April 16th 2009,
Number 118




Dear Readers,

This week we present further expert analyses confirming the good condition of the Polish economy and especially the Polish finance system. The data finds confirmation also in the latest banks’ economic forecasts which even after adjustments continue to be the best among European countries. In fact, Poland stands a good chance to successfully apply for IMF's Flexible Credit Line what may substantially increase the reserves of the National Bank of Poland. In this issue we also write about the enlargement of two Polish special economic zones and we provide the latest data on foreign trade.

Last but not least, we invite everybody to a PAIiIZ conference devoted to the issues of Polish regions’ investment attractiveness. For more information on this and other events recommended by PAIiIZ go to the News section. 

Pleasant reading!

PAIiIZ’s editorial team

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Conference: "Innovations vs investment attractiveness of Polish regions"

The Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency invites to a conference “Innovations vs investment attractiveness of Polish regions.” which is to take place on April 28th in the PAIiIZ Press Centre at 12 Bagatela Str.

The aim of the conference is to present results of investment attractiveness research of Polish regions conducted by professor Hanna Godlewska-Majkowska from the Enterprise Institute of the Warsaw School of Economics (SGH). Thanks to the in-depth research, the regions’ and communities’ investment attractiveness could be thoroughly diagnosed and may be now presented in greater detail. The meeting will also serve as an opportunity to present results of the recently established co-operation between SGH and PAIiIZ in the field of regional investment attractiveness analysis and the Polish SEZs influence on the issue. Professor Tadeusz Baczko will introduce reports concerning the level of applied innovations in all of the 16 Polish voivodships. The reports, which were prepared at the Institute of Economics at the Polish Academy of Sciences, contain regional and microeconomic analyses of a variety of innovations in the regions as well as a useful list and a map of the most innovation-oriented enterprises.

In the final stage of the meeting organisers plan a debate attended by representatives of governmental and academic entities, experts and foreign investors.

To confirm your participation please contact Agnieszka Schutte at agnieszka.schutte@paiz.gov.pl (PAIiIZ)

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Green Ventures 2009 in Potsdam

International Co-operation Forum for Environmental and Energy Technologies will be held in Potsdam, Germany, from June 10-12, 2009. The forum is organised by the Potsdam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the German Ministry of Transport, Construction and Development and the Komfort Consulting, the forum’s partner in Poland.

The forum is an annual meeting organised since 1998. Since then Green Ventures has been the biggest platform facilitating trade relations establishment in the sectors of environmental protection, renewable energies and power engineering. Effective business relationship development translates directly into new orders, contracts, clients and also in practical know-how-transfer. This year’s forum will be devoted to the following topics: water and waste water treatment, water management, air and soil protection, energy management, renewable energies and recycling.

Firms and institutions from China, Scandinavia, Italy, Poland, CIS, the Baltic Countries, Great Britain, Tunisia, the Czech Republic, Germany and further countries are expected to participate. Former editions of the forum hosted up to 3,000 companies from 86 countries of all continents. The 2009 forum will feature business-to-business talks, presentations and excursions to innovative enterprises operating in the power sector and environmental protection in the region of Berlin. For more information visit www.green-ventures.com (Komfort Consulting)

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3rd edition of the “Good Practices in PPP” contest

The 3rd edition of the contest is geared towards public administration entities and aims at selecting the best PPP projects which may be realised in a variety of sectors.

The contest started on March 18th. Till May 14th, ,2009 applications may be sent in four categories: communal infrastructure, network structures, sport and recreation infrastructure and small PPP projects i.e. worth not more than 100 mln EUR. Results will be announced on a conference which is to be held from  June 25th to 26th.

This year the winners will have the possibility to attend an investment forum in France (study visit) where the best projects will be presented to potential investors. The visit will also offer an opportunity to meet representatives of the French local governments and companies and to exchange experiences and gain insight into the legal and financial aspects of PPP projects’ realisation in France. The aim of the forum consist in promoting the winners’ initiatives and will also serve as a starting point for a public discussion concerning the ways and issues connected with the realisation of projects in the frame of public-private partnership.

