Press Advisories

17. 7. 2018 20:11

Prime Minister Babiš and the OECD Secretary General Gurría discussed the economic development of the Czech Republic

 Andrej Babiš and OECD Secretary-General Ángel Gurría at Hrzán Palace, 16 July 2018.
Andrej Babiš and OECD Secretary-General Ángel Gurría at Hrzán Palace, 16 July 2018.
On Monday, July 16, 2018, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš met with Angel Gurría, the Secretary-General of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). At a bilateral meeting in the Hrzán Palace, they discussed the regular OECD Economic Survey of the Czech Republic. The OECD Secretary General visited Prague at the invitation of the Czech Prime Minister.

The meeting was also attended by Minister of the Environment Richard Brabec, Minister of Finance Alena Schillerová and Health Minister Adam Vojtěch.

Secretary General Gurría came to the Czech Republic to present a regular OECD Economic Survey of the Czech Republic, which is published every two years. The presentation also involves an evaluation of the environmental results achieved by the Czech Republic. In addition to traditional economic areas and country development, this year’s focus was on healthcare and labour and social issues.

“I am glad that the economic survey of the Czech Republic is very favourable. Naturally, it also points to the risks to future economic growth. Even though we are the most successful in unemployment, the biggest problem for us is the lack of workforce in all professions. The other negative aspect in our economy is the development of the real estate market, which has seen a huge increase in rents, and the associated indebtedness of the population”, said Prime Minister Andrej Babiš.

The Czech Republic was also praised in relation to taxes, progress in VAT collection and the adoption of the Budget Accountability Act. However, the OECD also highlights the shortage of workers in the labour market, which is an obstacle to further economic growth. In its recommendations, the OECD proposes measures such as reducing the rate of social security contributions and replacing them by, for example, indirect taxes or environmental taxes.

The survey also praises the Czech health care system for achieving good results and approaching the OECD average. The main challenge is the long-term sustainability of the system’s financing in the context of an aging population.

Other topics covered by the OECD survey were, for example, women’s employment and reconciling work and family. In a special presentation, Mr Gurría focused on environmental issues. Since 2005, when environment was last evaluated, the Czech Republic has made significant progress in environmental protection, and according to the OECD, it is able to balance extremely rapid economic growth and its natural environmental impacts.

The OECD prepares economic overviews for each member state about every two years. Their purpose is to formulate specific recommendations for the country’s economic policy.  The OECD aims to coordinate policy for the long-term economic development of member and non-member states. Currently, there are 36 member states.

The Czech Republic has been an OECD member since 21 December 1995. Its current priorities within the organization are to increase the OECD’s efficiency and transparency, transparent external relations, tax policy activities, and the horizontal project “Going Digital“.

During his visit to the Czech Republic, the Secretary General Gurría also met with representatives of the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic, the Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions, the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic and the Governor of the Czech National Bank.

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