Creative Industries Czech Republic
Population: 10,627,448 (July 2014 est.)
Internet country code: .cz
two equal horizontal bands of white (top) and red with a blue isosceles triangle based on the hoist side is identical to the flag of the former Czechoslovakia
note: is identical to the flag of the former Czechoslovakia
Government of Czech Republic: vlada.cz/en/
Official website of the Czech Republic: czech.cz/en/
Czech Tourist Authority: czechtourism.com
Since the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989, Prague has become one of the most visited cities in Europe.
At the close of World War I, the Czechs and Slovaks of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire merged to form Czechoslovakia. During the interwar years, having rejected a federal system, the new country’s predominantly Czech leaders were frequently preoccupied with meeting the increasingly strident demands of other ethnic minorities within the republic, most notably the Slovaks, the Sudeten Germans, and the Ruthenians (Ukrainians). On the eve of World War II, Nazi Germany occupied the territory that today comprises the Czech Republic and Slovakia became an independent state allied with Germany. After the war, a reunited but truncated Czechoslovakia (less Ruthenia) fell within the Soviet sphere of influence. In 1968, an invasion by Warsaw Pact troops ended the efforts of the country’s leaders to liberalize communist rule and create “socialism with a human face,” ushering in a period of repression known as “normalization.” The peaceful “Velvet Revolution” swept the Communist Party from power at the end of 1989 and inaugurated a return to democratic rule and a market economy. On 1 January 1993, the country underwent a nonviolent “velvet divorce” into its two national components, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The Czech Republic joined NATO in 1999 and the European Union in 2004.
Economy of Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a stable and prosperous market economy closely integrated with the EU, especially since the country”s EU accession in 2004. While the conservative, inward-looking Czech financial system has remained relatively healthy, the small, open, export-driven Czech economy remains sensitive to changes in the economic performance of its main export markets, especially Germany. When Western Europe and Germany fell into recession in late 2008, demand for Czech goods plunged, leading to double digit drops in industrial production and exports. As a result, real GDP fell 4.7% in 2009, with most of the decline occurring during the first quarter. Real GDP, however, slowly recovered with positive quarter-on-quarter growth starting in the second half of 2009 and continuing throughout 2011. In 2012, however, the economy fell into a recession due to a slump in external demand. The auto industry remains the largest single industry, and, together with its upstream suppliers, accounts for nearly 24% of Czech manufacturing. The Czech Republic produced more than a million cars for the first time in 2010, over 80% of which were exported. Foreign and domestic businesses alike voice concerns about corruption especially in public procurement. Other long term challenges include dealing with a rapidly aging population, funding an unsustainable pension and health care system, and diversifying away from manufacturing and toward a more high-tech, services-based, knowledge economy.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$285.6 billion (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 46
$288.2 billion (2012 est.)
$291.1 billion (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars