Jiří Rusnok on Investments in the MoravianSilesian Region, Exports & the Euro
Jiří Rusnok – CNB Governor was born on Oct. 16, 1960 in Ostrava. Having finished grammar
school in Český Těšín, he continued his studies at the Department of Economics at the University of
Economics in Prague, graduating in 1984. He started his professional career in the Department of
Long-Term Outlooks at the State Planning Commission. Later he worked at the Federal Ministry for
Strategic Planning and briefly at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.
You come from the Moravian-Silesian Region, which
has gone through a demanding period of transformation until the recent aim to make it a so–called
Smart Region. How do you feel about the economic
transformation and opportunities in the framework
of sustainable economic increase?
Human society keeps developing and changing all the
time. Economy is an indivisible part of society, probably the fastest developing part, considerably influenced by progress in technologies. We very often hear
that in the 21st century we live in the “post-industrial”
age. In the past 50 years the nature of economies
in advanced countries has gradually transformed;
some industries have disappeared (or have nearly
disappeared), e.g. some fields of heavy industry; and
new fields appeared: mobile telecommunication, software production, etc. This logically reflects in cardinal
changes and regional measures. A great part of the
Moravian-Silesian Region is a perfect illustration of
such a structural conversion. In other words, the development is natural and basically inevitable. It is a very
positive trend that the region is heading for a cutting–
edge profile while building upon its technological
It is a very positive trend
that the region is heading
for a cutting–edge profile
while building upon its
Based on the focus of businesses of the region, we
are a pure exports economy. Are there any risks
and/or limitations that the region might face in the
Risks and limitations have always appeared and naturally accompanied any human enterprise. As for the
near future in particular: in let’s say 2-3 years the
economy in the Czech Republic (including its status
in the Moravian-Silesian Region) is expected to be
doing well. The present Czech economy does not suffer
from any significant macroeconomic imbalance. If the
situation keeps its positive trend in the Eurozone, then
our prospective is good too. In the short-term I see
the greatest risk, or better, insecurity, in an unexpected
turbulence in the global economy (such as growing
tendency of the US protectionism). In the longer term,
Czech businesses will deal with the lack of a qualified
labour force. Generally, the greatest issues remain in the
spheres of so called “triple I”: Institution – Innovation –
Support of the economic potential of the region
demands a qualified labour force to stay as commuting is a risky bet. A qualified labour force hand in hand
with wage increase means a stabilizing element.
What is your estimate of the wage increase in 2018?
Wages will keep on growing by an average of about
8%, next year by another 5% at least. The increase will
probably be faster in blue collar jobs where the tension
on the job markets with many professions is very
Numerous foreign investors operate in the region, not
only in automotive industry, which facilitates growing
exports of the local producers.
How does the central bank influence the environment
for sustainable economic development in the region?
The central bank generally supports these conditions
on the national level, consequently in regions. The
monetary policy cannot be targeted on a particular
region because of its very nature. The aim of each
central bank is to provide for price stability via relevant
tools of monetary policy, to work against excessive
fluctuation of the economic cycle, and to contribute
to the general balance of the national economy. That
is the elementary prerequisite of successful economic
progress as a whole because that is the environment
which allows both large businesses and individual
citizens to make efficient decisions on their investments and expenditures as a sound basis of present as
well as future prosperity.
The central bank also supervises financial stability.
To make the long story short, we look after the reliable operation of the financial sector (banks first and
foremost) in good times as well as when confronted
with either external or internal shocks.
Mr Rusnok, you come from the Moravian-Silesian
Region where you spent a considerable part of your
life. Do you occasionally come to enjoy the countryside, see the sights and places of interest? Which
would you recommend as the best places to see or
local cuisine specialties to try?
Yes, right. I was born in Ostrava-Vítkovice in the shadows
of blast furnaces, then still in operation. For a few years
we also lived in a housing estate in Ostrava-Poruba.
Having lived in Martin (Slovakia) and Hranice na
Moravě we moved back to this region to Český Těšín
where I finished my elementary school and attended
My best memories bring me back to childhood in
Nýdek where both my parents come from. We had