Differing opinions on certain issues should not be an obstacle for a more intensive Chinese-Czech economic cooperation, said Foreign Minister Jan Kavan after a meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Tchang Ťia-süan. Tchang expressed readiness to open his country for export of some 1000 Czech passenger cars in 2001. At the same time, he publicly criticized last year’s visit of Dalai Lama to the Czech Republic.
President Václav Havel enjoys the trust of 52 % of Czechs, according to a opinion poll by STEM. Second most trustworthy politician was Senate chairman Petr Pithart (KDU-ČSL), with 46 % confidence rate. On the third place landed Chamber of Deputies chairman Václav Klaus (ODS) and Prime Minister Miloš Zeman (ČSSD). 20 % of respondents do not any of the four above-mentioned politicians and only 6 % trust all of them.
The Czech Economic Chamber is going to open a lobbying office in Brussels soon. Jaroslav Konečný of the Industry and Trade Ministry told a press conference that lobbying at the EU institutions is a widely accepted practice. The European capital now records over 1300 lobbying representations. The Czech Republic has two, ČEZ and České dráhy one each. Over 70 % of overall Czech exports target the EU and the number is constantly increasing. The EU helps companies and associations from the candidate countries to take a root in its center through the CAPE program. The goal is to strengthen the chambers in Central Europe regarding the EU enlargement, head of the program Wim Martens said.
The Czech National Bank's forecast of this year GDP growth in the Czech Republic is close to the IMF prognosis of 3.0 %, ČNB Vice-Governor Oldřich Dědek said in an on-line interview. Prime Minister Zeman expects GDP to grow by 3.5-4.0 %, Parliament chairman Václav Klaus predicts a 3.5 % growth, and Czech Statistical Office estimates a 3.0-3.5 % GDP growth. The ČNB and the IMF explained their relatively cautious predictions by an adverse impact of a slowdown in the world economy on the Czech Republic. Commenting on a possible interest rate cut by the European Central Bank (ECB) this Thursday, Dědek stressed that the ČNB does not necessarily have to react to such a step. Also on Thursday, the ČNB board will discuss the quarterly report on monetary and economic developments.
ČNB Vice-Governor Dědek said on Monday that he does not expect to see any inflation accelerating impact coming from public finance deficit this year. „The untenable condition of the public budget is rather a medium-term matter“ he said during an on-line conference. The central bank has warned several times that the government must cut the public sector gap especially with an eye on joining the European Union by 2003 or 2004.
The Czech crown moved in a narrow range of 34.33-44 to the euro on Monday in mostly technical trading. In late trade the crown was at 34.34/39 to the euro from 34.30/33 on Friday. The CZK/USD fell to 38.29/30 from 38.28/32 late Friday.
The longest state 6.95/16 bond fell 15 basis points at 106.15/45, yielding 6.29/26 %. The state 6.75/05 up ten basis points at 104.55/75, yielding 5.39/30 %.
| late April 23|| bond yield || late April 20|
| State 6.75/05||104.55/75||5.39/30||104.45/75|
| State 6.95/16||106.15/45||6.29/26||106.30/60|