Prime Minister Petr Nečas has warned Czech agriculturalists against exporting raw goods, which return to the country as finished foodstuffs. Speaking at a major agricultural fair in the South Bohemian city of České Budějovice, the prime minister warned that the country was surrendering added value under such circumstances and said that Czech agriculture workers must seek to integrate themselves more with the food industry. He also agreed with President Klaus’ message to the fair on Thursday that Czech farmers are overly dependent on grant money, the state and on politicians, which he said was the result of the relatively low productivity of Czech agriculture, which meets only 40% of the Western European average.
Czech truck maker Tatra has made a bid for a contract worth 1.22 billion US dollars to supply 1,500 trucks to the Canadian army, the news website ekonom.cz reported on Thursday. The Czech firm bids its ATX model, developed in cooperation with the US producer Avistar; the trucks chassis and cabins are made in the Czech Republic. Tatra will compete with six other producers in the tender, including the British-American firm BAE Systems, Germany’s Daimler and the French company Renault. The winning bid will be announced in 2013.
British actor John Cleese, best-known for his role in the legendary comedy group Monty Python, will be the face of a new campaign by the Czech Olympic Committee to promote the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. The comedian spent five days in Prague last week shooting video clips to be aired by Czech TV in which he will present of some Britain’s icons in a most unusual setting.
According to analysts contacted by the Czech Press Agency, net profits of Czech energy colossus ČEZ stumbled by 11% year-on-year in the first half of 2011 to roughly 25.5 billion crowns. Economists put the drop down to lower prices of electricity sold and unfavourable trends in the crown to euro rate. Profits were also brought down by new taxes on emissions vouchers and the solar energy plant tax. ČEZ will publish its results for the first half of the year on Tuesday before stock markets open.
In today’s business news: A debate on tax reform has been postponed due to a dispute over flat expense deductions between the prime minister and the finance minister, the bankrupt betting giant Sazka is to be sold in a public tender, grocery chains launch online discount coupons, the Czech Tourism agency announces a campaign targeting gay and lesbian travelers, and an American journal finds that Czech banknotes have some of the world’s highest levels of a potentially dangerous chemical.
The Czech construction firm Bögl a Krýsl will participate in a 4.5 billion crown deal to finish the construction of a highway between the Polish cities of Warsaw and Lodz, the Czech news website ihned.cz reported on Wednesday. The firm is part of a consortium of companies that will finish the job started by a Chinese firm which was recently fired by the investor for a severe costs hike. The 20-km stretch of highway should be finished in October 2012.
In Business News this week: foreign investment in the Czech Republic rises to pre-crisis levels; the country’s grey economy amounts to 565 billion crowns; the Transport Ministry plans to raise road toll by 25 pct next year; decrease of new cars’ prices in the Czech Republic are among fastest in Europe; debts of Czech household keep rising and are more difficult to collect; and the famed Czech distiller Rudolf Jelínek is moving its headquarters to Holland.
Direct investments from foreign investors reached a total of about 113 billion Czech crowns in 2010, a 56 percent increase year-on-year, according to fresh data published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. Investments were also up slightly compared to the pre-crisis year 2008. According to a spokesperson for CzechInvest, the data shows that economies worldwide have recovered from the world financial crisis. He added that this is palpable in the Czech Republic as well, and that in 2009, investments had dropped by 42 percent as a consequence of the global financial melt-down. Worldwide, foreign investments grew by 1.24 billion US dollars in 2010 year-on-year.
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