Czech Construction Forum 2011: Building sector in the Czech Republic is at critical crossroads
Published 3/2/2011

Already the 7th year of the Czech Construction Forum was held on 1st March 2011 in Prague hotel Olympik Artemis and a record number of 300 construction resort representatives confirmed the necessity of dialogue between experts and state administration representatives. Most people present did not hide their nervousness from controversial steps of the government towards the sector that has a significant influence on employment rate, being a distinct indicator of the whole state economy.


At the beginning the Prime Minister Petr Nečas tried to dispel the common opinion that state administration is “crimping” the construction sector and acts in uncoordinated way. He admitted seriousness of the situation and promised the government would participate in solving these issues. In the following presentation President of the Czech Association of Building Entrepreneurs Václav Matyáš confirmed the start of such dialogue and he openly confessed the conclusions of the last Forum were not fulfilled and both sides have a hard work ahead in coming weeks. If the growth of VAT from 10 to 20 percent and other notified changes come true, there will be more than 50 000 unemployed people by the end of the year just in the construction sector itself.
The role of the foreign conference guests, the Managing Director of ECI Frank Kehlenbach and the representative of Association of Czech Companies operating in Germany Josef Hladik, was mainly to inspire the auditorium with west-European experience and to give another dimension to the discussed critical development. Possibly the most debated topic of this part was an approach of European countries to the possible entry of third countries on EU construction market and consequences of such development.  The best evaluated presentations, according to the questionnaire as well as according to immediate reactions came in the conclusion of the morning session. Václav Pavelka from Native PR and Josef Kotrba from advisory company Deloitte named unadorned truth about reasons of stagnation and bad image of the Czech construction sector and they suggested directions in which it is possible to stop this downgrade.
Possibly the most expected part of the conference was the following panel discussion led by Martin Veselovský from Český rozhlas. Key representatives of construction and developement companies reminded the present representatives of three ministries that if the political representation does not fiercely change its behavior and continues to make partial impetuous steps with possible long-term negative consequences, it will significantly damage the economic balance of the whole state. Fractionalism of the construction agenda into five (!) ministries does surely not play up to optimistic development.

In the following afternoon part in four parallel sessions there were discussed specific questions, such as development of the civil engineering, transportation infrastructure, sustainable construction and building site planning. Even here the atmosphere of each session was strongly influenced by political aspects. The outsome of the sessions will be part of the accepted conference conclusions, which will be officially addressed to the Czech Government and respective ministries via organizers.

Facts about the conference
Participants were formed by 300 professionals from the building industry suppliers, construction materials producers, architects, designers, developers, representatives of state administration and universities. Organizers of the Forum under the patronage of the Prime Minister Petr Nečas were traditionally Association of Building Entrepreneurs of the Czech Republic and Blue Events. The conference was supported by many important partners headed by companies Deloitte and Swietelsky. The conference raised many media returnsk, incl. presence of Czech television news staff.
The next 8th year will be held at the beginning of March 2012 in Prague, please look at
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