The CzechInvest agency attracted 350 new projects to the Czech Republic in 2012.

The number of new investment projects mediated by CzechInvest is continually growing. In 2012, they brought more than CZK 26 billion to the country and create more than 12,000 new jobs.

We are noticing a shift away from large investments toward smaller, more sophisticated investments. Thus, the number of projects with higher value added is growing,” says Minster of Industry and Trade Martin Kuba, who further states that start-up firms are beginning to regain their appetite for investing following the downturn caused by the global economic crisis. “Last year’s amendment to the Investment Incentives Act clearly had an impact on the larger number of investment projects in the Czech Republic in 2012,”Minister Kuba adds.

The automotive industry is traditionally dominant in terms of the volume of investments and the number of newly created jobs. However, statistics indicate continual growth in the number of so-called services projects (information technologies and shared-services centres) and projects involving technology centres. Conversely, manufacturing projects accounted for only 16% of the total number of projects last year. The IT and software-development sector is the indisputable leader with 38%.

“The volume of investments involving IT projects grew by nearly 150% year on year,” says Petr Očko, acting CEO of CzechInvest and director of the EU Funds, Research and Development Section of the Ministry of Industry and Trade. “Investments in this type of projects are less demanding, so during this period of economic instability many companies more readily and more frequently engage in them than was the case in the past. At the same time, the Czech Republic has been presenting itself over the past several years as a location with great potential in the IT field.”

In 2012 investors most frequently headed for the South Moravia, Central Bohemia and Moravia-Silesia regions, which are traditionally very popular investment destinations. Factors such as prepared infrastructure, a logistically suitable location, lower labour costs, availability of skilled workers and proximity to major automobile manufacturers are most often decisive in choosing a location. Therefore, Central Bohemia received the largest number of investments, together with the Vysočina and Ústí regions.

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