Prague, Aug 15 (CTK) – The share of Czech exports heading to the European Union has been increasing and it added annually 0.5 percentage points to 84.2 percent in the first half of this year, according to data of the Czech Statistical Office (CSU).
The portion of exports going to the EU was at 81 percent in 2012-2013, the CSU said.
In 2012, the government approved the Czech Republic’s export strategy for 2012-2020 with the main goal to reduce the country’s export dependence on the EU.
In the first half of this year, total Czech exports increased by a mere 0.2 percent to Kc2,150bn.
Exports to countries outside the EU dropped by 2.7 percent, with Asia and North America reporting a 9 percent and a 2.3 percent fall, respectively.
On the other hand, exports to the EU went up by nearly 1 percent. The volume heading to Germany stagnated, while exports to Austria added 1.8 percent and exports to France grew by 1.1 percent.
Exports to northern Africa jumped by 25 percent.
The biggest annual hike in Czech exports was reported in Algeria, adding 89 percent to Kc2.19bn, and Ireland, Belarus, Egypt and Singapore registered a rise of more than 30 percent, Eva Velickova of the Confederation of Industry said.
Economic problems occurring in the EU have the biggest impact on open and export-oriented countries, such as the Czech Republic, which is why the state should be looking for new export territories and contributing to export diversification, the Czech Chamber of Commerce spokesman Miroslav Diro said.
The Czech Republic’s export dependence on the EU member states will keep increasing, according to the Chamber.
One of the reasons is that since the last general election, only one business mission accompanied by a minister has taken place, Diro said.
Czech companies are losing export and investment opportunities to foreign companies, he added.
State aid is key mainly in Latin and North America, Southeast Asia and post-Soviet countries, the Confederation of Industry said.
The current uncertainty concerning reform of export-supporting institutions, such as the CEB, EGAP, CzechTrade and CzechInvest, does not help domestic exporters, Velickova said.
Despite the expected firming of the Czech crown, increasing price of oil on global markets, and a lack of labour force, this year’s exports cannot be expected to break last year’s record, the Exporters Association said.
The second half of this year will be challenging for the Czech export, the association’s deputy chairman Otto Danek said.