Polish Market :: 11 - 12/2013
PU B LISHED since 199 6 No. 11-12 (206) / 2013 :: www.polishmarket.com.pl
Pearls of the Polish Economy Science and Innovation Investment
creator and founder of the World Hearing Center in Kajetany, Winner of the 1st edition of Polish Market Honorary Pearls in the category of science
From The President’s Press Office From The Government Information Centre
Janusz Piechociński, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy; The Pearl of the Polish Economy is a distinction
Prof. Michał Kleiber, President of the Polish Academy of Sciences; We have been together for years to promote Polish economy
Pearls of the Polish Economy ranking
10 How have the Pearls of the Polish Economy Prof. Jan Macieja, INE PAN; been selected?
12 Pearls of the Polish Economy 18 Maciej Proliński; Names – Institutions – Honorary Pearls Szejnfeld, Member of the Polish Parliament; 22 Adam An investment in the future Pearls of Innovation PROGRESS
Prof. Leszek Rafalski, PhD. Eng., Chairman of the Main Council of the Research Institutes (RGIB), Member of the Contest Jury for the Progress Award; Pearls of Innovation – a new category in the Pearls of the Polish Economy ranking
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A medal for Prof. Henryk Skarżyński from Pope Francis International Warsaw Invention Show – IWIS 2013 Wojciech Krystyańczuk, President of MBL Poland; New year - new projects
Polish National Cluster of Innovative Enterprises
Prof. Bogdan Marciniec, Member of Pol. Acad. Sci.; Adam Mickiewicz University, Center of Advanced Technologies, Poznań Science and Technology Park of Adam Mickiewicz University Foundation; Poznań Cluster of Science, Technology and Innovation
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The world of 3M in Wrocław –the Customer Technical Center Anna Tatarska. MSc, Maciej Szafrański, PhD, Eng.; Training labs for students at the Poznań University of Technology To make the educational package more attractive The employee in the centre of attention “The focus on the customer”
Mieczysław Starkowski; Mobile banking
Krzysztof Pietraszkiewicz, President of the Association of Polish Banks; On the way to prosperity
Prof. Elżbieta Mączyńska; “Economics for the future. Unveiling the nature and causes of economic phenomena”– 9th Congress of Polish Economists
Prof. Małgorzata Zaleska, a member of National Bank of Poland’s Management Board; Road to the euro
Bogdan Sadecki; Innovation as key element to scientific development Jerzy Bojanowicz; 20 years, 20 months, 20 minutes. 20 years – from the Cochlear Center to the World Hearing Center
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Keep calm and invest – the zones will operate until 2026 Patryk Mirecki; Special Economic Zones attract investors Tadeusz Rybak, President of Mostostal Puławy S.A.; The role of partnerships in business
X I t h e d I t I on Pearls of the PolIsh economy V I I I th e d I t I o n of honorary Pearls I I I rd e d I to n of Pearls of InnoVatIon
56 The Gdynia Port welcomes new partners and cares for the old ones 58 Investing in Poland 2014 - new investments on the horizon
Maciej Proliński; Handling a baton and a camera
Marcin Kręglicki, restaurant owner; Theme restaurants with a real host
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Prof. Małgorzata Bombol, Consumer Behaviour Research Unit, Institute of Management Warsaw School of Economics (SGH); Prestige? Elitism? Luxury? A few remarks on the behaviour of consumers of the Polish emerging upper class. Jan Mazurek; Luxury alternative investments Heddo Siebs, General Manager of Hyatt Regency Warsaw; Welcoming the world
84 Into a new century with the League of Polish Women 86 The gala of the VIP and VIPs the twelfth time, “Gazeta Bankowa” will pick 88 For the best technologies
Yerik Utembayev, Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan to Poland; A new impetus in Polish-Kazakh cooperation
Polish Market editorial board wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Law & Taxes
Tomasz Hatylak, tax advisor at Squire Sanders Święcicki Krześniak sp.k.; Technical support facilities and support staff are the determining factors for a fixed place of business Very special zones
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Cultural Monitor Ewa Ewart, documentary filmmaker; KGHM’s success from the humancentred perspective... Maciej Proliński, That which cannot be seen Marie Leszczyńska and the art of Versailles
Please note that in the article entitled “How to invest in Poland’s commercial real estate” published in the 204/2013 issue of the “Polish Market” magazine, p. 56, the report was prepared by the editorial staff of “Warsaw Business Journal,” the owner of the Investing in Poland project, while CBRE is its partner and the author of the “Real Estate Guide,” which is part of the report. Additionally, in the interview with Ms Ewa Ewart entitled “KGHM’ssuccess from the human-centred perspective,” an error crept into the text as the material was being prepared for printing. We wish to apologize to Ms Ewa Ewart, the author, and the readers.
