April 9th 2009,
Number 117



To all of our friends and partners.
Best wishes for a happy Easter,
for optimism, together with good
fortune both personally and in business.

The Board of Directors and all the personnel at PAIiIZ



Dear Readers,

In today's  issue we recommanded the account of the latest PAIiIZ conference "Investments in Poland in an era of global economic crisis".

We inform also about the new foreign investment in Wołczyn in Opolskie Voivodship and about the possibility of obtaining funds from the National Environment Protection Fund for investment in renewable energy.  Polish economy in comparison to other European countries - with w write reports and analysis section.

In these days were published new reports were confirming thegood condition of the Polish economy in comparison to other European countries - are writing about them in the Reports and analysis.

Pleasant reading!

PAIiIZ’s editorial team

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Poland the best in the CEE region

A conference “Foreign direct investments in Poland at the time of world economic crisis” took place on April 2nd at the PAIiIZ Press Centre. The meeting served as an opportunity to start a debate on Poland’s investment attractiveness and the general condition of the Polish economy in the context of the whole CEE region.

The first part of the meeting was devoted to a report presented by the Polish-German Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber’s Director General, Mr Lars Bosse presenetd the analysis “Foreign investors’ view on Poland’s investment attractiveness” which contains conclusions from a survey conducted among 163 entrepreneurs of different size operating in Poland. As much as 82% of the respondents declared their satisfaction with the country as an investment destination what translates in Poland’s gaining 4.7 out of 6 possible points and makes Poland top the list of investment destinations in the region of Central and Eastern Europe. Among the best rated advantages of investing in Poland investors indicated: EU membership, easy access to local sub-contractors and the highly-qualified, diligent and their productivity. Among the points that still leave much t be desired fell public infrastructure, tax system and tax-related administration, public administration, predictability of trends in economic policy and lawmakers. The research clearly indicates that investors do focus on the qualifications of prospective staff as well as workers involvement and productivity, stable trends in law creation and EU membership. On the other hand, domestic market and the quality of higher and professional education seems not to occupy such a high position among the most important factors.

The report shows that entrepreneurs do not see the current economic condition in Poland in bright colours. Only 9% considers it to be good while as much as 67% does not count on any improvement this year and even fear deterioration. Over half of the surveyed predicts slowdown in their sector and one third does not rule out problems in their own company. 53% plans to cut investment outlays and 38% may see themselves forced to axe jobs. Mr Bohdan Wyżnikiewicz PhD, Vice President at the Institute for Market Economics presented more optimistic data and emphasized that Poland is one of the very few countries which manages to maintain a positive results in numerous forecasts on the economic growth in the coming months. Mr Wyżnikiewicz stressed the role of the Polish government as governmental control over the budgetary deficit, preparations to the entry into ERM2 and investment stimulating actions stand a good chance to make Poland experience satisfactory economic growth in 2010.

Speakers at the conference, from the left Janusz Jankowiak, Sławomir Majman,
Teresa Korycińska and dr Bohdan Wyżnikiewicz.

The second part of the conference Mr Sławomir Majman, member of the PAIiIZ management board chaired a debate concerning investment attractiveness of Poland in the era of global crisis and reasons that may inspire investors to invest in the country. Ms Dorota Lombardi, Director of the ŁódĽ SEZ emphasised that delays in investment decisions are temporary and investors declare to resume talks in the 3rdQ of the year. IKEA may serve as an example of a company presenting a positive outlook into the future and continues its investments. Ms Ewa Radecka from IKEA said that the company plans a new investment to be realised in the Eastern part f Poland. “We hope that thanks to new investments IKEA may become one of the strategic investors in the whole country.”- claimed Ms Radecka and emphasised that the company has been operating in Poland for 60 years.

Mr Janusz Jankowiak, Polish Business Roundtable, chief economist at confirmed that in the era of global economic slowdown it is not only the economic instability but the general problems with financing that may influence the level of foreign investment. - That is why companies with their own capital and businesses which tend to have long-term investment plans, like IKEA, manage best in such circumstances” - added Mr Jankowiak. Besides he stressed the low production costs are not always the decisive factor. “Low labour costs results decisive in regards of the appreciation capacity of a currency - he stressed. That is why Poland still results competitive although in general may result expensive when compared e.g. with Slovakia.

According to Ms Teresa Korycińska from the Support Instruments Department at the Ministry of Economy, governmental warranties play an important part when it comes attracting and keeping investors in the country as well as widely interopreted help on the part of local-governments.

At the end of the conference Sławomir Majman emphasised the importance of the taks PAIiIZ and other institutions have in providing support for investment as well as of the effort the institution makes convince investors not to perceive Poland solely in terms of its location in the CEE region as the zone varies in a number of aspects. Especially that Poland at the moment enjoys a particularly outstanding position in the region and in the whole UE.
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Conference: “Economic freedom 20 years later”

The conference will be devoted to the issue acts on economic freedom from 1988 in the context of foreign investment support will take place on April 16th at 11 a.m. in the PAIiIZ Press Centre.

