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Tuesday, 06 November 2012 00:00
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Nigeria, Czeck Republic’s trade volume to rise to $100m by year end

Trade volume between Nigeria and Czeck Republic has been projected to grow in excess of $100 million by the end of 2012, Czeck Republic's Ambassador to Nigeria, Jaroslav Siro, has said. Siro who disclosed this on recently on the occasion of his country’s 94th National Day celebration said the figure would represent a 50 per cent increase over that of last year. “The main exports from Czech, which are worth 80 million dollars, are cars, machinery, and chemicals, while Nigeria’s export, liquefied gas, amounts to 20 million dollars annually,’’ he said.

The envoy, who described the bilateral relations between both countries “as very cordial’’, said the reopening of Nigeria’s Embassy in Prague early this year would further boost diplomatic ties between the two countries.
The embassy was reopened about nine years after it was shut down in 2003.
Nigeria and Prague established diplomatic relations in 1961.

 Czech Republic's economy is one of the most developed in Central and Eastern Europe. Its economic growth is strongly influenced by the demand on exports and foreign direct investment inflow.
The country’s GNP growth which was increasing steadily over the past few years, experienced a strong drop in 2009 by 4.2 per cent due to the global recession.  Her growth rate became positive again in 2010, stimulated by exports which shows that the Czech Republic's economy is in full expansion and that its basis is becoming solid.  The growth rate is estimated at 2 per cent in 2010 and it should become stronger in 2011.

Inflation has remained under control but the public funds decreased and the budgetary deficit became larger.  In the context of the economic revival, the government has announced a program to reorganize its public finance for 2011.
 Severe measures have already been taken in order to reduce expenditures (suppression of subsidies, freeze salaries, etc., and to increase the revenues.  The objective is to bring the public deficit to 3 per cent of the GDP by 2013, with the idea of meeting the Maastricht's requirements for the adoption of the Euro as its currency.
Unemployment rate increased under the effect of the global crisis and it remained stable at 8 per cent of the active population.

The agricultural sector went through a serious crisis in the 90s and, while presently, it is still heavily subsidized.  It generates approximately 2 per cent of the country’s GNP and employs more than 3 per cent of the active population. The main agricultural products are sugar beets, potatoes, wheat, barley and hops.
The production sector is mostly private, it accounts for almost 40 per centof the GNP and employs 40 per cent of the active population.  The growth at the level of performance was parallel to the increase in manpower's productivity.  
One of the main manufacturing sectors is the auto industry, with Skoda (Volkswagen company).  Foreign investors such as Toyota and PSA also started producing cars in the Czech Republic since 2005.  However, this sector has now reached a saturation point. Nearly 10,000 jobs were eliminated in 2009 because of the international crisis. The textile sector is becoming very dynamic.

On the other hand, Nigeria exports were worth $6.80 billion as at June this year. Historically, from 2002 until 2012, Nigeria Exports averaged 4.81 Billion USD reaching an all time high of 10.26 Billion USD in May of 2008 and a record low of 1 Billion USD in February of 2002.
 Exports of commodities (oil and natural gas) is the main factor behind Nigeria's growth and accounts for more than 95 per cent of total exports. The country's main exports partners are: USA (30% of total in 2009), Equatorial Guinea (8 per cent), Brazil (6.6 per cent), France (6 per cent) and India (6 per cent).