Czech Republic: Country and Foreign Investment
Economy and Currency
The official currency is the Czech Koruna (crown). Prior to the global financial crisis, the country had one of the strongest economies of the emerging nations with a GDP per capita of USD26,100 in 2008. Public debt stood at 29.4% of GDP in 2008. Inflation was 2.9% in 2009 and the country has a labour force of over 5.3m, many of whom are highly skilled. Unemployment was 6% in 2008. By 2011, GDP per capita stood at USD27,062 with public debt being recorded at 41.5% of GDP. Inflation was measured at 1.9% and unemployment was 6.7%. The Czech statistical office for the third quarter of 2012 reported a year on year decrease of GDP of -1.3%.
Not surprisingly, neighbouring Germany is its biggest import/export partner. Principal industries include the automotive industry, metallurgy, and machinery and equipment manufacture. Service industries contribute by far the most to GDP (59%), with industry contributing 38% and agriculture 2.8%.
The Czech Republic joined the European Union in 2004. There is political resistance to adopting the Euro as its currency and it seems unlikely that this will occur within the next decade.