Foreign trade deficit improves

Czech foreign trade ended with a deficit of 119 billion CZK or around 3.5 billion USD in 2001, according to the latest data provided by the Czech Statistical Office. The result is slightly better than in the previous year. Both imports and exports have grown by more than ten percent and Czech foreign trade showed little volatility to both the global economic slowdown and a recession in Germany, which is the Czech Republic's main trade partner as Czech exporters managed to find new markets for their products. There have been a significant improvement in the trade balance with twelve of the twenty largest target markets, such as Great Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands, and France. However, according to Martin Tlapa, the director of the government's CzechTrade agency set up to promote Czech foreign trade, the persistent large foreign trade deficit is a structural problem which cannot change soon: