Bulletin no. 64 Autumn 2018

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No.

Clients win,

64 Autumn 2018

after Hitachi - Planet merger

• OTTO Workforce foresees growing interest in Asian workforce • NPCC introduces new logo


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Bulletin Autumn 2018 4

NPCC

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CHAMBER CALENDAR

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INTERVIEW

Director’s note

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Eric van Vliet on the merger between Planet Car Lease and Hitachi Capital Polska

10 NEWS FROM OUR CHAMBER 13 NPCC INTRODUCES ITS NEW LOGO 14 INTERVIEW

Tomasz Dudek, Operations Director of OTTO Work Force, speaks about the new perspective and strategic partnership of the company

Eric van Vliet CEO of Hitachi Capital Polska

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18 NEWS FROM OUR MEMBERS 19 ARTICLE FROM OUR PLATINUM SPONSOR 20 COLUMN

Staf Beems

21 COLUMN

Huub Droogh

22 INTERVIEW

Danielle van den Broek, Vice-President HR, talks about her professional experience at Unilever and her new role as a board member of the NPCC

24 NEWS FROM THE EMBASSY

Why NPCC is changing its logo

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26 NEW MEMBERS 28 INTERVIEW

Krzysztof Korzeniak, Technical Director of Novaform: ‘We listen to our clients better’

30 NPCC TEST DRIVE BMW-MINI - a great small car to drive

31 COLUMN

Otto Work Force launches partnership with OUTSOURCING Inc.

Remco van der Kroft

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NPCC

Director’s note Dear Reader, I hope you had a wonderful holiday time with your family and friends. Here at the Chamber, we definitely enjoyed a nice little break ourselves but, at the same time, we have also been very busy finishing off the old season and preparing for the new.

Bulletin is the quarterly magazine of the NetherlandsPolish Chamber of Commerce. It gives a voice to our members and informs about the activities the Chamber undertakes. The views expressed in the columns are theirs alone. The Editor-in-Chief is not responsible for the accuracy of the statements made by the columnists. Publisher: NPCC Managing Editor: Anna Kozińska Columnists: Huub Droogh Staf Beems Remco van der Kroft Photos: Elro van den Burg Anna Kozińska Milena Zychowicz Netherlands Embassy in Poland Advertisement management: NPCC Contact: www.nlchamber.com.pl office@nlchamber.com.pl +48 22 419 54 44

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First of all, we are very excited to announce our participation in the trade mission to Poland of Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, Minister of Transport and Water Management, on 9-11 October. The mission will visit Wrocław, Warsaw and Gdańsk and the NPCC will offer the participating companies matchmaking services to introduce them to their counterparts in Poland. We first started this service in 2014, during the visit to Poland of King Willem Alexander and Queen Maxima, and over the years we have assisted more than 200 companies by offering them connections here in Poland. We currently have one employee fully dedicated to this service and we hope to be able to help many more companies to ‘discover’ new business in Poland. Ultimately, this will also assist our current members who may be able to help those companies develop their activity in this country. Members will have the opportunity to meet the participating companies during our business drink in Warsaw on 9 October. We have also been very busy over the summer preparing our famous flagship event - the Orange Ball. Together with Anna, Milena and Gabriela, we are all working flat out to deliver an exciting event. We have again chosen Mińska 65 for the location and we have prepared a number of new attractions, including a live band, a DJ and a new chef from the Netherlands. We have also chosen 3 new charities this year that are really in need of the support. I am sure that it will be a truly spectacular networking event to kick off the new season. Over the Summer, we have been reorganising our database with the help of an intern. Our members might not notice the difference right away, but it will help us greatly in our daily work at the Chamber. Instead of the several different databases that previously had to be kept updated, we will keep all our data in our CRM system and this will enable us to be much more effective in our work with the members. Just before the summer, our member Otto Work Force decided to become a main sponsor of the Chamber. This is a huge support for us and it will help us to ensure that we can keep offering quality support to Dutch companies, enabling us to deal with the many inquiries we receive from non-members on how to do business in Poland. Otto Work Force therefore joins Philips, Planet Car Lease/Hitachi and ING as main sponsors of the Chamber and we welcome Tomasz Dudek from the company onto our board. You can read more about him and his company in this Bulletin. The Chamber’s team is also proud to offer you a busy programme of events for the upcoming season in the regions. In Gdańsk, we are organising a beach picnic on 12 September, while in Poznań there will be a visit to the Bols factory on 13 September. Together with the Polish Chamber of Commerce in the Netherlands, our own chapter in the Netherlands, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in both countries, RVO and PAIH, we will be organising a business meeting in the Netherlands on 8 November. These are just a few of the highlights of our busy calendar that will hopefully help you increase your network and allow you to meet new business people in the coming season. Are we getting it right?

Elro van den Burg Managing Director of the Netherlands-Polish Chamber of Commerce

OUR PLATINUM SPONSORS


Chamber

agenda

Activities of the Netherlands-Polish Chamber of Commerce 8 September 2018 Orange Ball 2018 Time: 18:00-2:00 Location: Mińska 65 Warsaw

13 September 2018 Company Visit – Bols Factory Location: Poznań More info will be announced via our website

18 September 2018 Speed Business Mixer

9 October Business Drink with Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Location: Warsaw More info will be announced via our website

November Forum and Dutch Polish Business Awards Location: Netherlands More info will be announced via our website

6 November Speed Business Mixer Location: Warsaw More info will be announced via our website

Time: 17:30 – 21.00 Location: Krakowski Park Technologiczny Podole 60 Kraków

18 September 2018 Beach Business BBQ

4 December Business Drink Time: 18:30-21:00 Location: InterContinental Hotel Emilii Plater 49 Warsaw

Location: Gdańsk More info will be announced via our website

4 October 2018 CEO Breakfast Location: Wrocław More info will be announced via our website

December

Sinterklaas in Poznań Location: Poznań More info will be announced via our website

Please follow our NPCC website: www.nlchamber.com.pl for an updated calendar issue 64

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„Our businesses are very complementary to each other� 6

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In March, Hitachi completed the acquisition process of Planet Car Lease. We sat down with Eric van Vliet, CEO of Hitachi Capital Polska, to talk about the upcoming changes in the company. Can you tell us why you decided to merge with Hitachi? “We started the operation of Planet Car Lease in 2016 and we always had good contact with the management of Hitachi Capital in Europe. We started investigating a merger since Hitachi Capital Polska was looking for opportunities to increase their business and, at the same time, we, as a private company, had been having some difficulties in organising funding for our organisation. Planet Car Lease was open to cooperation in order to become less dependent on local banks. At the end of 2017, we came together and discussed this matter and right away we noticed that our businesses were very complementary to each other. This resulted in the merger. From March 1st we joined the management of Hitachi Capital Polska and together we are now a large company and ranked within the Top10 on the Polish market.” What can you tell us about your combined fleet? “Our fleet of more than 10,000 vehicles is a combination of cars and commercial vehicles. We offer the full range from passenger cars, commercial vehicles up to 40 ton trucks and we are unique in this. There are some other companies that offer trucks and others cars, but we are the only one that offers both. Many of the vehicles that we lease are customized, we specialize in offering a very broad range of vehicles and related services to match our customer’s needs.”

Tesla Motors – the official partner of Hitachi Capital Polska

is secure. On top of that, we have a nationwide network covering the whole country. We offer our clients constant mobility, wherever they are in Poland and whatever their issue or requirement. For Hitachi clients, we are focused on mobility solutions, whether that’s transporting frozen loads around the city, or a shop on wheels serving the local community or keeping your salesforce on the road and productive. Financial strength, combined with our capability and International experience enables us to sit down with our clients and in a consultative way find the best solutions, that is our uniqueness” You won’t forget about the smaller companies now? “No, we won’t. At Planet, we have the experience of servicing the SME sector. That is the reason why we are keeping this brand. We know very well what these companies want, and we will keep servicing this part of the market as it is very important for us.”

Can you tell us more about the new structure of the company?

And what about the company’s Dutch identity?

“I am the CEO of the merged company, but we have decided that both brands will keep operating on the Polish market, at least for the coming years. The reason is they represent different segments of the market. Hitachi is very strong in the government and large corporate sector and with public tenders. Planet Car Lease is very strong in the SME sector and organized to work with much smaller companies, often running between 1 and 5 cars.”

“Sure, some of our Dutch identity will change, but due to the addition of a new Japanese identity. It is remarkable how well both fit together. There has been a centuries old relationship between the Netherlands and Japan. Both cultures are very service-oriented and customer focussed, much more than Germany and Poland, who are still focused on production. Whenever there is a problem, we want to solve the issue. In this regard Planet is also a very good fit with Hitachi. On top of that, we will be able to make use of the strong Hitachi brand, which is a very big asset for the new organisation.”

