In business news this week: Labour Minister Petr Necas promises to reform the "demotivating" unemployment benefit system; a new report shows a sharp increase in the number of foreign-registered Czech companies; figures show the Czech antique market booming; the jewellery business records rising fortunes for gold after years of decline; and Czech insurers join forces against drivers with accident records.
Necas vows to reform "demotivating" dole system
Employers complain of severe labour shortage
At the same conference in Brno bosses reiterated complaints about their difficulties attracting workers. Over 130,000 jobs are officially unfilled at the present time, though employers say the real number could be tens of thousands higher.
Jump in number of foreign-registered Czech companies
The owners of over 30,000 Czech companies are registered abroad, according to a new report by Dun & Bradstreet quoted in Hospodarske noviny. That figure is almost 5,000 higher than last year. The overseas owners control Czech capital worth more than CZK 641 billion (almost CZK 33 billion), and are mainly registered in the Netherlands, followed by Germany and the UK. However, they are by no means all foreign - some are Czechs keen to avoid paying taxes. The best known of the latter is the country's richest man Petr Kellner, whose PFF group has its headquarters in Holland.
Czech antiques market booming
The Czech antiques market is booming, the Czech Press Agency reported this week. Hundreds of millions of crowns worth of antiques are now being sold at auction every year, and experts say precious objects are a relatively good investment. While fifteen years ago artefacts worth CZK 15 m were sold at auction, in 2004 it was up to CZK 265 m.