June 25th 2009,
Number 128




Dear Readers,

This week you will find accounts of two PAIiIZ conferences: on the condition of Polish construction sector in the era of crisis and on Poland’s investment attractiveness.

We also inviate for new interesting debates i.e. a conference concerning the possibilities of EU founds application organized by the European Funds Information Point at PAIiIZ and a meeting devoted to the issue of investing in the Middle East organized by Gaztea Prawna under the patronage of PAIiIZ. In the Investment section we inform about new business activity permissions issued in the Łódź, Wałbrzych and Tarnobrzeg SEZs and about a wind park inaugurated in the Dukla commune in the region of Podkarpacie. At the end we write about international co-operation in Dolny Śląsk and about Wrocław specialist sought by foreign investors.

Pleasant reading!

PAIiIZ’s editorial team

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“How to get 100 mln for investment?”

PAIiIZ kindly invites you to participate in a conference entitled “How to get 100 mln for investment?” which inaugurates the newly opened European Funds Information Point at PAIiIZ.

The conference will take place in the PAIiIZ Information Centre, 12 Bagatela Street, on June 30, 2009, between 11 a.m. - 12.30.a.m.

One of the conference’s aims is to present Measure 4.5 Innovative Economy Operational Programme - Support for investment of considerable importance to the economy - a measure of key importance for the Agency’s partners.

During the conference you will have a possibility to learn rules of preparing applications and a chance to get informative brochures concerning the application procedures.

If you wish to attend, please send an e-mail with your name to:
info-punkt@paiz.gov.pl or call 00 48 22 334 99 34 by June 26, 2009.

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“Investment climate for construction sector in Poland in the time of economic crisis” - account of the conference

Experts who took part in the meeting claim that despite the effects of crisis felt in the construction sector, prognoses for the industry are good.

The conference chaired by Mr Richard Mbewe took place on June 18th, 2009 at the PAIiIZ Information Centre. The discussion panel comprised of Olgierd Dziekoński, Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Infrastructure; Marek Michalak, president of the Gdańsk Construction Cluster; Tomasz Banasiak, deputy director at the Development and Strategy Department of the Łódź SEZ; Henryk Bojarowski, sales director at Kingspan and Sławomir Jędrzejewski, senior consultant at Jones Lang LaSalle Poland.

From the left: Henryk Bojarowski, Sławomir Jędrzejewski, Tomasz Banasiak, Olgierd Dziekoński, Marek Michalak, Richard Mbewe (Source: PAIiIZ)

The experts agreed that the future of the sector depends to a large extent on state policies. Minister Dziekoński said the Ministry of Infrastructure has been working on changes in regulations concerning real estate management policies, special planning and the Act on energy-efficient insulation overhaul programmes. Amendments to the Act may generate investment funds to the tune of 1.2 bln PLN. The Minister remained also that the latest forecasts by Euroconstruct (a Construction Forecast Group) show that as much as 7.8% of infrastructure investment in Europe in 2011 is bound to be realized in Poland.

According to the experts, the major element hampering the sector’s development is the difficult access to EU funds which are distributed in an unfavourable for entrepreneurs instalment system. One of the improvements introduced recently in the distributing system by the Ministry of Infrastructure consists in the introduction of advance payments allowing entrepreneurs to obtain even a 100% advance for the realization of a subsidized project. Additional funding may be obtained in the frame of public-private partnership which may still be treated in Poland as a kind of novelty but proved successful e.g. in the UK.

- The era of economic slowdown is a perfect occasion for testing and introduction of new technologies - said Marek Michalak. - In the cluster we have currently been working on a project of the so-called passive building i.e. a building using only 10% of energy of the total absorbed now by traditionally contracted buildings.

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“Poland - the Silicon Valley of Europe?”

Representatives of business, administration and media interested in the development of IT market in Poland gathered in the PAIiIZ Information Centre on June 22nd, 2009. The conference was organized by the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency in co-operation with the Polish Chamber of Information Technology and Telecommunications (PIIT).