What will the clients of Planet Car Lease notice about the new organisational structure? “The advantage for Planet’s clients is that we and they now have the support of a strong International company. The fact that we are a large well known company, with big volumes means we receive large service discounts. Furthermore, we now have the financial strength of Hitachi behind us and the future of the organisation

What is the current situation on the Polish lease market? “The lease market in Poland is currently very attractive as it is still very underdeveloped. For example, if you compare it with the Dutch market, we see that the total leasing volume in Poland is the equivalent of just one of the big players in the Netherlands.

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Eric van Vliet, CEO of Hitachi Capital Polska

The car lease market offers many opportunities, we are seeing growth of 10 to 20 percent, which we expect to continue in the coming years.” Is there a segment where you see the biggest growth? “It is difficult to pinpoint one segment. I rather see a shift from buying to operational leasing with Car Fleet Management (known as full service leasing). This is a shift that has been going on for a long time in Western Europe. Instead of owning a car people want usage and flexibility in mobility. In Poland, there is also a large group taking pure leasing, which is called finance lease in other countries. We also see a strong growth through migration of people from these products to operational lease instead of a leasing only.” And do you also notice that growth in the SME sector? “We see that international companies are all leasing, this is their policy in most countries and they are not in favour of buying. But now you see that small and medium-sized companies are following the mobility trend and changing their policy from buying or pure leasing to full-service lease.” What is your competitive advantage as regards to other companies in the market? “We have a large portfolio of services, which means we can supply management cars, sales cars and mission critical vehicles such as vans for Engineers, even up to large 40 ton trucks. This makes things very easy for the client. They can come to us for everything and only get one bill and through our integrated reporting systems get a consolidated view of their whole fleet. We are unique in that. The other differentiator is our advanced position on EV mobility. Many already know that we are the only partner for Tesla in Poland. We will be the first company to import and bring an EV medium sized van to the Polish market. This is the Maxus EV80, the largest transporter on the market with

over 10 cubic metres net of cargo space. The van is fully electric and produced in China and is the one of its kind on the market and we will bring it to Poland to strengthen our market leading position. The vehicle is perfect for transporting goods in and around the city, with total range of 200 km and 150 km when fully loaded. This is ideal for daily use in the city. Of course all of this is supported with the highest Dutch-Japanese service levels!” What other plans do you have with EVs in Poland? “Almost all car producers will bring electric cars onto the market and a number are planning to launch their new generation of models with extended range. We want to use our extensive knowledge and experience of EVs to help our clients with what is a complex area. There is a real lack of knowledge about this technology and other alternative drive trains like plug-in hybrid vs regular hybrid where understanding the true cost of ownership and environmental impact is difficult. We think it is important to fight for the correct tax treatment and other benefits like supported parking. We therefore we want to set up test-drives for electric cars, with the Polish government, so that they can implement the appropriate measures to encourage take up of such alternatives. It is also a big disadvantage that Poland has almost no charging stations. We will be in contact with fuel companies such as Orlen to advise on setting up the necessary infrastructure. They still do not realise the opportunities they will have with a network of charging stations and in a world running out of fossil fuels how they can secure their future. EV cars will have to charge for around 20 minutes, so while waiting drivers will go to the shop, buy snacks and coffee and browse for other items. They will be spending money on things the shops earns the most from, generating more revenue than before. In 2030 Europe is expecting to have 40 million charging points, hopefully Poland will not be disconnected from those plans. It looks like EV does have the future.”

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Chamber

news and events

Barbecue Business Drink On 5 June, the NPCC, together with Déhora, had the pleasure to invite members to a Barbecue Business Drink. The event attracted over 50 guests. The official part of the evening started with a welcome speech from Elro van den Burg, Managing Director of the NPCC. Then the floor was taken by a representative of the

initiative “Green Ribbon – Zielona Wstążka #DlaPlanety”, Mrs. Maria Andrzejewska, who presented the main goal of this year’s World Environment Day, which is to draw attention to one of the greatest challenges of our time – plastic pollution. After that, attention focused on Guusje Korthals Altes, one of the NPCC’s board

members, who will now represent the Netherlands in Albania. A warm farewell speech was given by the Chairman of the Chamber, Remco van der Kroft. We would like to thank Mr. Łukasz Chodkowski from Déhora - the event sponsor - and express our admiration for the few words he said in Dutch and the brief presentation he gave on workforce planning and management. For the rest of the evening, guests could take advantage of the networking opportunities and also enjoy some delicious barbecue food and beverages on the hotel patio.

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Chamber

news and events

NPCC supporting the environment pollution is a real problem for all of us and how we can get involved in solving it. In total, nearly 4000 Warsaw residents attached ribbons to their clothing as a sign of their increased awareness

and commitment to solving the problem of plastic waste in the environment. The NPCC was a proud partner of the initiative Green Ribbon #ForThePlanet.

On 5 June, World Environment Day was celebrated in over 100 countries all over the world, connecting millions of people who care about the fate of our planet. This year’s theme #BeatPlasticPollution focused on the problem of environmental pollution from plastic waste and how to deal with plastic-related environmental problems. Large numbers of students equipped with Samsung tablets went out on the streets to explain to passers-by why plastic waste

managing directors of member companies to discuss challenges, create new solutions and inspire each other. On top of that, participants had the chance to listen to an interesting presentation given by Paweł Królikowski, Outsourcing Services Director of Adecco, who explained how to outsource business processes effectively. The meeting took place at Albertina Restaurant & Wine, where guests were served a delicious 3-course dinner and enjoyed a wine-tasting prepared by a sommelier.

CEO Dinner in Kraków On 13 June, the Netherlands-Polish Chamber of Commerce, in cooperation with 5 bilateral international chambers, organised a Business Dinner for Chief Executive Officers in Kraków. The meeting was attended by 25 guests representing various business sectors and regions. The aim of the meeting was to create a networking platform for the presidents and

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YEARS NPCC

’IT’S A BRAND NEW DAY’

Orange

Ball 2018

September 8 Mińska 65, Warsaw

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NPCC introduces new brand icon

With the huge amount of communication that we receive every single day, it’s becoming an ever-increasing challenge to separate the good from the bad and the ugly. Which organisations delivering us news, services, products, opinions and other messages should we trust, and which ones are best ignored? The answer lies in reputation. Reputation can be described as the overall assessment of an organisation by its stakeholders. An organisation’s reputation defines largely how we judge their services, products and communication. It has been proven in countless studies, including one by the Reputation Institute, that a solid reputation, delivering trust, esteem, admiration and likeability, has a positive impact on the business. Reputation is formed by a mixture of such factors as the product & service, performance, leadership, governance, innovation and the workplace. Reputation should not be confused with identity. Whereas reputation is defined by others, identity is created by the organisation itself. How would an organisation like to be seen and perceived? One very visible aspect of identity is the logo, often the first contact with an organisation. A good logo tells us (directly or indirectly) what the organisation is about: what they do, what they stand for and how they want to be perceived. The importance of a logo on reputation should not be over-estimated. After all, the behaviour and performance of an organisation have a far bigger impact than its image. Having said that, the importance of a logo should also not be under-estimated. A strong logo can enhance a reputation. It can have a strong impact on the first impression, creating the initial grounds and direction for how the organisation will be perceived. A new NPCC logo When we were asked to create a new logo for the NetherlandsPolish Chamber of Commerce, my team and I looked at more than 100 logos of international chambers from around the world. It was

a surprise to us that only a few of them seem to have put serious work into this aspect. Many logos are rather functional, featuring two flags and the name of the chamber, and missing the opportunity to tell a positioning story through the logo. Through the new NPCC logo, we have tried to reflect what the Chamber stands for: Dutch values, such as transparency, openness and cooperation, and Dutch business spearheads, such as innovation, sustainability, smart solutions and circular ecosystems. Apart from values and positioning, we wanted to create a logo that is easy recognisable, one which stands out, is contemporary, reflects a broad business environment, and is practical in use. The result is a logo that intrigues, and which positions the NPCC. It is a logo that reflects: • C ollaboration & connection: We see independent elements with a different origin (blue and red) that together form one entity. • Innovation: The elements bring to mind cells and science, things which are commonly associated with innovation. • G rowth of business: The ‘Netherlands-Polish’ connection is the source from which the various elements grow. • D ynamism: The elements of the logo are floating and spreading out, forming a dynamic organism. • O penness: We created an open structure, without a clear end. Without borders and ready for unlimited growth. Within the mass of information that reaches us on a daily basis, we believe that the new logo will stand out as a beacon of trust, admiration and esteem - enhancing the NPCC’s reputation. Dirk Aarts 24/7Communication

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„There will be a growing demand in Poland for people from Asia” Temporary workforce agency OTTO Work Force has signed a strategic partnership with the Japanese company OUTSOURCING Inc. The company’s brand and management will remain unchanged, but the cooperation will open up many new possibilities in Europe for Asian workers. We talked to Tomasz Dudek, Operations Director of OTTO Work Force Central and Eastern Europe, who is also a new board member of the NetherlandsPolish Chamber of Commerce, about the implications of the new partnership.

