Among the companies that have confirmed their presence:
Advokátní kancelář Bakeš & partneři
Canadian Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic
Czech Chamber of Commerce
Dr. Müller Pharma
INSTAR ITS Ostrava
TOP HOTELS GROUP
TOS KUŘIM – OS
WHY THE CZECH REPUBLIC?
As a member of the European Union (EU) since 2004 and solidly established in Central Europe, the Czech Republic is a strategic European ally. Geographically situated halfway between Western Europe and Eastern Europe, and with access to over 502 million consumers by road and rail, the country has, over the years, been able to position itself as a major player in intra-European trade. In addition, as a member of the EU, it will be part of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) that comes into effect in 2017.
The Czech economy is characterized by its service sector, which generates 59% of its GDP. For its part, the manufacturing sector—which mainly produces motors, metals, machinery, glass, and weaponry—recorded 5% growth in 2015 and contributed to 38% of the country’s GDP. The automobile industry is the most active part of this sector: including its suppliers, it represents 24% of the manufacturing industry. In 2010, Czech automobile production topped one million units, over 80% of which were exported. In the future, it is anticipated that the Czech economy will undergo a transition and move further towards high-tech, knowledge, and services.
The Czech economy is of modest size but is distinguished by its openness. Indeed, its exports and imports respectively represent 85.5% and 77.8% of its GDP. The country also stands out from its Central European neighbours through its power to attract foreign direct investment (FDI). For the current year, Czech economic growth is estimated at 3.5%. In the UN’s 2016 ease of doing business report, the Czech Republic got a perfect score for its cross-border trade (Doing Business; 2016). This result can be explained, in part, by the reform of its customs code, which aimed to simplify customs procedures.
The Czech Republic’s most important imports are equipment, machinery, fuel, chemical products, intermediate goods, and various raw materials. Main imports from Canada are planes, helicopters, machinery parts, turbojets, turboprops and other gas turbines, electronic machinery, pharmaceutical products, pet food, medications, vitamins, iron and steel, plastics, and non-alcoholic beverages (Government of Canada, 2016). Stable growth of the automotive and aerospace sectors will offer openings in the field of engineering, notably in the areas of aircraft technology and electronics. Dependent as it is on natural gas imports, the Czech Republic is also a potential purchaser of fuels.
Situated close to European production and consumption zones, the Czech Republic is a strategic location for investments in the transportation and logistics sectors. These sectors of the Czech economy are, in fact, among the most efficient in the world, given the size of the country’s network. In the same line of thinking, because of its geographic location, the Czech Republic is the ideal place to establish a distribution or supply centre, as it opens doors to the Eastern European and Russian markets. In addition, various infrastructure projects in the area of transportation, totalling some 7 billion euros, will be in the works between now and 2020, which will create openings in various sectors.
The Czech Republic is Europe’s second-largest producer of aeronautics products. It boasts four complete assembly companies, with the majority of industry players carrying out activities in the regions of Prague and Zlin. Canada ranks seventh among exporters of aeronautics products to the Czech Republic (2014), and growth opportunities for Canadian companies are promising, more particularly in terms of subcontracting. The Czech market also offers research and development opportunities, as well as openings for direct suppliers and second- and third-tier suppliers. We therefore recommend a joint venture approach with an already established local partner.
In the health care field, the Czech Republic’s drug expenditures amounted to $13.83 billion US in 2013. In particular, this sector offers interesting possibilities in the areas of medical equipment, over-the-counter drugs, brand-name drugs, and biotechnology research. Note that the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), which will come into effect in 2017, will facilitate the trade of pharmaceutical products between Canada and members of the Euro zone.
In the area of retail trade, the Czech Republic is ranked 11th in Europe and 17th in the world. Prague is one of the ten most popular shopping destinations in Europe and is by far the reference in Central Europe. There are a number of opportunities in this sector, notably in the areas of luxury fashion, e-trade, and franchising.
Czech Republic, facts and figures:
- A population of 10.74 million inhabitants
- A GDP of $205.53 billion US (2015)
- GDP growth of 3.9% in 2015
- Exports representing 85.5% of the country’s GDP
- $191.9 million in Canadian exports in 2015
- Quebec exports increased by 59% from 2014 to 2015, totalling $102.3 million in 2015
WHO SHOULD ATTEND?
Entrepreneurs seeking to expand onto the Czech market or already established on the market but seeking to learn more about its potential.
The activity will be of particular interest to businesses in the following sectors:
- Automobiles and trucks
- Construction and infrastructure
- Environmental infrastructure and wastewater
- Transport services