You are here -allRefer - Reference - Country Study & Country Guide - Czechoslovakia >

allRefer Reference and Encyclopedia Resource

allRefer    
allRefer
   


-- Country Study & Guide --     

 

Czechoslovakia

 
Country Guide
Afghanistan
Albania
Algeria
Angola
Armenia
Austria
Azerbaijan
Bahrain
Bangladesh
Belarus
Belize
Bhutan
Bolivia
Brazil
Bulgaria
Cambodia
Chad
Chile
China
Colombia
Caribbean Islands
Comoros
Cyprus
Czechoslovakia
Dominican Republic
Ecuador
Egypt
El Salvador
Estonia
Ethiopia
Finland
Georgia
Germany
Germany (East)
Ghana
Guyana
Haiti
Honduras
Hungary
India
Indonesia
Iran
Iraq
Israel
Cote d'Ivoire
Japan
Jordan
Kazakhstan
Kuwait
Kyrgyzstan
Latvia
Laos
Lebanon
Libya
Lithuania
Macau
Madagascar
Maldives
Mauritania
Mauritius
Mexico
Moldova
Mongolia
Nepal
Nicaragua
Nigeria
North Korea
Oman
Pakistan
Panama
Paraguay
Peru
Philippines
Poland
Portugal
Qatar
Romania
Russia
Saudi Arabia
Seychelles
Singapore
Somalia
South Africa
South Korea
Soviet Union [USSR]
Spain
Sri Lanka
Sudan
Syria
Tajikistan
Thailand
Turkmenistan
Turkey
Uganda
United Arab Emirates
Uruguay
Uzbekistan
Venezuela
Vietnam
Yugoslavia
Zaire

Czechoslovakia

Industry

Czechoslovakia inherited the bulk of existing industrial assets following the breakup of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after World War I. Industrialization continued in the interwar years. Even before World War II, the country's armaments and heavy industries were producing commodities accepted throughout the world. World War II left Czechoslovak industrial facilities largely intact. In the late 1940s, Czechoslovakia was one of the most industrialized countries in the world, and the quality of it products was comparable to that of other industrialized countries.

After the KSC took control of the country, the industrial sector--particularly defense and heavy industry--received priority in terms of investment funds, labor, and materials. Industry was the leading sector in expansion of the economy. The industrial base grew rapidly, as recorded by the official index of industrial production. Starting from a base of 100 in 1948, the index increased to 371.9 in 1960 and 665.5 in 1970. The late 1970s witnessed some deceleration in industrial growth, and the index increased from 921.4 in 1975 to 1,156.7 in 1980. In 1985 the index reached 1,322. The figures suggested substantial growth, and industry's overall performance since World War II had in fact been impressive. However, various Western studies of the computation of the index of industrial production in communist countries indicated a significant upward bias relative to the calculated planned rate of growth of industrial production used for planning purposes. The main cause of the bias appeared to be higher prices recorded for newly introduced products; in many cases, there was little or no difference between the new product and a similar item produced the year before. The bias appeared to be larger in such branches as machinery and chemicals and tended to enhance plan results. Over time, the bias also led to overstatement of the structural change in fast-growing branches of industry that were introducing new products.

In 1985 the most important branches of industry in terms of the monetary value of their contribution to the economy were machinery, electrical engineering, metalworking, chemicals, asbestos, rubber, and ferrous metallurgy (including ore extraction). Important manufactured products were vehicles, railroad goods, aircraft, electrical goods, heavy machinery, and precision equipment. During the 1970s, Czechoslovakia had signed specialization and joint investment agreements with other Comecon members, committing the country to specific long-term obligations in particular production branches (machine tools and railroad locomotives, for example), partly to ensure the inflow of energy and raw materials. In the 1980s, Czechoslovakia was--except for the Soviet Union--Eastern Europe's only builder of heavy-duty nuclear power equipment and was a joint supplier of such products to other Comecon members. For export, Czechoslovakia specialized in smaller units, while the Soviet Union supplied the larger capacity reactors. In the early and mid-1980s, as part of an effort to "restructure" the industrial economy, the government sought to reduce the relative importance of metallurgy within the industrial sector, cutting back particularly on such traditional products as pig iron, raw steel, and rolled ferrous products in favor of more profitable and less energy-intensive branches.

Despite its favored position within the economy, the industrial sector had serious weaknesses in the mid-1980s. A particularly significant problem was the high energy and material inputs required for a unit of industrial output. Czechoslovak machinery was often heavier than comparable West European equipment and was usually less productive. The slow rate of technological innovation had caused a decline in the country's share of machinery markets in developing nations, noncommunist industrialized countries, and Comecon countries in comparison with the 1950s. Related problems were design limitations and lengthy project completion times, which frequently caused investments to be less productive than hoped. In addition, old equipment was retired slowly. In 1986 the average age of industrial machinery and equipment was 12 years; 10 percent of the machinery was more than 25 years old, and the percentage was reportedly increasing. These circumstances contributed to the low productivity of Czechoslovak workers compared with their counterparts in Western Europe. Moreover, the overall quality of Czechoslovak exports was frequently below world standards; official government pronouncements emphasized the inadequate technological level of activities in the economy as a whole. Imbalances persisted between supply and demand, both at home and on foreign markets. In 1986 a prominent Czechoslovak economist argued that industry's problems stemmed in part from inadequate specialization, insufficient use of foreign licenses, and cumbersome restraints on research projects.

Most of these problems had already existed in some form during the 1970s, and the government had introduced several measures intended to correct the deficiencies. Laws introduced in 1971 (which went into effect in 1975) had granted limited powers and a degree of decentralization to the intermediate level of administration, positioned between ministries and production enterprises. The intermediate level consisted of associations of industrial enterprises in the same or closely related branches, resembling trusts. The intent was to reduce overhead expenditures, such as planning and research, while promoting innovation and technological development. Changes also were introduced in the wage and price systems in an attempt to improve efficiency. Despite these measures, there was reason for continuing dissatisfaction in the 1980s.

Data as of August 1987

Czechoslovakia - TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • The Economy


  • Go Up - Top of Page

    Make allRefer Reference your HomepageAdd allRefer Reference to your FavoritesGo to Top of PagePrint this PageSend this Page to a Friend


    Information Courtesy: The Library of Congress - Country Studies


    Content on this web site is provided for informational purposes only. We accept no responsibility for any loss, injury or inconvenience sustained by any person resulting from information published on this site. We encourage you to verify any critical information with the relevant authorities.

     

     

     
     


    About Us | Contact Us | Terms of Use | Privacy | Links Directory
    Link to allRefer | Add allRefer Search to your site

    allRefer
    All Rights reserved. Site best viewed in 800 x 600 resolution.