I have a Polish perspective on things myself, and I think after many years of cooperation with Dutch people that I can give good advice on the cultural differences between the two countries.”

Firstly, can you tell us a little about yourself? “I have been involved in the employment industry for 15 years and I have been working for OTTO Work Force for 12 years. I graduated in economics, completed post-graduate studies in social psychology at the University of Opole, and I’m currently working as Operations Director CEE, with responsibility for the whole business when it comes to cooperation with local companies, which includes recruitment, sales and total operations - that’s my area of responsibility.”

“Otto Work Force is a very strong player in the region. It is one of the biggest agencies in Poland when it comes to cooperation with local companies. Every day, we hire and deliver to Polish companies about 6000 people, and what is interesting is that half of them are workers from Eastern Europe, in most cases Ukrainians. We also hire workers from Moldova, and bringing in foreign workers is a very big part of our business here in Poland. In the Netherlands, we are a well-known company for offering foreign workforces to companies in the Netherlands, but we also have a very strong position on the Polish market.”

You have become a board member of the NPCC. Why did you decide to join the board?

Can you tell us how you recruit your workforce from other countries outside Poland?

“Topics related to the economy and international cooperation are very much in line with my own interests. In addition, I have worked in Dutch companies almost since the beginning of my professional carrier so working with the Netherlands-Polish Chamber of Commerce is something that is very close to me.I treat being a board member as an interesting challenge.” What is the challenge for you in being a board member? What do you think you can get out of it for yourself?

“The biggest country that we focus on is Ukraine, where we have 3 recruitment offices. But we also have an office in Moldova and we are currently establishing one in Belarus. There is an official list of 6 countries from which we can hire people very easily. These are countries with which Poland has signed international agreements - Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Russia, Georgia and Armenia. Apart from this, in April OTTO Work Force signed a strategic partnership with OUTSOURCING Inc., a Japanese staffing group which holds a strong position in the Asian market and operates in South America and Australia.

“Cooperation with interesting people on the board, for instance. I saw the list of members, and it is a very interesting group of companies. At the Chamber, there are often questions coming from companies on how to do business and how everything is organised here. We at OTTO Work Force can help, especially when it comes to the labour force market.

This will enable us to bring Asian people into the Polish market, which is an increasingly popular trend among our clients. For instance, we are currently working on a project to recruit people in Vietnam and India to come to Poland. As from next year, we should have them fully operational for our clients in Poland.

Do you think it is important to have a chamber of commerce? “Of course, I would like to give you an example from our own business in Ukraine. When you want to start a business in a new country, you might know the name of the country and where it is located, but you don’t have any details on how to do business there. There must be some institutions like a chamber of commerce which can advise you on who to cooperate with, where you can get legal advice and how can you get to know the specifics of a certain market. So, I am an advocate of having a strong bilateral chamber of commerce.” Can you tell us more about the scope of work of Otto Work Force in Poland?

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There are currently more than 1 million Ukrainians working in Poland. How much will this number increase?

and you need 200 people from Asia, do you need to hire somebody to accompany them and support them with the cultural differences?

“If one believes to the media, there are already 1.5 million Ukrainians working in Poland. That is not true. Ukrainians work on the basis of a special statement from a company, which states that they need to hire a certain person from the Ukraine. But those total figures also include people that may have several different statements, which is possible. According to our information, there are actually around 1 million Ukrainians working here. In the future, it might be harder to recruit people and even at this moment it is not easy because there are not enough Ukrainians for everybody during high season. Also, their wages are growing, the work permits are not easy to get, and of course other countries are also starting to focus more and more on Ukrainians.”

“Cultural differences are indeed the biggest challenge that we face when hiring large groups of people. It is therefore crucial to have a person who will help with communication and explain the cultural differences between the company, the agency and the employees. Before the first recruitment process, we check everything with our Asian recruitment colleagues, so before hiring anyone we can show them, for instance, what kind of food they can expect here and how much the costs of living are here in Poland - every little detail. If you check everything, then as a result you can deliver much better quality to the client and the risk of failure is much lower.” And if I need 100 people, for instance, would you advise getting a mix of 50 Ukrainians and 50 Asians, or it doesn’t really make any difference? “At this moment, Asian workers are still new for us. We have a few clients running pilot schemes with us and I will be able to say more after this test. In general, we always start our search in Poland. If there are enough candidates, then that is the end of the story. But, if not, then we try to organise a group from Ukraine and create a mix with Polish people. The third step would be Asian people, but it is still too soon to talk about an ideal mix.” Is there competition for Asian workers within OTTO countries? When Asian people are available, which OTTO country do they go to?

The headquarters of Otto Work Force in Bielany Wrocławskie

OTTO Work Force has signed a strategic partnership with the Japanese company OUTSOURCING Inc. How do you perceive the future in Poland when it comes to Asian workers? “At this moment, there are several thousand Asian people working in Poland. They are recruited by small companies located in Asia but the recruitment process is not very professional and it is not aligned with the requirements of the Polish market. We will use structure set up by our Japanese partners in countries such as Vietnam. By doing so, we will recruit people in the proper way and make sure that no one is taking fee for the services from the candidates and we will check their competences before they come here. We will be the first company on the Polish market offering Asian staff in a professional way. As I mentioned before, there will probably be a shortage of people from Ukraine, and with the economy expected grow by 3-4% every year and an unemployment rate which is even slightly lower than in the Netherlands, this means that there will be a growing demand for people. Asia seems to be a natural region to target because salaries in Poland are attractive for Asian people as they can earn 2 or 3 times more than in their own market.“ Is that enough for them to make the long journey from Asia to Poland and to have to deal with all the cultural differences? “I think so because, they are not coming here for only a few months, but most of them will stay here for a longer period, which is also positive for employers.” What kind of employees do they have in Asia that Poland is looking for? “What I know from my colleagues in Japan is that there are different types of Asian workers. For instance, the people from Vietnam or Nepal are hard workers and not afraid to learn new things. I’m sure that all European countries will be able to find the kind of employees they are looking for.” What will be the impact for employers? If you have a huge operation

“There is a shortage of labour force all around Europe. However, the process of receiving a work permit for Asian people is much easier in Poland. In addition, we as a company have our own legal department in Poland and we know how to organise everything when it comes to the permits, visas, etc. There is also a big demand for skilled IT workers. Do you also offer these specialists from Asia for the Polish market? “Yes, we will. But I repeat, we are still doing our pilot schemes and we will be able to say more after they are finished. IT projects are discussed within the group now and that will be the second step that we will take. I have no doubt that we will find job offers here in Poland because there is lack of such specialists all over Europe. So, for sure, we will start recruitment of IT specialists.” We almost forgot that you are also active on the Polish market itself. Is that still a big part of your work, helping Polish people to work in Polish companies? “It is a big part of our business. There are 6000 employees hired every day by Otto in Poland, and half of them are still from Poland. But it is often very difficult for recruiters to find motivated workers that bring in quality. Therefore, we often bring in people from other countries.” What would you say to investors that are looking at Poland and may have worries about the lack of labour in this country? “The problem of labour shortages is not unique to Poland. It is like that everywhere in Europe at the moment. What we have in Poland, and which makes it more attractive than other countries, are the international agreements with eastern countries(Ukraine, Belarus, etc.), which is something that you can hardly find anywhere else. This makes it easier to get staff from other countries, which is a big competitive advantage in comparison to other countries in the region. An option is also to pay a little more than market and recruit Polish workers - the difference in employment costs between Poland and for example the Netherlands is still huge, so Poland will definitely remain an interesting place to invest in from that perspective, in my opinion.”

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News

from our members

Aspire Systems acquires Goyello shares on technology leadership and creating a collaborative work environment,” said Peter Horsten, Managing Director of Goyello. Commenting on the acquisition, Gowri Shankar Subramanian, Chairman and CEO of Aspire Systems, said, “We are excited by this opportunity to partner and work closely with Goyello. On 20 March 2018, Goyello completed an acquisition agreement with Aspire Systems, a global company providing technological services, by which Goyello would sell 100 percent of its shares to its new business partner. With this merger, Aspire Systems expanded its portfolio of IT consulting, software development and mobile solutions in the nearshoring model for customers in Europe.

