In Business News this week: Confidence in the economy is up, not least in manufacturing and the automotive industry; the online giant Amazon will open two major warehouses in the Czech Republic, bringing up to 10,000 new jobs; controls reveal problems with imported poultry; Czech engineers will build a new brewery in Ethiopia; internet sales up by 15 percent year-on-year.
Confidence in the economy is at its highest over the last two years according to numbers released by the Czech Statistics Office. Compared to September, confidence that the economy was improving rose by 1.7 points. The automotive industry – crucial to the Czech economy – has played a key role. Respondents in the survey said they expected to see increases in manufacturing over the next three months and a slight increase in jobs. Czech firms have slowly taken note of greater demand in industry, analysts say, noting, as always, that the Czech economy was closely influenced by neighbouring Germany’s – which has been on the up-and-up.
The giant online retailer Amazon this week announced plans to open two major distribution centres in the Czech Republic. The warehouses will cover 95,000 square metres, one based near Prague’s Václav Havel Airport, the other outside Brno. The centres are expected to generate 4,000 jobs and an additional 6,000 seasonal posts. The internet giant is also expanding into neighbouring Poland. The expansion comes in response to overall growing customer demand in Europe.
Over the last three weeks the State Veterinary Administration inspected imported poultry from other European countries as well as further abroad including Slovakia, Hungary, the Netherlands and Denmark as well as Brazil, finding problems with 25 out of 313 shipments. The most serious problems were found with five shipments from Poland: in two cases the necessary temperature was not upheld; proper documentation was missing in others. Poultry weighing almost five tonnes was returned while nine kilos were reportedly destroyed. The State Veterinary Administration has launched proceedings and fines are to be issued. Food imports from Poland and elsewhere have come under renewed scrutiny following several food scandals.
According to a report at news website iHned, a Czech engineering company, ZVU, based in Hradec Králové, is planning on building a brewery in Ethiopia; the commission is said to be worth more than half-a-billion Czech crowns. ZVU will install all of the technology and equipment needed for brewing and will also train personnel and pre-install brewing programmes. Beer at the new plant will be produced under the Raya brand-name, which holds a 15-percent share of the market, according to iHned. The brewery will produce around 600 thousand hectolitres annually. By comparison, the small Czech-owned brewery Budvar, produces 1.8 million.
Internet retailers in the Czech Republic should see a 15 percent increase in sales year-on-year and revenues could reach up to 50 billion crowns for the year, according to estimates released by the electronic commerce association APEK. According to the association, Czechs have increasingly grown accustomed to buying online and this year they will only continue the trend, impacting stone & mortar shops. Consumers are expected to spend most – an estimated 18.5 billion at the holiday season. The first wave or increase should come a month earlier, in November, retailers expect.
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