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he Polish economy, which has been Europe’s fastest-developing economy in today’s time of crisis, is clearly speeding up still more. Although the current growth of the Polish GDP is lower than that of previous years, it is still higher than that recorded by the countries of Western Europe. During the years 20082013, the total growth of GDP in Poland amounted to 20%, whereas the average GDP of the European Union was around zero, and below zero in the eurozone. Last year, the quarterly GDP growth indicators in Poland also dropped to the level of “zero point something”, but we only brushed the state of recession. According to the Central Statistical Office (GUS) data, during the second quarter, the year-to-year GDP growth was at 0.8%. However, according to the initial assessments of the GUS, the Polish GDP grew by 1.9% during the third quarter. This exceeded the expectations of the economists. In its November projection, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) projects that the economic growth rate in Poland will accelerate from 1.4% in 2013 to 2.7% in 2014 and 3.3% in 2015. In contrast, OECD projections from May of this year revealed that the Polish GDP would rise by only 0.8% in this year and by 2.2% in the next one. The unemployment rate may slowly begin to drop by the end of 2014, while 2015 will see opportunities for the faster consolidation of public finances. The assessments of analysts from Fitch Poland are similar – according to them, next year, the Polish economy will grow at the rate of 2.3%. Moreover, the rising internal demand also inspires optimism. In addition, Poland’s exports, instead of being limited solely to the European Union, which is experiencing a crisis, continue to expand on the emerging markets. This is also favourable to Poland’s economy. The Polish economy is relatively well assessed by foreign investors – a fact proven by the continuous interest in Polish bonds. The domestic experts are also optimistic in their projections. According to of PKO Bank Polski the country’s economic growth will reach 3% by the end of 2014. The main factor in stimulating this growth will be the relaxation of the state budget policy, which, however, will raise the deficit. This year’s interest rate reductions will also somewhat assist this process. The economists of the bank project that the first raise will not take place until the fourth quarter of next year. Meanwhile, according to the projections of the government, the economic growth of 2014 is supposed to reach 2.5%. Professor Witold Orłowski, the senior economic advisor of PwC, believes that this information, which has been available for several months, indicates economic revival not just in Poland, but also in Western Europe. Yet, the nature of this revival remains open. According to Professor Orłowski, our economy will continue to grow, but still at a slow rate. The quickest improvement will be that of export figures, which will encompass the growth of other factors. Consumption is growing, while investments continue to be weak. Before the global crisis, we were expecting that when the national economy would start to speed up following a slowdown, the rate of growth would be faster. However, this improvement has not been rapid, but rather gradual, from month to month. However, specific research is more optimistic. The macroeconomic projection for the Polish industry included in the report of Professor Jerzy Hausner (the Instrument of Quick Response financed by PARP – the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development) is very good until the middle of next year and favourable until at least the end of 2014. After a good fourth quarter of this year, it is projected that the rate of industrial production growth in the first half of 2014 will be as high as 10-15% year to year. This trend in positive growth will, however, slow down in the second half of 2014, but even then we can expect the industrial production rate to be over
5%, year to year. What is of further interest is that the projections for growth in industrial output and gross value added in industry lead to qualitatively similar conclusions that the downward trend will be reversed, production will rise markedly and the situation in industry will improve. Similar conclusions are formed by researchers who have been basing their projections on the opinions of entrepreneurs. “The economic condition of Poland’s industry is improving month to month. This includes both the segments producing for the domestic market and those exporting their products,” claims Małgorzata Starczewska-Krzysztoszek, PhD, the senior economist of Lewiatan Confederation. The PMI projection indicator is already at the level showing economic prosperity, individual consumption has risen, and that investments are slowly getting off the ground. The shrinking resources indicate that sales are rising even faster than production. Does this mean that we are dealing with another peculiar phenomenon of the Polish economy, which is able to draw conclusions and immediately adapt to changes in the economic tendencies and environment? Just a few months ago, it seemed that Poland’s great structural breakthrough, involving turning its external market and cooperation relations by 180 degrees, by way of entering into close cooperation with the economy of the European Union - particularly that of Germany) was not a good move, and the conditions of the European recession would hinder Poland’s expansion rather than assist its growth. However, it has turned out that Polish entrepreneurs were able to find a solution. This was based on not only the acquisition of new markets, but also the retention of current ones by reducing the high import intensity of export. For the first time since the market transformation, we have been able to achieve greater export than import! Our search for the explanations of the mechanisms of this adaptation have also led us to certain conclusions with respect to the annual ranking of the Pearls of the Polish Economy, which was coorganised for the eleventh time by the Polish Market and the Institute of Economic Sciences of the Polish Academy of Sciences. This year’s ranking provides numerous suggestions as to the nature of the transformation of the most effective Polish enterprises. Compared to previous editions, the transformation of the business model of the companies qualified for the ranking is clearly visible to be in favour of enterprises that hold a smaller share of the traditionally understood notion of fixed capital (which is the dominating factor with respect to costs). Perhaps these transformations of the business model should persuade us to correct our modelling of this ranking in the future. Yet, the ranking itself is not the essence of the matter, but the associated concept of the effectiveness of enterprises and their place in contemporary economic policy. While Poland’s enterprises may not keep up with European shell companies in effectiveness measured through accounting, the success of the Polish economy (which was the starting point for these considerations) suggests that this may not be the effectiveness which should be taken into account in this context. ::
Krystyna Woźniak-Trzosek Editor-in-Chief President Rynek Polski Publishers Co. Ltd.
