Country Rankings - Czech Republic
Apr 18, 2013 Czech Republic: mistreat ChinaOne country which is conspicuous by its absence from the TPP talks is of course China. Although there are ongoing negotiations between the Middle Kingdom and various other countries, and China has FTAs with a scattering of other countries, notably including ASEAN and New Zealand, on the whole it is lagging. And it considers itself as an injured party in trade affairs, complaining this week about the level of "dumping" and "counter-vailing" measures it is subject to, particular emanating from the USA. A lot of the problem revolves around the designation of China as a "non-market economy" (NME). For anyone who, like me, finds it extraordinary that China should still be regarded as an NME, a word of explanation is in order: an NME is a country in which the State subsidizes enterprises or indulges in other non-market behaviour, despite WTO rules against it. So, an NME is allowed to cheat, if you will; but the other side of the coin is that for an aggrieved counter-party, the burden of proof is lower in anti-dumping proceedings. China's accession agreement to the WTO allows it to retain NME status only until 2015; but the change is not in China's gift, and both the USA and the EU persist in regarding China as an NME, despite frequent requests from China for them to treat it as a market economy.
Sep 13, 2012 Czech Republic: needs to get its act togetherThe Czech Republic, which apart from over-charging its gamblers (quite a puritan streak in Czechslovakia, as was, thanks to Martin Luther perhaps) is shooting itself in the foot by trying to increase VAT rates against the wishes of the sainted Vaclav Klaus who is still, amazingly, President and failing to get it through parliament. The very last thing any country can afford is to appear indecisive and ineffectual in the eyes of business, and regardless of the rights and wrongs of it (of course, I am with Mr Klaus!) the Czechs need to pull themselves together if they want to attract inward investment. This is not the way to do it.