“The company’s development was always our priority. The decision we have taken was the best one both from a business perspective and also from a talent acquisition and management perspective. We want to continue offering our colleagues a great place to work. Both companies share similar core strengths and values such as deep employee focus, superior client partnerships, an emphasis

Raben Logistics Polska opens new branch in Opole

On 22 June 2018, the official opening of the new branch of Raben Logistics Polska in Opole took place. The ceremony was attended by the President of Opole, Arkadiusz Wiśniewski, and his deputy, Maciej Wujec, among others.

of goods. Modern transport and warehouse management systems enable transparency of the entire process. The experienced and committed employees are undoubtedly the biggest asset of the new Raben Logistics Polska warehouse facility.

Raben is constantly developing and investing both in innovative solutions and also warehouse halls that meet the highest safety and quality requirements.

“Our branch may not be one of the largest branches in the company, but the people working here prove every day that it’s not the size of the branch that matters, but the motivation and commitment of the people who create it, so that we can offer our clients a high level of service in a friendly atmosphere,” commented Bożena Górecka, Branch Manager in Opole.

The latest technologies used in the new premises, such as video monitoring and integrated IT systems, guarantee the safe and reliable transshipment and transportation

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With Goyello joining the Aspire family, we will be able to launch and scale up a strong nearshore delivery capability for our customers, combined with the existing offshore capability of Aspire. Goyello, with their extensive software development, project management and IT consulting expertise and over 120 employees, will make it possible to serve our European clients better and from a shorter distance and with a better time overlap.”

This opinion was confirmed by the clients themselves, many of whom attended the opening of the branch and, after the official part and the symbolic cutting of the ribbon, participated in the joint celebrations together with representatives of the branch, region and headquarters of Raben Logistics Polska.

The official opening of branch in Opole


Conversation

is the key to success

John D. Rockefeller, a renowned American entrepreneur and philanthropist, often used to say: Success comes from keeping the ears open and the mouth closed. Using this method, he was able to pick up plenty of useful information which helped him become at one time the richest person in modern history. Active listening allows us to determine the needs and interests of our client, thanks to which we are able to present the optimal fleet solutions and get to the very heart of their needs. Each company has its own individual requirements, so the offer needs to be tailor-made to ensure that the contract concluded is not a one-off deal but the start of long-term cooperation bringing mutual satisfaction. This is where a constructive and attentive business conversation becomes extremely important, and where a badly-conducted conversation can potentially bring unwanted consequences. We know that for the other party it’s not only our product that counts but also our experience, which allows us to look at the client’s environment and needs. The role of the business adviser is therefore vital. When a salesperson/adviser meets a potential client, it’s important that it is a genuine conversation between two people, not sticking to a rigid format but unique in its course. What matters most is that we try to find out what is really important for the client. We ask questions and listen carefully, acquiring information and finding out about the specifics of the company. Moving on to CFM, we find out how the company

operates, who will use the vehicles, whether the company has a fleet policy and what it is. An effective dialogue is also about details. It’s the details that provide us with the full knowledge we need in order to make the right decision much faster about which offer and which contract will be perfect for that client. We also know how important it is to paraphrase in such a conversation. This confirmation is the proof that we have understood our interlocutor. The client is extremely important to us and warmly welcomed in our company. We realise that the clients trust us, as they are entrusting us with their money, so for us it is not only understanding the client’s needs that is of great importance. Our goal is also to provide the client with maximum security. Therefore, when „tailoring” individual products, we pay special attention to the risks that may arise during the contract. As D.J. Patil from Greylock Capital Partners, one of the oldest investment funds, advises, problem-solving should never be postponed. Simple problems quickly turn into big ones, and big problems become extremely difficult ones. First of all, we protect the client’s interests by choosing the parameters of the contract so that it is the optimal solution but, at the same time, we also pay attention to the legal and tax aspects. So what can we provide as a result of this conversation? We provide solutions that are a response to the needs of our business partner. A unique offer is created that goes hand-in-hand with security, comfort and prestige. We begin honest cooperation that gives satisfaction to both sides for many years. Contact us and see what we can do for you!

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Column Staf Beems Entrepreneur and owner of Silesia Consulting

A Bolek and Lolek Summer 2018 I’m sitting on my terrace with the twin boys of my youngest daughter. They live in Holland but for all kinds of good reasons they have never visited me in Poland before. They are 17 years old and identical. Every morning, I have to ask them who is who. As they wear different clothes, during the day I am able to tell the difference between them. Their mother came to Poland in 1975; she was 5 years old so she can’t remember those years in detail. We came from Beirut with the whole family - mother, three children and a dog. When we were living in Poland, our children used to watch Polish TV and they especially used to love watching the famous cartoon featuring Bolek and Lolek. My eldest daughter liked that programme as well and when she had her first child I bought the video for her in Poland. She confessed that she had never really watched the video, but her son had. He could even sing the songs in Polish. She told me that he loved it and that he always wanted to watch it. When she came to Poland with him, we went for a walk one day through the Rynek in Warsaw. All of a sudden, he said to me “Grandfather,” (Opa in Dutch) “the people around me talk just like Bolek and Lolek.” Then suddenly - aged just five - he started speaking Polish with a perfect accent. Just a few words, of course, but still. Bolek and Lolek hold a special place in our family. When the twins were born, I used to call them Bolek and Lolek and they also started to watch the video. We made special T-shirts with their names on, and we bought the books; although their official names were Christopher and Dominic, they were always Bolek and Lolek to us. This summer, I went to Warsaw with them and their mother for a trip down memory lane to show the boys where we used to live, work, go to school and play. Bolek and Lokek in Poland. Our first port of call was Saska Kępa and our old house at Jana Styki 4. I have lived in many houses in my lifetime but I must admit that seeing that house where we once lived brought back some strong

emotions. Despite the difficult conditions in Poland in 1975-76, our family life was very strong. We used to play at home a lot as there was no real alternative. We continued around the corner onto the main street, where we were very positively surprised when we saw Francuska Street. It is almost like Paris. Different restaurants, inviting terraces and a nice little shop selling French bread and quiches. What a difference compared to the years when we were living there. Next stop was the football stadium. I used to play football in that stadium on Saturdays with an international team - Americans, Germans, British, Swiss and Dutch - against the Russian Embassy, Hotel Forum and university teams. To rent the stadium pitch, and cover the costs of the referee, we all paid the grand sum of just US $10 each. I also used to go there by bike with my family. The following stop was the ballet school close to the National Opera. Nothing has changed there so we moved on to the French Embassy on Piękna, which housed our French school. Now, a big fence stopped us from getting a closer look at the building. We passed the old building on Rakowiecka where the Embassy used to be located. My room, with its windows looking out onto the street, was still there. Then we went to Torwar, where my daughters had ice skating lessons on Saturday mornings and we used to have „diplomatic skating” at five o’clock every Sunday. It was a simple life but we enjoyed it. I tried to show the boys and my daughter SuperSam, the first and, in those days, the only supermarket in Warsaw. I remember that we had to stand in line for a basket and if we took two of them, people would shout at us that only one was allowed. That shop is where we learned our first Polish words: „Nie ma”, which means “We don’t have it”. Even my daughter has never forgotten that phrase. SuperSam is no longer there. Summer 2018 was not only the best hot summer ever, it was also a summer of nostalgia for us. Compared to what we remember from the 70s, it also showed - at least for me - how much Poland has changed. From a cold and grey country - we arrived in January - to a lively and dynamic place. My Bolek and Lolek told me that all the prejudices they’d heard regarding Poland were nonsense: “Opa, we understand why you want to be in Poland so please may we come back?” They enjoyed helping me sawing and chopping the wood for winter. They drove the tractor but they could not mow the grass. Alas, „nie ma” grass. I am still proud to say - to quote John F. Kennedy - that I am a Holpolak.

This column is written à titre personnel and does not necessarily reflect the views of the NPCC board or its members.

