INTERNET: Domain changes
The as yet monopolistic registration system for the national domain “.cz” by the CZ.NIC organization is being decentralized among more companies. Currently Czech OnLine, General registry, Globe Internet, Ignum, Internet CZ, Miramo, and Zoner software are among those firms that have been granted authority to register international domains. The change in the system is accompanied by a change in registration conditions – annual administration fees are going down, as are registration fees, which will start at CZK 500. “Under the new system a domain will not be registered until the stipulated fee is paid,” explains Jana Štědronská, Domé service manager for Globe Internet. There will also be limits on blocking internet domains for speculative purposes. Approximately 160,000 domains are currently registered in the Czech Republic, with an estimated 30-50,000 addresses blocked.

Photo: archiv

INDUSTRY: Czech auto production takes first place
A study conducted by Ernst & Young indicates that in 2002 the Czech Republic attracted 18% of all automotive production projects, thus replacing the traditional leaders, Great Britain (13%) and France (12%). Of the EU candidate countries, the Czech Republic was the recipient of 50% of all such projects. The Czech automotive industry does not depend solely on the presence of foreign investors, as many Czech companies are asserting themselves in this sector, where the competition is fierce. According to CzechInvest, the automotive industry accounts for one fifth of Czech exports. Total sales of the sector, which employs 130,000 people, come to EUR 11.3 billion (CZK 350 billion). The Czech Republic benefits from its long automotive industry tradition, its system of investment incentives, good infrastructure, a qualified work force, and the industrial zones that have been prepared for manufacturing.

PERSONAL FINANCE: Investment options keep growing
Today 54% of the Czech citizenry have building savings accounts, which two years ago ranked only fourth among investment products. Data provided by TNS Factum show that building savings plans are used as investment opportunities mainly by younger people and those with higher incomes. Planned changes will probably bring significant further growth. “If people are planning on opening building savings accounts in the near future they will probably do so before year’s end,” says Barbora Buřinská of TNS Factum. Nearly half of the citizenry put their financial assets into current accounts, with 38% keeping their savings at home. About a third of all Czechs have life insurance policies and/or supplementary pension insurance. 10% of investors prefer term deposits and 10% prefer real estate purchases.

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