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22.01.2008

Czech Republic is among the top 40 economic players worldwide

  • Good strategic position in the middle of Europe
  • Economy benefits from expanding capacities in manufacturing
  • Second stage of economic reform needed to join the Euro zone

The Czech Republic ranks among the best countries in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) in terms of attractiveness for foreign investors. Especially the favourable economic and business environment creates this strong position. The country is ranked among the first 30 to 40 economies in the world in terms of "ease of doing business", level of corruption and global competitiveness. "After Estonia, the Czech Republic attracted the largest amount of per capita FDI in the CEE region in the last decade", adds Debora Revoltella, CEE Chief Economist of UniCredit Group.

Competitiveness Report on Czech Republic
With a well established industrial tradition, the Czech Republic has increasingly specialized in mid-high technology sectors, such as automotive, machinery and equipment manufacturing and fabricated metal products. The competitiveness report on the Czech Republic from the UniCredit Group shows furthermore that the strategic position in the middle of Europe is a clear advantage. Due to its proximity to or being part of some important industrial districts in Central Europe, the country still shows increasing growth potentials. "The growing income and life standards of the Czech people, as well as the development of mid-high technology industries, drive the expansion of services" so Revoltella. Thus, business sectors such as wholesale and retail trade, financial and consulting services, real estate, transportation and logistic services, etc. are expanding.

No date set yet to enter the European Economic and Monetary Union
The recent economic reform acts as a boost for new direct investments (FDI), but no European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) date has been set yet. "In order to enable the country to join the Euro area by 2012/13, a second stage of economic reforms will need to be introduced in 2008", so Revoltella. Nevertheless for foreign investors willing to exploit the favourable business environment and the local expertise the Czech Republic will continue to be attractive, as the economy is expected to stay healthy. The GDP has been growing by more than or around 6 % for the third year in a row and an expansion of around 4-5 % is still expected for the years to come. This positive outlook has key drivers such as falling unemployment, rapidly expanding capacities in manufacturing on the production side and gross capital formation as well as private consumption on the demand side.

About the UniCredit Group
UniCredit has a presence in 23 countries, with over 40 million clients and 9,000 branches, approximately 170,000 employees and total assets of approximately €1,018 billion (pro forma) as of 30 June 2007.

Through the merger with Capitalia, effective as of 1 October 2007, UniCredit has significantly strengthened its presence in Italy, which is one of its core markets alongside Germany, Austria and CEE.

In the CEE region, UniCredit operates the largest international banking network with over 3,700 branches and outlets, where more than 76,000 employees serve approximately 27 million customers.

Requests: Communications CEE
Silvana Lins
Phone: +43 (0) 50505 56036
E-mail : Silvana.Lins@ba-ca.com