In Business News: South Korea’s Nexen Tire receives EC approval for regional investment aid; Transport minister confirms prices of highway vignettes to stay the same; gamblers last year bet more than 138 billion; Czechs spending more on weddings.
South Korea’s Nexen Tire has been approved to receive regional investment aid of almost 117 million euros for the construction of its new production plant in the Czech Republic. The decision was taken by the European Commission which found the incentives offered by the Czech Republic fully compatible with EU regulations. The new production plant, representing an investment of 769 million euros, will be built in Žatec and is expected to create 1,000 new jobs.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka signed a memorandum on cooperation with the Taiwanese company Foxconn. Over the next three years the firm is planning to invest 2.5 billion crowns in expansion in a number of areas including research & development, digitalisation, and e-commerce, while another 3.7 billion crown is to go into human resources. The deal should produce some 2,000 new jobs.
The price of year-long highway vignettes for vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes – required for the use of highways in the Czech Republic – will not go up in 2016, Transport Minister Daniel Ťok revealed on Thursday. That means a year-long pass will remain at 1,500 crowns. The last time the price of the vignettes went up was in 2012; then, the price was bumped up by 300 crowns. According to the minister, a camera network system, capable of reading license plate numbers, could replace the vignettes in the future, saving on the cost of production. The minister said the new system, if implemented, would pay for itself within a year-and-a-half.
Gamblers in the Czech Republic last year bet just over 138 billion crowns. Winnings amounted to almost 107 billion, meaning that betters lost more than 30 billion crowns – almost 10 percent more than the previous year. Losses went up despite the fact that some 500 municipalities clamped down on or outright banned gambling machines in venues. Almost half the money lost was on video lottery terminals. More and more Czechs are reportedly gambling on-line, at sites not licensed in the Czech Republic.
Czechs are reportedly spending more when it comes to weddings. According to novinky.cz, it is not unusual for soon-to-be-married couples or their families to splurge tens of thousands on weddings, in some cases even more than 100,000. The website writes that some couples borrow 50,000 or more to pay for the festivities. A poll conducted by GE Money Bank found that only 11 percent paid up to 10,000 crowns. Fifty percent paid between 10,000 and 50,000, a little under 30 percent between 50 and a 100,000. According to the Czech Statistics Office, 60 percent of Czechs say their vows between June and September.
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