Region of Central Bohemia – Good Address for Quality Investments
The Region of Central Bohemia is a distinctive region located in the very centre of Europe. Its size, number of municipalities and population make it one of the largest regions in the Czech Republic. The region’s 11 015 km2 take up almost 14% of the land area of the Czech Republic, and it is about 1.9 times larger than the average region in the Czech Republic. The region completely envelopes the capital, Prague, and has borders with nearly all other Czech regions except the region of Karlovy Vary and the Moravian regions.
The location of the region of Central Bohemia has a significant impact on the region’s economic character. Close ties with the capital and the dense transport network make the location of the region extremely advantageous. The region is an important source of workforce for Prague, it supplements Prague’s industries, supplies Prague with food and provides Prague with recreation potential. Aside from Prague, the region of Central Bohemia has the densest transport network in the Czech Republic; it is also the most overloaded one. The historical radial layout of main rail and road transit networks crosses the region’s territory to the capital. There is also water transport in the region. The only waterway in the Czech Republic that is currently available for both domestic and international transport is the Elbe-Vltava Waterway, three quarters of which flows through the region’s territory. The region is divided into 12 districts with 10 district towns.
When it comes to economy, the region of Central Bohemia is one of the most important regions of the Czech Republic. The region is the place of business for a number of important enterprises, and it offers a wide range of investment opportunities. The region’s long-term priorities include support for investments in perspective fields, services a with high added value, science and research. Support is provided for projects aimed at revitalising brownfields. Several top projects for science/research centres are being prepared in the region, including the ELI international laser centre, Biotechnology and Biomedicine Centre of the Academy of Sciences and Charles University in Vestec (BIOCEV) and the SUSEN centre. The region of Central Bohemia is a good address for ambitious investments and fields with a high added value.
1. 8. 2012
1 283 000
1. - 3. Q. 2012
CZK 23 633 (approx. EUR 945 )
1. 8. 2012
Source: Czech Statistical Office
The region is characteristic for its developed agricultural and industrial productions. Agricultural production benefits from the excellent natural conditions of the region’s north-eastern part. The region is especially successful in plant production, including the growing of wheat, barley, sugar beet, and, in suburban areas, growing of fruit, vegetables and flowers. Pivotal industries are machine building, chemical and food-processing. Besides traditional fields, new and demanding fields and services are being successfully developed.
The biggest employer in the region is ŠKODA AUTO, a. s. The intensity of economic activities is heavily influenced by the region’s location and easy access to main transport corridors. In the region of Central Bohemia, this is especially true for places in the vicinity of the capital with connections to main roads, preferably the highways.
The great economic boom at the end of the last century brought, among other things, the establishment of a number of investment zones. There are over one hundred and fifteen registered zones in the region today. One of the most important ones is the Kolín-Ovčáry Industrial Zone which is home to, besides other enterprises, the Toyota Peugeot Citroën Automobile Czech car maker. Many investment zones benefit from favourable locations near international highways and main roads. These zones include, for example, the industrial zones Průhonice, Čestlice-Nupaky (both near D1, which connects Prague and Brno), Rudná-Nučice (near D5, which goes from Prague through Plzeň to Germany) or Hostivice-Jeneč and Tuchlovice. Many zones were established in the vicinity of larger towns, such as Kladno, Slaný, Kutná Hora, Příbram, Nymburk, Rakovník.
The region strives to support the tourist trade by a number of different ways, e.g. by organising regular theme events, such as the Gurmánfest (gourmet festival, September), Poděbradské filmové zážitky (film festival in Poděbrady, June), Pivní slavnosti (beer festival, April) or incidental cultural events (golf tournaments, journeys around the region on historical trains, festival in Buštěhrady, Christmas mass in Saint Barbara's Church in Kutná Hora, art and trade markets etc.). Cooperation with foreign regions has also been developing successfully (Opole Voivodeship, Burgundy, Sichuan, Rhineland-Palatinate, the autonomous Bratislava region etc.). The region of Central Bohemia also opened GASK last year – the Gallery of Central Bohemia in Kutná Hora – which was one the most efficient investments supporting the development of the region. There are a number of important and historically valuable monuments in the region of Central Bohemia, as well as several protected landscape areas. The greatest concentration of monuments can be found in the town of Kutná Hora (Saint Barbara’s Church, Italian Court, Hrádek with the silver mines, Kostnice / ossuary), which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Besides Kutná Hora, the Czech list of urban monuments preservation areas in Central Bohemia includes only Kolín. The most famous castles are Karlštejn and Točník in the Beroun district, Křivoklát in the Rakovník district, Český Šternberk in the Benešov district and Kokořín in the Mělník district. The most important châteaux include Konopiště in the Benešov district, Žleby and Kačina in the Kutná Hora district, Lány in the Rakovník district, Nelahozeves or the Mělník château. The most interesting ruins are Žebrák in the Beroun district and Okoř in the Praha-západ district. The most precious natural area of the region is the Křivoklátsko Protected Landscape Area, which is a part of the list of biosphere preservation areas; other important areas include the Kokořínsko Protected Landscape Area, Český kras, Český ráj and Blaník.