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Column Huub Droogh Huub Droogh is an urbanist and partner of RDH Urban in Poznań

Everyone can make a difference As some of you will probably know, for more than 10 years now I have been a part-time resident of three countries: Belgium, the Netherlands and Poland. I will not bother you with any of the inconveniences that working and living in three different cultures can bring. Generally, I count my blessings and I focus on the energy and inspiration that participating in three different cultures offers me. After developing the skills allowing me simply to observe, and not to judge, the differences between the cultures, I find that it enriches my life. Over the centuries, every culture has been influenced by the customs and traditions brought by foreigners. This fact has mainly had a positive influence in areas such as science, culture and the economy, although there are also examples of it leading to cultural tensions and even violence. Aware of this, 10 years ago, when I first started living in Poznań, I embarked on a mission to contribute something positive to the city’s culture. Based on my experiences as a part-time resident of Antwerp, I decided to try to encourage a greater level of decency in the behaviour of car drivers towards pedestrians in Poznań. In Antwerp, I am used to car drivers immediately pressing their brakes the second I set foot on a marked pedestrian crossing. It is part of Flemish culture to respect the rule of giving priority to pedestrians on marked crossings. It is about more than just safety. The crossing pedestrians and stopping car drivers make eye contact, and often raise a hand to say ‘thank you’ or ‘hello’. This small human gesture influences the atmosphere and social safety of the public space, and it creates ‘good feeling’ amongst all the road users. In Poznań, however, I experienced pedestrians and car drivers as two separate and isolated user groups of public space, with those surrounded by their metal box feeling superior to those standing on their own two feet. Being forced to display great courage just to exercise my rights as a pedestrian on a zebra crossing has twice led to me nearly suffering physical injury. But, with time and practice, I mostly succeeded in getting car drivers to slow down and stop, and they were always

rewarded by me with a friendly wave of the hand. My theory is that if every time I force a car to stop, another pedestrian is encouraged to do the same (and they in turn influence one of their friends to do likewise), then the public space of the city should be a friendlier and better place to live within 10 years. Based purely on statistics, it is undeniable that Poznań in 2018 is far safer and more convenient for pedestrians than 10 years ago. Whether this is down to my solitary interventions, or rather the changing traffic policy of the local government here, I can’t say for sure. But I am convinced that my contribution has at least made a small difference. The effect one person can have on their direct environment is enormous. Most readers of the Bulletin will know from their own experience that it makes a difference how you enter your office or company in the morning. Entering with a smile and spontaneously offering to bring your colleague a cup of coffee leads to an infinitely better atmosphere than just starting up your computer without saying a word. Some management theories even claim that it takes only two years for the moral code and behaviour of a new CEO to become that of the whole organisation. Everyone can make a difference. But are we aware of this? And do we utilise the tools that we possess to make it happen? Some of us do. The Polish-Dutch business community recently had to bid farewell to Guusje Korthals Altes as Head of the Economic Department of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Warsaw. Over the last few years, the Embassy has undergone a serious process of transition, changing from a focus on political diplomacy towards economic matters. With her open attitude, her direct communication, her laughter and her no-nonsense mentality, Guusje made, as part of the transition team, a noticeable difference. If my theory about pedestrians in Poznań is true, within 4 years Albania will have become the most open, hardworking and joyful potential candidate member of the EU… This column is dedicated to Guusje Korthals Altes, who has made such a huge difference over the last few years.

This column is written à titre personnel and does not necessarily reflect the views of the NPCC board or its members.

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„Together, we can create a force for good”

Danielle van den Broek has been a board member of the Netherlands-Polish Chamber of Commerce since the Spring. Bulletin talked to her about her field of expertise, HR, and her ambitions for the board of the Chamber. Can you tell us something about yourself? „I am from the Netherlands and joined Unilever as HR Trainee straight after finishing my degree in Management & Organization at university, and that’s what I have done ever since – HR at Unilever. I worked in the Netherlands up until 2011 in various HR-roles and then we moved to Singapore as a family, where we were based for 2 years. Then we moved to Sydney in Australia, where we were based for 4 years. I was the HR Lead for our company in Australia and New Zealand. In January last year, we came to Poland and now I look after HR for our organization in Central and Eastern Europe, covering twenty countries all the way from the Baltic states in the north to Greece and Cyprus in the south and all the countries in-between. It’s a really cool job. Some people ask me why I moved from Sydney, Australia to Warsaw in Poland. It was a very conscious choice. I actually asked to be a candidate for this role because I wanted to make a step-up in terms of experience and complexity. I wanted to gain more experience in developing markets, where economies are still developing and growing, and to have responsibility for a number of markets. This role definitely has all these ingredients and it has been a real positive experience so far. I’ve also become quite passionate about changing the reputation and perception of Poland and the other Eastern European countries in the Netherlands. On the personal side, I’m married to Jaco, who I met at Unilever. He now has his own company, Beyond Summits. He’s a mountaineer and provides motivational talks to organisations, companies, schools and so on. We have 3 children - 2 girls and a boy. The girls, Lente and Iris, are 10 and 8 and Tom is 3. Since a year, we have a chocolate Labrador as well, so you can imagine it can be rather hectic in our household!” Can you tell us a little more about your impressions of Poland? “Our friends and family who have visited us, often say: ‘We’re going back home with a completely different view of Poland than we had

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when we came.’ They expected Poland as ex-communist country to have grey buildings, to be underdeveloped and not modern at all. And then they come here and see a beautiful city with impressive buildings and great architecture and supermarkets just like back home. Actually, they also see things where they believe that Poland is more advanced than, for example, the Netherlands. Personally I think that Poland is a beautiful country in every aspect. It’s beautiful when it comes to nature. The country has literally everything on offer - beaches, lakes, jungles, forests, mountains, you name it - and all in one country. I also love the people, though I must say it takes some effort before they really let you in. But once they do, you’re in their heart forever. I’ve discovered that the Poles are very entrepreneurial and I find the Poles generally very loyal, trustworthy with strong values, with ‘family’ being one of them.” You’ve been a board member of the Netherlands-Polish Chamber of Commerce since Spring 2018. Why did you decide to join the board? “For two reasons: one, which is very simple and maybe a bit selfish: for my own personal development. I love being in touch with other companies - big companies, small companies, people with different backgrounds and different functions - to share experiences that enable us to learn from each other. I’m happy to share what I can and I love to get the same back. I’ve already noticed in my very limited time in my role within the Chamber that I have quickly picked up some interesting connections. So that’s the selfish reason - for my own development and external orientation. The other reason is more aspirational and for that I must give you more context before answering that question. In my organisation, we spend quite a lot of time and energy to help every employee to discover their own personal purpose. What do they want to get out of life? And what gets them out of bed every morning, beyond salary, career or job title? My personal purpose is “to be a catalyst for positive change that I wish for the world, through the work that I do”. I want to make a positive change in the world around me, especially in the space of Purpose and Sustainability. To help other people find and live their own purpose in life, and to accelerate sustainability - to have economic advancement, but in a sustainable way, so that we still have the same planet Earth like we have today (ideally even better) in 10, 20, 50, 100 years’ time. So that is really in the end what makes me tick and what I am intrinsically motivated by.


I see my role as a catalyst because I would never be able to do that on my own, but by creating a movement you can have an impact that you would never have as an individual. Now, when it comes to Poland, I have already told you that I’m a big fan of the country and I wish several things for Poland and the Polish people. I wish that Poland will have continuous, prosperous and sustainable economic growth. I think Poland has been doing very well, especially when you look at the economic growth and the development of the country over the last years. I truly hope this will continue, in a sustainable way. And what I wish for the people in Poland is that they will be able to continue to develop themselves so that they can live their purpose in whatever they do. Related to that, I hope Poland will change its image in the economic world from being a low-wage country to something new. Low wage arbitrage as competitive advantage will be gone quickly so the country needs to think about its next competitive advantage in the economic world. Finally, what I wish for Poland is clean air and that its beautiful nature will be preserved. Now coming back to why I joined the board of the Chamber - I believe that if we, as organisations can join forces and work together with governmental parties, other chambers and other companies, we can be a force for good. So that’s my underlying ambition – together be a catalyst for positive change in society. It might sound extremely aspirational, but I thought if I don’t give it a try, for sure I will not make it happen.” In practical terms, how do you see this working in the Chamber? What should we do? What do you hope we will set up within our organisation in 2018-19? “For me personally, it has already started, even in my very short time here, as through the NPCC, Unilever got connected to UNEP/GRIDWarsaw and we’re now in conversation with them to see what we can do together. The NPCC also helped us to link up with IKEA who do a lot in the area of sustainability, and we’ve now agreed with IKEA to join a panel discussion about the Circular Economy at the Economic Forum in Krynica in September. In just a couple of months, I can already see the potential. What I would love to do, and I’d be happy to host it in our offices, is to organize a conference during one of the Chamber’s meetings around the theme of Sustainability and how we as companies and as a Chamber can have a positive societal impact, as I am sure that many more organisations have this on their agenda.” And in a broader perspective, how do you see the role of the Chamber at this moment? “I think that, in general, the Netherlands has a large corporate footprint around the world and therefore also in Poland. I also think that in the relationship between Poland and the European Union, we see some tensions rising, and again it has already been proven in the last few months that it’s good that we are connected as Dutch companies. As Dutch companies, we often have similar organisational values and I truly believe that, big or small, we can really help each other because by being connected we can form a greater force for good.” What advice would you give any SME companies that are currently looking for staff? “Today’s labour market is what we call an ‘employee’s market’, which means the power is with the employees. They can basically decide where they want to go and what they want to do. Unemployment is going down quarter after quarter and in some areas in Poland it is

