Babis Wants Multinationals To Keep Profits In Czech Republic

Andrej Babiš

Prague, Sept 13 (CK) – Prime Minister Andrej Babis on Tuesday met top managers of the most important foreign companies which have branches in the Czech Republic for discussion about outflow of profits abroad, Lidove noviny (LN) daily writes today.


Babis wants to keep the money of multinational firms in the Czech Republic, not by higher taxes but in the form of investments.


“I explained them that the public has a negative stance to the outflow of profits. I want them to show that they already invest here and to invest even more. They will thus not be blamed for taking so much money from the country,” Babis said.


Babis would like to see a publicly accessible list of firms with the highest investments within responsible behaviour, for example as a contribution to private pension schemes of their employees and support to culture.


In the best case, a fund of national education with annual contributions of companies could be created. They would then benefit from employees with education for highly specialised professions like nanotechnologies, the daily says.


Babis invited 26 top managers from the most important foreign companies active in the Czech Republic for the Tuesday meeting. Among them were Skoda Auto, Hyundai, Vodafone, T-Mobile, Ceska sporitelna and Google.


All the addressed managers welcomed the fact that the government wants to talk with them, hear their stance, cooperate in finding solutions and admit that many of them already reinvest their profits in the Czech Republic.


Babis wants to hold such meetings regularly, another one will take place still this year, with concrete topics on the agenda.


Pavel Smutny, a lawyer and Czech-Israeli Mixed Chamber of Commerce president, has brought to Babis the idea that it will be better to try to find a truce between the state and the capital outflow than to fight.


The daily notes that Smutny together with other representatives of the business sector and the national economy have prepared a strategy for growth of the Czech Republic’s wealth which serves as a basis for the new platform.


According to Czech National Bank (CNB) data, Kc280bn went to foreign parent companies from their Czech firms last year and a record Kc288bn in 2016.


Compared with other countries and when taking into consideration macroeconomic forecasts, it shows that the money outflow is at least twice larger than it should be, the daily adds.