Application form and the contest regulations are available on www.dobrepraktykippp.eu. The website has also an Internet forum devoted to the forum-connected issues and the idea of public-private partnership.

The former two editions attracted over 70 projects. This year’s edition enjoys the patronage of the Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Infrastructure, the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency and local associations, governments and chambers of commerce. PAIiIZ act also as the contest’s partner.

In the media the event will be promoted by: Rzeczpospolita, Gazeta Samorządu i Administracji, Redakcja Samorządowa PAP, Forum PPP, Internet portals: RegioPortal.pl, publiczni.pl.

Partners : PKO BP, French Trade and Industry Chamber, Wolters Kluwer.

For more information go to www.dobrepraktykippp.eu.

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Warsaw Stock Exchange ranks 1st in Europe

After the 1st Q of 2009 the Warsaw Stock Exchange again classifies on the 1st position in Europe in terms of stock-market flotations and the value of stocks on offer.

The 1st Q of the year saw only 18 IPOs of a joint value of 9 mln EUR issued on the European stock exchanges. The results show not only a substantial fall in comparison to the same period last year (72 IPO jointly worth 1942 mln EUR) but also when compared to the 4th Q of 2008 (64 IPO worth 1238 mln EUR). Such a considerable drop in IPOs volume and value of the offerings reflects the global slowdown in the world markets. PricewaterhouseCoopers experts, who for the last eight years have been analysing the Europe-based stock exchanges, declared the last quarter was the weakest since the beginning of 2001.

For the first time, the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE) resulted to be the biggest European market both in respect of the volume of stock-market flotations and the value of the offerings. There were 6 IPOs (including 3 out of the 5 biggest offerings issued in Europe in the 1st Q of 2009) worth 6 million EUR on the WSE. Hydrapres made the most impressive debut worth 4 mln EUR. In fact, two third of the joint European IPO value for the last quarter fell to the Warsaw-based stock.

Besides Warsaw only London and Luxembourg recorded any IPOs. The London main market recorded only two IPOs while the AIM market had only one release for circulation. NASDAQ OMX, the second market in terms of the volume of IPO recorded four IPO all without share’s offer. NYSE Euronext which together with the London stock ranked 3rd witnessed three IPO in comparison to 17 IPO jointly worth 620 mln EUR in the 1st Q of 2008. (www.gpw.pl)

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  • Active balance in foreign trade

    The National Bank of Poland informed that February 2009 saw an active balance on the current account to the tune of 525 mln EUR. Poland received more capital mainly thanks to the high transfers of the EU funds which accounted for 1.15 bln EUR due to advance payments in the frame of the 2007-2013 programmes.

    The surplus in current turnover was also influenced by the drop in import and export viewed year on year. Export fell by 28.2% and import by 33% y-o-y.

    Economists assess the data to be positive and envisage the situation in the Polish current turnover to continue to improve. Also the weakening of złoty against the two major currencies i.e. euro and dollar should make a positive contribution. (NBP, Puls Biznesu)

  • Exchange rates (as of 16.04.2009):










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New investments in the Kraków SEZ

This is the 68th permission for business activity issued by the management of the Kraków Technology Park.

The investing Kon-Ins-Bud Montaż Sp.z o.o. will realise its project in the Tarnów sub zone of the Kraków SEZ. In the new facility the company wants to manufacture steel structural parts. The investor normally realises a complete construction process i.e. from the designing phase through all legal arrangements to the physical realisation of a given project. The second direction of the company’s activities focuses on assembling steel structures for production shop floors and warehouses.

Kon-Ins-Bud is about to invest 4mln PLN and hire 40 persons. (Kraków Technology Park)

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Almost 10,000 workplaces and new investments in the special economic zones

On April 14th the Government accepted regulations concerning the area of the Kraków and Wałbrzych SEZs with the aim of attracting more investment and stimulating employment.

Regulations prepared by the Ministry of Economy enlarge the area of the two SEZs. Due to the changes the Wałbrzych SEZ gaines another 107 ha and the Kraków SEZ further 113 ha.