even non-existent. Voluntary attrition (people voluntarily leaving their employer) is going up and organisations are struggling more and more to find and retain the right employees. If employees don’t like it somewhere, they can easily jump ship and go and work somewhere else. So that is the first thing. Secondly, salaries are on the rise and that’s why I’m pushing my own company, and other companies as well, to move away from basing their competitive advantage on low wages, because Poland is rapidly catching up with Western Europe. When it comes to employee motivation, salary is important but it’s not everything - it’s what we call a “hygiene factor”. This means it needs to be at a certain threshold level and, if it’s below the threshold, people will start being demotivated and eventually leave their employer because of it. However, fortunately or unfortunately, money is not everything. When hygiene factors are above a certain threshold, the so-called “motivators” kick in. One of the motivators is the company culture and its values, but also things like career progression, personal development, self-realization et cetera. Nowadays, people pay a lot of attention to the values of the company and they want to see that the values are truly lived by. Employees are very critical of the values that senior leaders display with their behaviour – not what they say, but what they actually do! Thirdly, you must have your “employee value proposition” in place. What do you have on offer for employees? Can they develop themselves? Can they work flexibly? Can they work part-time? Lastly, and this might sound a little abstract, but also coming back to where we started our conversation, can they live their personal purpose? What we know from the work we’ve been doing is that if people are clear about their own purpose, and what they want to achieve in life, and if they feel they can connect that to the purpose of their company, then they will feel more engagement, and ultimately they will perform better. There is this famous quote of a cleaner at NASA who was sweeping the floor. When he was asked whether his job was to clean the floors, he said “no, I’m here to help putting men on the moon”. So as an organisation, you need to define what your equivalent is of “putting men on the moon”. Something that all employees can relate to. But for that, you need to do quite a lot of work. Firstly, as an organisation, you need to define what your purpose is. Secondly, as leaders, you need to go through that journey as well, and thirdly, you need to help your people to discover it. So we’re really talking about a long period and then you must truly stick to it. But I can see the sheer power of it in my own organisation. We have noticed that our purpose – Make Sustainable Living Common Place and the way we implemented it throughout the company, has become something that also attracts people to come and work for us.” And when you mentioned changing the focus on low wages to, for instance, a focus on the large internal market, were you talking about companies? “Yes, but I also meant this for Poland as a country. I would advise the Polish government to define a vision of Poland’s economic competitive advantage away from being a “low-wage country”. Up until now it was attractive for international companies to establish themselves in Poland because of the low wages. And that is precisely my point. As wages are increasing, it’s just a matter of time until this will no longer be a competitive advantage, so what will it be? A highly skilled and educated workforce, a great infrastructure, favourable corporate climate, leading edge thinking, high-tech manufacturing, you name it. I don’t have the answer, but that’s the process that Poland as a country has to go through, would be my point of view.”

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Contribution Embassy Bulletin NPCC Growing agro-logistics With the growing agricultural sector and increasing agricultural exports, there is an increasing need for a better agrologistics approach in Poland. From 27-29 June 2018, a Polish delegation consisting mainly of representatives of national and regional governmental organisations visited the Netherlands.

During the visit, the delegation had the opportunity to become better acquainted with the Dutch approach, technology and know-how on agro-logistics, as well as making contacts by visiting Dutch agro-logistic centres, and receiving information on integrated approaches in a number of lectures. The visit, which emphasised the role of public institutions and local government in the Dutch approach, was part of the PIB programme AgroFreshPark Łódzkie.

Gdynia Design Days In July, the Embassy visited Gdynia Design Days, which is an annual festival highlighting the latest trends and good practices in the world of design. To share the Dutch approach of “Design is where circular thinking starts”, we invited a speaker from the Netherlands, Mr. Jeroen Hinfelaar from CIRCO. During the workshop on 7 July, he introduced participants to the CIRCO programme “Creating Business Through Circular Design” which allowed them to experience for themselves the way of working and the way of applying the tools to real-life products such as smartphones, toys, washing machines and chairs.

During his lecture on 8 July, Mr. Hinfelaar then showed how the Design Thinking approach inspired, motivated and equipped companies to (re)design products, services and business models in the Netherlands. He also encouraged the audience to study more Dutch showcases at www.hollandcircularhotspot.nl.

A flowery and green start to autumn More than 40 Dutch companies in one place at the same time in Poland? This is only possible during the combined Green is Life & Flower Expo Poland horticultural exhibitions in Warsaw (6-8 September). The Polish flower & greenery market for Dutch products is booming: last year Dutch agricultural exports in this sector grew by 22%, making the Polish market the 6th biggest destination for Dutch exports of flowers and plants.

This year’s exhibition has an extra Dutch element as the guest of honour at the exhibition is Niek Roozen, the well-known Dutch landscape designer. Roozen introduced the concept of the Green City during Floriade 2002 and also designed the Dutch Garden in Lazienki Park, which opened in 2016. The Embassy will contribute to the concept at this year’s exhibition: as part of the ‘Greener City’ conference, speakers will present ideas on how to add colour to public (city) green spaces.

Visit of young professionals in the logistics field A group of young professionals from the logistics sector from the Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg has decided to visit Poland to see for themselves the latest developments in the logistics market in the

country. During their brief stay in Warsaw (7.09.2018), the group will visit Fresh Logistics in Grodzisk Mazowiecki and meet with representatives of the Embassies from their three home countries.

Visit of the Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management Cora van Nieuwenhuizen From 9-11 October, the Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management, Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, will be visiting Poland, accompanied by a delegation of representatives of Dutch companies from the water/maritime and transport/logistics sectors. The delegation will visit Wroclaw (9th-10th), Warsaw (10th) and Gdansk (11th). During these three days, a number of thematic seminars and roundtables

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will be organised, with the companies having the opportunity to participate in matchmaking sessions and also several field visits. To encourage participants in the mission to make contacts with the key stakeholders in Poland (from the public and private sectors), a number of networking events will also be included in the programme for the visit.


Cultural Calendar September 2018 – November 2018 01-09 to 14.09 Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century and the International Chopin Competition on Period Instruments The orchestra has a long history with Poland and the festival ‘Chopin and his Europe”. Founded in 1981 by Frans Brüggen, Lucy van Dael and a group of friends, the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century consists of fifty-five members from more than twenty different countries. The orchestra assembles to go on tour five times a year, with the musicians, who are all specialists in eighteenth and early nineteenth century music, playing on period instruments or on contemporary replicas. The orchestra has been a guest and supporter of the “Chopin and

His Europe” festival, organised by the Chopin Institute in Warsaw, for many years. The director of the institute is a great admirer of the orchestra, so it is no surprise that they have been invited to the 1st International Chopin Competition on Period Instruments. They will perform at the opening gala on Sunday, September 2nd and they will also accompany the six finalists in the third round of the competition. More information about the competition: www.iccpi.pl/en More information about the orchestra: www.orchestra18c.com

17.09 to 21.09 EUNIC and the European Day of Languages The European Day of Languages (EDL) is celebrated across Europe on 26th September every year. It aims to promote the rich linguistic diversity of Europe and also raise awareness of the importance of lifelong language learning for everyone. It was set up by the Council of Europe and first celebrated in 2001. EUNIC, which stands for European Union National Institutes for Culture, is a network of European national institutes of culture and national bodies engaged in cultural activities beyond their national borders. EUNIC promotes cultural diversity and cultural dialogue and advocates for a stronger role for culture in public

policies and in external relations, both at a European and a global level. EUNIC Warszawa has been a thriving cluster since its inception in 2007, with the Embassy naturally being an active EUNIC member. The European Day of Languages is one of the flagship projects of EUNIC in Poland and we will be running ‘introductory Dutch language lessons’ for learners in the days around September 26th. www.facebook.com/EDJ.fb

22.09 Loesje in Warsaw Her motto is: “Making life in the world better and more beautiful”. You will probably have come across some Loesje quotes around the city, either on a poster, a wall or even the pavement, and you will probably be wondering: Who is Loesje? Loesje is the name of a fictional girl who writes texts with critical, though also positive and humorous, content and sticks them on walls in public spaces. Loesje was founded by six people from various action groups on November 24, 1983 in Arnhem in the

Netherlands. Over the past few decades, Loesje has been involved in several court cases regarding the right to freedom of expression and the government’s ability to limit that right. But Loesje is more than that. Loesje is, or can be, you!At the invitation of the Embassy, Loesje will be giving a number of workshops in Poland, some of which will be in Polish and some in English. Texts will be written in groups on a given subject, and then they will be assessed by the organisation for originality and use of language. The embassy will keep you updated about the workshops through Facebook, with the next workshop (in Polish) due to take place on September 22nd. www.loesje.pl

06.11 Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra – Wrocław The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (RCO) is a symphony orchestra from the Netherlands. Founded in 1888, it has held the ‘Royal’ name since 1988, with Queen Máxima the patron of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Foundation. Based at the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the orchestra is one of the leading orchestras around the world, together with the Vienna Philharmonic and the Berliner Philharmoniker.

