The Czech Republic ranks among five EU countries with the fastest-growing industry this year, recording industry growth by 5 percent year-on-year in January-July, the Czech Statistical Office said on Monday. In the first half of 2015, faster growth in industry was registered only in Ireland, Hungary, Malta and Poland. The Czech Republic, the Czech News Agency said, depended most on industrial production, with the share of industry in its economy at 47.3 percent.
In related economic news, the statistics office announced that industrial output rose in June by 8.1 percent compared with the same month in 2014. Taking account of the extra working day this year, the increase falls to 5.5 percent when this is factored in. The value of new orders was up 10.3 percent year-on-year with higher demand coming from at home than abroad. Industrial production has climbed by 4.8 percent in the second quarter of the year compared with the 2014 performance.
Škoda Transportation is one of Europe’s leading rail carriage and tram producers. But while it has successfully built up worldwide sales, Western European markets have not produced the contracts that had been hoped for. The acquisition of a controlling stake in Finland’s biggest rail carriage and tram producer could help crack that problem.
Turning on the tap of incoming foreign investment in the Czech Republic was one of the main priorities for the new centre-left government when it came to power a year and a half ago. They accused the previous coalition of winding down the proactive policies that brought in big money investments and hundreds of new jobs. But after 18 months, how have the high ambitions played out.
In Business News this week: the Czech economy grew by four percent year-on-year in first quarter of 2015; E15: MAFRA shows interest in acquiring Slevomat; Car sales in the Czech Republic went up by five percent in the first six months of this year; Czech cinemas charge an average 129 crowns for a seat.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka on Thursday voiced support for the establishment of strategic industrial zone in the former helicopter base in Bochoř, near Přerov. With an area exceeding 300 hectares, it would be one of the largest industrial zones in central Europe. According to the governor of the Olomouc region, Jiří Rozbořil, it could bring between five to seven thousand new jobs. The main condition for establishing the zone is the completion of the missing stretches of the D1 motorway.
Czech industry minister Jan Mládek has raised hopes the US producer of electric cars and high performance batteries, Tesla, could choose the Czech Republic for its first European factory. Mládek said the Czech Republic would be an ideal site for the manufacturer during a current trip to the US. The Czech Republic already produced more than a million cars a year and has an excess of electricity, the minister pointed out. Tesla is looking to site a factory in Europe but has said that depends on sales of electric cars reaching around 160,000 a year compared with the current figure of around 10,000.
Czech arms exports rose by more than 50 percent last year compared with 2013 to total around 12 billion crowns in value, according to the Defence and Security Industry Association. The results are the best for the sector since 1994. Exports are crucial for the Czech arms industry, accounting for around 90 percent of turnover. Most of the sales are outside Europe and NATO countries. In spite of the success, Minister of Defence Martin Stropnický has said that the industry still has room to increase sales.