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NACE 2002 - 24 (except 24.4) Manufacture of chemicals and chemical products

In terms of competitiveness the Czech chemical industry lags behind developed countries both in the EU and outside it, although thanks to foreign capital and continuing restructuring the situation in the industry is gradually improving. In general, innovation dynamics are low and technologically more intensive and specialised products are often imported from abroad. Due to a higher level of automation and technological progress in manufacturing, and also due to the very favourable (for imports) development of the exchange rate, imported products are often cheaper than Czech ones. Maintaining cost-based competitiveness will be increasingly difficult in view of the growing prices of inputs including the cost of labour.

These are some of the reasons why the chemical industry will be more affected by the crisis as compared to other industries. However, the long term development and employment prospects are not bad, since this is a key supplier for many related industries.  Moreover, the proportion of the chemical industry in the gross domestic product of developed Western European countries is higher compared to the Czech Republic. The development of the Czech economy will tend to boost the importance of the chemical industry in the following years.

As regards human resources, legislation will be another major factor influencing changes in skills requirements – particularly environmental legislation. The manufacture of chemicals and paints is very demanding in terms of minimising the environmental impact, and the handling of the products is subject to special regulations. Environmental awareness on the part of companies and end users is increasing, and therefore innovation as a competitive instrument and a sign of prestige is very important. Competition in the market will tend to stiffen, which will result in growing demand for sales and customer service specialists who play a decisive role in the selling of the manufactured goods.   The importance of jobs in manufacturing will tend to decrease slightly. Companies will seek to lower costs and not to fill again some vacated jobs. The expanding markets east of the Czech Republic will stimulate Czech manufactures to invest in these countries (in building offices or even manufacturing operations). This will affect, above all, sales and management jobs, and also technologists ’ jobs. Overall, the difficulty in this segment will not consist in developing a new product, but in manufacturing it to the relevant quality standards at acceptable cost, and, particularly, in selling it. 

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