District of Benešov
The Benešov district represents one of the best preserved natural areas. The diverse landscape with waterways offers many opportunities for recreation, tourism and sightseeing. The Blaník Protected Landscape Area is rich with historical and archaeological monuments. The most important cultural monuments undoubtedly include the romantically reconstructed Konopiště château, one of the most visited châteaux in Bohemia, with its English-style park.
District of Beroun
The Beroun district has an extreme wealth of historical monuments. The most famous is the Karlštejn historical castle, one of the most monumental in the Czech Republic. More than one third of the district’s area is occupied by forests. There are two protected landscape areas in the Beroun district – Český kras and Křivoklátsko. The Beroun district, and especially the valley of the Berounka river, is a much sought recreation and relaxation area. Residents of Prague make use of its multitude of recreation cottages and weekend houses.
District of Kladno
The greatest influence over the development of the Kladno district was by the coal-mining and metallurgy industries. Besides the aforementioned mining and metallurgy, the district also has a tradition of electrical, machine building and food-processing industries. A significant number of employers had to limit their activities or went out of business because of economic reasons during the 90’s.
District of Kolín
The district can be characterised as industrial and agricultural. There are a number of larger and smaller enterprises, mainly oriented at electrical, machine building, chemical and printing industries. However, the building of the Kolín – Ovčáry industrial zone with the dominant TPCA, s. r. o., plant for the production of small personal vehicles has caused a major change in the economic potential of the district. The intensive agricultural plant production benefits from the excellent conditions in the Elbe area.
District of Kutná Hora
There are many cultural monuments of immense historical value in the district of Kutná Hora. The historical centre of the town of Kutná Hora has been named a national monuments preservation area, and the town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The centre of this monuments preservation area, unique in Central Bohemia, forms an architectural unit with origins in the Gothic medieval ages that convincingly documents the prosperity of the mining business. Kutná Hora was the true treasury of the country during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, with sixty thousand residents. People from the whole Europe were coming to work in the local silver mines and smelting plants.
District of Mělník
The Mělník district is one of the agricultural areas in Central Bohemia. Besides traditional agricultural productions, the district specialises in vegetable and fruit growing. It is also the only district in the region of Central Bohemia with large scale wine-growing. The district of Mělník has a number of important cultural monuments. Let’s mention, for example, the Nelahozeves château which houses the A. Dvořák museum (A. Dvořák was born in the village).
District of Mladá Boleslav
The Joint Stock Company for Automotive Industry in Mladá Boleslav was founded as early as 1895. Throughout its history, which includes Laurin a Klement, Automobilové závody and today’s Škoda Auto, a. s., it has been making cars. The intensive agricultural plant production benefits from the excellent production conditions, with some agricultural businesses also growing vegetables to a greater extent.
District of Nymburk
The district is mainly known for the spa town of Poděbrady. The history of the town is older than that of the Czech state. The spas offer treatment mostly for heart problems and diseases of the alimentary tract and the locomotive organs. However, Nymburk is also interesting for investors – there two industrial zones in the district, as well as industrial production properties.
District of Praha - východ
The district forms a part of a circle around Prague. Together with the district of Praha-západ, the district has an absolutely unique position in the Czech Republic, one which is evidenced by the majority of socio-economic characteristics. These two districts, which encircle the capital, Prague – an international metropolis – form together the Prague-Central Bohemia urban area and serve as Prague’s rear.
District of Praha - západ
The district’s territory forms a crescent that encircles the capital, Prague. The district also shares its longest border, in the east, with Prague. The district serves the same role as the district of Praha - východ. The district is also an important recreation area.
District of Příbram
The district of Příbram is largely rugged with many forests. The history of the town of Příbram has been linked with mining since long past. The district’s development following WWII can be attributed to mining, especially of uranium ore, which, on the other hand, caused serious environmental problems for current generations.
District of Rakovník
The Rakovník district is known in the Czech Republic for its chemical and stoneware industries. The chemical industry is represented by the production of washing powders and detergents, while the stoneware industry is linked to facing tiles. Agriculture in the northern and central parts of the district has ideal conditions for hop-growing thanks to quality soils. The Křivoklátsko Landscape Protected Area, which was declared a biosphere preservation area by UNESCO, is a part of the district.
One of the main areas of interest, now and in the future, for the region of Central Bohemia is support for the region’s knowledge economy and improving the region’s competitiveness. Great emphasis is being placed on the revitalisation of brownfields. Selected examples of the region’s activities in this area may be, among other things, the prepared development projects and activities in two of the largest brownfields in the region: the former military training ground in Milovice – Mladá and in Ralsko – Vrchbělá.
Krajský úřad Středočeského kraje, Central Bohemia Regional Office, www.kr-stredocesky.cz
Central Bohemia Region – European Office, www.stredocech-eu.cz/
Krajská hospodářská komora Střední Čechy (Central Bohemian Regional Chamber of Commerce), www.khkstrednicechy.cz