Written by: Anita Lišková
foto tomáš kubeš
In 2004 CzechInvest, the agency for supporting business and investment,
recorded a year-on-year increase of over 100% in the number of
projects. It mediated 145 new investments worth over CZK 50 billion
in all, thanks to which over 20,000 new jobs will be created in
the Czech Republic. Nearly one-third of the projects involved investments
with higher added value, i.e., research, development, and strategic
services, in which 41 firms invested last year as compared with
15 in 2003. "We were able to direct a significant part of
the new investments to regions suffering from the highest unemployment
rates, i.e., the Moravian-Silesian region and the Ústí region," explains
Karolína Bočková, CzechInvest's deputy general director.
TRANSPORTATION: Czech roads
Since the beginning of the year, the already low-quality Czech
road network has been exposed to growing and excessive loads.
Following the introduction of tolls in Austria and the Czech
Republic's EU accession, truck traffic on Czech roads is up by
50%. According to the transport ministry, tolls in neighboring
Germany have added another 20% to traffic since January 1. Starting
in the second half of next year, the ministry intends to introduce
tolls for vehicles weighing over 3.5 tons on our highways and
freeways. This coming fall, the tender for supplying an electronic
toll system that will use either microwave or satellite technology
will be decided. Although building the system will take CZK 12-13
billion, the state expects that as of 2007, CZK 5-7 billion will
be collected annually in tolls.
PUBLIC OPINION: What's
in a job?
According to the Center for Public Opinion Research at the Sociological
Institute of the Academy of Sciences, by far the most prestigious
vocation in the Czech Republic is in the medical field. A full
41% of respondents ranked physicians at the very top of the table.
Scientists, teachers, judges, and designers also ranked highly.
Positions in the middle of the table include private farmers, professional
athletes, ministers, and accountants. Parliamentary deputies and
cleaners occupy the bottom of the list, according to social prestige.
Correction: In the "Time Off" section of our January
issue, we incorrectly captioned photograph no. 7 under "No
wine tastes the same". On the left side stands Pasquale Baiguera,
general manager of hotel Radisson SAS Alcron, whereas Armin Zerunyan,
general manager of the hotel Hilton stands on the right. We apologize
for this error.