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Global Citizen Award for the President of Poland
resident Bronisław Komorowski has been honoured in New York with the U.S. Atlantic Council’s annual Global Citizen Award. He emphasized that he regarded the award as a gesture to the memory of the entire generation of the Solidarity movement. The President of the Atlantic Council Frederick Kempe said that Warsaw will be the second – after Istanbul – place outside the U.S. to host the office of the think tank. “It is important to me that I could take this award in remembrance of the whole generation of Polish Solidarity, the great movement that brought the desired freedom to Poland and to this part of Europe,” Komorowski said when receiving the award. “Having regained freedom, we have commitments with regard to others who can still only dream of freedom, stability and democracy,” Bronisław Komorowski said. ::
“We hope for peace in the Middle East”
resident Bronisław Komorowski and the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, spoke in Jerusalem about i.a. the Middle East peace process. Poland hopes that peace talks in various formulas will bring positive outcomes. “Both our nations, both our two countries have always lived in the areas not easy to live in,” said President Bronisław Komorowski. “Poles have lived for a thousand years between Germany and Russia, between the two powers. Therefore, Poland understands Israel’s determination as far as defence and security are concerned. Determination is crucial not to try again the difficult lessons of history - the loss of independence,” Bronisław Komorowski said. ::
“We look forward to closer economic ties with Mongolia” President on a visit to South Korea
resident Bronisław Komorowski paid an official visit to South Korea. The main topics he discussed in Seoul were economic cooperation, investment and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. He was accompanied by his wife Anna, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Janusz Piechociński and about forty Polish business people. Bronisław Komorowski spoke to the President of South Korea, Ms Park Geun-hye and the Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea. He also took part in an economic summit, and laid a wreath at the National Cemetery. The President attended the opening of the PolishKorean Business Cooperation Forum and the “Polish-Korean Business Night Gala”. ::
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resident Bronisław Komorowski, on a visit to Mongolia said he hoped for closer economic ties with Mongolia. He praised Mongolia’s economic success and its commitment to the process of democratization in Asia. “Polish-Mongolian relations are getting better, our cooperation tightens up, diplomatic and political relations are becoming more intense,” Bronisław Komorowski who paid a working visit to Mongolia and met with the President of the country, Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj. Bronisław Komorowski expressed the hope that the President of Mongolia will pay an official visit to Poland in the near future, which - in his opinion - will further strengthen mutual economic relations. “I highly estimate Mongolia’s involvement in the processes of democratization in Asia; it is a kind of our shared path, because Poland also played a pioneering role in the processes of democratization in Eastern Europe,” he said. He added that “the community of action toward extending the democratic area in both our regions commits to closer cooperation in other areas too. In particular, I look forward to increased economic cooperation. I estimate that the economic potential that is the result of continuous development of the Polish economy (despite the economic crisis) and the impressive economic growth of Mongolia do not translate into sufficient business relationships between Poland and Mongolia.” Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj expressed his satisfaction with the development of economic relations with Poland. He added that bilateral talks covered economic cooperation, promotion of democracy, defence and cooperation in the international arena. “The visit of President Komorowski is very important for our relationship and will contribute to the development of friendly relations between Mongolia and Poland,” he said. ::
Prime Minister at the 2nd Conference on youth employment in Europe
conference was held in Paris to exchange experience and good practices on fighting unemployment among young people. On this occasion, Poland’s Prime Minister met with the President of the European Commission. Donald Tusk and José Manuel Barroso discussed expectations and forecasts as to how Ukraine will behave in the run-up to the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius, during which the Association Agreement with Ukraine is to be signed. The Prime Minister stated that this would be a historic moment, and that Poland is very intent on signing the agreement despite the obstacles. After the conference, the Prime Minister stressed that Poland, together with the rest of Europe, wants to act preventively in order to combat youth unemployment. He pointed out that unemployment in Poland is not as severe as in some other EU countries, such as Spain, Portugal, or Greece. Participants of the conference continued the debate initiated in July in Berlin. According to Eurostat data from September 2013, about 5.6 million people aged up to 25 years were unemployed, with 3.5 million of them being citizens of the eurozone countries. One in four young Europeans is unemployed. ::
Prime Minister meets with NATO’s Secretary General
nders Fogh R a smu s s en paid a visit to Poland on the occasion of NATO Exercise Steadfast Jazz 2013, which was co-hosted by Poland. “Activities such as jointly prepared Steadfast Jazz should be considered as a harbinger of systematic exercises that will strengthen NATO’s defence capabilities also in this region of the world,” the Prime Minister said. Donald Tusk told the Secretary General of NATO about Polish efforts regarding modernization of the Polish army and preparations for the December summit devoted to European security. “We have also exchanged comments on the upcoming summit in Vilnius,” he added. “Poland is a dedicated NATO member state and its devoted ally. I would like to thank Poland for co-hosting Steadfast Jazz 2013,” Anders Fogh Rasmussen said. “We are extremely grateful for your continued dedication and commitment to NATO,” he added. Steadfast Jazz 2013 was held on November 2-9. Part of tactical exercises took place on the range in Drawsko. It was the largest NATO joint maneuvers in recent years. The NATO Response Force exercised to improve the quality of potential assistance to an ally under attack. ::
