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Country Forecast Czech Republic April 2018

Country Forecast Czech Republic April 2018

  • April 2018
  • ID: 2902733
  • Format: PDF
  • By The Economist Intelligence Unit

Summary

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Policy towards private enterprise and competition


2018-19: Public procurement becomes more transparent and competitive following reforms brought in after the October 2017 general election. Cronyism comes under increasing pressure, but improvements are mostly technical.


2020-22: The administrative burden falls slowly as a result of a campaign to enhance competitiveness and combat red tape.


Policy towards foreign investment


2018-19: Incentives for large foreign investors, in line with EU law, remain in place. Compliance with EU regulations improves and sustains large inflows of foreign direct investment (FDI).


2020-22: FDI stocks and inflows remain robust. The government focuses on improving incentives for high-tech investors.


Foreign trade and exchange controls


2018-19: Trade policy is determined at EU level and remains highly open. Maintaining strong trade relations with the UK after Brexit is a priority. The koruna appreciates gradually.


2020-22: Euro adoption does not occur, even though the country meets four out of the five Maastricht criteria.


Taxes


2018-19: A cash-register system using centralised software to curb tax evasion on cash transactions, introduced in 2016-17, is scaled back for small businesses, and further roll-outs are paused. This eases the administrative burden for some firms.


2020-22: Measures to combat tax evasion continue. The government embarks on a major overhaul of the tax system.


Financing


2018-19: Corporate and household borrowing recovers in response to the ongoing economic expansion. Rising inflation stimulates savings and a search for higher yields, but long-term pension savings remain low.


2020-22: Banks remain the main source of financing, and capital markets a limited source of funds. Interest rates rise.


The labour market


2018-19: The labour market continues to tighten, and wages rise further. Labour shortages become the main growth constraint for businesses, reflecting a lack of qualified applicants, especially in technical roles


2020-22: Local skills shortages worsen as neighbouring countries compete for well-educated and highly skilled workers. Some foreign workers are allowed in, but in limited numbers.


Infrastructure


2018-19: Road and railway expansion continues, making use of EU funds as the absorption rate of such funding improves. Mobile internet becomes cheaper and more accessible. A decision is made about upgrading the Dukovany nuclear plant.


2020-22: EU funding continues to be available for infrastructure projects, although with less funding likely in 2021-27. Work on a Prague-Berlin high-speed train line may begin.


Technological readiness


2018-19: Robot intensity (the industrial stock of robots as a share of manufacturing value added, which is currently the second highest in Europe after Germany) and automation increase further as firms respond to capacity constraints.


2020-22: The government invests further in Brno, the second-largest Czech city and a growing digital innovation hub.



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