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Prague apartments

Business in the Czech Republic

Introduction to Business & Economy in the Czech Republic
Prague stock exchange official pages
Trade fairs and exhibitions

The following organisation can offer advice: Hospodárská Komora Ceske Republiky (Czech Chamber of Commerce and Industry), Freyova 27 190 00 Praha 9 - Vysočany. Tel: +420 296 646 111 Fax: +420 296 646 221. E-mail: hkcrinf@traveller.cz, Web site: www.hkcr.cz

The following are some basic tips for business travellers:

  • Businessmen wear suits.
  • A knowledge of German is useful as English is not widely spoken among the older generation.
  • Long business lunches are usual.
  • Office hours: 0800-1600 Monday to Friday.
  • Etiquette is important to the Czechs as to the rest of the European nations.
  • Shake hands to welcome your counterpart. A firm handshake is viewed as sign of honesty and openness. It is not unusual for family members and very close friends to kiss on the cheek.
  • Usually it is the woman or the older, or the more distinguished man, who offers a handshake first.
  • Maintain eye contact. This is perceived as a sign of honesty and trustworthiness.
  • Always arrive on time, even for dinner - punctuality is viewed as a sign of reliability and responsibility.
  • Lunch is the main meal during the day. Supper is usually much smaller and lighter.
  • Man pays the bill. Although women's role in society has been changing, many of the old customs have remained especially among older people. A Czech man would feel insulted, and the waiter embarrassed, if a woman tried to pay.
  • Calling somebody by first name has a special meaning. It is a sign of friendship. It should first be offered by the woman or the older or the more respected man.
  • Calling somebody by first name, without being offered or asked first, is considered an insult or an attempt to humiliate.
  • When visiting somebody's home, bring a small gift. Flowers or chocolates for the lady of the house are also very appropriate.
  • It is commonly expected from guests to remove their shoes upon entering the host's home. Ask the host when in doubts.
  • Smoking should be requested first. Ask your host's permission, before lighting a cigarette.
  • Interrupting a conversation is considered rude and impolite.
  • Talking too loudly is perceived as lacking credibility (as if substance is being replaced by loudness).
  • Learn a few Czech words to show respect and friendship. Czech people greatly appreciate when foreigners try to speak even the most basic words. For some important czech phrases and their pronunciation click here.
  • Most likely, your Czech counterpart will have a car available. If the car has a driver, it is considered an honor to be offered the back seat, while your host sits up front.

Introduction to Business & Economy in the Czech Republic

In 2002 the growth of the Czech economy slowed down. Nevertheless, the Czech Republic managed to maintain a positive growth differential when compared to EU Member States. The growth rate of gross domestic product in constant prices reached 2.0 per cent notwithstanding the lower dynamics of foreign demand and the negative impact of the August 2002 floods. During the 1st quarter of 2003 the Czech economy showed a year-on-year growth of 2.2 per cent of GDP. In 2002 the highest growth rates were registered in the service sector (in transport, telecommunications and trade) and in agriculture. Over the same period the growth rate of manufacturing industry was nearly one point below the average for the entire economy and the added value in tourism and accommodation services and in the building industry was decreasing in real terms.

Economic growth in the Czech Republic relies on the ongoing restructuring and modernisation of production, stimulated by foreign direct investment (e.g. computer manufacturing) in conjunction with the phasing out of certain traditional industries (e.g. heavy engineering). This means that while some economic sectors show high growth rates, others stagnate or even significantly decrease their production

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