August 6th, 2009,
Number 134




Dear Readers,

This week we encourage you to read about one of the biggest greenfield investments realized in 2008 in the USA. The project is run by a Polish furniture manufacturer. Moreover, we inform about investment plans of Starco Polska and present the latest forecasts prepared by the Gdańsk Institute for Market Economics which show that the most dangerous moments in Polish economy seem to be over.

Pleasant reading!

PAIiIZ’s editorial team

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What is waiting for entrepreneurs after the summer?

This September is going to be a hot time for entrepreneurs interested in obtaining a grant from the Innovative Economy Operational Programme.

According to the new intake schedule in the Innovative Economy Operational Programme the intake in Measure 1.4 - Support for goal-oriented projects (complementary with 4.1 Support for the implementation of the outcome of R&D works) will start in September 14. Support in 1.4 can be given to entrepreneurs who plan to carry out R&D, technological or organizational projects (industry-related research and development work) conducted by entrepreneurs individually or in cooperation with research units. Measure 1.4 is related to time until the prototype is created, Measure 4.1 provides support for implementation of the outcome of R&D work carried out under Measure 1.4 or the Technological Initiative (Ministry of Science and Higher Education Programme) and is connected with investment (purchase of material and/or inmaterial assets) necessary for the implementation process.

Another competitions will be related to stimulation of R&D activities of enterprises and support in the area of industrial design (Measure 4.2), new investment of a high innovation potential (Measure 4.4) or searching for trade partners in foreign markets  as well as participation in trade fairs and exhibition events abroad as the exhibitor (Measure 6.1).
The intake of applications in Measure 8.1 will start September 28 (support for business activity in the field of electronic commerce). Some days later - October 5 - the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development will start an intake of applications in Measure 8.2 (Support for the implementation of electronic business of the B2B type).

At the same time it is worth remembering that the intake of applications in some measures is still open (till the end of this year or till the financial allocation is finished). Entrepreneurs can apply for grants in Measure 4.5 - Support for investment of considerable importance to the economy (4.5.1 - innovative investment in production sector, 4.5.2 - support for investment in modern services sector - IT, R&D centres) and Measure 4.3 - Technology Credit.

For more information see page www.paiz.gov.pl/europeanfunds

Information about possibilities of getting grants in the Innovative Economy Operational Programme can also be obtained at European Funds Information Point in PAIiIZ: 0 801 005 075, info-punkt@paiz.gov.pl

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Polish investment among the biggest greenfield projects in the USA in 2008

According to the latest report by the American Organization for International Investment, a project realized by Polish Com.40 ranks among the biggest greenfield investments in the USA. Com.40 will invest 36.3 mln USD to construct a plant in Danville (Virginia) where 800 jobs will be created in the upcoming 7 years.

The report  published by the American Organization for International Investment analyses FDI inflow to the USA which in 2008 reached 36.6 bn USD. In the category of greenfield investment the report mentions the ten biggest projects. The first two positions were taken by an Arab enterprise Advanced Technology Investment worth 2.8 bn USD and a BMW project worth 100 mln USD. The investment realized by the Polish Com.40 classified in the 3rd position.

Com.40 Limited situated in Nowe Skalmierzyce (Wielkopolska) plans to invest over 36 mln USD in a plant which will produce mattresses and furniture elements. The USA-based Com.40 factory's production will be closely connected with the IKEA Group in North America. The companies have an agreement due to which the Polish producer has been selling the IKEA group most of its output in Poland. In the course of the first 7 years the company plans to hire 800 people.

Com.40 Limited belongs to a group of companies owned by Bogdan Kaczmarek (Big Star, PROFIm, AB Wood Sławno, AIB Starachowice) one of the biggest furniture manufacturers in Poland.

Com.40 has been selling its products in major Polish cities and in foreign markets, among others, in the UK, France, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland and Germany. In Nowe Skalmierzyce the company hires 1800 employees. (WPHI Washington)

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925 mln EUR for scientific research from EIB

The European Investment Bank granted Poland a 675 mln EUR loan for institute and university research. Two more loans, jointly 250 mln EUR, will be allocated to projects run by small and medium-sized enterprises  - informed PAP.

According to the Bank's deputy president Ms Marta Gajęcka, the funds should make it easier to develop knowledge-based society and facilitate SMEs’ access to medium and long-term financial aid.

