Business News

The Czech Republic is a leader in Central and Eastern Europe in the inflow of per capita Foreign Direct Investment. The minority Social Democrat government often highlights the fact that it was during its term in office that the massive inflow started, partly due to generous investment incentive programmes. These include several-year tax holidays, subsidies to training labour force and provision of estates equipped with infrastructure under favourable conditions.

It is of course more than the government's incentives that attracts foreign investors to the country. However, it's not always only a welcoming hand that awaits them when they cross the border - there is also a number of bureaucratic obstacles which they are forced to deal with.

In the year 2000, the total Foreign Direct Investment amounted to 4.6 billion USD and in the first quarter of this year, it reached 900 million USD.

Martin Jahn is the director of CzechInvest, an agency whose aim is to attract foreign investors and assist them in placing investments in the Czech Republic. I asked him first about the main industries that Foreign Direct Investment flows to.