Exporting guide to Czech Republic
A sound economy
The Czech economy has expanded consistently in recent years, with steady GDP growth. Plus, with low inflation and relatively low unemployment, the Czech population should enjoy increased spending power, which could benefit UK exporters.
Purchasing power is high compared to other CEE countries. Local customers are leading the region with respect to internet and smartphone penetration, online shopping and card payments.
Part of global supply chains
In the B2B segment, the country is part of global supply chains. A number of major original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are located here such as SKODA AUTO, Hyundai and TPCA (automotive), Skoda Transportation (rail) and Foxconn (electronics).
Czech Republic: at a glance
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Opportunities for exporters
The Czech Republic is a popular CEE country for UK exports as well as for investment. A large pool of expats, especially in Prague, together with affluent customers pay attention to sustainable fashion, food and beauty. This represents a great customer base for UK consumer goods. In B2B, automotive currently accounts for a high GDP share but considering future growth, other segments such as clean growth, energy and digitization seem very promising.
Renewables to grow
Wind and solar are the main options for renewables in the Czech Republic. The solar sector is slowly growing. Opportunities are in rooftop installations, large projects on remediated land and R&D such as in agrivoltaics. For example, Prague foresees a possibility to install photovoltaic (PV) panels on thousands of roofs and facades to create extra 500 MW solely on municipal buildings. There is potential to expand wind generation capacity in the country.
Nuclear new build and small modular reactors (SMRs)
The Czech Republic plans to invest in a new nuclear build project to expand the existing nuclear power plant Dukovany and at the same time aim to extend the life of both the existing Dukovany and Temelin power plants. Future deployment of SMRs is part of the discussion for the country's energy transition.
Interest in best practice from the UK
There is strong interest in UK best practice especially for projects on a regional, municipal and community level.
Energy efficiency and green buildings
Opportunities include the use of sustainable and innovative construction materials, the deployment of renewables in projects, boosting energy efficiency of new development projects and the improvement of energy intensity of heritage buildings. There is also potential in upgrading monitoring and home metering systems, creating a flexible and smart grid and the adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart technologies.
Expanding electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure
There is a need to invest and significantly expand the current EV charging infrastructure to follow trends in countries like Germany or the Nordics. This will support the future rise of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs). Plans exist to create hubs in cities and programmes to encourage citizens in the adoption of EVs. This will allow flexibility to implement future alternatives, such as hydrogen.
Sustainability, ESG strategies and green finance gain momentum
The circular economy is gaining momentum with the public. Opportunities are linked to the Green Deal for Europe, but also driven by national environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategies and industry push. The UK expertise in green finance is one example valued by local institutions, with, for example, green bonds seen as future option. Employee education across the field is another area of opportunity.
Major opportunities in railway infrastructure focus on high speed rail. Local rail connection development is growing in importance. Specific opportunities can be found in the Czech Republic’s capital Prague which is planning to build a new subway line and to expand the airport through a new terminal and runway.
General construction (housing, commercial and warehousing) opportunities are flourishing. The Czech Republic is ideally placed to offer moderate pricing on local inputs such as workforce.
Gateway to CEE region
Similar customer preferences, a skilled workforce and a wide offer of stockists, e-shops and distributors make the Czech Republic an ideal testing market for products before entering the rest of the CEE region. Its location in the centre of Europe makes it easy for companies to access other European countries within a 2-hour flight. This makes it an ideal location for European HQ operations.
Demand for UK goods
Even though Czech consumers generally remain price-sensitive, British brands have very good reputation and customers are willing to pay extra for quality or sustainable products. That is why a range of UK brands across the sector from luxurious to lower-priced have established a very stable presence. Even during the pandemic, we have seen successful entries in the majority of segments.
Diverse and growing retail space
Apart from a number of strong and well-performing shopping centres and around 1,500 luxurious high street stores, there are retail parks, outlet arenas and over 40,000 e-shops. There are also some well-established franchise systems. Modern and innovative projects are continuously being developed not only in the capital, Prague, but also other large cities around the country.