The meeting is organised by the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency in co-operation with Foreign Investors Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Poland. The aim of the meeting is to discuss acts on economic activity and economic activity involving foreign subjects which were passed by the Polish Parliament on December 23rd 1988. Politicians, businessmen and academic will have the chance to share ideas, experiences and to discuss possible ways which may effectively boost economic freedom in the country. Panel discussion will be chaired by Mr Sławomir Majman, member of the PAIiIZ management board and Mieczysław Wilczek, professor Mirosław Wyrzykowski and Jan Wejchert. (PAIiIZ)

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750 mln PLN for investments in the sector of renewable energy

The National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management (NFO¦iGW) starts accepting applications for EU credits in the frame of the “Programme for actions in the field of renewable energy sources”.

Applications may be sent till April 27th. The fund will allocate 750 mln PLN to support the programme which will form part of the governmental anti-crisis scheme. In the coming three year NFO¦iGW wants to distribute over 1,5 bln PLN among investors active in the field of renewable energy. The money comes from fees paid by companies who are deemed not to engage enough in schemes for green energy production.

Investors will be able to get a credit ranging from 4 to 50 mln PLN what should not exceed 75% of the total investment outlays of an undertaking. An additional benefit consists in the possibility of credit amortisation (50% of the credit). Such amortisation will be possible only when an investment is worth not less than 10mln PLN. For additional information please contact NFO¦iGW. Phone number 0048 22 45-90-586 or at oze@nfosigw.gov.pl (NFO¦iGW, Gazeta Prawna)

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Wołczyn to host another French investor

Pichon, French company invested in Wołczyn in the Opole region. The company bought a former linien producing factory for over one mln PLN and plans to start production of carts for agricultural use.

Already in 2010 the first machines of the type are bound to be produced in Wołczyn. Source: COI Opole. 

Michel Pichon, the owner of the family business Pichon explains that Wołczyn resulted especially attractive for his company because of the direct vicinity of the factories managed by Seppeler Gruppe in nearby Kluczbork as products provided by Seppeler Gruppe are in line with the production to be started by the new French investor. Mr Pichon emphasized also the more than satisfactory relations he managed to develop with the local authorities. Yet before the production may be started, investor has to develop the lot and adjust the already existing infrastructure and buildings. The company plans to finish the adaptation by the end of the year.

The French company has been distributing its products to almost 40 countries all over the world and its annual revenue equals 23 mln EUR. The initial stage of production in Wołczyn is bound to generate 20 workplaces. For the commune Pichon is the second investing company from France in the commune. Wołczyn has already been hosting the French Lesaffre producing yeast. (COI Opole)

The Pichon seat in France. Source: the company.

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  • Ministry of Regional Development: 26.5 bn PLN in UE subsidies

    Such is the value of agreements signed by the end of March in the frame of programmers financed for UE funds allocated to Poland for the years 2007-2013 - informed the Ministry. The joint number od signed contracts accounts for 10 thousand. - The data allows to be optimistic about the governmental plans which assume that Poland will be able to spend as much as 16.8 mld zł by the end of this year. - says Mr Stanisław Krakowski from the Ministry’s Press Office. (PAP)

  • Eurostat: retail sales in Poland on the rise

    Retail sales in February fell in the whole of UE by an average of 3.4% and in the euro zone by 4% y-o-y. - informs Eurostat. The decrease on a monthly basis accounts for 1.2% and in the euro zone equals 0,16%. From among the UE member states included in the Eurostat statistics, sales rose only in Poland (2.4% y-o-y) and in Belgium (0.6%), the rest 15 members observed sales rates falling. The biggest decrease was recorded in Latvia (25,3%), Estonia (21,8%) and Lithuania (19,0%). The Central Statistical Office in Poland retail sales in the country fell in February 2009 by 1.6% in comparison to February last year. Differences between the data result from different methodologies of research.

  • Exchange rates (as of 09.04.2009):










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300 mln EUR for High Speed Internet in Eastern Poland

Ministry of Regional Development informed that 300 mln EUR is to be allocated to the development  for building high speed Internet in Eastern Poland.

Five voivodships situated in Eastern Poland: podkarpackie, lubelskie, ¶więtokrzyskie, podlaskie i warmińsko-mazurskie  are envisaged to get access to broadband Internet in an initiative realised in the frame of the Operational Programme for Development of Eastern Poland.

The Vice Minister of Regional Development said during a conference regarding IT investments that MRD wants to, thanks to this investment, provide the high speed Internet to 90% of households and all public institutions and entrepreneurs. A feasibility study for this project has currently been prepared. Minister Hetman explained that, this Network will be connected with the networks already existing in the above mentioned voivodships.

- This project does not promote any particular technology. Preliminary analysis (…) indicates that the optimal solution is to create an optical fiber network not only due to the promising future of this technology but also due to its network capacityM - added Krzysztof Hetman.

All infrastructure is going to be owned by local governments. The new network will be opened for all interested telecommunication entrepreneurs, providing broadbanded services.

