Development When will the Czech Republic be on par with Western Europe?
The optimism of Czechoslovak citizens that they could catch up with the West in two decades has disappeared in thin air. Now that they know that this will not happen in the next two decades, nor even in three, or worse, if ever, because...
... not creating final products, competing with prices
After unsuccessful privatisation projects, only little remained of the heritage of Czechs traditional production. Newly established firms in the nineties of the 20th century were mainly sub-suppliers of foreign firms, which according to their drawing documents produce components under constantly reduced prices, which are then exported mainly to Germany where they are used in the final products where their value rises.
... low income ranked among developing countries
Without moving a muscle, Czechs have accepted the fact that they are in a pigeonhole together with developing countries. For the last three years the per capita income in the country is below the level specified for advanced countries – US J. P. Morgan investment bank removed the Czech from this category. For eleven years, Czechs supported underdeveloped countries, now through the World Bank, the Czech will be supported together with them.
... not implementing digital transformation, but only discussing it
Ten years after the Ministry of Informatics was closed, the Czech Republic has still not been able to create a relevant concept in the field of information technologies. In that time, Germany has successfully fulfilled the tasks of Digital Strategy 2025 specified by the their Federal Ministry of Economy and Technology. In the Czech instead, only new committees and sub-committees are created, people meet across provinces and spend a lot of time on endless discussions. Real improvements within the scope of the Industry 4.0 initiative thus remain only in written form.
... not offering the labour market corresponding graduates
The Czech public education has somehow missed providing qualified people needed for the process of restructuring firms that was necessary for their recovery and finding their place on the market by – from primary to secondary and right up to university education. The result is an absolutely dramatic decline of the level of knowledge of the graduates and frustrated and demotivated primary school teachers transfer their bad feelings to their pupils. To admit such students to secondary technical schools, who in the nation-wide admission process achieved only a third of the achievable number of points, is a great hazard.
... there is no continuity in family entrepreneurship
The communist regime broke up all family entrepreneurship, the foundations of which were established in the Czech before and during the First Republic (1914-1918). A-quarter-century-old established firms or successfully continued in local traditions, have no family successors now and have gradually become the object of attention of Chinese or Russian investors.
The Czech has no political icons, are not consistent in foreign representation, and are not capable of creating professional alliances for enforcing joint interests, etc. A list of all drawbacks and their analysis would fill a whole book.
If sometime in the future, should Czech be able to come closer to its western neighbours, it must grow systematically – not only economically but also mentally. And in this, may God help the country – and reforms need to be implemented not by politicians but by specialists who will eliminate the above drawbacks and many others which the writer considers as key ones.
This article appeared in www.maschinenmarkt.international.