November 12th, 2009,
Number 148




ABSL - a new SSC/BPO sector representative body in Poland

Shared Service Centres/ Business Process Outsourcing (SSC/BPO) sector in Poland is growing very fast. In the current economic environment more and more companies decide to create their own shared service organizations or outsource their services to external partners. The facts are that today the SSC/BPO sector (about 200-300 companies) in Poland employs more than 40,000. The number is expected to reach up to 70,000 in the next 2-3 years.

The sector’s dynamic growth inspired the 16 largest companies active in the field in Poland to enhance industry dialogue and co-operation in the segment. For sure, such growth is a cause for satisfaction, but at the same time, the companies operating in this sector see common challenges and decided to officially mark their presence on the Polish market. In May 2009 the Association of Business Service Leaders (ABSL) was officially established: “We want to create a common platform for discussions, deepen co-operation with authorities and broaden general understanding of the sector” - says Jacek S. Levernes President of the ABSL Management Board, on a daily basis, managing director of HP Global Business Centre in Wroclaw. Mr Levernes was one of the main promoters organising the Association and is now representing interests of the whole expanding business group. Among ABSL members there are corporations such as Hewlett-Packard, Capgemini, Thomson Reuters, UBS, Franklin Templeton, Geoban or Infosys and others - centres that deliver services internally to their own companies (SSC) or provide similar services for external clients (BPO).

The dialogue continues. That is why between November 19th -20th ABSL scheduled in Warsaw its second Conference this year. The event is targeted at significant leaders of the SSC/BPO sector, national and local government representatives (Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Labour, PAIiIZ, cities) and media. During the event the Ministry of Economy, PAIiIZ and ABSL will sign a declaration of co-operation. The meeting will be an opportunity to bring up many important topics: promotion of Poland as a dynamic SSC/BPO services provider, challenges faced by the sector, discussion about the future strategy and opportunities for the industry like broader and deeper scope of offered services and moving from transactional, administration processes to services bringing more value e.g. in decision support.

We can expect further growth of this very dynamic business sector which brings benefits to different stakeholders - companies benefiting from lower operating costs, Poland benefiting from newly created knowledge-based jobs and people benefiting from new, advanced career opportunities. (ABSL)

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Record high social financial support for public benefit organisations

Over 7.3 mln people (28% of Polish taxpayers) donated 1% of tax to public benefit organisations. This year the organisations received PLN 380 mln i.e. around PLN 82 mln more than last year.

- We are very pleased that the possibility to donate 1% of tax becomes more and more popular among Poles. Thanks to the donations public benefit organisations may now more effectively help those in need, said finance minister Jacek Rostowski.

The possibility of donating tax money to public benefit organisations was introduced in 2004. Initially the possibility had a form of tax exemption i.e. taxpayers had to personally pay the money into organisations' bank accounts. The amount was then deducted from the person's tax. At that time the possibility attracted only 80 thousand taxpayers who jointly gathered PLN 10.4 mln. Starting from tax returns for 2007 financial support for public benefit organisations has been transferred by Polish counterpart of the Inland Revenue in accordance with taxpayers' will. Following the 2005 change in the donation mechanism, over 5 mln taxpayers supported the organisations with PLN 298 mln i.e. three times more people donated three times more money than in the case of tax returns field for 2006. This year saw another record. The number of people who decided to donate money rose by 40% and the amount of money obtained through donations grew by 27% in comparison to the amount gathered in 2008. (Ministry of Finance)

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Poland sold surplus carbon emission permits worth EUR 25 million

Maciej Nowicki, Minister of the Environment signed an agreement with Spain for the sale of surplus carbon emission permits worth EUR 25 million which is to be allocated to environment protection and the implementation of the energy-climate package guidelines. Jointly, together with credit contracts, the transactions make half a billion PLN available for the Polish economy. Money will be allocated to issues connected with biogas, biomass and energy network modernisation.

The first agreement concerning the sale of the Assigned Amount Units (AAUs) was signed on November 9th during the Polish- Spanish summit in Sopot which was attended by the Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk and the Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero. The agreement was concluded between the Polish Minister for the Environment Maciej Nowicki and Josue Tanaka, Corporate Director responsible for Climate Change at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in the presence of the Spanish Minister of the Environment. The EUR 25 mln obtained through the deal will be allocated to investments connected with climate protection. There are future plans for further transactions in permits granted to Poland under the Kyoto Protocol.