Singapore’s Prime Minister on a visit to Poland
onald Tusk and Lee Hsien Loong discussed opportunities for increasing trade, including Polish food exports, and promoting mutual investment. “We had a chance to talk about practical projects that can connect Poland and Singapore,” Tusk said. He added that cooperation may cover many areas, including joint taxation. “Singapore is one of the most desirable partners when it comes to new technologies and innovations,” he noted. During the visit, a cooperation agreement was signed between the National Research and Development Centre and the Singapore Agency for Science Technology and Research, A*STAR. “Poland has undergone remarkable changes, as evidenced by both the history of Solidarity and the Polish economy, which is one of the most dynamic in Europe and around the world,” said Lee Hsien Loong after the meeting with Donald Tusk. Lee Hsien Loong went to Gdańsk, where he visited, among others, the local port. “We work closely with investors, we invest to make Gdańsk a significant port city, especially when it comes to containers. Relationships with Asian countries are of key importance here,” said Prime Minister Tusk. Singapore’s Prime Minister was accompanied during his visit to Poland by business executives and the Minister of Trade and Industry. Lee Hsien Loong took part in the Polish-Singaporean Economic Forum. ::
John Kerry in Poland
rime Minister Donald Tusk met with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Warsaw is the only capital visited by the head of American diplomacy on his trip to Europe. During the meeting, both sides welcomed the current state of bilateral cooperation. The prospective development areas include energy security relations and cooperation in science and innovation. Progress was discussed regarding the EU trade agreement with the United States. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will facilitate economic cooperation between the EU countries and the United States. ::
Donald Tusk meets with the Prime Minister of Turkey
he Prime Ministers discussed economic cooperation, including in aviation, military and transportation sectors. Donald Tusk stressed that this was illustrative of intensive contacts between both countries, their citizens, businesses and institutions. Poland’s Prime Minister pointed out that Poland has become increasingly popular with Turkish students and is the first country of choice for young Turks under the Erasmus programme. “About 2,000 Turks study in Poland, which ensures a very important communication between both countries,” The Turkish Prime Minister stressed. One of the key issues discussed was economy. “We can easily talk about cooperation and economic relations, because Poland and Turkey have managed to maintain in hard times a relatively high economic growth.” The Prime Ministers also touched upon the visa regime. Donald Tusk promised that Poland will actively work in Brussels for the mitigation and elimination of the visa regime for Turkey, which is an important partner of the European Union. ::
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Pearls of the Polish Economy Contents
The Pearl of the Polish Economy is a distinction Janusz Piechociński, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy, on the Pearls of the Polish Economy - a ranking of the “Polish Market” magazine and the Institute of Economics at the Polish Academy of Sciences
have taken the honorary patronage over another edition of the Pearls of the Polish Economy ranking with great pleasure. Since 2003, the “Polish Market” magazine and the Institute of Economics at the Polish Academy of Sciences have been assessing the condition of Polish companies. The statuettes for outstanding businesses will be awarded for the 11th time this year. Each year, the list comprises those companies which can be distinguished in terms of their growth and efficiency in using capital, means of production and labour. They are titans whose annual revenue generated from overall business activity amounts to at
least PLN100 million or above PLN1 billion. The Pearl of the Polish Economy is a distinction that turns clients’ attention to the fact that the award-winning companies are reliable and effective, and have their own place in the market. I wish to congratulate this year’s laureates and wish them further success. I would also like to express my deepest respect for the winners of the Honorary Pearls, presented to outstanding personalities in the fields of economy, culture, science, applied arts, and for promoting patriotic and social values. ::
We have been together for years to promote Polish economy Prof. Michał Kleiber, President of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Honorary Patron of the Pearls of the Polish Economy ranking
he ranking “Pearls of the Polish Economy” is an excellent example of a fruitful cooperation between the world of economy and finance, and that of science. Its 11th edition, like all the previous ones, is organized by the “Polish Market” magazine and the Institute of Economics Polish Academy of Sciences, the largest and crucially important Polish scientific body. Tools that are used to establish the ranking and pick the winners are strictly scientific ones. The methodology of the ranking is the most objective possible way of positioning companies, based on indicators allowing to assess the full spectrum of activities and rewarding efficiency and liquidity.
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As a patron of the ranking, I welcome the fact that outstanding personalities of Polish science and renowned intellectuals are awarded Honorary Pearls. The idea behind the competition is not only to recognize the winners’ individual achievements, but also to promote a modern and wise Poland. A long-standing cooperation between “Polish Market” and the Polish Academy of Sciences comes as a valuable example of international promotion of Poland’s economy and the synergistic strengthening of its links with science and culture. ::
OF THE MODERN AGE
At the center of the world of Polish copper stands man. Amongst the elements of the earth with which we grapple and work, copper and silver are created – traditional resources of the modern age.
KGHM POLSKA MIEDŹ S.A. ul. Marii Skłodowskiej-Curie 48, 59-301 Lubin, Poland tel. +48 76 74 78 200, fax +48 76 74 78 500
Pearls of the Polish Economy Contents
How have the
Pearls of the Polish Economy been selected?