The 675 mln EUR may be distributed among: the Ministry of Science, national research institutes and universities. The funds, to be expended in the years 2009-2010, may be invested in research infrastructure and equipment as well as allocated to co-finance salaries of research workers responsible for the implementation of governmental programmes.

Moreover, EIB granted a 150 mln EUR loan to PKO BP. The funds will be allocated to smaller projects run by public and private enterprises. Projects eligible for financial support should focus on environment protection and energy efficient strategies or may deal with infrastructure issues in the field of health care, education, services and tourism.

The third loan was granted to BRE Bank i.e.100 mln EUR which should be used to support small and medium projects in the industry and service sectors. The projects may be realized both in Poland and in other EU countries.

To date, the co-operation with BRE Bank resulted in several loans, jointly 140 mln EUR, granted to smaller investments realized by public and private companies. (PAP)

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Starco Polska develops and offers jobs

The Mielec Industrial Park will host a new factory producing running gears. Starco looks for workers with experience in metal working. During the first investment phase the company planes to hire 35 people.

Starco has been operating in Mielec for 8 years now. The company has been active mainly in trading but is now turning also to production. Last year the company received a permission to develop its activities in the Mielec Special Economic Zone and in autumn bought a lot worth 1 mln PLN situated in the Mielec-based Industrial Park. Production floor which will be constructed on the 4ha lot will measure4,000 sq m, including a small office space. Construction costs are estimated to exceed 11 mln PLN.

Production is planned to start in spring 2010 . The modern factory will produce axes and running gears for agriculture and garden vehicles, Melex electric vehicles and wheel chairs. Starco has been active on international markets. While the Starco parent company is situated in Denmark, its daughters companies are located in the UK, Germany, Russia and in the Benelux. (Puls Biznesu/www.mielec.pl)

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  • 567.6 mln EUR from the EU in June

    EU funds transfer to Poland in June accounted for 567.64 mln EUR - informed the Ministry of Finance. The first six months of the year saw 5 bn 530 mln EUR transferred to Poland. The country contributed 2 bn 32 mln EUR. (PAP)

  • Car sales in July rose by O,5% y-o-y

    The overall number of sold car accounted for over 24,000. - informed Polish Automotive Industry Association. Dealers expected the falling sales tendency to persists, the number of sold cars this year exeeded 193,000 i.e. 0.7% more than in the same period in 2008.(PZPM)

  • Exchange rates (as of 06.08.2009):









Source: www.nbp.pl

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Wrocław University of Technology to co-operate with Microsoft

Microsoft and the Wrocław University of Technology signed a co-operation agreement.

The agreement assumes the entities will co-operate in two fields. First, Microsoft joins the Knowledge and Innovation Community for Information and Communication Technologies. The major aim of the cluster is to combine efforts of scientists and companies active in the field of modern technologies. Microsoft is the 54th member of the Community.

Secondly, the concern will actively engage in both research and teaching activities in the University. - We are among world leaders when it comes to research expenditure. The company spend 9 bn USD annually on research - Jacek Murawski, managing director of Microsoft Polska told Gazeta Wyborcza. - We want to work with the best and that is why we chose the University of Technology in Wrocław.

Jacek Morawski and professor Tadeusz Więckowski sign the agreement. (Source: J.Paj±k)

The agreement will enable research workers and students to test the company’s software, run research projects for the concern and take part in Microsoft internship programmes. Every year the company tends to invite several students from the University to serve an internship in the Microsoft headquarters in the USA.

The agreement signing ceremony was attended by: professor Tadeusz Więckowski - Rector of the Wrocław University of Technology; Jacek Murawski - Managing Director of Microsoft Polska, professor Eugeniusz Rusiński - Rector for Scientific Research and Economic Co-operation, professor Andrzej Kasprzak - Rector for Teaching Activities, Andrzej Jabłoński PhD - Secretary of the Managing Committee at the Knowledge and Innovation Community for Information and Communication Technologies, Tomasz Gładkowski - Director for Microsoft Polska Internet Service. (Gazeta Wyborcza Wrocław)

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IBnGR: the crisis leaves Poland

Experts from the Gdańsk Institute for Market Economics claim the worse time for Poland is over. The Institute’s economists assess the GDP growth in the 2nd quarter of the year rose by 0.2% y-o-y.

