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5 March 2021

Poland and Japan tighten their cooperation. A report on the investment conference: Why Poland now? Attractive destination for energy and infrastructure projects

Investments in the field of energy and infrastructure were the subject of the virtual conference "Why Poland now? Attractive destination for energy and infrastructure projects!" organized on the 3rd March by the Polish Investment and Trade Agency (PAIH) and the Polish Embassy in Tokyo, in cooperation with Keidanren, JETRO and Shokokai. This Polish-Japanese event was followed by nearly 500 people online.

Why Poland now


The aim of this year's online meeting was to deepen the partnership in strategic areas - innovation in energy and large infrastructure projects. The conference was an opportunity for representatives of Polish and Japanese business to have virtual meetings with a wide range of potential partners, clients and investors. Thanks to the event, it was possible to establish and maintain business relations and discuss plans for potential cooperation. The meeting was opened by the Member of the Management Board of the Polish Investment and Trade Agency (PAIH), Grzegorz Słomkowski. Then the following spoke successively: Paweł Milewski, the Polish Ambassador to Japan; Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki; Minoru Kihara, who read a message from the Prime Minister of Japan, Yoshihide Suga; Paweł Jabłoński, Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Yoshitaka Hoshino of JETRO, Hitoshi Ochi and Yoshio Sato of Keidanren; Shigeru Hayakawa of Toyota Motor Corporation; Beata Daszyńska-Muzyczka, Chairman of the Management Board of BGK; Minister for Climate and the Environment Michał Kurtyka; Secretary of State in the Ministry of Infrastructure Marcin Horała and Piotr Arak, Director of the Polish Economic Institute.

The next stage of strengthening Polish-Japanese cooperation

Opening the conference, Grzegorz Słomkowski from PAIH reminded that Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki paid an official visit to Japan in January of last year. Last year also saw the end of the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Poland and Japan.

That visit of the Prime Minister and today's meeting are the best proof of the importance of Polish-Japanese partnership and the development of this cooperation. This is especially important now, at a time of hope for a positive end to the fight against the pandemic, when certain economic relations are being built in new configurations. We are very pleased with the trust that Japanese investors have in our country and we hope for the continuation of this dynamic and fruitful cooperation for both countries - emphasized Grzegorz Słomkowski.

The member of the Management Board of the Polish Investment and Trade Agency added that PAIH currently supports 12 active investment projects from Japan, with a total value of EUR 310 million. These can create up to 2,000 new jobs.


Why Poland now


The head of the Polish government said that Poland is a country of opportunities and foreign entrepreneurs can count on professional and comprehensive advice. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki emphasized that an important component strengthening Polish-Japanese ties is the Free Trade Agreement signed between Japan and the European Union. The Prime Minister emphasized that there are currently nearly 300 Japanese companies operating in Poland, employing over 40,000 people.

According to the National Bank of Poland, Japanese direct investments in Poland in 2019 amounted to EUR 25 million. Entrepreneurs can count on professional advice and support tailored to individual needs. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Poland remains a reliable economic partner. We remain open to Japanese investments because we believe that together we can achieve more. I am convinced that the cooperation between our countries so far guarantees good results and benefits for both sides - said the Prime Minister.

Why Poland now


The event was also attended by the Ambassador of the Republic of Poland in Tokyo, Paweł Milewski. He noted that Japan’s dynamic development and technological advancement has for many years aroused great admiration and respect in Poland.

- I am convinced that the Polish economy is currently one of the fastest growing economies in Europe, creating an extremely attractive place for Japanese entrepreneurs to invest - said Ambassador Milewski.


Why Poland now


A message from the Prime Minister of Japan, Yoshihide Suga, was read by Minoru Kihara - Special Adviser to the Prime Minister of Japan and member of the House of Representatives. On behalf of the Japanese head of government, he emphasized that Japan and Poland had long since raised the importance of their cooperation to the level of a strategic partnership. He added that Poland is increasing its presence in Europe thanks to its stable economic development, and Japan treats our country as a serious partner.

The main topics of today's seminar are infrastructure and energy. It should be added, however, that earlier the topic of developing cooperation in these areas had appeared in discussions at various levels. In relations with Poland, I will promote cooperation in the field of energy aimed at decarbonisation through the use of hydrogen or nuclear energy. Being aware of the fact that Poland is taking active steps in the development of infrastructure in the region of Central and Eastern Europe, I want to also continue cooperation in this field - emphasized Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

Why Poland now


The participants of the virtual conference agreed that energy is a clear area of cooperation between Poland and Japan. The fact that Poland is open to the further tightening of ties with Japan in this regard was mentioned by the Minister for Climate and the Environment, Michał Kurtyka.