The panel discussion was chaired by the President of PIIT, Wacław Iszkowski. Among the panel members there were: profesor Sławomir Kisieliński, editor of the “Computerworld” monthly; Krzysztof Diks, head of the Institute of Mathematics at the University of Warsaw; Robert Seges, head of the PAIiIZ Service Division and Janusz Gacałek, President of the Wielkopolska IT Caluster.

Mr Kisieliński presented the latest TOP200 ranking prepared by the “Computerworld” monthly. The ranking presents data concerning IT and telecommunication companies active in Poland in 2008. Although the value of the Polish IT market may not be impressive, last year its value reached 27.4 mld PLN, it is worth emphasizing that there are more and more Polish companies on the market which successfully perform in Poland and abroad. The data reveals also that the market continues to be determined by computer hardware (59%). Services comprise 28% of the market and software only 13%.

Sławomir Majman, Robert Seges, Janusz Gocałek, Sławomir Kosieliński, Krzysztof Diks,
Wacław Iszkowski (Source: PAIiIZ)

The biggest investment projects in the sector tend to be located in the region of Mazowsze - “Computerworld” estimates the region hosts over 47% of the sector’s capital. Mazowsze is followed by: Małopolska, Dolny Śląsk, Wielkopolska and Śląsk. Entrepreneurs surveyed by the monthly expect the current year will not be easy for the sector. While 15% of the companies expect improvement in economic trends, 25% present a moderate optimism and estimate financial figures to stay similar to the figures recorded last year.

Considerable human resources available in Poland constitute a vital value which the country may offer to investors. Professor Diks emphasized that the last 20 years saw 13 thousand Polish students participate in the International Olympiad in Informatics, who won 24 gold, 23 silver and 17 bronze medals. - It is not true that the majority of graduates of IT-connected faculties leave the country - claims professor Diks. - Every gifted graduate interested in pursuing academic career is eagerly admitted by Polish universities.

According to Robert Seges, Poland stands a good chance to successfully compete even with big countries savvy at attracting foreign investment from the IT sector. - Poland will not compete with India in terms of labour costs but will rather offer realization of more ambitious and more technologically advanced projects. In India, where companies tend to hire as many as 20 thousand employers a year, highly-qualified staff becomes a rarity. Also the Indian educational programmes realized in the fastest possible time influence the quality of work - claimed Mr Seges. Moreover, not all potential investors are aware of the financial subsidies they may apply for. The subsidies enable them to a 60% refund of incurred outlays.

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Investment in the Middle East - a conference by “Gazeta Prawna” under the patronage of PAIiIZ

The conference on investment opportunities in the Middle East will be held at the Polonia Hotel in Warsaw on June 30th, 2009.

The potential of Arab countries is enormous. GDP per capita in many countries of the region is comparable to the average GDP level in the European Union. Countries of the region have considerable energy resources, cheap labour force and cheap services as well as big domestic markets. The conference organized by the “Gazeta Prawna” daily will offer the opportunity to obtain information on the possible co-operation with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Iraq.

Despite the relatively low volume of trade with the countries and not big Polish investment, the region deserves a considerably bigger interest on the part of Polish exporters and investors. First of all due to the potential of the region’s markets in the form of a strong demand for goods exported by Polish companies and also because of investment programmes realised in those countries.

During the meeting not only opportunities, investment tendencies, potential, economic and cultural characteristics of the region but also legal, administrational, financial and communication problems and solutions will be discussed.

Organisers expect Polish companies already co-operating with the Gulf Cooperation Council, institutions and local governments interested in entering into such co-operation as well as the GCC region’s representatives (embassies, consulting companies and business agents) to attend the meeting. For more information contact Barbara Mazur, Tel.: (+48 22) 530 49 53, barbara.mazur@infor.pl or go to www.gazetaprawna.pl/konferencje/bliskiwschod/index.php.

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Modern wind park in Podkarpacie

Łęki Dukielskie in the Dukla commune hosts a modern wind park consisting of five 2MW wind turbines. The project was realized by the Portuguese Martifier Renewables and is the most modern investment of the type realised in the South-East of Poland.

