Finance Minister Andrej Babiš says he has commissioned two independent audits of his revenues and will make the results public. Speaking on Czech Television on Tuesday night, the ANO chief and billionaire also refused to apologise for calling journalists from an investigative show on the station corrupt. Mr. Babiš said all those who had criticised him should also have their incomes audited. Attention has been focused on how Mr. Babiš raised the funds to purchase bonds in his company Agrofert in 2013. He says he will file complaints against Czech Television over what he calls its manipulated reporting of his business affairs.
A comprehensive survey mapping the state of the Czech Internet economy has just been completed by the companies most closely involved. The results are a mixed bag, but the basic message is that while Czech companies are forging ahead they are often doing so without much government help or even in the face of government obstacles. And the state’s efforts to ease the life of citizens by rolling out e-government initiatives is also taken to task.
Companies in the Czech Republic are among the highest European users of the Internet to sell their goods and services, according to the industry association SPIR. Figures released Wednesday showed around 56 percent of companies relied on the Internet for sales and purchases in 2015. That’s the third highest figure out of the 28 EU countries and trailing just Denmark and Austria. The association though slammed government efforts to boost Internet interaction between the state and citizens.
Revolutions promise change, the only problem being that the promised changes don’t always go to plan and rapid transformation often throws up its own batch of winners and losers. It’s not surprising then that the so-called fourth industrial revolution – which basically amounts to the introduction of more automation and digital technology to the manufacturing process has sown its own batch of fears and concerns.
Although the official numbers will only be released by the Ministry of Industry and Trade in several months’ time, all indications are that 2016 was a very good year for the Czech arms industry. The financial daily E15 reported that exports will now have gone up for four years straight, in part influenced by the sale and lease of Czech L-159 fighter jets. Jan Velinger spoke to Jiří Hynek, the head of the Defense and Security Association of the Czech Republic, asking him about the industry’s export profile.
The world’s biggest showcase for consumer technology firms, tech heads, and those wanting to get a glimpse of the latest innovations, has just closed its doors. Some Czech companies have been coming to the Las Vegas-based Consumer Electronics Show (CES) for a while now but this time round it has also been a showcase for the first time for some Czech start-ups.
The Czech Republic’s trade surplus in November rose to 10.8 billion crowns, an increase of 1.1 billion crowns on the same month in 2015. The surplus for the first 11 months of the year now stands at 190 billion crowns, around 58 billion crowns more than during the same period in 2015. The country faced a bigger bill for imported oil and a slowdown in the rate of increased production of cars and other transport equipment during the month.
Over 900 companies filed for bankruptcy in 2016, 97 less than in the previous year, according to an analysis by the Czech Credit Bureau released on Thursday. It is the first time in eight years the figure dropped below one thousand. The number of personal bankruptcies also dropped for the first time since 2008 to 7,022 cases, 945 less than in the previous year. The highest number of bankruptcies was filed in Prague and South Moravia.
2016 was a very good year when it came to the state budget, which ended with a surplus of 61.8 billion crowns. The result is the best since the foundation of the Czech Republic in 1993. The last time revenues exceeded expenditures was in 1995 and the result is a feather in the cap for Finance Minister Andrej Babiš. But critics charge that the achievement could not be attributed to the minister alone, far from it.
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