The Czech Republic's trade deficit in agricultural produce grew 6 percent in the first three months of this year, reaching 5.7 billion Kč. The total value of imported agricultural produce, food, drinks and tobacco products was 42.8 billion Kč in the first quarter, according to Agricultural Association figures reported by the Czech News Agency. Nearly two-thirds of the deficit was accounted for by meat, imports of which exceeded exports by 3.67 billion Kč from January to March. In some sectors, the Czech Republic was a net exporter, notably cereals, for which the surplus was 1.7 billion Kč. There was also a surplus in trade in eggs, milk and honey.
The Czech Republic CEO for the engineering company Siemens has said the economic crisis will end sooner if people stop discussing it. The country's economic situation is not as bad as it appears, Eduard Palíšek told Hospodářské noviny. Siemens saw its Czech Republic revenues increase 1.6 percent to 32.5 billion Kč last year, and the company expects them to rise modestly again in 2013. Palíšek also said the Czech Republic had great economic potential, but too little was made of this. Siemens, headquartered in Germany, is one of the Czech Republic's top 10 employers, with about 9,590 staff in the country.
Thomas Epron, Central and Eastern Europe regional business development director for Areva, has said the French company was excluded from the Temelín expansion tender for factors on which the two other bidders also scored badly during a recent assessment. Epron told Hospodářské noviny that rivals Westinghouse and the consortium that includes Russia's Atomstroyexport were also both given low marks for deadlines and contractual terms and conditions. Areva has appealed a February ruling by the Czech Office for the Protection of Competition that its exclusion last year from the bid was fair and that the tender process should continue.
The Czech utility ČEZ has initiated proceedings to secure compensation after it was stripped of its license to distribute electricity in Albania at the start of this year. The company notified the Albanian authorities May 16 it would be seeking a payout. Before its license was removed, ČEZ's distribution company, ČEZ Shpërndarje, was criticized for failing to stem losses from the country's grid due to theft and technical issues. The company complained the state power generator increased the prices it charged ČEZ unfairly and that state-owned entities failed to pay their power bills, contributing to its heavy losses in the country.