Czech Republic

8347 Words Sep 13th, 2006 34 Pages
International Business Project: The Czech Republic

International Business Project: The Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a small, landlocked country located in Central Europe, southeast of Germany, bordered by Austria, Germany, Poland, and Slovakia. Slightly smaller than South Carolina, the Czech Republic covers 78.866 square kilometers (sq km): 77,276 sq km of land and 1,590 sq km of water.
Following the First World War, the closely related Czechs and Slovaks of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire merged cultures to form Czechoslovakia. During the interwar years, the country's leaders were frequently preoccupied with meeting the demands of other ethnic minorities within the republic, most notably the Sudeten Germans
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The Czech Republic became a member of the European Union (EU) on May 1, 2004. Through the course of the accession process, most barriers to trade in industrial goods with the EU have been eliminated. The process of accession had a positive impact on reform in the Czech Republic, and implementation of EU directives and regulations continues. The U.S. Department of Commerce Country Commercial Guide for the Czech Republic summarizes the economic trends and outlook this way:
The principal industries are motor vehicles, machine building, iron and steel production, metalworking, chemicals, electronics, transportation equipment, textiles, glass, brewing, china, ceramics, and pharmaceuticals. The main agricultural products are sugar beets, fodder roots, potatoes, wheat, and hops. As a small, open economy in the heart of Europe, economic growth is strongly influenced by demand for Czech exports and flows of foreign direct investment.
Heavy industry received major economic support during the 1950s, but central planning resulted in waste and inefficient use of industrial resources. Although the labor force was traditionally skilled and efficient, inadequate incentives for labor and management contributed to high labor turnover, low productivity, and poor product quality.
The Czech koruna (crown) became fully convertible for most business purposes in
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