Marcin Peterlik from the Institute expects the GDP dynamics to improve in the upcoming quarters what should result in a 0.7% GDP increase in the whole 2009. Next year the economy in Poland is expected to develop at the pace of 1.8%.

Among factors that determined the fall in GDP dynamics experts indicate the decrease of import and export levels. According to IBnGR, the 2nd quarter of the year saw a negative pace of export i.e. -4.4% while the falls in import accounted for -9.3%. Krzysztof Łapiński from IBnGR emphasizes that the indicators depend heavily on the economic situation in our major trade partners.

The Gdańsk Institute for Market Economics expects the unemployment rate to rise at the end of the 3rd quarter of 2009 and to reach 12.8% at the end of the year. Nevertheless, 2010 should see the rate fall to 11.2%. Due to the weakening economic conditions also the overall price growth rate is bound to drop. By the 4th quarter of the year inflation should reach 2.7% while the overall 2009 inflation level should hover at around 3.2%. Next year the average price growth rate should stay at 2.5%.

The experts expect the Polish złoty to strengthen. In their opinion in the 4th quarter of the year 1 USD should cost 2.9 PLN and for 1 EUR we may pay 4.1 PLN. Further strengthening of the Polish currency is expected next year. (IAR)

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Enterprise in Poland - a report by the Ministry of Economy

The Ministry of Economy published its 7th edition of the report “Enterprise in Poland” which provides an analysis of Polish enterprises and the business environment in the country.

Last year saw a number of enterprise-oriented initiatives which focused on legislative issues. The “Package for Enterprise” prepared by the Ministry may serve as an example of such actions.

Thanks to the Package it will now be possible to suspend business activity, limit redundant audits in companies and take advantage of the one-window rule which effectively facilitates administrative procedures. Moreover, the frame of public-private partnership projects and value added tax regulations could effectively be streamlined. The package introduces also the taxpayers’ presumption of honesty.

The report presents a general situation of Poland's economy in the 2nd quarter of 2008 when clear effects of the global economic slowdown began to be felt. GDP data for the 1st quarter of 2009 shows the country among the most crisis immune EU member states.

The report highlights also the most important anti crisis initiatives taken by the Polish government. In response to the crisis-connected effects emerging in the country’s economy, on November 30th 2008 the government accepted a “Stability and Development Plan” which was devised to support the Polish economy in the face of the spreading slowdown.

The Ministry prepared a document “Initiatives of Ministry of Economy for stability and development”. The document assumes increase of consumer and investment demand, improvement of the SME financing system, acceleration of EU financed investments' realization, innovation development and more flexible labour market.

The report shows also that 2008 saw over 317, 000 applications for registration in the REGON register i.e. 8% more than in the previous year. The overwhelming majority (97%) of active economic entities comprises of micro enterprises i.e. businesses employing up to 9 workers. In 2007 such entities made up 96% of active entrepreneurs. While small companies (10 - 49 workers) constitute 2.5%, the number of medium enterprises (50 - 249 workers ) account for less than 1%. The big companies offering employment to over 250 persons compose 0.2% of the total number of active enterprises. The joint value of enterprises’ revenues in 2008 rose by 11% and reached 2.3 trillion PLN. (Ministry of Economy)

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Construction of the Polish pavilion for the EXPO 2010

The construction of the Polish EXPO pavilion started officially on August 4th, 2009.

The official ceremony was attended by: Deputy Marshal of the Polish Senat -  Marek Ziółkowski, Charge d’Affaires at the Polish Embassy in Beijing - Andrzej Kneifel, the Commissioner General of the Polish Section of EXPO 2010 - Sławomir Majman, President of the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development - Bożena Lublińska-Kasprzak and numerous representatives of Chinese authorities and EXPO organizers.

Since its presentation the pavilion has been enjoying an unflagging popularity and interest on the part of Chinese population. The construction stands out from among other pavilions and thanks to its aesthetic individualism, which is at the same time eligible for the Chinese canons, became a recognizable cultural emblem of Poland.  The 30 metre high structure renders the motif of a folk-art paper cut-out allowing the light filtering through the patterns of the elevation to create a ‘chiaroscuro’ effect. The message behind the combination of modern elements with folk motives consists in the necessity of combining the contemporary with the traditional, especially in the era of fast developing social and cultural trends.

During the International Exposition EXPO 2010 in Shanghai the pavilion will host a number of cultural events promoting Poland‘s economy, culture, science and tourism. (PARP)

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