Inflation stagnated in February

Czech inflation in February stagnated and stood at 4 percent year-on-year. A certain deceleration was expected after a sharp rise in January when lifting of some of the administrative price regulations pushed inflation up nearly 2 percent.

Unemployment down in February

The unemployment rate in the Czech Republic reached 9 percent in February, a decrease of 0.1 percent month-on-month. The Ministry of Labour and Social Affiars said that the number of jobless people decreased by 40,000 as compared with the same period last year.

Japanese cooling systems producer to invest in Czech Rep.

CzechInvest, a governmental agency responsible for attracting foreign investment to the Czech Republic, has announced another success - it has been negotiating with a Japanese producer of industrial and household cooling system on an investment project of up to 40 million USD. CzechInvest said it had managed to persuade the company to invest in the Czech Republic instead of Hungary.

Govt approves investment incentive for IBM

On a similar note, the government has approved investment incentives for IBM, consisting of 10-year tax holidays and subsidies for labour training. IBM is planning to build an expert centre in the city of Brno worth around 10 million USD, creating 200 new jobs directly and 300 more indirectly in services.

Number of people with two jobs decreased

The number of Czechs who have two jobs decreased by more than 5 percent in 2000 to 126,000 people out of a total workforce of 4.7 million. Most of these people are private entrepreneurs, especially in the real estate business, B2B services and research and development.

Czech companies to participate in European space projects

Czech companies have been offered a chance to participate in the construction of a prototype space system called Phoenix which serves as a rescue vehicle, and an orbital transport system called Hopper. The European aviation and space concern EADS Astrium has been holding talks with the Czech Association of Aviation Producers. The results won't be known before Friday.

Most Czech Internet users are young

According to a recent survey, nearly 80 percent of Czech Internet users are men, and more than half of them are younger than 25. The survey was conducted by the agency Media Network Service on behalf of the Czech Ministry of Culture. Most Internet users are either students or graduates working in the IT and telecom sectors. They are also concentrated in the largest cities in the Czech Republic.

Prague hosts conference on TIME

In recent months, Swedish investment in the Czech Republic has frequently been mentioned in connection with offset programmes accompanying a public tender for new supersonic aircraft for the Czech Army. The Grippen fighter, made by Sweden's Saab, is one of the hottest candidates. However, as a world leader in the high-tech industry and a country which currently holds the rotating presidency of the European Union, Sweden has been delivering on its commitment to promote the so-called new economy in the EU candidate countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

From April 2 until April 4, Prague will host an international conference on the new economy, called TIME, organised by the Swedish Embassy, the Swedish Trade Council and the Swedish Chamber of Commerce of the Czech Republic. The conference is focused on the Central and East European region including the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. Jan Stocklassa from the Swedish Trade Council in Prague talks about the TIME conference and Swedish investment in the Czech Republic.