For many people 2012 promises to be a tough year or at least one of big changes: a new survey by the Czech Chamber of Commerce has suggested that every fifth company in the Czech Republic is planning layoffs in reaction to the slowing economy – some letting go hundreds, while others will cuts jobs for dozens of employees.
A consortium of Czech, Chinese and US companies wants to produce a new type of plane in the Czech Republic, Miroslav Krizek of the government agency CzechInvest, told journalists on Monday. The deal, which should be sealed in the coming weeks, will be one of the biggest contracts the Czech aviation industry has had in years, he said. No further information was disclosed regarding the type of plane to be produced or what companies will be involved in its production. A significant part of the capital for the project is being put up by China.
Twenty-two years after the fall of communism Czech shops are crammed with goods and people have long forgotten the hours they spent waiting in line to buy bananas and oranges for their Christmas table – a rare treat unavailable throughout the year. Shopping malls and supermarkets now offer a wide variety of goods sold across Europe. But beneath the surface of the glossy packaging –there’s a small hitch. Discerning shoppers often find that certain brand products they relished abroad still don’t taste quite as good in the Czech Republic. I met up
Hundreds of workers gathered outside the premises of the steel company ArcelorMittal Ostrava on Wednesday afternoon for a protest organized by labour unions. The workers are protesting against the company’s strategy which according to them is exclusively profit-oriented while ignoring future development and the number of jobs. The unions say the company has long been neglecting maintenance of its production facilities resulting in unnecessary outages which affect the company’s competitiveness. Labour unions across Europe have called on all employees of ArcelorMittal and its subcontractors to stage demonstrations.
According to a worldwide survey carried out by the consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers, 29 percent of Czech companies have fallen victim to economic crime in the past two years. Among the 3877 companies surveyed 84 were from the Czech Republic. Compared to the previous poll in 2009, the number has increased by a fifth with computer crime taking an ever larger share. 75 percent of cases of economic crime experienced by Czech companies have included embezzlement, followed by accounting fraud, corruption and bribery.
Czechs last year consumed less meat, milk products, fruit and vegetables as well as alcohol and cigarettes, according to figures released by the Czech Statistical Office on Wednesday. While a surge in the consumption of potatoes and chicken rose in 2010, the average consumption of meat dropped by 3.5 percent to less than 76 kilos per person, while the consumption of fruit and vegetables decreased by 7 and two percent, respectively.
Supraphon has been the main record label for Czech music ever since 1932, and has been a major force in bringing Czech music to the rest of the world. Now as the world goes online for music so too goes Supraphon. On Thursday, its new online service, Supraphonline, will begin offering a part of the company’s massive archive of more than 100,000 recordings to internet buyers, in what was intended to be the first such service in the country. Christian Falvey talked to the record company’s business manager Antonín Milata.
A poll commissioned by GE Money Bank suggests that almost a third of Czechs do some of their shopping abroad. The reasons are lower prices as well as a wider choice of goods. Almost half of Czech consumers who shop abroad say they are planning to travel across the border to do at least part of their Christmas shopping this year. Most of those who travel abroad to shop come from regions bordering on Germany, Poland and Austria. Six percent of those polled said they shopped abroad on a regular basis, 24 percent only occasionally. According to the poll, people from the border regions mostly purchase groceries, while people from Prague and those with a higher education tend to shop for clothes and travel to more distant countries, such as Italy and the United Kingdom.
In Business News this week: the economy slows down suggesting even bleaker outlooks; the Czech crown loses its lustre for investors; Czech banks lose billions in the Greek debt crisis; President Klaus vetoes a bill introducing criminal liability for corporations; firms increasingly introduce loyalty programmes to keep customers; and Czech Post will launch “great parcel revolution”.
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