration process, excessive bureaucracy and excessively complex tax laws. In response to this report put together by the International Finance Corporation, the government has stated that new measures are being prepared for early next year.
“I’m standing outside “Tančicí Dům” or “Dancing House” which is on the waterfront of the Vltava river pretty much in the centre of Prague. This is quite an unusual building for the centre of Prague because it is a modern building – it was designed by the Californian architect Frank O. Gehry. The spot on which it is built was bombed during WWII by Allied troops by mistake – they thought they were bombing Dresden. The location then remained an empty spot until after the Velvet Revolution. The building is actually located right next to the former flat
In Business News this week: the main Czech trades union body is threatening protests over changes to the labour law – and demanding a pay increase of at least 8 percent; Czech Airlines post a loss but the firm’s chief says things are looking positive; Prague Airport invests in property in order to make itself more attractive to potential buyers when it is privatised; Czech Television is faced with a big bill after failing to pay tax on license fees; and a mobile operator ups the price of its iPhones to prevent foreigners buying them up for resale
The government unveiled its PR campaign for the forthcoming Czech presidency of the European Union on Thursday, featuring a host of Czech celebrities and…a sugar cube. Prime minister Mirek Topolánek says the campaign – featuring the slogan “we’ll make life sweeter for Europe” – aims to make Czechs realise the significance of the six-month presidency. But eyebrows are being raised at the campaign’s rather ambiguous choice of words.
The first half of 2008 has seen a sharp fall in foreign investment into the Czech Republic, according to Czech Invest, the government agency which promotes this cause. According to Czech Invest, the country received 124 investments in the period between January and June totalling around 20 billion crowns. This figure is 29 billion crowns lower than in the same period in 2007 and represents a serious decline and challenge for the Czech Republic. Other seismic shifts have also been evident – last year 98 percent of investments were in manufacturing projects, this year’s figures indicate that 65 percent of investments are in research, development and services. The change in investment dynamics has been explained as a shift from large-scale projects to smaller more targeted projects and is viewed as somewhat positive in the sense that the Czech Republic appears to be moving towards its desired goal of becoming a so-called knowledge-based economy rather than a manufacturing base.
Language exams for foreigners seeking permanent residency permit to become tougher
Czech teenager builds second-largest ever Millennium Falcon LEGO model
Gunman kills six patients in Ostrava hospital, two more fighting for their lives
HN: Developers aiming to sell co-living concept in Prague
Veronika Čáslavová: sex trafficking still a taboo topic in Czechia