Prof. Jan Macieja, INE PAN
he title Pearl of the Polish Economy1 is awarded to companies that meet numeric thresholds set for the adopted criteria, and whose total revenues in 2012 amounted to PLN 100 million or more. For the following criteria - growth in revenues, return on sales assets and equity, labour productivity as measured by valueadded output, total productivity of human, physical and financial capital - a threshold has been set of 10% of the average value of a given criterion calculated for companies with total revenues of 100 million or more. In other words, the list of Pearls of the Polish Economy includes only the companies for which the numeric value of these six criteria is no lower than 10% of the average, and whose revenues are equal to or higher than PLN 100 million. In order to ensure greater objectivity, companies entered on the list of “Pearls” have to fulfill one more criterion : their overall debt ratio must be below 90%. This way, a group of companies was formed that meet seven quality criteria, and one quantity criterion total revenues of at least PLN100 million. The ultimate condition for the companies to be ranked among the Pearls of the Polish economy is the availability of data. The difference between the above-mentioned method of selecting the Pearls of the The method used to select Pearls of the Polish economy has been developed by Jan Macieja with the cooperation of Michał Zajfert. 1
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Polish economy, and other common rankings of the best companies is that in our study the number of companies is not assumed in advance, but changes almost every year. The advantage is that the ranking of the Pearls of the
“The difference between the above-mentioned method of selecting the “Pearls of Polish economy”, and other common rankings of the best companies is that in our study the number of companies is not assumed in advance, but changes almost every year.” Polish economy, drawn up annually on the basis of the same criteria, can be a useful barometer of the mid-term economic outlook. If the number is going up of the companies with high growth in revenues, return on sales assets and equity, labour productivity as well as productivity of human, physical and financial capital, and low debt, then it means that the microeconomic foundations of economic growth are improving. And conversely, one
should be extremely skeptical about the optimistic forecasts if the number of the companies that meet these criteria is decreasing. We are the first worldwide to be forging this important medium-term economic barometer. I want to stress that the increase in the number of “Pearls” in 2003-2005 was accompanied by a gradual increase in GDP growth in the following years. Pearls of the Polish economy can easily be ranked according to the number of points granted for each criterion. For the first six criteria, the company which fares best in a given criterion receives the highest number of points (equal to the overall number of the Pearls of the Polish economy), and the weakest company is given one point. With regard to the last criterion (debt) points are allocated according to the pre-established function. Most positive points are allotted to companies, in which the debt-to-total assets ratio ranges between 40% and 60 %. Let me make the case for having chosen these particular criteria.
1. Growth in revenues has been defined
as a percentage increase in revenues from total operations. The argument in favour of the criterion is the ever increasing income diversification and globalization.
2. Return on sales shows what percentage of net sales is attributable to income, and what covers the costs. Without being burdened with past financial occurrences, such
Pearls of the Polish Economy
as extraordinary gains and losses, return on sales is a good measure of efficiency of current economic activity, and allows to evaluate the relevance of its vectors. Return on sales predetermines the return on assets and equity, as well as development spending. It is therefore an important factor of the company’s expansion.
3. Return on assets, calculated as a gross
profit-to-assets ratio, is a good measure of the efficiency of use of the company’s disposable resources. It takes account of both the company’s income (owner) and the state’s revenues (taxes) from employed resources. Recommended in literature and used in practice, the return on assets defined as the net income-to-assets ratio carries no useful cognitive values, has no economic substance and therefore does not make sense. Moreover, in Poland the imposing taxes on gross profit varies widely, which means that companies with the same efficient use of available resources (fixed and current assets) would have different statistical return-on-assets rates. It should be remembered that the high rate of return on assets (calculated gross) is an important prerequisite for high economic growth, since it involves a good use of a major part of social resources.
High labour productivity is therefore yet another important conditions for the allocation of capital in business.
bankruptcy. Without knowing the optimal level of total debt for the companies surveyed, the value of 40-60% has been adopted.
6. The overall debt. Every company has
The above review shows that these seven criteria allow a relatively objective selection of the Pearls of the Polish economy. I want to point out that the selection is based on a computer algorithm developed by the Institute of Economics Polish Academy of Sciences (INE PAN) and the data provided by the companies. Consequently, the ranking is the only one in Poland not based on the subjective evaluations of a Jury. Any company can preview, using its own data, its place in the “Pearls” ranking. ::
a certain liabilities-to-assets ratio, which is optimal in a given time. When too low, the debt index usually points to excessive caution as far as expansion and development is concerned, and therefore makes it impossible to achieve high return on invested capital. When, in turn, excessively high, the debt level - except for the obligations of large retail chains to small suppliers and of daughter companies to mother companies - usually leads to an increase in running costs, and thus to a drop in the rate of return. It may also mark the beginning of
4. Return on invested capital allows an
investor to compare the current profitability of the capital invested in a variety of applications. It is an important attribute of the companies classified as “Pearls” because it affects individual development decisions. If the rate of return on economic activity is lower than the rate of return on government debt securities, then capital is withdrawn from business. It should be kept in mind that the high rate of return on equity resulting from high economic efficiency and low taxation is one of the most important pillars of the economic growth as such (and not only in a single company) as long as the investment risk (especially political) is not high.
5. Labour productivity is also one of the
most important conditions for business development and economic growth. Not only does it reduce the running costs, thus improving the company’s competitiveness, but it also prevents the downward trend in return on invested capital, something that was feared by the founding fathers of modern economics. 11 - 12 /2013 :: polish market :: 11
Pearls of the Polish Economy Contents
Pearls of the Polish Economy 2012 No.
