Written by: Anita Lišková
LEGISLATION: New rules for bankruptcies
Justice minister Pavel Němec and vice premier Martin Jahn plan to submit comprehensive modification of the law on bankruptcy by the end of 2004. The new so-called “insolvency law” will bring basic changes in the course of bankruptcy proceedings and marked strengthening of the rights of creditors, who will have direct influence on the selection of an administrator. The law also relies on the introduction of a public electronic register, which will allow a broad circle of interested parties to more easily access information on the course of proceedings. There will be an independent method for resolving bankruptcies of financial institutions, as current practices have demonstrated that current methods for resolution are inadequate.
INTERNET: Affordable internet services
Starting next year, services connected with registering and maintaining domains will become more affordable. “We expect all providers to cut the price for original registration and fees for annual domain administration by CZK 100. The prices of CZ.NIC will de facto copy this decline,” says Jan Horna, owner of HorMart, which monitors Czech web hosting. It was CZ.NIC, the association for domain administration, that announced price cuts for domain name registration, as of 1 January 2005, from CZK 400 to CZK 300, and annual administration costs from CZK 600 to CZK 500. This wholesale price decrease will also be reflected in fees charged by the 17 existing commercial registrars, and the end user will be able to acquire a domain for less than the current CZK 500. The total number of registered Czech domains (those with the .cz suffix) already exceeds 177,000.
RETAIL: More buying “bio”
Czech biogroceries vendors and producers expect 20-30% market growth in the next five years. In 2003 biogroceries sales reached CZK 180 million, a growth of over 16%. Ecological agriculture and the bioproducts market in the Czech Republic are stimulated mainly by high demand abroad, better information, and rising compensation payments for producers. “Supply is also rising markedly because of the duty-free zone in the EU, and the fact that in the EU-certified biogroceries no longer need to be recertified in the Czech Republic,” notes Tom Václavík, representative of the Green Marketing agency. Today, Czech producers are able to sell nearly 100% bioproduction, which is about 25% more expensive than comparable mainstream commodities. The Czech biogroceries market is one of the most developed in central and eastern Europe, however, the share of biogroceries in this country is less than 0.1% of total food consumption (in tons), while the EU average is considerably higher, at 2-3%.