Simultaneously with the agreement concerning AAU the National Environment Protection and Water Management Fund concluded a credit contract with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The transactions will result in a joint amount of PLN 500 mln which will be available for Polish entrepreneurs. Part of the financial means will be made available as grants and subsidies and the rest will take the form of attractive credits.

The money will be stored on a special bank account managed by the National Environment Protection and Water Management Fund and used mainly to finance investments which should contribute to carbon emission reduction. The projects should help Poland meet the country's obligations taken on under the EU energy-climate package.

Poland has the third biggest, (after Russia and Ukraine) carbon emission permits’ surplus in the world i.e. around 500 mln units for the years 2008-2012. The country has been negotiating with other countries interested in purchasing the AAU surplus. Next agreement is expected to be concluded with Ireland. (Ministry of Environment)

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From the left: Patrick Dixon, Founder and Global Change President, Monika Richardson, conference chairperson, Hans Enocson, GE General Director, Ziemowit Iwański, GE Executive Director
(Source: Globeforum)

Globe Forum in Gdańsk

The first Polish edition of the Globe Forum took place in Gdańsk in October 2009. The aim of the meetings, which have been organized in Stockholm since 2003, is to create a discussion platform concerning sustainable economy development, future global economic trends and innovative approach to energy production. The Globe Forum in Gdańsk is supposed to become a periodic international event.

Over 1250 guests participated in the first Polish edition of the Globe Forum. Representatives of local authorities, business, universities, non-government organizations and politicians visited the conference. "Business Innovation for Sustainable Growth” was the watchword of this year’s meeting.  During the Forum prestigious Globe Awards Polish Edition were handed in two categories: Commune of Sustainable Growth and Innovation of Sustainable Growth.

The competition’s goal is to promote the most valuable initiatives in the field of sustainable development. The Onstage Contest, targeted at smaller innovative companies, is an interesting supplement of the Globe Forum. Entrepreneurs introduce their innovative solutions in the so called “elevator pitches” - sixty second onstage presentations. The last stage of the contest is a A&Q session with audience which reveals the best project. (ARP Gdańsk)


Professor Witold Orłowski, economic advisor, PricewaterhouseCoopers (Source: Globeforum)

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Progress in the National Cohesion Strategy

The Ministry of Regional Development informs that as of November 8th, 2009 (since the initation of the operational programme), there were 92,000 correct applications filed for the total of PLN 211.6 bn (both UE and national financial means).

During that period there were 22,030 agreements concluded with beneficiaries for the amount of PLN 84.2 bn of qualified costs, including the EU financing which equals PLN 60.2 bn what constituted 21.5% of the 2007-2013 allocation. (MRR)

Retail sales growth in Poland the biggest in the UE

The retail sales rate in September grew by 5.4% y-o-y and was the highest in the whole of the European Union.

In UE sales dropped by 2.5%, and in the euro zone by 3.6%. Growth in sales was also in Austria (+3.1%). The biggest falls were recorded in Latvia (-30,9%), Lithuania (-25.7%) and Estonia (-20.8%). (Eurostat)

  • Exchange rates (as of 12.11.2009):









Source: www.nbp.pl

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Saint Martin’s croissants

Yesterday’s Saint Martin’s Day was the first day when the Rogal Świętomarciński (Saint Martin croissants) were marked with special brand protection symbol. The privilege was granted to producers who received a special quality certificate.

The tradition of the Saint Martin’s croissant baking has been cultivated for 150 years. The product has always been associated with the Saint’s Day during which almost half of its annual production is normally consumed.

The croissant may now be produced in 26 counties of the Wielkopolska region (chodzieski, czarnkowski, gnieźnieński, gostyński, grodziski, jarociński, kaliski, kolski, koniński, kościański, krotoszyński, leszczyński, nowotomyski, obornicki, ostrowski, pilski, pleszewski, poznański, rawicki, słupecki, szamotulski, śremski, średzki, wągrowiecki, wolsztyński, wrzesiński). Its unique taste is a result of the traditional baking method and the type of ingredients used in the process.