Name of company
Grand Pearls 1
GK LPP S.A.
GK Cyfrowy Polsat S.A.
Totalizator Sportowy Sp. z o.o.
CNH Polska Sp. z o.o.
Rossmann Supermarkety Drogeryjne Polska
Aviva Towarzystwo Ubezpieczeń na Życie S.A.
International Paper-Kwidzyn Sp. z o.o.
PCC Rokita S.A.
Provident Polska S.A.
Grupa Azoty Zakłady Azotowe Puławy S.A.
KGHM Polska Miedź S.A.
Mondi Świecie S.A.
Bank Zachodni WBK S.A.
Bank Handlowy w Warszawie S.A.
Sitech Sp. z o.o.
BSH Sprzęt Gospodarstwa Domowego Sp. z o.o.
Santander Consumer Bank S.A.
Brenntag Polska Sp. z o.o.
Lubelski Węgiel Bogdanka S.A.
PGE Górnictwo i Energetyka Konwencjonalna S.A.
Polskie Górnictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo S.A.
ABC Data S.A.
Miejskie Przedsiębiorstwo Wodociagów i Kanalizacji w m. st. Warszawie S.A.
GK CCC S.A.
PKO Bank Polski S.A.
Bank Polska Kasa Opieki S.A.
Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa S.A.
Imperial Tobacco Polska S.A.
Grupa Azoty S.A.
Alior Bank S.A.
Bank Millennium S.A.
Orlen Gaz Sp. z o.o.
Tauron Polska Energia S.A.
Amplico Life S.A.
ING Bank Śląski S.A.
Credit Agricole Bank Polska S.A.
3M Poland Sp .z o.o.
ABB Sp. z o.o.
Polski Koncern Naftowy Orlen S.A.
Polskie Sieci Elektroenergetyczne S.A.
Bank Gospodarki Żywnościowej Spółka Akcyjna
GK Energa S.A.
Volkswagen Motor Polska Sp. z o.o.
Operator Gazociagów Przesyłowych Gaz-System S.A.
Nordea Bank Polska S.A.
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The numbers that describe us: Buses –1300 low-floor buses including 950 high-capacity vehicles Buses used in traffic – 1090 Daytime routes – 147 Every day, our buses travel approximately 250 thousand kilometres. · The Municipal Bus Company (Miejskie Zakłady Autobusowe) is the largest municipal transport operator in Poland and one of the biggest in Europe. · For 92 years we have provided our Passengers with transportation in buses of top global brands, including Chausson, Chevrolet, Mercedes, MAN and Solaris · The top quality of services has always been our priority – we were among those who pioneered the use of air-conditioned buses (the latest batch of our buses is equipped with “Mediterranean” air-conditioning), next stop voice announcement, a passenger information system available on and outside of the bus, and an information system for people with visual impairment. · Our rolling stock is among the newest in Poland – in the last five years we have procured 811 brand-new buses. · We operate four hybrid combustion buses and have run traffic tests of alternatively fuelled buses, including electric ones.
Pearls of the Polish Economy Contents No.
Name of company
Grupa Kęty S.A.
GK AB S.A.
TC Dębica S.A.
Asseco Poland S.A.
Getin Noble Bank S.A.
Schenker Sp. z o.o.
Grupa Lotos S.A.
Faurecia Wałbrzych Sp. z o.o.
Faurecia Automotive Polska S.A.
Robert Bosch Sp. z o.o.
Spółdzielnia Mleczarska MLEKOVITA
Nowa Itaka Sp. z o.o.
Emperia Holding S.A.
Fiat Auto Poland S.A.
GK Pelion S.A.
Kompania Węglowa S.A.
Large Pearls 1
Petrax Sp. z o.o.
Z.A. Kombud S.A.
Festo Spółka z o.o.
Janki, outside Warsaw
Dom Development S.A.
Huta Łabędy S.A.
AC Spółka Akcyjna
BZ WBK-Aviva Towarzystwo Ubezpieczeń Ogólnych S.A.
Amplico Powszechne Towarzystwo Emerytalne S.A.
SGL Carbon Polska S.A.
Polska Wytwórnia Papierów Wartościowych S.A.
DPD Polska Sp. z o.o.
Towarzystwo Ubezpieczeń na Życie Cardif Polska S.A.
Fabryka Farb i Lakierów Śnieżka S.A.
Gdańskie Przedsiębiorstwo Energetyki Cieplnej Sp. z o.o.
DS SMITH POLSKA S.A.
Tenneco Automotive Polska Sp z o.o.
Elemental Holding S.A.
Przedsiębiorstwo Eksploatacji Rurociągów Naftowych Przyjaźń S.A.
BZ WBK-Aviva Towarzystwo Ubezpieczeń na Życie S.A.
Compensa Towarzystwo Ubezpieczeń na Życie Spółka Akcyjna Vienna Insurance Group
Bank Pocztowy S.A.
Faurecia Gorzów Sp. z o.o.
First Data Polska S.A.
ECHO INVESTMENT S.A.
ZAP SZNAJDER BATTERIEN S.A.
