Following the coronavirus epidemic and related measures, 90% of French companies operating in the Czech Republic experienced a decline in demand. Every second firm expects that the situation will worsen in April and its sales will fall by more than 40%. However, only 35% of the companies surveyed benefited from technical or partial unemployment. The figures are based on a survey of the French-Czech Chamber of Commerce conducted at the end of March.
“More than 60% of the companies that participated in the French-Czech Chamber of Commerce survey had to reduce or interrupt their activities due to the coronavirus epidemic. However, those who can, still produce and work (80% work from home).”– Roland Bourgeois, chairman of the French-Czech Chamber of Commerce.
The French-Czech Chamber of Commerce conducted the survey in cooperation with the Embassy of France in Prague. The survey on the economic impact of coronavirus was conducted between March 20 and 27, 2020. It is based in total on a representative sample of 68 member companies based in the Czech Republic. French companies in the Czech Republic account for over 11% of foreign direct investment in the long term and employ over 80,000 people.
The most commonly named anticipated difficulties are:
- investment freezes (59%)
- delayed payments from customers (52%)
- difficulty in obtaining new customers and partners (51%)
- cancellations of orders (48%)
- freeze on the recruitment (41%)
- and salary increases freeze (38%).
Half of the surveyed companies think that a return to normal is likely during the summer. However, further development is very difficult to estimate. Despite that, most French companies operating on the Czech market responded very flexibly to the current situation and introduced many preventive measures. As far as the industry enabled, 9 out of 10 employees remained from home. Companies started favouring video conferences instead of face-to-face meetings and reduced external training. The current situation has resulted in increased work flexibility, company digitalization and the development of e-commerce solutions.
Many member companies of the French-Czech Chamber of Commerce responded to the current situation by offering their services and products free of charge, including the members of the Chamber Committee:
“Lawyer Eva Decroix provides free legal advice, attorney Michaela Fuchsová monitors the impact of government measures on companies from a legal perspective, Decathlon has been involved in the production of improvised respirators from diving masks, Pernod Ricard’s spirits manufacturer has shifted to disinfection and Danone donated 7 tons of dairy products to first-line coronavirus combat workers.“Source: French-Czech Chamber of Commerce
Complete survey results are available here (in Czech only): //en.calameo.com/read/004601149f864a4976252