Number of firms with owners from Eastern Europe rises in CR

​The number of entrepreneurs from Slovakia, Poland, Hungary and the Balkans running a business in the Czech Republic has been rising in recent years, while the number of firms with Western owners has been falling, according to an analysis released on portal

​The number of Russian and Ukrainian companies in the Czech Republic has been stagnating, according to the analysis, drafted by company CRIF - Czech Credit Bureau.

More than 450,000 companies were registered in the Czech Republic in 2014. Almost one-quarter of the firms had a majority owner abroad.

Most frequent foreign owners were Slovaks (20,000), Russians (17,500), Ukrainians (10,800) and Germans (9,500).

The number of companies with Slovak, Polish, Hungarian, Romanian and Bulgarian owners has increased in the past few years, the analysis showed.

"As regards Poland and Hungary, above all economic and geographical proximity plays a role. The Balkan states can see business in the Czech Republic as an opportunity for getting closer to Western markets," said Pavel Finger, a member of CRIF - Czech Credit Bureau's board of directors.

The number of companies with an owner in Austria, Germany and the Netherlands has even been falling in recent years.

In the top ten foreign companies, a moderate drop was recorded for the number of businesses with an owner in Austria (-7.4 percent), Germany (-5.6 percent) and the Netherlands (-6.1 percent).

In the past ten years, the number of companies with Russian owners has risen dramatically from 8,300 to 17,500.

The fastest growth in the number of companies with Russian owners was recorded before 2010. After 2012 the number was stagnating and in the past year it has even moderately dropped.

"The continuing crisis in Ukraine and the EU's policy of sanctions have had only a moderate effect on the development of the number of Russian companies in our country so far," Finger said.

In Slovakia, Russian economic influence is much smaller, with fewer than 500 companies with a Russian owner operating there.

"Slovakia is a much more integrated state than the Czech Republic thanks to an adoption of the euro. As a result, it attracts entrepreneurs from other euro zone states, above all from Poland where it has recorded a hundred percent increase in the past five years," Finger said.

The number of companies in which a stake of more than 50 percent is held by Ukrainians has also increased in Slovakia.

It is much easier for Ukrainian companies to gain access to Western European markets via Slovakia.

The leader in terms of the number of companies with foreign capital in Slovakia is the Czech Republic.

There are almost 17,000 companies with a Czech majority owner operating in Slovakia after 22 years since former Czechoslovakia split into two independent countries.

Source: CTK, 16. 2. 2015, Section CTK: cce bns, Author: kou/er