The project forms part of the Operational Programme for Development of Eastern Poland which budget exceeds 2 billions EUR. (PAP)

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Poznań - a great place to invest

Urban Land Institute (ULI), a research and educational non-governmental organization, publishes in its latest report a very positive evaluation of the city of Poznań and promotes specially the quality of services investors may expect to be provided by this city.

The report was prepared by ULI in co-operation with ING and published last week. It contains the recommendations of individual European cities as locations for new investments. Wielkopolska managed to receive much attention and space.

The report’s authors mentioned Poznań as one of the 30 best cities to invest in Europe, next to Barcelona, Frankfurt and Dublin. All the selected cities may boast of an efficient investment policy. Poznań was appreciated most of all for the professional capability of the Office of Investor Services and Investment Promotion Department of the City Council. Experts appreciated also the idea of the so-called “pilot of investments”, which means a designated person to contact with the firm which has invested in Poznań at least 5 million EUR or has created 50 new workplaces.

ULI - the Urban Land Institute is a nonprofit research and education organization. Founded in 1936, the institute now has more than 40,000 members worldwide representing the entire spectrum of land use and real estate development disciplines, working in private enterprise and public service. (Gazeta Wyborcza Poznań, www.uli.org)

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A.T. Kearney: Poland the best to tackle crisis in Europe

Latest analyses by experts from A.T. Kearney “World’s markets in the era of global crisis and prospects for Poland” provides a very good assessment of the Polish economy. Against the gloomy backdrop of the European crisis-hit markets, Poland experiences only an economic slowdown.

According to A.T.Kearney the polish economy continues among the leaders in Central Europe. The country seems to be most effective on the whole continent in managing the crisis. Thanks to this Poland managed to go up in a number of rankings assessing the economic performance of countries worldwide. Experts emphasise that the country should be more determined in its efforts to enter the G-20. Surveys and research carried out by A.T.Kearney in a number of countries show that the Polish economy is in a relatively good condition. It is mainly due to external factors and not the economy itself to what extent is the global crisis able to harm the current state.

To date the economy managed to stay out of harm’s way what has much to do with a low mortgage debt level of the nation. People with mortgage obligations are not numerous and besides recruit from among households which normally result from groups without solvency problems. Besides the fact that the Polish property market seems much more stable than the American one for example, experts stressed also that the banking system in Poland is very unlikely to suffer a breakdown similar to the one observed in the West of Europe, in particular in Island, the UK, Ireland or Germany. Undoubtedly Poland managed to successfully avoid effects of the first critical phase, a thing the majority of world economies could not shun. Yet the influence the world economic downturn, slum in consumer spending worldwide and weaker financial possibilities of international corporations may have influence on the FDI inflow and export from Poland should not be underestimated.

At the moment there are hardly any places in the world where the crisis may not be felt. - Despite the general opinion symptoms of the crisis could have been observed earlier and the situation should not have come as a surprise. What may have surprised the public opinion is the pace and outreach, a thing which best shows how deep interrelated are all the world’s economies.-  said Aleksander Kwiatkowski, President of the A.T. Kearney Polska.

At the same time the American Chamber of Commerce in Poland published its economic commentary where the Chamber clearly states that Poland indeed continues to be one of the best investment destinations. Moreover, the Chamber suggests the Polish may take advantage of the global economic downturn to make the Polish economy even more competitive. Effective privatization, improvement in the workings of the economic courts, infrastructure development and liberal Labour Code are indispensable to boost the country’s attractiveness. Roman Rewald - director at the American Chamber of Commerce, claims also that Poland’s promotion abroad may effectively help to improve the investment climate in the country. (A.T.Kearney Polska, PAP)

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Warsaw Subway rewarded

The Warsaw Subway was awarded two main prizes and two special prizes in a prestigious contest “Metro Awards 2009”.

It was the metro’s neatness and functionality that attracted most attention during the contest. Its ecological solutions were also highly appreciated by experts. In the ranking the Polish tube classified before among others, subways from Seoul, London and Singapore. Among assessing experts there were journalists specialized in subway topics, correspondents from the Financial Times, BBC News, Metro Report, consulting companies representatives and experts responsible for subway functioning. The contest commission assessed subways from all over the world and granted to Warsaw Subway awards in two categories: Best Maintenance Programme (the category involved assessment of e.g automatic and IT solutions used in maintenance processes) and Merit Award for Commitment to the Environment - special reward for engagement in the environmental protection. The Warsaw subway was also awarded with two other prizes for Best Passenger Experience for the Best Passenger Service and Most Innovative Approach to Station Development. It is a huge success for Warsaw subway as it was awarded in all categories in which it was nominated. More than 100 subway operators took part in this year’s edition of the contest. This is the second time the Warsaw tube participated. Last year the capital-based subway was rewarded in two categories: The Best Metro Station (prize for Wilson Square) and The Best Engine Driver. (Metro Warszawskie, Dziennik)

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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

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