Czech Republic: Country and Foreign Investment
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in central Europe with an area of 78,900 sq km, positioned between Germany, Poland, Austria and Slovakia. The population is 10.2m and the capital city, Prague, is an important communications and tourist centre. The country enjoys a temperate climate.
The Czech Republic is not a religious nation: about a quarter of its citizens follow Roman Catholicism but the majority of people are either agnostic or atheist. The prevalent language is Czech.
The constitution provides for a two-tier legislative assembly. The Chamber of Deputies (or lower assembly) has 200 elected members. The upper chamber, or Senate, comprises 81 elected members. The President is elected for a five-year term and is the head of state. The President appoints the Prime Minister and the ministers of the government, who together form the Executive. The present President is Vaclav Klaus, who was re-elected in February 2008 and is required to leave his post on 7 March 2013 when his successor (elected in January 2013) will take up the post.
The Czech Koruna (or crown) is the currency and the Czech Republic is not expected to adopt the Euro for some years due to political resistance in the country. The economy is one of the strongest of the emerging Eastern European nations. GDP per capita was USD27,062 in 2011. There are strong ties with Germany, the country’s main import and export partner. There is a highly skilled workforce and the major industries include the automotive industry and the manufacture of machinery and equipment.
There is a rapidly growing telecommunications infrastructure, with more than 13m mobile phones – more than one per head of population; 6m people have Internet access. Prague has a major European airport, with excellent links to many other European cities, including London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Brussels. The rail infrastructure is currently being modernised and there is an excellent road network throughout the country. There are three major navigable rivers flowing through the country.
Corporate and personal income tax rates are comparatively low, though VAT is higher than in some other countries.
Incentives are available for foreign investors looking to invest in business in the Czech Republic, by way of corporate tax relief and state grants.