Faurecia Legnica Sp. z o.o.
Sarantis Polska S.A.
Compensa Towarzystwo Ubezpieczeń Spółka Akcyjna Vienna Insurance Group
Regis Sp. z o.o.
Multimedia Polska S.A.
Miejskie Przedsiębiorstwo Wodociągów i Kanalizacji SA in Kraków
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Metro Warszawakie Sp. z o.o., 5 Wilczy Dół St., 02-798 Warsaw, www.metro.waw.pl
Warsaw Metro is recognized as: - a company using modern technology to ensure safety and comfort for passengers - over 500,000 passengers daily, over 140 million passengers per year - 700,000 “buttons” – touchable signs, mounted on stations and platforms of the first line - over 90% positive opinions in annual client satisfaction surveys
METRO IS THE SAFEST AND MOST PUNCTUAL PUBLIC TRANSPORT SOLUTION IN WARSAW
Pearls of the Polish Economy Contents No.
Name of company
JAS - FBG S.A.
Novol Sp. z o.o.
Tramwaje Warszawskie Sp. z o.o
Grupa Kapitałowa ATM S.A.
Albo Sp z o.o.
Przedsiębiorstwo Budowy Kopalń PeBeKa S.A.
FABRYKI MEBLI FORTE S.A.
Mostostal Puławy S.A.
PRZEDSIĘBIORSTWO PAŃSTWOWE PORTY LOTNICZE
PIB Budecon S.A.
NTT System S.A.
Zarząd Morskiego Portu Gdynia S.A.
Przedsiębiorstwo Handlowe A-T S.A.
Europejski Fundusz Leasingowy S.A.
KGHM Zanam Sp. z o.o.
Górnośląskie Przedsiębiorstwo Wodociągów S.A.
Koszalińskie Przedsiębiorstwo Przemysłu Drzewnego S.A.
Miejskie Zakłady Autobusowe Sp. z o.o.
METRO WARSZAWSKIE Sp. z o.o.
Pearls of the manufacturing, extraction, energy and service sector 1
GK LPP S.A.
Totalizator Sportowy Sp z o.o.
Petrax Sp. z o.o.
CNH Polska Sp. z o.o.
Rossmann Supermarkety Drogeryjne Polska
Z.A. Kombud S.A.
International Paper-Kwidzyn Sp. z o.o.
Festo Sp. z o.o.
Janki /outside Warsaw
Pearls of the infrastructure sector 1
GK Cyfrowy Polsat S.A.
Gdańskie Przedsiębiorstwo Energetyki Cieplnej Sp. z o.o.
Polskie Górnictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo S.A.
Przedsiębiorstwo Eksploatacji Rurociągów Naftowych Przyjaźń S.A.
Miejskie Przedsiębiorstwo Wodociagów i Kanalizacji w m. st. Warszawie S.A.
Tauron Polska Energia S.A.
Polskie Sieci Elektroenergetyczne S.A.
GK Energa S.A.
Multimedia Polska GK S.A.
Pearls of the financial (banking and insurance) sector 1
Aviva Towarzystwo Ubezpieczeń na Życie S.A.
Provident Polska S.A.
BZ WBK-Aviva Towarzystwo Ubezpieczeń Ogólnych S.A.
Amplico Powszechne Towarzystwo Emerytalne S.A.
Towarzystwo Ubezpieczeń na Życie Cardif Polska S.A.
Bank Zachodni WBK S.A.
Bank Handlowy w Warszawie S.A.
Santander Consumer Bank S.A.
Powszechna Kasa Oszczędności Bank Polski S.A.
BZ WBK-Aviva Towarzystwo Ubezpieczeń na Życie S.A.
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The leader in acquiring EU funds The Warsaw Tramways Company is a true leader in acquiring funds from the European Union. In this financial framework, Warsaw Tramways Ltd. has signed as many as 4 funding agreements. The overall amount of funding can reach PLN 1 billion 216 million, and the net value of projects for which the Company plans to acquire EU funding in this financial framework exceeds PLN 2 billion.
Until 20 November 2013 Warsaw Tramways Ltd. had signed 4 funding agreements for the following projects:
• “Modernization of the tram route Dw. Wileński – the National Stadium – Rondo Waszyngtona with purchase of 30 low-floor trams” which involves, i.e., the modernisation of the tram route on this section and the purchase of 30 low-floor 120Na class trams; • “Tramway services for northern areas of Warsaw in connection with the expansion of the underground network and purchase of rolling stock”, which involves i.e. the modernisation of the tram route along Dworzec Wileński-Żerań Wschodni section and along Zgrupowania AK “Kampinos” St. and introduction of traffic priorities for trams operating on the above-mentioned routes and the route along Marymoncka St. Moreover, 84 120Na class low-floor trams were purchased; • “Adjusting the rolling stock of Tramwaje Warszawskie to the needs of mobility impaired passengers – purchase of 60 trams” which involved the purchase of 60 120Na class low-floor trams; • “The purchase of low-floor trams to service the tram transport network in Warsaw” which involved the purchase of 5 120Na class trams and 45 128N ”Jazz Duo” class trams and will also involve the purchase of 30 trams (of a length of ca. 20 m). In 2013 it is also planned to sign the Funding Agreement for the project entitled “Adjusting tramway infrastructure in Warsaw to the needs related to the operation of low-floor trams” which involves modernisation of the tram route along Obozowa St. and a section of the Piaski-Kielecka route - along Jana Pawła II Ave and Niepodległości Ave – as well as modernisation of 12 power substations, covering cable systems and equipment.
