In Business News this week: March’s trade surplus is half that of the same month a year previously; Google ups the ante in the battle for search supremacy with the launch of a map system for Czech users; Czech coal magnate Zdeněk Bakala celebrates an extremely successful IPO; after a sharp increase in property values, the price of old flats in Prague begins to fall; Czech households pay the lowest prices for electricity in the central Europe region, says a new study: and sales of high definition televisions are set to pass out sales of classic sets
The Prague Transport Authority announced on Tuesday that the first of twenty reconditioned trams would be shipped to North Korea this week. The North Korean government are paying about 13 million crowns – that’s just over 800,000 U.S. dollars - for the second-hand trams, one of Prague’s most instantly recognisable symbols. But as Rob Cameron reports, they’re not the first Czech trams to be sent abroad, and not even the first to be sent to North Korea.
SAPA is about as close as you are going to get to feeling like you are in Hanoi, or Ho Chi Minh City, while you are still, in fact, in Prague. At certain moments, and from certain angles, you can almost forget the prefab housing which surrounds the Vietnamese market, and believe that you are on a completely different continent. SAPA is the heart of the Czech Republic’s rapidly-expanding Vietnamese community, and not for nothing has it been dubbed ‘little Vietnam’. But unlike the Chinatowns that form an integral part of many a city, SAPA is miles
Recently on the internet I came across the comment that Prague’s days as a consumer black hole were over, making clear, once and for all that mall culture had arrived. That statement couldn’t be more accurate. In the last decade the capital has seen the arrival of shiny new shopping centres at a magnificent rate, changing lifestyles and Czechs’ leisure time like never before. Going out with friends, usually meant just “grabbing one or two at the pub”, but now there are dozens of glossy options to choose from, often under one roof: hanging out at
In Business News this week: the OECD says the Czech Republic could catch up with western European levels of prosperity in ten years’ time; shares in a Czech coal mining firm are to debut on the London Stock Exchange; Czech firms spent nearly 50 billion crowns on advertising last year, and cigarette prices are set to go up in the Czech Republic.
Czech car giant Škoda Auto announced a 15.7 percent jump in first quarter car sales on Monday, largely thanks to strong demand from Eastern Europe and China. The manufacturer, which is part of the Volkswagen Group, said sales in Eastern Europe climbed 38.6 percent to 27,461 cars from January to March. In China, where Škoda cars are produced under licence and the dealership network is developing rapidly, 16,212 cars were sold. The Škoda Octavia was the most sought-after model, followed by the Fabia. The new Škoda Fabia Combi made a successful sales debut with 19,503 cars sold, the company added.
Concerns have been increasing about the relative strength of the Czech crown. On Monday, the currency briefly set a new record, trading at 23 crowns to the Euro. But a strong crown is proving to be a double edged sword, with many businesses in the country wanting the government and Czech National Bank to prevent the currency from getting any stronger:
In Business News: the Finance Ministry and the Czech National Bank agree on measures to fight the fast appreciation of the crown; the central bank’s governor says it is keeping interest rates low in order to avoid further firming of the Czech currency; the foreign trade surplus increased by ten percent; a new body is set up to prepare for euro adoption; and the biggest urban building project since 1989 gets underway in Prague.
The Czech trade surplus rose to 14.3 billion CZK (898 million USD) in February, up from 12.9 billion CZK in the same month last year, the national statistics office said on Monday. The rise was mainly owing to stronger sales of machinery and transport equipment, coupled with a narrowing of the deficit in food and a turnaround from deficit to surplus in sales of drinks and tobacco, the office said. The trade balance was in surplus to the tune of 26.5 billion crowns in the first two months of the year, a 3.8-billion crown improvement on the same period last year.
Czech researchers develop top-grade respirator for 3D printing
Why Chinese masks destined for Italy were seized (not ‘stolen’) by Czech authorities
A mask-tree as a form of solidarity
Economist Tomáš Sedláček: A positive look at the coronavirus crisis
Government to extend restrictions on movement until April 1st