Business News

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In Business News: over a billion dollars worth of PPPs are planned, says a Finance Ministry official; farmers want the next government to halt the continual decline in output in their industry; Czech tourists spent more money on holidays at home than abroad in 2005; and the biggest factory outlet in the country should open at Prague airport next year.

Upwards of one billion dollars in PPPs considered

The idea of public private partnerships - in which the state co-operates with private sector investors - seems to be really taking off in the Czech Republic; the country is planning over a billion dollars worth of PPPs, the Finance Ministry's Bohdan Hejduk said on Thursday. Projects under discussion are part of the D3 motorway linking Prague and south Bohemia and a rail connection between Prague's Ruzyne airport and Masarykovo train station in the centre of the city.

Farmers call on next government to help halt decline in output

Czech farmers want whoever forms the next government to halt the continual decline in output in their industry. The Agrarian Chamber said this week that the new government should create conditions for the sale of farm products outside the food industry, particularly by increasing production of biofuels. Livestock output and the growing of flax and fruit and vegetables have been falling for some time; overall output in real terms has fallen by almost two billion dollars to three billion dollars a year since 1989.

Skoda to make three models in China

The car maker Skoda Auto, which expects to roll out its first model in China next year, will later add two new models, its parent company Volkswagen said this week. Skoda will start producing its popular family model Octavia in Shanghai next year, and plans subsequently to produce the Superb limousine and the smaller Fabia at the same plant.

Tatra sees sharp fall in profits, but sales up

Meanwhile Tatra, another huge name in the Czech automotive industry, saw a dramatic fall in its profits last year: whereas in 2004 it made 36 million dollars, in 2005 Tatra made just over 200 thousand dollars. But sales of its trucks rose to over a 1,000 and should rise further in 2006, the company's chairman said this week. Tatra - which is owned by the US company Terex - exports 71 percent of its vehicles; its main markets are Russia, other former Soviet states and India.

Czech tourists spend more at home than abroad

Czech tourists spent more money on holidays at home than abroad in 2005 - the first time that has happened in a decade, according to a report published by the Association of Czech Travel Agencies this week. South Bohemia was the most popular destination.

Biggest factory outlet in country planned for Prague airport

Plans are afoot to open the biggest factory outlet in the Czech Republic at Prague airport next year, Czech Business Weekly reported. Called simply Outlet Airport Praha it will have 160 shops and is scheduled to open in November 2007, a spokesperson for developers Ponte Carlo GDO said. He said the mall will sell designer clothes with price reductions of 30 to 70 percent and up to two years old. Apparently some luxury brands such as Dolce and Gabbana have been unable to find retail spaces at Prague's most up-market addresses and plan to instead sell their products through the airport mall.