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An overview of the Czech Republic

 The first attempt at creating a Czech state was unification of several Slavonic tribes in defence against the Avars. Their ruler, the Frank merchant Samo, founded the empire some time in the 7th century A.D. Later the Czech principality became part of the Greater Moravian Empire (803-907).

The rights of the Czech state were acknowledged by the Golden Bull of Sicily in 1212.

The Czech kingdom was part of the Holy Roman Empire. The most important Czech sovereigns included Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia.

In the early 16th century, the Czech Estates elected Habsburg to the Czech throne. The Czech kingdom remained a part of the Hapsburg monarchy until 1918.

At the end of World War I, on 28 October 1918, the Czechoslovak Republic was proclaimed. Twenty years later, the Munich Agreement was signed, on the basis of which Nazi Germany occupied a part of Bohemia and Moravia.

Czechoslovakia was restored after the defeat of Nazism in May 1945.

In 1948, the Communist Party seized power in Czechoslovakia. With only a brief period in 1968, known as the "Prague Spring", the totalitarian period lasted until so-called "Velvet Revolution”, until November 1989.

On 1 January 1993 Czechoslovakia was divided, and Czech Republic came into being as a separate democratic state.

The economy- an overview

The Czech Republic’s economy is mainly based on industry. The most important export products are machinery, vehicles and semi-manufactured goods. Key growth sectors are the chemical and pharmaceutical industry and tourism. The agricultural sector is small but efficient, employing about 3.4% of the work force.


A Snapshot of Czech Republic

At A Glance




10.3 million

10.3 million




Population Growth






Personal Computers (per 1000 people






Internet users

1.4 million

1.0 million




Fixed lines and mobile phones (per 1000 people)




One of the most stable and prosperous of the post-Communist states, the Czech Republic has been recovering from recession since mid-1999. Growth in 2000-03

Basic facts about the economy of the Czech Republic

Raw materials

There are limited deposits of various raw materials. Sand, stone and limestone are mined in large amounts. Mining of uranium stopped after 1989.

Hard coal is mined in Northern Moravia, while brown coal and lignite mines are in Northern Bohemia. These deposits cover the country's own consumption. Mining areas are also major centres of heavy industry (machinery, steelworks, manufacturing and chemistry). Northern Bohemia and Northern Moravia are parts of the so called Black Triangle (together with Saxonia in Germany and Polish Silesia) which is considered to be the most polluted area in Europe.

Power generation

Most electricity is produced in thermal power plants (about three quarters of the total electricity production).

Nuclear power provides about 20% of the electricity and is produced at Dukovany (Southern Moravia). A new nuclear power plant is being built at Temelín (Southern Bohemia). The environmentalists both from the Czech Republic and from Austria protest against the launching of this plant.

About 3% of the total electricity is produced in hydroelectric power plants.

Crude oil and natural gas

Oil and gas are imported mostly from Russia. In December 1995 a new crude oil pipeline from Germany was launched (Middle European Crude Oil Pipeline from Vohburg to Nelahozeves). Another pipeline transports crude oil from Ingolstadt (Germany) to Kralupy nad Vltavou. Gas from Norway started to be transported to the Czech Republic in May 1997.


The principal crops are wheat, barley, sugar beet, potatoes and hops. Forests provide enough wood for both Czech and foreign manufacturers.

The most important companies in the Czech Republic

Companies with the biggest numbers of employees

1) OKD, a.s. (mining) 28,919
2) Škoda, a.s. (machinery) 23,801
3) SPT Telecom, a.s.(communications) 22,938
4) Škoda auto, a.s. (cars) 22,205
5) Vítkovice, a.s. (metallurgy) 18,630

The top five enterprises with the largest exports (+ revenues, bn)

1) Škoda auto, a.s. (machinery, cars) 56.6 (90.1)
2) Škoda, a.s. (machinery) 17.7 (23.4)
3) Nová huť a.s. (steelworks) 10.9 (30.3)
4) Vítkovice, a.s. (production of iron) 10.4 (10.4)
5) OKD, a.s. (coal mining) 9.8 (24.0)

Some producers of the traditional Czech goods:


Crystalex, a.s. Nový Bor
Moser, a.s. Karlovy Vary

beer and liquors:

Plzeňský Prazdroj, a.s. Plzeň (Pilsner Urquell)
Budějovický Budvar, n.p. České Budějovice (Budweiser Budvar)
Jan Becher, Karlovy Vary (Becherovka - a herbal liquor)


Škoda auto, a.s. Mladá Boleslav (cars)
Škoda Plzeň, a.s. (heavy machinery, factory equipments, nuclear reactors)
ČKD Praha Holding, a.s. Praha (trams, motors)


Nová Huť, a.s. Ostrava (steel, rolled products, tubes)


Synthesia, a.s. Pardubice (chemicals)


Websites worth visiting

The excellent BBC country profile that includes links to the main national news papers and radio stations in the Czech Republic and other relevant sources.

The official Czech government site.

An English language newspaper published in Prague.'economy%20of%20czech%20republic'

A PDF presentation on why invest in Czech Republic.

A site that will allow you to have considerable access to economic data


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