ECONOMIC BRIEFS

Czech-Slovak talks on farm products fruitless

Talks between the Czech and Slovak Republics on agricultural quotas for beer, sugar and pork imports ended in stalemate on August 26. However, Slovak Agriculture Minister Pavol Koncoš and his Czech counterpart Ján Fencl left their meeting in České Budějovice promising to reach a compromise before an economic summit between the two nations scheduled for November in Bratislava.

Concerning sugar imports, the two parties agreed that bilateral trade must obey the market rules that the Slovak and Czech Republics plan to introduce in accord with conditions in EU countries.

The Czech side demands full liberalization in the beer trade, while Slovakia proposes to reduce its annual import quota for Czech beer to 300,000 hectoliters. A similar divide separates the two former federal partners over glucose syrups, where the Czech side intends to deploy a quota.

These two commodities, as well as pork, will be the subjects of October talks at the Committee for the Coordination of Economic Policy between the Czech and Slovak Republics.

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