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17 December 2012

DTIHK+NCCC: The Czech Republic – can it catch up on its infrastructural backwardness?

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German investors in the Czech Republic, brought together by their membership in the German-Czech Chamber of Industry and Commerce (DTIHK), have identified several challenges in the field of transport policy. The Netherlands-Czech Chamber of Commerce has joined this effort to create a position paper. In this paper a committee of experts, comprising representatives of the industry, in particular of the transport industry, have summarised the most important facts.

  1. The basis of a competitive and growing economy is its strong infrastructure network. However, Czech politicians apparently do not seem to be acting according to this principle.
  2. Due to the Czech Republic’s infrastructure policy of the last ten years, the country is disappearing more and more from the picture in respect to this field. Without massive investments in infrastructure projects, incentives will vanish, which benefit investments in the Czech business sector.
  3. To improve accessibility to supra-regional and European network hubs, there is a need for freight centers (linking at least two modes of transport). The promotion and development of these in other European countries has shown that this can have a positive impact on a region’s economy. Additionally, such projects initiate further investments as well as create jobs. Whilst other countries are implementing this approach, Czech decision-makers are still contemplating possible investments and funding. Thus, other transit countries are moving further ahead. This heightens the danger that the Czech Republic may lag behind, which could cause a standstill in regional development.
  4. Politicians seemingly misunderstand allocations and distributions out of the infrastructure fund. Accordingly, the more economically the state acts, the less it receives. Corresponding to this principle, last year the infrastructure investments were reduced by 20%, which was portrayed as a success. Is this really a sign of a well-thought-out infrastructure policy?
  5. The mobility of the country’s workforce is quite low due to the inadequate infrastructure.
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