The new wind farm will produce 20,000 MW of energy a year. The 10 mln PLN worth investment was managed by the Portuguese Martifier, which built the complex of five wind turbines within 4,5 years.

The project included also investments realised to the benefit of the commune. Investor financed a two-storey car park and roads. Local authorities warmly welcomed the project as the wind park is expected to help in economic development of the region and promote Dukla as a commune open to investments using renewable energy sources.

During the opening ceremony the mayor of Dukla, Marek Górak said - We believe in renewable energy. It has been several years since we passed the spatial development plan which had a wind farm on the agenda. We also have a lot suitable for a hydroelectric power station. (Dukla commune, Nowiny)

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Further investments in Kutno and Radomsko

Round 130 new jobs are to be created as a result of two new investment projects began in the Łódź Special Economic Zone. In Kutno the first construction phase of a package plant was completed and in Radomsko a factory producing corrugated board was inaugurated.

A ceremony celebrating the completion of the first construction stage of the Printpack factory took place on June 8th, 2009 in Kutno. The project is worth 40 mln USD. The 10,000 sq m complex is planed to be constructed on a 6.5 ha lot and will be finished in the second half of 2010. The modern facility will manufacture pliable packages for the food industry in the whole Europe. The Kutno-based factory is the first such project of the American investor in this part of Europe. Up to now the concern has only been present in the UK where it started operating due to takeovers. In Kutno Printpack will hire 85 people. Substantial part of the production will be oriented towards the north, central and south of Europe.

This very same day a facility producing corrugated board in Radomsko was inaugurated. The investment was jointly worth 46.650 mln PLN. 50 persons will find employment in the factory. (Łódź SEZ)

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New investment in the Wałbrzych SEZ

Sauer-Danfoss received a permission to start operating within the Wrocław sub zone of the Wałbrzych Special Economic Zone.

Danfoss declared to invest at least 55 mln PLN and employ 200 people. On a 3.8 ha lot the company will construct a factory producing hydraulic engines. Investor plans to complete the project by the end of 2012.

The Wałbrzych Special Economic Zone "Invest - Park" is one of the fastest developing industrial zones in Poland. It was established on the basis of the regulation of the Council of Ministers of April 15, 1997. The zone is situated in the southwest of Poland within the regions of Dolny Śląsk, Opole, Wielkopolska and Lubuskie. (Wałbrzych SEZ)

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Lotos invests in the Tarnobrzeg SEZ

Lotos expands its investment located in the Tarnobrzeg Special Economic Zone. The new production facility manufacturing hydroinsulating materials will offer employment to 40 people, mainly former employees of the Jasło refinery.

In the sub zone of the Tarnobrzeg SEZ located in Jasło, a new Lotos factory, equipped with one of the most modern production lines in Europe, was opened. The facility was constructed within 14 month and is worth 40 mln PLN. The plant will be producing high-quality, thermoweldable hydroinsulating materials used in big engineering and residential complexes. The new production lines will make it possible to expand production and hire 40 employees. At the moment the Jasło factory has been hiring 60 people, mainly former workers of the local refinery. (Tarnobrzeg SEZ)

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  • Central Statistical Office (GUS): unemployment rate fell to 10.8%

    The unemployment rate in May 2009 accounted for 10.8% against 11% in April 2009 - informs GUS. The number of unemployed persons registered in labour offices as of the end of May 2009 accounted for 1.683.4 thousand. The Central Statistical Office informed also that retail sales in May rose by 1.1% y-o-y after a fall by 1% y-o-y in April this year. (PAP)

  • Exchange rates (as of 25.06.2009):









Source: www.nbp.pl

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Dolny Śląsk - Saxon Day of Environment and Rural Areas Development

The first event of a series of meetings in the frame of Dolny Śląsk - Saxon Day of Environment and Rural Areas Development organized by the German Consulate General and Dolny Śląsk Marshal’s Office (UMWD).