The lots attached to the Kraków-based SEZ are already destined to host concrete investment projects i.e. while in Andrychów there are plans to situate a factory manufacturing metal containers and a facility producing elements for crankshafts and ships, in Zabierzów is envisaged to host three service centres. The incorporation of new lots and thus attraction of the investments to the Kraków SEZ is bound to generate over 3,200 new workplaces in the SEZ and round 800 in the SEZ’s direct vicinity and in its sub zones i.e. Andrychów, Zabierzów, Bochnia, Gorlice, Książ Wielki, Limanowa, Niepołomice and Zator. The expected investment outlays account for almost 500 mln PLN.

In turn, the Wałbrzych-based SEZ expects to host investment projects worth round 1.5 bln PLN which are bound to generate round 4,900 jobs. The SEZ enlargement is also expected to stimulate employment in the SEZ’s surrounding area and is estimated to generate some 970 workplaces.

While the new regulations concerning the Kraków SEZ enter into force on April 30th, the changes regarding the zone in Wałbrzych come into effect on April 22nd, 2009. (Government Information Centre, Ministry of Economy)

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Further forecasts of GDP growth in Poland

Latest economic prognoses published by the Swiss UBS, Canadian RBC and the Bank Zachodni WBK foresee GDP growth and emphasise the country’s good economic outlook for future development, the best in the whole CEE region.

Economic prognoses provided by the banks foresee a weaker economic growth for Poland in 2009: GDP growth is estimated to decrease - according to RBC by 2%, UBS by 0.9% and BZ WBK by 0.4%. According to the latest forecasts issued by the Swiss UBS, GDP growth in Poland is bound to fall to 1% from the expected 1.9% and in 2010 from 2.8% to 1.9%. UBS analysts explain that economic forecasts across the world have been deteriorating. In fact, demand for the Polish exported goods has been diminishing what translates negatively into economic forecasts.

Experts from Bank BPH also expect GDP growth in 2009 to hover at 1% against the formerly anticipated 1.6%. Similarly, specialists from BZ WBK reduced the forecasts from 1.2% to 0.8%.

Despite all that analysts emphasise that Poland does stand out in the region as far as development possibilities are concerned as the country has not been so dependant on export and has a big domestic market. (Puls Biznesu)

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) appreciates the stable condition of the Polish economy

Jacek Rostowski, the finance minister informed that the Polish Government is to apply for IMF's Flexible Credit Line and thus wants to become a member of the prestigious “Platinum Club” which gathers strong economies.

Thanks to the Flexible Credit Line (FCL) the reserves of the National Bank of Poland will increase by 20 bln USD. Joining the mechanism will defend Poland against uncontrolled depreciation of the zloty and generally against effects of the global crisis. - I may confirm that during the talks with IMF it was clear that Poland continues to be perceived as a pillar of the stable situation in the region - said Rostowish at a press conference.

Minister Rostowski informed also that the mechanism does not form part of a support scheme of the IMF and the resources will not be available for the Polish budget as they will constitute part of international reserves available for the National Bank of Poland (NBP). Rostowski emphasised the positive and regulatory influence the FCL access may exert on the Polish finance system. It is not only about restricting the uncontrolled depreciation of the zloty but also about considerable improvement of the availability of debt financing for the state treasury.

The so called “Platinum Club” admits only countries with a very strong track record of viable economic policy and those which give confidence that their economic policies will remain strong in the future. Poland will be the second country - after Mexico - to apply for the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) new instrument available for financially viable countries. Rostowski stressed that the accession results from a cautious and responsible economic policy conducted by the Government before and in the era of global crisis.

Also the Prime Minister Tusk emphasised that the FCL is one of the effects the consistent economic policy of the Government which has recently been reflected not only in high world ranking positions but also in the positive opinions provided by experts. Consistent financial policies may attract further considerable financial means which IMF wants to distribute among the most developed and promising from among the emerging markets, like Poland. (Government Information Centre)

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Over 10,000 income-tax returns via the Internet

The first week since the inauguration of the online service saw over 10,000 people file and sign the income tax return using a Digital Signature. 

The interactive service  www.e-deklaracje.gov.pl, initiated on April 9th, provides an online PIT-37 application. The site contains also detailed instructions and a section devoted to the frequently asked questions with answers. (Ministry of Finance)

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