Attracting foreign investment has become a much debated issue in recent months with the government working on a new strategy to promote the country’s business interests in far-flung destinations. Now the north Bohemian town of Žatec is reported to be close to signing a 20-billion crown investment deal that could provide over two thousand jobs is a region suffering from high unemployment.
Brno City Hall on Wednesday approved a deal with a construction firm to build a distribution centre for the US-based online retailer on the outskirts of the city. The project was halted two weeks over disputes concerning the site of the planned building; negotiations only moved ahead after the construction company CTP Invest agreed to buy the land and hand it over the city. The agreement is yet to be approved by Brno municipal assembly which is scheduled to discuss it on March 18.
The UK frozen food retailer Iceland recently opened its first store in Prague, its third location in the Czech Republic. The popular chain wants Czechs to acquire a taste for its frozen staples; if they do, Iceland has big plans for its Czech operation, with an appetite to expand to other countries in the region as well.
Developers expect the growth of Prague’s residential market to continue this year, according to an analysis by the CEEC Research agency. The offer of new residential real estate in the capital is expected to increase by 7.4 percent in 2014 while demand should grow by 3.6 percent, the head of the research agency said. However, the consultancy KPMG said the survey reflects the developers’ optimistic expectations; while not unrealistic, the analysis reflects a situation when a combination of low interest rates and an expected general economic recovery create favourable conditions for residential development.
In Business News this week: CzechInvest claims annual doubling of mediated investments; developers see recovery in Prague new property market; economic crime, mostly committed by staff, on the rise; more foreign filmmakers seek Czech support; record player maker plans marked increase in production; bitcoin ATM launched in Prague.
Exports rose to record levels in 2013, largely thanks to a surge in the second half of the year. But some surprising countries feature in the list of biggest sales increases and Czech exporters appear to have had mixed success in expanding markets in countries targeted as top priority by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Czech exports to Russia have grown in value by more than ten times in the past decade. Czech companies see Russia as a key target territory, and are now seeking the backing of the new government in their efforts to further increase trade with the country. Visa issues, access to credit, and political lobbying are some of the areas where Czech firms believe the government could assist them, hinting that toning down the human rights agenda would also help.
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