The Czech Republic remains France’s second largest trading partner among the Member States that have joined the EU since 2004. Economic relations are characterized by a constantly increasing trade deficit. It reached €2.5 billion in 2011 (+160% in 6 years), the largest bilateral deficit with Central European and Baltic countries. However, France is the Czech Republic’s 5th largest economic partner (4th largest customer, 9th largest supplier, 5th largest investor), with increasing overall trade volumes.
French investments have grown significantly since 2001 (€5.5 billion FDI in late 2011, i.e. 5.7% of stocks). The French economic presence is highly diversified (automotive, water, construction, agri-food, banking, services, supermarkets). About 485 French companies are located in the Czech Republic: subsidiaries of French groups, representative offices and branches, employing more than 100,000 people. The main groups present are: Alstom, Axa, Bouygues, Danone, Eiffage, PSA (the Toyota-Peugeot-Citroën Kolin production plant produces more than 300,000 vehicles per year), Saint-Gobain, Société Générale (Komercni Banka), Suez, Vinci, and Veolia. French investments have grown sigificantly since 2001. This Franco-Czech relationship remains asymmetric: the Czech Republic is only the 26th largest source country in France, with €16.6 in flows (rebalancing trend).
Apart from the revival of a civilian nuclear program which is a priority for French industry, the main opportunities in the medium-/long-term seem to be the resumption of the privatization program (currently frozen) and prospects related to infrastructure projects supported by a significant grant in EU structural funds.
Franco-Czech economic events are held regularly (energy efficiency, renewable energy, competition clusters), following the Franco-Czech Economic Year organized in both countries during the sequence of their successive presidencies of the EU (2008/2009 ) to promote common approaches and improve mutual knowledge of our know-how (energy, intellectual property, public-private partnerships).
Updated on : 12.10.12