The name Rogal Świętomarciński entered the register of protected designations of origin and protected geographical indications on October 30th (EC) No 1070/2008. The name may now be used only by producers who underwent a special quality control and have a valid quality certificate.

The system of protected designations of origin and protected geographical indications provides consumers with high-quality products from recognisable origins. (IJHARS, Poznań City Council)

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Innovation and enterprise centres in Poland

7th edition of the Report on Innovation and Enterprise Centres in Poland was published in November. The publication was prepared by the Polish Business and Innovation Centres Association and the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development (PARP). The report presents the centres’ achievements, potential and future development directions as well as points out expansion barriers which may be encountered by certain types of the centres.

Since 1990 the number of innovation and enterprise centres has been systematically growing to reach 717 in 2009. The number covers 23 technology parks and 23 other park initiatives, 17 technology incubators, 51 pre-incubators (i.e. academic enterprise incubators), 46 enterprise incubators, 87 centres for technology transfer and 318 training and information centres.

Report-connected research and consultations covered institutions active in Poland which ondertake a variety of tasks with the aim to support enterprise, technology transfer and local development. The survey resulted in a comprehensive description of every type of centre with a one-page long presentation of the researched institutions. This year's edition of the report paid special attention to networking and the co-operation the institutions develop with its environment. The report shows that transformation from the system of dispersed separately operating institutions into a regional co-operation network is needed for the Polish support system to become more effective.

The report is available on www.pi.gov.pl and www.sooipp.org.pl/pliki/raport_2009.pdf (Polish Business and Innovation Centres Association)

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Poles to improve water quality in the Three Gorges Dam reservoir

Polish scientists may improve the quality of water in the reservoir of the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River in China. Agreement concerning the issue was signed in China by representatives of the UNESCO European Regional Centre for Ecohydrology (ERCE) in Łódź and the University of Łódź.

The Three Gorges Dam is the biggest world hydroelectric power station which exerts considerable influence on the Chinese economy. The reservoir protects the neighbouring area from flood and is normally used for sailing purposes. In the times of drought water from the reservoir is used for drinking and used in agriculture.

Thus it is vital to maintain high quality of the water and keep it drinkable for millions of people who would use it in case of drought. The greatest problems are caused by green-blue alga which produce harmful toxins able to cause even liver cancer. Polish scientists will work on a monitoring system detecting green-blue alga early enough to warn people of the possible danger and will prepare foundations for ecological recultivation of the reservoir.

Scientists from Łódź will start the first research phase of the Chinese reservoir in spring 2010. The research is expected to take up event two years. Thanks to previous projects of the type realised in the Sulejowski reservoir in Poland the scientists from Łódź do have the necessary experience to manage such initiatives. At the moment the Łódź academic workers have been implementing ecohydrological solutions in the frame of three UE Life Plus programmes run in the Sulejówek Reservoir and in Łódź-based recreational water reservoirs in Arturówek. - Solutions prepared for the Chinese project may be similar to the ones implemented in Arturówek, yet the scale of the undertaking is considerably bigger - estimates professor Maciej Zalewski director of ERCE. (PAP - Science in Poland)

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Polish Studies on a university in China

Polish Studies were inaugurated on the University in Harbin in the Slavic Languages Department. The studies were created thanks to an agreement concluded between the Chinese university and the University in Gdańsk.

Krzysztof Klinkosz from the Gdańsk University’s Press Office emphasises that in the past it was possible to study Polish only in Beijing-based Foreign Languages University. 

According to the agreement students will spend the first study year in China and continue studies on the second and third years in Poland. During the fourth and last year students write their thesis back in Harbin.
The official inauguration of the new specialisation took place on October 20th, 2009 and formed part of the Polish Day organised jointly by the Polish Embassy in Beijing and the University in Harbin. The ceremony celebrated also the 60th anniversary of the establishment of Polish-Chinese diplomatic contacts.

It is worth noting that Harbina was founded in 1898 during the construction of the Chinese Eastern Railway which was managed by Polish engineer Szydłowski. - The city's railway bridge over the Songhua river in Harbina was constructed by engineer Stanisława Kierbedź, nephew of the constructor who built one of the major Warsaw-based bridges - emphasised Mr Klinkosz. (PAP - Science in Poland)

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