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Europe :: Czech Republic
page last updated on October 28, 2009
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Introduction ::Czech Republic
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Following the First World War, the closely related Czechs and Slovaks of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire merged to form Czechoslovakia. During the interwar years, the new country's leaders were frequently preoccupied with meeting the demands of other ethnic minorities within the republic, most notably the Sudeten Germans and the Ruthenians (Ukrainians). After World War II, a truncated Czechoslovakia fell within the Soviet sphere of influence. In 1968, an invasion by Warsaw Pact troops ended the efforts of the country's leaders to liberalize Communist party rule and create "socialism with a human face." Anti-Soviet demonstrations the following year ushered in a period of harsh repression. With the collapse of Soviet authority in 1989, Czechoslovakia regained its freedom through a peaceful "Velvet Revolution." On 1 January 1993, the country underwent a "velvet divorce" into its two national components, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The Czech Republic joined NATO in 1999 and the European Union in 2004.
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Geography ::Czech Republic
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Central Europe, between Germany, Poland, Slovikia, and Austria
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49 45 N, 15 30 E
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total: 78,867 sq km
country comparison to the world: 115
land: 77,247 sq km
water: 1,620 sq km
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slightly smaller than South Carolina
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total: 1,989 km
border countries: Austria 362 km, Germany 815 km, Poland 615 km, Slovakia 197 km
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0 km (landlocked)
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none (landlocked)
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temperate; cool summers; cold, cloudy, humid winters
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Bohemia in the west consists of rolling plains, hills, and plateaus surrounded by low mountains; Moravia in the east consists of very hilly country
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lowest point: Elbe River 115 m
highest point: Snezka 1,602 m
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hard coal, soft coal, kaolin, clay, graphite, timber
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arable land: 38.82%
permanent crops: 3%
other: 58.18% (2005)
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240 sq km (2003)
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16 cu km (2005)
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total: 1.91 cu km/yr (41%/57%/2%)
per capita: 187 cu m/yr (2002)
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flooding
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air and water pollution in areas of northwest Bohemia and in northern Moravia around Ostrava present health risks; acid rain damaging forests; efforts to bring industry up to EU code should improve domestic pollution
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party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
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landlocked; strategically located astride some of oldest and most significant land routes in Europe; Moravian Gate is a traditional military corridor between the North European Plain and the Danube in central Europe
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People ::Czech Republic
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10,211,904 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 80
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0-14 years: 13.6% (male 712,045/female 673,657)
15-64 years: 71% (male 3,641,887/female 3,604,044)
65 years and over: 15.5% (male 623,882/female 956,389) (2009 est.)
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total: 40.1 years
male: 38.6 years
female: 41.9 years (2009 est.)
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-0.094% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 213
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8.83 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 215
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10.74 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 52
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0.97 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 57
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urban population: 73% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 0% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
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at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.65 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
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total: 3.79 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 211
male: 4.13 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.43 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
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total population: 76.81 years
country comparison to the world: 61
male: 73.54 years
female: 80.28 years (2009 est.)
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1.24 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 214
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less than 0.1% (2001 est.)
country comparison to the world: 161
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1,500 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 139
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fewer than 10 (2001 est.)
country comparison to the world: 154
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noun: Czech(s)
adjective: Czech
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Czech 90.4%, Moravian 3.7%, Slovak 1.9%, other 4% (2001 census)
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Roman Catholic 26.8%, Protestant 2.1%, other 3.3%, unspecified 8.8%, unaffiliated 59% (2001 census)
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Czech 94.9%, Slovak 2%, other 2.3%, unidentified 0.8% (2001 census)
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definition: NA
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 99% (2003 est.)
