Dear friends,

The Association of the Glass and Ceramic Industry of the Czech Republic in cooperation with the Ministry of Industry and Trade submits the

"Annual Report - Glass and Ceramic Industry of the Czech Republic - 2003"

In the submitted Annual Report we would like to inform the public about the main final trade and economic indices of the glass and ceramic industry of the Czech Republic in 2003, and further on also about the main trends and relations in the development of the glass and ceramic industry of the Czech Republic in the period from 1997 till 2003.

The glass and ceramic industry as a whole kept in 2003 its up to now highest production level reached in 2000-2001 and reached the inter-year 5 % growth of its productivity of labour from sale in comparison with 2002. Within the processing industry of the Czech Republic the glass and ceramic industry reaches still one of the relatively high levels of added value. Even in 2003 it defended its position of a significantly export oriented branch with a significant and permanent contribution to active balance of foreign trade of the whole Czech processing industry - in 2003 it was 26.213 bill. CZK.

This year the Czech Republic entered the European Union. The presumptions have been confirming that the Czech glass and ceramic industry will face up to this full participation in the high competitive economic background also thanks to its previous great participation in the exchange of goods within the European Union market and also due to some other competitive advantages, e.g. strong foreign stake in main enterprises and advantages of Czech labour market and infrastructure.

These advantages, however, become to decrease at present and conditions will equalize with the economic background of the European Union during further time. A danger of growing outer competition from Eastern Europe and Asia appears, especially, in the production of cheaper commodities. The glass and ceramic industry in the Czech Republic has to search ways how to orientate to the production with a high added value, i.e. strengthening innovations not only in products but also in manager and trade strategy.

I believe, that you will find interesting and usable information about the glass and ceramic industry of the Czech Republic in our Annual Report.



Jan Lorenc
President of the Association



Association of the Glass and Ceramic Industry of the Czech Republic

President Jan LORENC
Vice presidents Vladimír FEIX, Jaroslav PŘEROST
Board Jiří Götz, Ota Horák, Tomáš Hrabák, Jaroslav Křivánek, Jiří Novák, Ludvík Jan Rys, Jaroslav Seifrt, Jiří Zagora
Supervisory Board Radim Nešpor, Olga Hofmannová, Zdeněk Blažek