January 8th 2009,
Number 104




Dear Readers,

This week we write about last week’s summaries presented by the Ministry of Economy on activities supporting enterprise in Poland and about economic forecasts for 2009. We also present data on car sales and foodstuff export performance for 2008. Despite financial slowdown observed worldwide, major economic indices in Poland reflect quite a good shape of the country’s economic state. The Warsaw Stock Exchange managed to confirm its leading position in the region in the field of debuting companies. Moreover, we inform about new investment enterprises in the Special Economic Zones and about investment plans to be realised in Lidzbark Warmiński where thermal swimming pools are to be constructed by the year 2012.

At the end of this week’s issue you may read about achievements of a young IT specialist for the Warsaw University.

Pleasant reading!

PAIiIZ’s editorial team

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Ministry of Economy: 2008 was good for the Polish economy

In his summery of the year 2008 the deputy prime minister and economy minister Waldemar Pawlak said that last year Poland enjoyed a robust and dynamic economic development. According to the Ministry’s estimates, the over 5% GDP growth in 2009 is still a possible scenario for the Polish context.

The Ministry of Economy sums up events and activities of 2008.
Source: Ministry of Economy.

The deputy prime minister Waldemar Pawlak and the secretary in the Ministry of Economy Adam Szejnfeld summed up the most important economic events and the Ministry’s performance in 2008. Mr Pawlak emphasized that the 2008 economic data for Poland, as expected, reflects the rise in demand, investment outlays and production growth. The Ministry estimates that while the increase in individual consumption for 2008 may reach 5%, the gross fixed assets outlays may have risen even by 10%. The sold production is expected to have increased by 4.3% and the assembly-construction output by 12% y-o-y.

According to the deputy prime minister forecasts for 2009 should include data provided in prognoses presented by institutions like: OECD, the European Commission or the International Monetary Fund. Both EC and IMF estimate the GDP growth for Poland in 2009 to reach 3.8% while according to OECD the increase is bound to near 3%. All the estimates testify to the fact that against the backdrop of global financial typhoon the Polish economy is in a good condition. Mr Pawlak pointed out that the Ministry will actively participate in the “Stability and Development Plan” with the aim to support demand and investment, both by means of traditional and new financing solutions e.g. consumer leasing.

The deputy minister Szejnfeld presented a summary of activities undertaken in the frame of a package “Actions for enterprise” and emphasised that ministerial efforts boosting economic freedom and Polish companies development will not end with the programme. As for actions undertaken lats year it was the changes in the foreign exchange law that classified among the key improvements for entrepreneurs. Thanks to it the obligation imposed on companies operating in the country to run financial settlements in PLN was abolished. Mr Szejnfeld recalled also that last December the Parliament finalised preparations for the amendment to acts regulating issues connected with running economic activities and public-private partnership i.e. the two most important regulations determining enterprise development in the country. All the efforts are expected to boost the economy on its way to enter the euro zone.

The government’s plans for 2009 consist in devising a bill on slashing administrative barriers encountered by entrepreneurs that would finally eliminate superfluous requirements and regulations hampering effective economic activity development in Poland. (Ministry of Economy)

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The Kraków SEZ operative till 2020

The Kraków Special Economic Zone will continue operative till the year 2020.

On December 15th, 2008 the Council of Minister issued a decree concerning the Kraków SEZ. According to the decree the SEZ’s existence will be prolonged to the year 2020. It came into force on December 30th, 2008.

Initial regulations regarding the Kraków Special Economic Zone assumed the zone to be operative till the end of 2017. At the moment the 417 ha zone comprises of lots located in Kraków, Krosno, Nowy Sącz, Oświęcim, Tarnów and in the Andrychów, Dobczyce, Gdów, Niepołomice, Słomniki, Wolbrom communes. (the Kraków Technology Park)

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The Tarnobrzeg SEZ expands its offer for investors

Construction of two new production buildings was successfully completed in the Tarnobrzeg SEZ in 2008. Now space of a total of 5 thousand sq m may be offered to new investors, like Polimex-Mostostal already eager to invest in the Siedlce sub zone.

Last months of 2008 witnessed finalisation of the latest investment in the Tarnobrzeg-based SEZ. The new production buildings have a joint space of 5 thousand sq m and are destined for renting both by current and future investors. In fact, the Tarnobrzeg-based Industrial Development Agency, in charge of the zone, already managed to attract and locate two companies now successfully operating in the new buildings. In the years 2009-2010 the SEZ management plans to start further production investments which together with the two constructed last year are to form one of the biggest production complexes in the Podkarpacie region. In December 2008 the Tarnobrzeg SEZ attracted a new important investor, Polimex-Mostostal. The company, manufacturing mainly steel structures and pressure vessels, plans to build a factory in Siedlce. The project will not only create new workplaces but will also contribute to a creation of a network of companies co-operating with Polimex-Mostostal. The Tarnobrzeg-based SEZ, created in November 1997 and operating since 1998, managed to issue 168 business activity permissions, included 35 for investments involving foreign capital. The SEZ consists of 11 sub zones located in 6 different voivodships. (Industrial Development Agency)

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New investor in the Łódź SEZ

The industrial complex Wschodnia located in the Łódż SEZ’s sub zone in Kutno.
A new factory producing automatic lift door will be constructed in the industrial complex Wschodnia located in the Łódź SEZ’s sub zone in Kutno. Enginova is the SEZ’s brand new investing company attracted to the sub zone.

The company is to invest 22 million PLN and wants to construct a factory on a 3ha plot bought from the Łódź Special Economic Zone. A company selected for the project realisation was chosen on December 10th, 2008 in a competitive bidding. The project envisages the lift door producing plant to be located in the Kutno sub zone.