The orchestra pays particular attention to the younger generations during the tour and, in every country, music talents aged 14 to 24 have the opportunity to learn from the members of the RCO.

Between August 2016 and December 2018, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (RCO) is touring all 28 member states of the European Union. With this “RCO Meets Europe” project, the orchestra would like to emphasise the fundamental ideals of harmony and polyphony. EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is the patron of the tour.

In Poland, the RCO will perform in Wrocław, playing Weber’s overture ‘Oberon’, together with young musicians from the orchestra academy of the National Forum of Music.

The tour officially kicked off on September 9, 2016 in Amsterdam and the final concert will take place in December 2018 in Bulgaria, which will have the Presidency of the European Union at that time.

www.concertgebouworkest.nl/nl/concert/rco-meets-wroclaw

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New members of

the Netherlands-Polish Chamber of Commerce

PKO Bank Polski We are the largest bank in Poland in terms of assets and one of the leading banks in Central and Eastern Europe in terms of net income, equity and customer base. A sustainable credit policy, high adequacy ratios and capitalization, combined with our extensive experience and wide range of services, make PKO Bank Polski a strong and reliable partner. International corporate clients are serviced by our International Corporate Banking Team, which consists of dedicated relationship managers supported by credit analysts and product specialists with experience in doing business with international customers. We operate from two locations in Poland - Warsaw and Wrocław - and we provide modern, tailor-made and complex financial solutions for international corporate clients present in the Polish market. As a customer of PKO Bank Polski in Poland, you can also benefit from our international presence and support through our branches in Frankfurt am Main and Prague, and our subsidiary Kredobank in Ukraine. PKO Bank Polski Puławska 15 02-515 Warsaw +48 22 521 85 06 www.pkobp.pl

DMR Law Office DMR Law Office in Gdańsk is owned by the Dutch-speaking Polish attorney-at-law Dorota Monika Rosiak, who has over 25 years of professional experience in providing both domestic and international legal services to Dutch enterprises in the fields of company law, mergers and acquisitions, drafting contracts, including cases in the shipbuilding industry, renewable energy sources, trade, agriculture and other branches of industry, real estate, conducting negotiations, solving disputes by negotiating and managing legal and extrajudicial settlements, and litigation in front of common and arbitration courts (including the Supreme Court) in civil, economic and administrative matters.

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Fordata Sp. z o. o. We are the leading provider of Virtual Data Room systems in Central and Eastern Europe. We help our clients in managing documents and communication during complex and confidential deals. We support the largest M&A deals, IPOs, private equity investments, restructurings, drug development and clinical trial projects, as well as projects associated with obtaining financing in Poland and CEE. Our system increased the safety and efficiency of hundreds of different types of transactions with a total value of over PLN 35 billion. Our company is also the author of M&A Index Poland Report, issued quarterly since 2014, which monitors the dynamics of the Polish M&A market and highlights the most interesting transactions. Fordata’s services are used by industry leaders in Poland and abroad, including the largest advisory companies, banks, legal advisors and Private Equity/Venture Capital funds, such as Saski Partners, Peakside, Nordea, Enterprise Investors, Avallon, Value4 Capital, Atrium European Real Estate, Enea SA, PGNiG, Lotos, PZU SA, NFI Empik, PKO BP, Deloitte, EY, KPMG Advisory, Haitong, Pekao Investment Banking and many others Fordata Sp. z o.o. Taczaka 24 61-819 Poznań +48 61 660 15 10 biuro@fordata.pl www.fordata.pl

During the years 1998-2016, Dorota Rosiak gained extensive legal experience as a partner at one of the largest law firms in the Pomerania region, and also as an arbitrator and member of the International Court of Arbitration at the Polish Chamber of Maritime Commerce in Gdynia and a member of the Presidium of that court, and as a member of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the District Chamber of Legal Advisors in Gdańsk. She has been running her own law firm since July 2016. Dorota Rosiak performs the function of Honorary Consul of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Gdańsk. Dorota Rosiak Kancelaria Radcy Prawnego Mickiewicza 9/9 80-425 Gdańsk dmr@dmrlaw.eu


New members of

the Netherlands-Polish Chamber of Commerce

Lingua Polonica Lingua Polonica has been successfully enabling business people and students to learn to communicate with confidence in Polish for over 20 years. We have developed our own interactive learning methodology which combines both knowledge of the language and also Polish culture and history. This combined approach enables our customers to integrate quickly and successfully into Polish life. Our teachers are highly qualified and experienced multi-lingual language specialists who are passionate about what they do and tailor every lesson to the needs of the customer. Our approach: We are completely flexible in the way we work with our customers. We can arrange lessons at our school, located close to the centre of Warsaw, or we can arrange to visit your place of work at times which suit your personal calendar and business schedule. We offer a variety of language programmes to suit the personal needs of our customers to enable them to develop all aspects of the language (reading, writing and speaking). Lingua Polonica Zamiany 14/12 02-784 Warsaw +48 604 752 573 linguapolonica@linguapolonica.com.pl www.linguapolonica.com.pl

Executive & Friends Executive & Friends combines 20 years of experience in Executive Search as well as human resources management within large multinational organisations. In line with our brand name, we put the client first and our role is to support them in achieving their business goals. At the same time, we also support the candidates in the development of their careers. Executive & Friends is a strategic partner of Sandler Training Polska, a representative of the global leader in sales management consulting and training. We are also a partner of The Devine Group - a US-based company which for almost 50 years has been known for developing state-of-the-art employee analytic tools. Why ‘Friends’? No-one is merely a business card or a CV. Professional and business challenges do not overshadow the people we interact with. To our clients, we recommend solutions which work much longer than any warranty. We recommend candidates for positions where they can achieve their professional goals, develop themselves and fulfil their ambitions. Our fee does not depend on the results of the salary negotiations. Therefore, there is no conflict of interest and we propose solutions which are best for our clients, not ones which are most profitable for us. People matter most to us. That’s why ‘Friends’. Executive & Friends Flisa 4 02-247 Warsaw +48 22 487 50 40 r.jedrzejewski@executiveandfriends.com www.executiveandfriends.com

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Moving Moments Bulletin

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Marcin Ros (left), Development Director and Krzysztof Korzeniak, Technical Director, of Novaform Real Estate Developments.

„We listen

to our clients better”

We sat down with Krzysztof Korzeniak from Novaform in Poznań, a company constructing Polish residential buildings with a Dutch twist.

Poznań and then, if all goes well, begin working in other cities as well. In the Netherlands the company is quite big, delivering around a thousand houses per year. The company is also well-established in Germany.”

Can you tell us something about Novaform?

What is special about the way you work in Poland? Is there any Dutch accent, any Dutch design elements, or a Dutch concept in your company?

