The Czech Republic possesses a developed, high-income economy with a per capita GDP rate that is 81% of the European Union average. One of the most stable and prosperous of the post-Communist states, the Czech Republic saw growth of over 6% annually in the three years before the outbreak of the recent global economic crisis. Growth has been led by exports to the European Union, especially Germany, and foreign investment, while domestic demand is reviving.
Most of the economy has been privatised, including the banks and telecommunications. A 2009 survey in cooperation with the Czech Economic Association found that the majority of Czech economists favor continued liberalization in most sectors of the economy.
The country is part of the Schengen Area from 1 May 2004, having abolished border controls, completely opening its borders with all of its neighbours, Germany, Austria, Poland and Slovakia, on 21 December 2007. The Czech Republic became a member of the World Trade Organisation on 1 January 1995.
Although the country is economically better positioned than other EU members to adopt the euro, the change is not expected before 2019, due to political reluctance on the matter.
The Programme for International Student Assessment, coordinated by the OECD, currently ranks the Czech education system as the 15th best in the world, higher than the OECD average. The Czech Republic is ranked 30th in the 2012 Index of Economic Freedom.
Leading Czech transportation companies include Škoda Auto (automobiles), Škoda Transportation (tramways, trolleybuses, metro), Tatra (the third oldest car maker in the world), Karosa (buses), Aero Vodochody (airplanes) and Jawa Motors (motorcycles). states that "Elections in 2013 brought a new government for the Czech Republic, however the economy continued to contract in 2013 but should be set to return to growth in 2014."