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total: 15 years
male: 15 years
female: 15 years (2006)
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4.4% of GDP (2004)
country comparison to the world: 94
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Government ::Czech Republic
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conventional long form: Czech Republic
conventional short form: Czech Republic
local long form: Ceska Republika
local short form: Cesko
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parliamentary democracy
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name: Prague
geographic coordinates: 50 05 N, 14 28 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
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13 regions (kraje, singular - kraj) and 1 capital city* (hlavni mesto); Jihocesky (South Bohemia), Jihomoravsky (South Moravia), Karlovarsky, Kralovehradecky, Liberecky, Moravskoslezsky (Moravia-Silesia), Olomoucky, Pardubicky, Plzensky (Pilsen), Praha (Prague)*, Stredocesky (Central Bohemia), Ustecky, Vysocina, Zlinsky
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1 January 1993 (Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia)
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Czech Founding Day, 28 October (1918)
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ratified 16 December 1992, effective 1 January 1993; amended 1997, 2000, 2001 (twice), 2002
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civil law system based on Austro-Hungarian codes; legal code modified to bring it in line with Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) obligations and to expunge Marxist-Leninist legal theory
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18 years of age; universal
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chief of state: President Vaclav KLAUS (since 7 March 2003)
head of government: Prime Minister Jan FISCHER (since 9 April 2009); Deputy Prime Ministers Petr NECAS (since 9 January 2007), Martin BURSIK (since 9 January 2007), and Vlasta PARKANOVA (since 23 January 2008)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister
elections: president elected by Parliament for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); last successful election held 15 February 2008 (after earlier elections held 8 and 9 February 2008 were inconclusive; next election to be held in 2013); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Vaclav KLAUS reelected president on 15 February 2008; Vaclav KLAUS 141 votes, Jan SVEJNAR 111 votes (third round; combined votes of both chambers of parliament)
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bicameral Parliament or Parlament consists of the Senate or Senat (81 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve six-year terms; one-third elected every two years) and the Chamber of Deputies or Poslanecka Snemovna (200 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held in two rounds 17-18 and 24-25 October 2008 (next to be held by October 2010); Chamber of Deputies - last held 2-3 June 2006 (next to be held by June 2010)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - ODS 36, CSSD 29, KDU-CSL 7, Open Democracy Club 6, others 3; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - ODS 35.4%, CSSD 32.3%, KSCM 12.8%, KDU-CSL 7.2%, Greens 6.3%, other 6%; seats by party - ODS 81, CSSD 74, KSCM 26, KDU-CSL 13, Greens 6; note - seats by party as of December 2008 - ODS 79, CSSD 71, KSCM 26, KDU-CSL 13, Greens 4, unaffiliated 7 (former CSSD, ODS, and Green Party members)
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Supreme Court; Constitutional Court; chairman and deputy chairmen are appointed by the president for a 10-year term
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Association of Independent Candidates-European Democrats or SNK-ED [Helmut DOHNALEK]; Christian Democratic Union-Czechoslovak People's Party or KDU-CSL [Jiri CUNEK]; Civic Democratic Party or ODS [Mirek TOPOLANEK]; Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia or KSCM [Vojtech FILIP]; Czech Social Democratic Party or CSSD [Jiri PAROUBEK]; Free Citizens' Party or SSO [Petr MACH]; Green Party [Martin BURSIK]; Independent Democrats (NEZDEM) [Vladimir ZELEZNY]; Party of Open Society (SOS) [Pavel NOVACEK]; Path of Change [Jiri LOBKOWITZ]; Union of Freedom-Democratic Union or US-DEU [Jan CERNY]
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Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions or CMKOS [Milan STECH]
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ACCT (observer), Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, ESA (cooperating state), EU, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MONUC, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNOMIG, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WEU (associate), WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
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chief of mission: Ambassador Petr KOLAR
chancery: 3900 Spring of Freedom Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 274-9100
FAX: [1] (202) 966-8540
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York
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chief of mission: Ambassador Richard W. GRABER
embassy: Trziste 15, 118 01 Prague 1
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [420] 257 022 000
FAX: [420] 257 022 809
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two equal horizontal bands of white (top) and red with a blue isosceles triangle based on the hoist side
note: identical to the flag of the former Czechoslovakia
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Economy ::Czech Republic
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The Czech Republic is one of the most stable and prosperous of the post-Communist states of Central and Eastern Europe. Maintaining an open investment climate has been a key element of the Czech Republic's transition from a communist, centrally planned economy to a functioning market economy. As a member of the European Union, with an advantageous location in the center of Europe, a relatively low cost structure, and a well-qualified labor force, the Czech Republic is an attractive destination for foreign investment. Prior to its EU accession in 2004, the Czech government harmonized its laws and regulations with those of the European Union. The government plans to meet the criteria for joining the euro area around 2012. The small, open, export-driven Czech economy grew by over 6% annually from 2005-2007 and strong growth continued throughout the first three quarters of 2008. Despite the global financial crisis, the conservative Czech financial system has remained relatively healthy. The rate of Czech economic growth, however, fell in the fourth quarter of 2008, mainly due to a significant drop in demand for Czech exports in Western Europe. This trend is expected to continue, with many analysts predicting the Czech economy to contract slightly in 2009.
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$265.2 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 43
$257.4 billion (2007 est.)
$242.6 billion (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
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$217.1 billion (2008 est.)
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3% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 131
6.1% (2007 est.)
6.8% (2006 est.)
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$25,900 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 52
$25,200 (2007 est.)
$23,700 (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
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agriculture: 2.3%
industry: 37.6%
services: 60.1% (2008 est.)
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5.36 million (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 70
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agriculture: 3.6%
industry: 40.2%
services: 56.2% (2007)
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5.4% (2008)
country comparison to the world: 64
6.6% (2007 est.)
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NA%
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lowest 10%: 4.3%
highest 10%: 22.4% (1996)
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26 (2005)
country comparison to the world: 129
25.4 (1996)
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24% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 59
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revenues: $93.42 billion
expenditures: $96.09 billion (2008 est.)
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26.8% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 78
33.5% of GDP (2004 est.)
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6.3% (2008)
country comparison to the world: 107
2.9% (2007 est.)