“Novaform is a real estate development company with Dutch origins, with its headquarters located in Eindhoven. Novaform opened in Poland in 2014 and is active mainly in the Poznań region at the moment but we are looking to expand in the future. At the moment, we are constructing residential buildings in Koninko but we’re about to start a bigger development of multi-residence buildings in Poznań. I don’t have too many details at the moment, but the strategy is to develop in smaller steps and grow first in

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“We definitely have that. In Koninko, for instance, we have a special elevation, a clinker brick façade, which is not typical in Poland and relates more to the Netherlands. But mostly it’s about our approach rather than our product, because the product must be appropriate and we want to meet the expectations of Polish customers, not force them to buy a Dutch product. An example of the Dutch approach is “wendbaar wonen”, which I would call “flexibility”, because we are


trying to manoeuvre in such a way as to meet the expectations of our clients and we want to incorporate this into our design.” What do you mean exactly by “flexibility”? “It means that we don’t use a standard design. We always adapt to the situation, to the people’s requirements and to the location. We don’t just build one product for the whole country. We are not the type of company that just builds the same houses like on a production line. We understand that, even in Poznań, something fits better in one location than in another, so we design a unique concept for every new project.” Novaform entered the market in 2014. How did the company adapt to the Polish market? Can you tell us more about the process the company went through? “Looking at myself, being, living, studying and working in Holland as well as in Ireland, I’ve been through this process myself and had to adapt to other cultures. When we came here to Poland, there was a learning curve, even with design, as in the case of Koninko. It has to be adapted to people’s needs. Basically, if you go to another country, you cannot implement everything in the same way that it’s done in the Netherlands. You have to get among Polish people, see how they think, what they like and what they do but, if you want to integrate with the Polish market, you cannot propose the same things as in the Netherlands.” How would you describe the housing market and the challenges that you face as a player on that market? “Well, the biggest challenges now are definitely the costs. Production costs are going up, and there is big competition because there are many companies offering residential buildings. Basically, we don’t want to be a real estate company, but we want to be Novaform. We don’t want only to deliver an end-product, but we would like to become known for something characteristic. So we try to look at what people like and appreciate in their neighborhood and we look to introduce that. We try to listen to the market, and we do that by listening very carefully to our sales specialists who know the wishes of our customers. Besides the buildings, we also try to give people areas where they can socialize with each other and spend time together. We don’t just want to deliver blocks of flats, but we also want to deliver residential neighbourhoods that are friendly for the inhabitants.”

Can you tell us more about the challenges concerning costs? “Increasing costs have an effect on all developers of residential buildings, not just us. As a result, we are all increasing the sale prices. In order to stay profitable and stand out among the competition, therefore, we focus on added value. I am sure that there will be a correction in the market, sooner or later, and I think that we are well-prepared and well-positioned to capitalize on that.” So basically, you cannot solve that problem. Is it just a case of sitting it out? “The added value is essentially the only thing that doesn’t cost too much. As I said, the socializing areas are a good example of this. We want to create not just block next to block, but also surroundings of the neighbourhood that will stand out from the competition. It isn’t the case that there are no developers doing that, there are, but I wouldn’t say that it’s the majority. We want to join the club that cares about not only giving people a place to sleep, but also a place to live.” Your office has relocated a few blocks away. Why the change? “It’s because we are starting a new project so basically we need more space. We will probably be developing and expanding our team as soon as we hit the ground in our new location. Apart from our sales showroom where we meet clients in Koninko, we also need a location to meet potential buyers for the new residential apartments. That’s basically the main reason for the move. It’s more accessible and it has some other advantages too, but the main reason was that we will have more clients and we need a kickoff location to kick off business in Poland. Once we were in line with our plan, it was time to change the office for a bigger, brighter and more accessible space.” You mentioned that you may look to expand in other regions. Can you tell us more about those plans? “We were looking at Kraków, for example, but obviously every large city will be interesting for us. I’m aware, though, that it might be hard for us to find very good locations in the cities that we are not present in. For example, Marcin and I have been living in Poznań for several years now and so we know, more or less, which locations are good to invest in. It’s harder for us to do it on our own and that’s why we are talking to our partners in other cities or people active in cities like Gdańsk, Kraków, Wrocław or Szczecin in order to stay in touch with the market. That is our approach - working with our partners in order to get a good foothold in such a big country as Poland.”

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NPCC Test Drive

BMW-MINI

a great small car to drive We took the Mini Cooper Sport for a test-drive, and these are our thoughts... Having a Mini is all about making a fashion statement. You don’t buy it for its practicality. Although you can fold down the seats and get a flat load bay, which admittedly is pretty good, the boot itself is a bit on the small side. And for passengers in the back, the front seats don’t seem to slide very far forward so it can be a bit of a struggle to get in there. However, when you are in the back, the space is not as bad as it seems. The headroom is pretty good and the windows in the back are quite big. The issue, however, is the amount of legroom. The third generation Mini has a more modern look, but it has kept its very distinguished and characteristic styling. And it has some very nice details when you’re driving it. Few other cars have interiors with so much character. It really does feel like a premium product. The only complaint about the inside is the storage places for bottles and other things. They are… rather mini. And don’t be misled by the somewhat childish computer graphics on the screen because it really is one of the best in the business. To mention just a few of the special features: • The pedestrian protection system raises the bonnet in a split second to reduce head injuries to pedestrians

• The LED light display on the dashboard changes colour depending on the mode you are in • There is an isofix fitting in the front as well as in the back • The Mini allows you to connect Spotify directly to the audio system so you no longer have to scroll through your phone The BMW-Mini has always traded on the fact that, just like the original Mini from the swinging sixties, it is a sporty little thing to drive. It is a lively little character. It enjoys being thrown around corners, just gripping the road and going smoothly round them. However, there has always been a problem with the Mini. It bounces down the road like a golf ball and its suspension, which makes it so much fun and darty, also makes it a really firm ride. To counteract that, BMW has made the latest version of the Mini slightly softer. And you can even get it with optional dampers. But even so, it’s still on the firm side if you compare this version to its rivals. It is also quite a noisy car to travel in and, therefore, not exactly the most relaxing drive. Overall, then, there is nothing quite like a Mini. Yes, the boot is tiny and it is a firm drive, but it is a fun car to drive and it definitely feels like a premium car.

We were invited to test drive the car by Car4Woman, run by Planet Car Lease which offers car rental programmes specifically tailored to women’s needs. For more information, go to car4drive.pl

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Column Remco van der Kroft Advocaat (Dutch licensed lawyer) and partner of Olczak-Klimek Van der Kroft Węgiełek whose six-year term was shortened to four years and nobody protested then.

A Supreme Summer

The difference is that in 2014 the judge in question had died. As Professor Matczak put it in the Guardian: “Political pressure is unconstitutional - death is not.”

I have just got back from a week’s holiday on Crete, which I took to get away from the hot summer in Poland. Yes, Crete was a few degrees cooler than Warsaw, but I also needed to get away from the heat of Polish politics.

Something that is talked about a lot less is the fact that the new law on the Supreme Court also envisages a role for laymen. They will take part in the new chamber that will be able to reopen cases going back 20 years (so much for legal certainty!) and also in the disciplinary chamber, which will be able to discipline judges of all levels.

Just like last year, the ruling party decided that July, the month when most Poles are already on vacation, was the best time to push through controversial legislation. This summer, a new law on the Supreme Court was adopted with the now familiar mind-boggling speed. This new law, together with the earlier changes from 2017 and 2018, means that about two-thirds of the judge positions have now become vacant.

Not even a country that swears by jury trials (the United States of America) has laymen on its Supreme Court. The role of a Supreme Court is to judge difficult legal matters, not to issue judgments based on gut-feeling. It’s a bit like having a shop assistant consulting the surgeon during open-heart surgery.

With the creation of some additional new chambers, the number of judges has gone up from 74 to 120, while about 26 judges are set to retire due to the retirement age being lowered from 70 to 65. The new judges will be appointed by the National Council of the Judiciary (KRS), which, following the earlier legal changes, is a body consisting mainly of political appointees, and which may soon be expelled from the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary (ENCJ). What, one might ask, is wrong with lowering the retirement age of judges? For a judge to be independent, they need to know upfront how long their mandate as a judge will last for and they need to be sure of their pension afterwards. Anything else will make a judge subject to political pressure. It should therefore be obvious that lowering the retirement age of judges is fine, but it should not apply to sitting judges, and in particular not to the First President of the Supreme Court, Ms. Małgorzata Gersdorf, because her term as First President of the Supreme Court of 6 years is set down in the Constitution. The almost comical argument used by the government was that in 2014 there also was a First President of the Supreme Court

For now, the Supreme Court has hit back and on August 2nd it asked five prejudicial questions on the legality of the lowered retirement age to the European Court of Justice (ECJ). As an aside, the same ECJ recently ruled that a court in Ireland does not have to extradite a Polish suspect if it believes that he will not be given a fair trial in Poland. Until now such intra-EU extraditions were automatic, with basically no questions asked. For now, the Polish government does not seem to be willing to accept that a case pending before the ECJ should suspend the effects of the law on the retirement age of judges and that a verdict of the ECJ is final and not just an opinion which can simply be ignored, like the one of the Venice Commission on the Constitutional Court back in 2016. This saga is definitely set to continue. P.S. The day after I finished writing the above column, the saga did indeed continue and, as this Bulletin goes to print, the National Council of the Judiciary (KRS) is in the process of nominating judges to the Supreme Court at the speed of light, overlooking the occasional past sin in the interests of time. They were supposed to deal with this in September but opted to speed up the process in order to beat the European Court of Justice to it. What can I say?

This column is written à titre personnel and does not necessarily reflect the views of the NPCC board or its members.

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