Czech Republic

The Czech Republic has managed to maintain a steady, export-driven economy over the course of its transition from a Soviet-style system to a more Anglo-style capitalist model.

Since the Czech Republic was established as an independent country in 1993, this persevering nation has moved from a Soviet-style economy to a more Anglo-style capitalist model, though the transition is not complete. The Czech economy, though sensitive to change, remains export-driven in industries such as machines, transportation and metals, mainly to Germany, Slovakia, Poland, the Netherlands and China. After having pulled itself out of the recession in late 2013, most analysts expect modest but steady growth.

Over two decades, beginning in the 1990s, the Czech Republic attracted more than 10% of the influx of foreign investment that poured into central and eastern Europe.

Prague is the major economic and financial hub. The city is centrally located within Europe and is a popular destination for investments, as well as the headquarters for multinational and Czech companies such as EY, Hewlett Packard and Citibank.

FACTS FOR INVESTORS

1. The Czech Republic ranked 44th out of 189 economies on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index for 2014.

2. Prague ranked 62nd in the Innovation Cities Index 2014, in which 445 cities worldwide were measured for their potential for innovation.

3. In 2014, the Czech Republic was ranked 44th on Forbeslist of best countries for business.

Business etiquette

1. Czechs may show mistrust in the early stages of a business relationship (a holdover from the old system), but trust can be built by consistently delivering what was promised.

2. English skill levels are very high, especially among the younger generation, many of whom have studied outside of the country. However, it’s best to arrange to have an interpreter for meetings, as the English skills of senior managers, who tend to be the decision-makers, may be weaker.

3. Czechs consider themselves to be nonconfrontational. There is very little visual and verbal feedback during meetings and communication patterns can be indirect. When Czechs disagree, they tend to become silent. If this happens, don’t push the issue; allow the individual time to consider the point and reply. Be sure to hold eye contact; doing otherwise may be interpreted as deceptive behaviour.

TRAVEL TIPS

1. If you’re drawn to the historical and cultural richness of Paris or Rome, Prague will not disappoint. The city houses a centuries-old castle, historic palaces, churches and more than 200 gardens, the oldest dating back to the Middle Ages. Art nouveau buildings and cubist architecture make this city unparalleled in its architectural diversity.

2. Looking to quench your thirst? Visit the Zlý časy in the Nusle district and sample more than 24 beers on tap from small to medium-sized local and European breweries.

Enjoy the many boutique-style shops and cafés — the Canadian dollar goes much farther here than in other major cities in Europe.

3. Brno, just two hours southeast of Prague, is a city famous for its racetrack, where MotoGP, World Superbike and Formula 1 races take place. The MotoGP VIP Village at the Brno Circuit is a good venue to entertain clients with unbeatable views of the races and close-up tours of the paddock.

Czech Republic chart

About the Author

Agnes Borowik


Agnes Borowik is a freelance writer based in Burlington, Ont.

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