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At the close of World War I, the Czechs and Slovaks of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire merged to form Czechoslovakia. During the interwar years, having rejected a federal system, the new country's predominantly Czech leaders were frequently preoccupied with meeting the increasingly strident demands of other ethnic minorities within the republic, most notably the Slovaks, the Sudeten Germans, and the Ruthenians (Ukrainians). On the eve of World War II, Nazi Germany occupied the territory that today comprises Czechia, and Slovakia became an independent state allied with Germany. After the war, a reunited but truncated Czechoslovakia (less Ruthenia) fell within the Soviet sphere of influence. In 1968, an invasion by Warsaw Pact troops ended the efforts of the country's leaders to liberalize communist rule and create "socialism with a human face," ushering in a period of repression known as "normalization." The peaceful "Velvet Revolution" swept the Communist Party from power at the end of 1989 and inaugurated a return to democratic rule and a market economy. On 1 January 1993, the country underwent a nonviolent "velvet divorce" into its two national components, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The Czech Republic joined NATO in 1999 and the European Union in 2004. The country changed its short-form name to Czechia in 2016.


Central Europe, between Germany, Poland, Slovakia, and Austria

Natural Resources

hard coal, soft coal, kaolin, clay, graphite, timber, arable land

Population - distribution

a fairly even distribution throughout most of the country, but the northern and eastern regions tend to have larger urban concentrations

Czech (official) 95.4%, Slovak 1.6%, other 3% (2011 census)
PRAGUE (capital) 1.314 million (2015)
Conventional long form
Czech Republic
Conventional short form
Local long form
Ceska republika
Local short form
parliamentary republic
Geographic coordinates
50 05 N, 14 28 E
Time difference
UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Daylight saving time
+1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Czechia is a prosperous market economy that boasts one of the highest GDP growth rates and lowest unemployment levels in the EU, but its dependence on exports makes economic growth vulnerable to contractions in external demand. Czechia’s exports comprise some 80% of GDP and largely consist of automobiles, the country’s single largest industry. Czechia acceded to the EU in 2004 but has yet to join the euro-zone. While the flexible koruna helps Czechia weather external shocks, its central bank (Czech National Bank - CNB) has since November 2013 intervened in the foreign exchange markets to cap the value of the koruna at 27/Euro, with a 2% inflation target. This intervention has also helped to keep exports competitively priced. After inflation exceeded the bank's 2% target in early 2017, the CNB indicated it expects to end its intervention in the first half of 2017, though it will continue to intervene as necessary to maintain stability of the currency.
Total tax rate (% of commercial profits)
Real Interest Rate
Manufacturing, value added (% of GDP)
Current Account Balance
US$ 2,138,782,863
Labor Force, Total
Employment in Agriculture
Employment in Industry
Employment in Services
Unemployment Rate
Imports of goods and services
US$ 140,782,804,088
Exports of goods and services
US$ 154,999,260,090
Total Merchandise Trade
FDI, net inflows
US$ 6,497,344,244
Commercial Service Exports
US$ 23,886,932,789
wheat, potatoes, sugar beets, hops, fruit; pigs, poultry
motor vehicles, metallurgy, machinery and equipment, glass, armaments
machinery and transport equipment, raw materials, fuel, chemicals
Germany 32.4%, Slovakia 9%, Poland 5.8%, UK 5.3%, France 5.1%, Italy 4.3%, Austria 4.1% (2015)
machinery and transport equipment, raw materials and fuels, chemicals
Germany 26.4%, China 12.4%, Poland 8.3%, Slovakia 5.1%, Italy 4.2% (2015)
Country Risk Rating
The political and economic situation is good. A basically stable and efficient business environment nonetheless leaves room for improvement. Corporate default probability is low on average.
Business Climate Rating
The business environment is good. When available, corporate financial information is reliable. Debt collection is reasonably efficient. Institutions generally perform efficiently. Intercompany transactions usually run smoothly in the relatively stable environment rated A2.
  • Central geographic position, at the heart of industrial Europe
  • Strongly integrated into the international, particularly German, production chain
  • Preferential destination for foreign direct investments in Central Europe
  • Considerable industrial potential
  • Sound public accounts and banking system
  • Low external energy dependence
  • Small, very open economy: exports account for 84% of GDP
  • Highly dependent on European demand: 63% of exports are to the Eurozone, one third to Germany
  • Automotive occupies large share of the economy
  • Lack of rapid transport links with the rest of Europe
  • Aging population and lack of skilled workforce

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