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Ernst & Young says: it is easiest to do business in Slovakia

It is slightly better to do business in the Czech Republic than in Poland and Hungary, but much worse than in Slovakia, according to a survey conducted by Ernst & Young among entrepreneurs in the Visegrád 4 (V4) countries.

The Czech business index decreased to 43.2 points last year from 44 points in 2005, the Slovak business index reached 49.5 points, Polish 41.6 points and Hungarian 41.4 points. Like last year, entrepreneurs described as the main obstacles to business activities in the Czech Republic the complex tax system, social and political environment and conditions to employ staff. Most respondents agreed, on the other hand, that Czech entrepreneurs work hard and those who start their business laying emphasis on innovation, motivation and quality of products and services can achieve big success, said Dirk Kroonen of Ernst & Young in the Czech Republic.

Such entrepreneurs are a driving force of the Czech economy, he said. Sixty-two percent of those polled said wage costs are too high in the Czech Republic, which has an adverse effect on the dynamics of business activities. A majority of entrepreneurs said state interference in economic affairs is too big. Only four percent hold the opinion that when making economic decisions politicians have in mind the prosperity of entrepreneurs.

Most respondents, 93%, said they are convinced that politicians do not discuss their decisions on economic affairs with the private sector. About 90% of those surveyed said they use their own funds or loans from banks but they were mostly critical about access to financial resources. The survey said it is alarming that only 13% of the respondents think Czech companies are well prepared for competition from international companies. (launch.praguemonitor.com)