Participants of the meeting (Source: UMWD)

The meeting was attended by: Frank Kupfer - Saxon Minister of Environment and Agriculture, Piotr Litwa - President of the State Mining Authority in Katowice, Lars Bosse - president of the Polish-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Helmut Schöps - Konsul General of the Federal Republic of Germany, Tadeusz Drab - Vice Marshal of Dolny Śląsk and Bogusław Wijatyk - Director of the Department of Voivodeship Property and Agriculture of the Marshal's Office of the Dolnośląskie Voivodeship (UMWD).

A considerable part of the discussion was devoted to the issues of restoration and revitalization of postmining land. Problems connected with the integrated country development and natural environment protection in the rural areas were brought up. Bogusław Wijatyk from the UMWD presented the already realized achievements and projects concerning development of the rural areas in the nearest future. While Andreas Griess from the Saxon Ministry of Environment and Agriculture, presented a concept of an integrated rural areas development programme, Martina Kasparetz-Kuhlmann representing Architektenbüro Kasparetz-Kuhlmann discussed detailed show cases of similar examples. At the end Edyta Lubacz from the Provincial Land Melioration and Water Units Board discussed issues connected with flood protection policies in Dolny Śląsk. The meeting offered a possibility to both theorists and practitioners to exchange experience concerning the renovation and revitalization of rural areas and postminig land. The meeting formed a foundation for further Polish-German co-operation in the field. (Dolny Śląsk Marshal's Office)

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Wrocław a source of specialist

Two international IT companies, Capgemini and Opera, are interested in co-operation with Wrocław engineers. The Wroclaw University of Technology enters into co-operation with Volvo. Thanks to the co-operation solutions developed by scientist will now be applied in real-life business.

The international company Capgemini wants to hire 100 engineers and the Norway Opera Software, producer of the well-known internet browser, has been searching for programmers. Two years ago Opera Software created its R&D centre in the Dolny Śląsk’s capital city Wrocław. At that time 26 programmers found job in the centre. Currently the centre has been hiring over 100 specialists and plans further recruitment processes. - We've been looking for new employees - Jon von Tetzchner, Opera’s director general told Biznespolska. - We are extremely satisfied with the work our Wrocław-based centre has been doing. That is why we decided to expand our activity here. How many people will we take? Depends on how many geniuses will we find. Specialist working for the centre deal mainly with issues connected with the Opera browser’s improvements and its mobile version - Opera Mini. Opera specialists have also been developing solutions for cellular network (e.g. for Samsung) and improving software for the Nintendo Wii console.

Also in Wrocław new employees - mainly engineers - have also been sought by Capgemini, one of world biggest IT services and business consultancy company.

Moreover, a new phase of univeristy-business co-operation is bound to start with the signing of an agreement between the Wrocław University of Technology and Volvo Polska. Thanks to the agreement solutions developed by scientists and students stand a good chance of finding application in real-life business. - So far the Wrocław University of Technology has been already contributing substantially to the process of technological development of the whole region of Dolny Śląsk. Most recent research forecasts indicates Poland will suffer engineer shortages in the next 5 years (lack of around 50,000 engineer). Tthere is hardly any better argument to encourage young people to study at the university. - profesor Tadeusz Więckowski, rector of the university, told Gazeta Wyborcza.The university has already signed similar contracts with 40 business entities operating in the region, among others, with Philips, KGHM, LG, Toyota, Siemens and Telefonia Dialog.

The contract guarantees the university’s students and graduates access to internships and placements organized by the company for young professionals. A thing which may considerably help young people in the process of writing MA and PhD thesis. (Biznespolska, Gazeta Wyborcza Wrocław)

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Editorial office: Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency, 00-585 Warsaw, Bagatela Street 12
Economic Promotion Department, tel: (+48 22) 334 98 15, fax: (+48 22) 334 99 99,
e-mail: redakcja@paiz.gov.pl
Polish Infomation and Foreign Investment Agency www.paiz.gov.pl