Plze? is a centre of business in the western part of the Czech Republic.
Since the late 1990s the city has experienced high growth in foreign investment. In 2007, Israeli mall developer Plaza Centers opened the Pilsen Plaza, a 20,000-square-metre (220,000-square-foot) shopping mall and entertainment centre featuring a multiplex cinema from Cinema City Czech Republic.Plze? produces about two-thirds of the Plze? Region GDP, even though it contains only 29.8% of its population. Based on these figures, the city of Plze? has a total GDP of approximately $7.2 billion, and a per capita GDP of $44,000. While part of this is explained by commuters to the city, it is one of the most prosperous cities in the Czech Republic.
The Škoda company, established in Plze? in 1859, has been an important element of Austro-Hungarian, Czechoslovak and Czech engineering, and one of the biggest European arms factories.