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BUSINESS: Better business rankings for the capital
According to a Cushman & Wakefield Healey & Baker rating, the capital of the Czech Republic improved from 21st last year to 16th place in the “business conditions” category. The ratings, long led by London, followed by Paris and Frankfurt, are assigned according to criteria covering many factors, such as labor costs and qualifications, market accessibility, investment environment, and the quality of life in the given city. This improving business trend is also borne out by an employment report from the Czech Bureau of Statistics, which states that the percentage of entrepreneurs (with employees, without employees, and with family member assistance) increased year-on-year by about 8%. The number of entrepreneurs reached nearly 779,000 in 2002, an increase of 58,200 over 2001.

CIVIC PLANNING : Prague’s new identity card
Starting next year, a new logo, with Prague in yellow letters in several languages on a red background, will appear on the streets of Prague. It will replace the historical capital city sign, which will continue to be used only on gala and official occasions. The logo was created by the Najbrt graphics studio, which won a tender called by Prague City Hall. For CZK 1.8 million, Prague will acquire licensing rights for unconditional use and the complete graphics manual. The winning design should symbolize the city, which has once again become a multi-cultural center after many years, and so should emphasize openness. In order to achieve a unified visual style that will be developed on an ongoing basis, it is expected that in the near future a new web site will be created, and the logo will be placed not only on official materials, maps, and cars, but also on information panels with touch screens in the city center.

SOCIETY: Czechs with language skills make morevaluable employees
Last June, Universitas, in cooperation with CzechInvest, conducted research on linguistic skills among the Czech population, with nearly 3,000 respondents aged 18-59. The study showed that the most common foreign language spoken by Czechs is German (35.9%), followed by Russian and English. In the 18-39 age category, the situation is different – the leading language is English (52%). Only 25% said they know no foreign language. The research also indicates that language knowledge is closely connected with qualification and education, and that the number of foreign languages acquired rises with job level. “The level of linguistic skills is one of the criteria according to which foreign investors decide where to make their investments,” says Martin Jahn, executive director of CzechInvest.

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