- Energy transformation, in line with the requirements of EU policy, is the greatest challenge, but also an opportunity for the economic development of Poland. In the context of the current crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we treat energy transition as a pillar of our economic recovery strategy, and therefore we look towards cooperation with Japan with hope. In this context, Poland welcomes the recent commitment of the Prime Minister of Japan to achieving climate neutrality by Japan by 2050 - said Michał Kurtyka.

The Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Paweł Jabłoński, added that cooperation with Japan is not only about trade and investments, because our country is no longer just an attractive production base for Japanese companies.

- We see more and more opportunities for cooperation in many other areas. The cooperation of the National Center for Research and Development and the Japanese Science and Technology Agency as part of subsequent editions of competitions held under the auspices of the Visegrad Group and Japan is a very good example of successful joint projects in the field of science, technology and innovation - said Paweł Jabłoński.

The event was attended by representatives of the authorities of both countries and investors who have been present on the Polish market for years. Yoshitaka Hoshino, Executive Vice President of JETRO also spoke during the first part of the meeting. The Japan External Trade Organization is a semi-governmental organization of the Japanese government that promotes trade and investment between Japan and the rest of the world.

- In 2015, together with PAIH, we signed the MoU and we are still carrying out activities aimed at strengthening business relations between our countries. The result of these activities is the stable development of economic cooperation between Poland and Japan. In 2019, the Free Trade Agreement entered into force between the European Union and Japan, and I think it has greatly contributed to the increase in trade between our countries. In Central and Eastern Europe, Poland is the largest base of Japanese companies - said Yoshitaka Hoshino.

Hitoshi Ochi, Vice-President Keidanren and Chairman of the Committee for Europe, emphasized in turn that last year's visit of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki to Japan and a declaration on strengthening cooperation between the countries, among other things, for innovation or climate change was an incentive for representatives of Japanese business to act. Yoshio Sato, Chairman of the Europe Committee, also spoke on behalf of Keidanren. He indicated that Poland - especially before the pandemic - was actively accepting foreign direct investment, showing a particularly high level of economic growth among the European Union Member States.


Why Poland now


Poland and Japan are celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of Toyota Motor Corporation investments in the Polish market. Shigeru Hayakawa - Vice President of the Board of Directors at Toyota Motor Corporation spoke about the company's activity in Poland to date. He also listed Poland’s most important, in his opinion, attributes influencing the attractiveness of our country in the context of locating investments. These includes the economic potential of the market, Poland’s strategic location, its high quality employees and a balanced industrial policy.

- Working with all Polish partners and bearing in mind sustainable development, we want to create more and more perfect forms of mobility - so as to bring joy to everyone. I am convinced that Poland is a country with which we can share this vision - emphasized Shigeru Hayakawa.

Beata Daszyńska-Muzyczka, President of the Management Board of BGK and Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board of the Three Seas Fund also spoke about Polish-Japanese economic relations.

- Today's seminar confirms not only the continuation, but also the development of cooperation with such a strategic partner as Japan. The Three Seas Initiative is an important initiative, both on a political and business level. This initiative at the business level is the creation of the Three Seas Fund, which is an important financial vehicle and an opportunity for foreign investors, including investors from Japan. The development opportunities are enormous - summed up Beata Daszyńska-Muzyczka.


Why Poland now


The subject of the possibility of cooperation in the field of infrastructure projects, with particular emphasis on the construction of the Central Communication Port (CPK), was discussed by Marcin Horała, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Infrastructure and government plenipotentiary for the Central Communication Port.

- CPK will create huge investment opportunities. I encourage Japanese investors to cooperate on all the components of this project. From the Far East's point of view, the CPK will be a gateway to Europe, both in terms of communication, as well as investments and capital. I am glad that our contacts and the talks that we started a year ago are being continued - Marcin Horała assured.

The economic situation in our country and forecasts for the near future were summarized by Piotr Arak, Director of the Polish Economic Institute. He emphasized that, as part of the European Union and the region of Central Europe, we experienced an unprecedented crisis in the context of Covid-19. However, the recession in Poland in 2020 was one of the lowest in the European Union. Poland's GDP fell by 2.8 percent. The average result for the EU was even two times worse.


Why Poland now


After the official part, the participants had the opportunity to participate in virtual networking sessions. The culmination of the event were B2B meetings on infrastructure and energy projects between Polish and Japanese companies. The online conference was followed by nearly 500 people from Poland and Japan.



Polish Investment and Trade Agency

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