A comparison between the first half of 2010 and the first half of 2009 confirms a distinctive orientation of the Czech Republic’s exports towards the EU countries, although these exports’ share of the total exports decreased from 85.0% to 84.4%. Moreover, exports to the EU countries, in particular Germany, Poland, Italy and Slovakia, grew by 14.1%. In total imports, the EU countries’ share of total imports decreased from 66.4% to 64.4%, while imports from the EU countries increased by 12.3%. Higher imports from all EU countries, with the exception of Latvia and Malta, were reflected in the overall growth of imports from the EU countries.

“From the perspective of bank guarantees by which the bank can secure almost any obligations of its clients, the orientation towards the domestic market and, subsequently, the neighbouring countries is evident. In the first half of the year, most of the guarantee transactions with our clients were directed to Slovakia, Germany and Poland. For example, we normally prepare guarantee certificates for Germany, which is the Czech Republic’s most important trading partner, in German pursuant to the local law and based on our clients’ specific texts,” said Jaromír Chabr, Director Division Trade and Export Finance at Komerční banka.

An increased share in Czech exports could be seen on the part of other advanced market economies, from 3.7% to 4.0%, developing economies, from 4.1% to 4.2%, and the Commonwealth of Independent States, from 3.4% to 3.6%.

“The slight increase on the part of the CIS countries was also supported by our clients, who used the offer of export financing, primarily for Russia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. In this period of still weak economy, local banks’ potency to finance domestic investments is decreasing. For Czech exporters, export financing is important in terms of the higher competitiveness of their technical offer and the subsequent fast payment of the export receivable to the supplier from the loan provided to the foreign buyer,” added Jaromír Chabr.

Imports from non-EU countries increased by 22.9%. The most distinctive relative increase was evident in imports from the CIS, and further in imports from developing economies, other countries, EFTA countries and other advanced market economies. Imports from European transition economies decreased. In overall imports, the share of other advanced market economies dropped from 7.2% to 6.5%. The position of EFTA countries and European transition economies stayed at the level of the first half of 2009. Orientation towards other countries increased from 10.0% to 10.9%, towards CIS from 6.7% to 7.8%, and towards developing economies from 6.9% to 7.7%1.

1) Source: Czech Statistical Office

Komerční banka is one of the best run universal banks in Central Europe. It provides comprehensive services to clients in the areas of retail, corporate, and investment banking. The Komerční banka Group’s 8,624 employees serve 2.7 million clients, who can use an extensive network of 395 points of sale throughout the country. Komerční banka currently operates 676 ATMs and almost 989,000 of its clients use one of direct banking channels.

Komerční banka is part of the Société Générale Group, one of the largest banking groups in the euro zone (in terms of market capitalisation), whose 157,000 employees serve more than 32 million individual clients worldwide.