In the next two years Enginova declared to invest some 22 million and wants to create at least 50 jobs by the 2013. The whole investment is planed to be completed by May 2017. (Łódż SEZ)

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  • Food export rose by 7.2%

    AIn 2008 food export from Poland rose by 7.2% y-o-y. The value of foodstuff sold abroad last year accounted for 10.7 billion EUR. 75% of the exported food goods go to the markets located in the European Union. Also 60% of the imported food originates from the EU member states. (Institute of Agricultural and Food Economics)

  • Exchange rates (as of 08.01.2009):










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Samar Institute: sales of passenger cars on the rise

According to the data provided by the Automotive Market Research Institute Samar passenger cars sales for December 2008 result to exceed car sales recorded in Poland in November when over 27 thousand unites were sold.

The head of the Institute, Wojciech Drzewiecki told the Polish Press Agency that the good car sale performance in December may have to do with the preferential terms of end-of-the-year sale of old car models. Moreover, due to fears connected with the excise tax increase and weakening zloty many potential buyers tended to delay the acquisition of a car till the end of the year - said Wojciech Drzewiecki.

In turn, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) estimates the number of cars registered in November last year in Poland to account for 27 thousand which translates into a 10.7% increase y-o-y. The overall number of cars registered in the 11 months of 2008 reached 290 thousand i.e. increased by 9.3% in comparison with the same period of 2007. (Samar, PAP)

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Warsaw Stock Exchange - the leader of the region

The Federation of European Securities Exchanges (FESE) published a performance summary for the year 2008. The Warsaw Stock Exchange (GPW) classifies 1st in Europe in terms of debuts and comes before, among others, the London and Wien-based stocks.

The joint number of new companies which entered the Warsaw stock in the 11 months of 2008 accounts for 82, while the London Stock Exchange hosted 72 new companies and the Euronext in Amsterdam 21. The Warsaw stock results to be the unquestioned leader in the CEE.

It is the capitalization of domestic companies, the number and value of public offers, the forward market as well as the domestic transactions value that made the stock perform better than all the other stocks in the region. In terms of capitalization the Warsaw stock managed to outdo both the Wien and Athens-based stocks and became the biggest stock not only among stock markets located in the region of eastern and central but also from among those operating in the southern part of the continent.

In terms of the value of companies listed, the Warsaw stock exceeded the Wiener Boerse by some 15 billion EUR and as of the end of November 2008 its capitalization value was near 2 billion EUR higher than that of the stock located in Athens. According to FESE, the stock’s performance for the first 11 months of 2008 makes the stock an unquestionable leader in term of the number of Initial Public Offerings i.e. the number of companies which issued shares to the public for the first time. As far as debuts are concerned Warsaw managed not only to outdo all stock from the region but also such markets as Euronext, OMX and the London stock. (IAR, GPW)

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The Lidzbark county to invest in thermal springs

Lidzbark Warmiński presented a concept of a new investment which is to consist in constructing Warmia Thermal Springs i.e. a swimming pool complex with a hot brine to be built by 2012 close to Krzyżowa Góra in the vicinity of the 51 national road.

The project has already been approved of by the Ministry of Economy. In the frame a “Good Practices” contest the Ministry allocated 250 thousand PLN for the preparation of the thermal’s springs concept. The investment is bound to cost 35 million EUR. Half of the money will come from the Regional Operational Programme (ROP) for the Warmia-Mazury voivodship for the years 2007-2013. The Warmia Thermal Springs entered the list of key ROP projects for the region and thanks to an intention agreement with the voivodship’s self-government 17.5 million EUR was earmarked for the purpose. The rest of the funds is expected to come from the emission of municipal bonds. However, due to the commune’s little experience in realisation of this kind of investment and the scale of the project, the local government has been looking for a private partner who would take charge of the planning and construction works. After the project’s completion the private partner becomes a co-shareholder of the company. In his interview for “Gazeta Olsztyńska” Marek Chyl, representing the Lidzbark administration, said that the authorities are open also to foreign investors.

A model of the Warmia Termal Spirngs. Source: Lidzbark Warmiński

The project’s realisation is planed to start in the 3Q of 2009 and should be completed by December 2012. The complex is to be comprised of hot brine swimming pools (27-36 °C), a wellness centre, a hotel and restaurants as well as a sport centre. The energy needed for the thermal centre will come from renewable sources that is why an alternative source of energy in the form of a bio-gasworks is planed to be constructed in the vicinity of the centre. (Lidzbark Warmiński, Gazeta Olsztyńska)

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A student from the Warsaw University joins the Google team

Paweł Hajdan Jr., a student of the Warsaw University Faculty of Mathemetics and Informatics becomes the first external programmer to join a Google team working on the new Chrome Internet browser.

Chrome is a new application currently prepared by Google, a company known mainly for its worldwide famous Internet browser. Until recently only the company’s programmers were entitled to take part in the works on Chrome. Since the company decided to allow external programmers to send in corrections and their own proposals, Paweł Hajdan Jr. from Warsaw has been sending corrections aimed at facilitating the browser’s co-operation with systems other than Windows almost on a daily basis. The Polish student’s work found recognition and Paweł Hajdan Jr. became the first ever external programmer to join the project on terms equal to those offered to regular Google employees. Code’s corrections worked out by the Pole were very highly assessed, among others, by a Google programmer Evan Martin. The student’s achievement is all the more worth recognition that rules according to which one gains access to Google sources rank among the most restrictive and are granted only after several corrections and proposals have been positively evaluated by at least three other programmers. (IDG.pl, Wp.pl, Dobreprogramy.pl)

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