Czechs are known around the world for a number of inventions, such as soft contact lenses or the Semtex plastic explosive. But not many know that they also invented the so-called síťovka or net bag, which was a predecessor of the widely used plastic bags. Czech Radio paid a visit to a Prague-based company, called Czech Net Bag, which has been trying to revive the nearly hundred-year-old product and bring it back into fashion.
Faced by an acute labour shortage, the Czech government is looking to attract more foreign workers and streamline the processing of issuing work permits. In recent years, the country has in particular turned to Ukraine to help fill the gap. The government wants to do the same for workers from EU hopefuls such as Montenegro, Moldova and Serbia, as well as India and other Asian countries.
Czechs spent 51.5 billion crowns in e-shops in the first half of the year,
11 per cent more in annual terms. Growth slowed during hot weather, which
came to the Czech Republic in April.
Overall spending is expected to rise, as since last year the Czech Republic has the largest number of e-shops in Europe per capita, while brick and mortar stores increasingly offer goods online. In 2017 e-shop sales grew 18 per cent to 115 billion.
The government in January agreed to double the number of Ukrainians it would allow in as fast-track migrant workers to nearly 20,000 per year, in a bid to help address the chronic labour shortage, which has companies in the export-driven economy struggling to fill orders. According to Czech Chamber of Commerce, the fast-track scheme is a drop in the proverbial bucket – but still paying dividends.
The Czech retail sales boom speeded up in April with a 5.6 percent increase
on spending levels compared with a year earlier. March sales rose at the
rate of 3.9 percent.
Sales rose fastest in non-food items, food sales were almost unchanged. And the boom in sales via the Internet and via mail order companies continued with a 20.3 percent annual increase according to the Czech Statistical Office.
Czech Republic has taken a top spot in Europe in terms of internet sales, according to data released by the research agency GfK and the Czech Confederation of Commerce and Tourism on Tuesday. More than 43 percent of technical or non-food goods in the country are currently sold online, according to the study.