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2.25% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 128
3.5% (31 December 2007)
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NA% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 134
5.79% (31 December 2007)
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$86.55 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 18
$84.43 billion (31 December 2007)
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$58.6 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 31
$58.77 billion (31 December 2007)
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$109.3 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 43
$103.9 billion (31 December 2007)
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$48.85 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 53
$73.42 billion (31 December 2007)
$48.6 billion (31 December 2006)
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wheat, potatoes, sugar beets, hops, fruit; pigs, poultry
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motor vehicles, metallurgy, machinery and equipment, glass, armaments
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3.8% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 69
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82.72 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 34
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61.65 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 39
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19.99 billion kWh (2008 est.)
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8.52 billion kWh (2008 est.)
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16,080 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 77
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212,800 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 56
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22,560 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 88
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213,900 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 46
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15 million bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 84
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192 million cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 75
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8.719 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 49
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968 million cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 35
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9.573 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 24
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3.964 billion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 92
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$-6.642 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 165
$-5.655 billion (2007 est.)
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$145.7 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 31
$122.7 billion (2007 est.)
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machinery and transport equipment 52%, raw materials and fuel 9%, chemicals 5% (2003)
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Germany 30.6%, Slovakia 9.2%, Poland 6.5%, France 5.3%, UK 4.8%, Austria 4.7%, Italy 4.6% (2008)
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$139.4 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 30
$116.8 billion (2007 est.)
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machinery and transport equipment 46%, raw materials and fuels 15%, chemicals 10% (2003)
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Germany 30.3%, Slovakia 6.6%, Poland 6.4%, Russia 6.2%, Netherlands 5.6%, Austria 5.2%, China 4.9%, Italy 4.1% (2008)
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$36.68 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 35
$34.59 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
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$80.43 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 40
$76.04 billion (31 December 2007)
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$111.9 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 31
$101.1 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
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$8.87 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 48
$6.971 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
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koruny (CZK) per US dollar - 17.064 (2008), 20.53 (2007), 22.596 (2006), 23.957 (2005), 25.7 (2004)
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Communications ::Czech Republic
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2.278 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 54
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13.78 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 48
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general assessment: privatization and modernization of the Czech telecommunication system got a late start but is advancing steadily; access to the fixed-line telephone network expanded throughout the 1990s but the number of fixed line connections has been dropping since then; mobile telephone usage increased sharply beginning in the mid-1990s and the number of cellular telephone subscriptions now greatly exceeds the population
domestic: virtually all exchanges now digital; existing copper subscriber systems enhanced with Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) equipment to accommodate Internet and other digital signals; trunk systems include fiber-optic cable and microwave radio relay
international: country code - 420; satellite earth stations - 6 (2 Intersputnik - Atlantic and Indian Ocean regions, 1 Intelsat, 1 Eutelsat, 1 Inmarsat, 1 Globalstar) (2008)
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AM 31, FM 304, shortwave 17 (2000)
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71 (2008)
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.cz
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3.233 million (2009)
country comparison to the world: 24
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6.028 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 38
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Transportation ::Czech Republic
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122 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 48
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total: 44
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 9
1,524 to 2,437 m: 12
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 18 (2009)
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total: 78
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 27
under 914 m: 50 (2009)
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1 (2009)
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gas 7,010 km; oil 547 km; refined products 94 km (2008)
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total: 9,620 km
country comparison to the world: 22
standard gauge: 9,521 km 1.435-m gauge (3,013 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 99 km 0.750-m gauge (2008)
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total: 128,512 km
country comparison to the world: 36
paved: 128,512 km (includes 657 km of expressways) (2007)
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664 km (principally on Elbe, Vltava, Oder, and other navigable rivers, lakes, and canals) (2008)
country comparison to the world: 77
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registered in other countries: 1 (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1) (2008)
country comparison to the world: 150
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Decin, Prague, Usti nad Labem
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Military ::Czech Republic
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Army of the Czech Republic (ACR): Joint Forces Command (includes Land Forces and Air Forces), Support and Training Forces Command (2009)
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18-28 years of age for voluntary and 19-28 for compulsory military service (2008)
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males age 16-49: 2,522,383
females age 16-49: 2,425,095 (2008 est.)
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males age 16-49: 2,095,038
females age 16-49: 2,011,531 (2009 est.)
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male: 60,150
female: 57,157 (2009 est.)
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1.46% of GDP (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 111
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Transnational Issues ::Czech Republic
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while threats of international legal action never materialized in 2007, 915,220 Austrians, with the support of the popular Freedom Party, signed a petition in January 2008, demanding that Austria block the Czech Republic's accession to the EU unless Prague closes its controversial Soviet-style nuclear plant in Temelin, bordering Austria
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transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin and minor transit point for Latin American cocaine to Western Europe; producer of synthetic drugs for local and regional markets; susceptible to money laundering related to drug trafficking, organized crime; significant consumer of ecstasy (2008)
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