In Business News this week: the profits of large industrial companies in the Czech Republic grow by 31 percent; the country falls in an international Doing Business survey - and is warned to reform its tax and legal systems; most construction firms in the Czech Republic admit to hiring illegal workers; Czechs get paid the second most per hour of all the countries which have joined the EU since 2004; and Skoda Auto opens the country's biggest company educational complex in Mlada Boleslav.
Industrial companies see healthy increase in profits
Profits of large industrial companies in the Czech Republic grew by an impressive 31 percent last year, says a new study released by the Czech Statistical Office this week. That growth has been attributed to an increase in foreign investment, a focus on production with higher added value, and a growth in exports; in fact, almost 50 percent of industrial production was exported in 2006. While metallurgy made up the biggest slice of the industrial sector in the year 2000 with 16 percent, in 2006 the car industry dominated, with 20 percent. The new report says growth in Czech industry (which, by the way, employs almost a third of the workforce) should continue.
Czech Republic told to make doing business easier
But it hasn't all been good news this week. If the Czech Republic doesn't make its taxation system simpler and reform its legal system it will become a less attractive country in which to run a business. That's according to the latest international Doing Business survey carried out for the World Bank by the International Finance Corporation, and quoted in Thursday's Lidove noviny. The Czech Republic fell four places in the latest study to 56th among 178 states when it comes to conditions for setting up, running and closing down companies. Neighbouring Slovakia was ranked considerably better, in 32nd place.
Three-quarters of construction firms admit to hiring illegal workers
Czechs second highest earners among EU states while gap with west narrows
Skoda opens "university" for employees
Skoda Auto has opened its own "university" to educate both current staff and future employees. It has a capacity for 800 students and is located near the firm's main production plant in Mlada Boleslav. Skoda's senior HR manager Martin Jahn says the new centre is the biggest company educational complex in the Czech Republic. The college charges fees of around CZK 30,000 a year (around USD 1,500), which Skoda will subsidise.