Pearls of the Polish Economy Contents
Names – Institutions –
Honorary Pearls of “Polish Market”have been awarded for 8 years, at the Gala of the Pearls of the Polish Economy to the most outstanding personalities and institutions –in the field of economy, culture, science, and for the promotion of social values and patriotism – whose achievements, experience, prestige and personal undisputed qualities guarantee that they will be recognized as ambassadors for the best Polish values. Maciej Proliński
he “Pearls” are awarded by the Jury composed of prof. Jerzy Buzek, former Prime Minister of Poland and former President of the European Parliament, Tadeusz Donocik, President of the Regional Chamber of Commerce in Katowice, Grażyna Jaskuła, Vice -President of the Rynek Polski Publishing House, prof. Janusz Lipkowski, President of the Jury, Vice -President and longtime member of the Polish Academy of Sciences, prof. Ksawery Piwocki, former Rector of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, prof. Andrzej Rottermund, Director of the Royal Castle in Warsaw, Adam Szejnfeld, President of the Parliamentary Committee for the State Treasury, Janusz Steinhoff, former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy, prof. Andrzej Wiszniewski, former Minister of Science and former Rector of the Wrocław University of Technology and Krystyna Woźniak-Trzosek, President of the Rynek Polski Publishing House. The “Pearls of the Polish Economy” are granted according to the very objectified criteria developed by the Institute of Economics Polish Academy of Sciences. “As far as the Honorary Pearls of “Polish Market” are concerned, I shall only say as follows: if you look through
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the list of laureates that you will know how important these awards are”, said prof. Michał Kleiber, President of the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN).
We all remember the times when Poland was immersed in the propaganda of success, while in reality the country was stuck in the European backwater, and Poles were afraid of
reaching for success. Today, we live in a country where ambition, competition and success are a decent behavioural model both in private and professional life, including business. The Pearls 2013 in the field of economy provide some examples of such an activity: Herbert Wirth, President of the Management Board of KGHM Polska Miedź SA, Zygmunt SolorzŻak, CEO of Polkomtel Sp. z o.o. and Jan Kulczyk, President of Kulczyk Holding. Herbert Wirth has already received this year the title of doctor honoris causa from the University of Science and Technology in Kraków (AGH) in recognition, the Senate said, of his outstanding contribution to the comprehensive evaluation of mineral resources pools, the strategic world-scale development of geological and mining industry, turning KGHM Polska Miedź into a global company, comprehensive support for scientific cooperation and promotion of the University of Science and Technology in the country and abroad (Mr Wirth is a graduate of AGH). Is there anything to add? In 2012, KGHM completed the acquisition of Quadra FNX worth CAD 2.9 billion (about PLN 9.1 billion) and changed the name of the Canadian company for KGHM
Pearls of the Polish Economy
International. There is no exaggeration in saying “Poland, Go Global!” in this case. The transaction, thanks to which KGHM became a global player, has been very welcomed by the market. Today the Polish copper magnate is the model and reference point for other Polish companies. Zygmunt Solorz-Żak - the owner of Polsat TV empire – bought, two years ago, Polkomtel SA, the operator of the mobile phone network Plus, highly outbidding other offers. It was a company owned by large companies controlled by the State Treasury (Orlen, KGHM, PSE, Węglokoks). The previous owners came to the conclusion that the phone business was not as profitable as it used to be, competition was pushing hard, and new investments were needed. They decided to get rid of the goose that no longer laid the golden eggs. Meanwhile, Solorz-Żak reckoned that he can still make money of it. He saw a chance for himself in telecommunications and was ready to pay PLN 18.1 billion. As many as 17 financial institutions were involved in the transaction. Today the company is the most profitable mobile phone operator. Jan Kulczyk is now the only Polish entrepreneur with business operations worldwide. With verve and imagination of Indiana Jones – as he sometimes says about himself – he invests in exploration of oil, gas and other mineral resources in remote, and sometimes risky, parts of the world. A group of more than a dozen companies runs a total of more than 100 projects in 27 countries on 4 continents and on concession areas of over 260 thousand km2. In Poland, the group’s raw material pillar is Kulczyk Oil Ventures. The latter has acquired KUB-Gas, the largest private gas producer in Ukraine, and is funding oil drillings in Brunei. The billionaire plans to build a wind farm in the Baltic Sea and a coal power plant in Pelplin. He wants to prove that by investing in projects estimated to be worth several billion zlotys, he will contribute to increasing Polish energy security. The power plant is expected to be commissioned in 2018.
The power of spirit Polish culture has a lot of celebrities, and this elite is precisely Poland’s best showcase in the world. Poland has always been a country whose pride was its culture. Especially
Polish music has its important place in the world, and particularly in Europe. We are constantly represented on the international stage by excellent Polish bands, singers and composers. New concert halls are opened in Poland; we have very talented young people. We are engaged in a prolific artistic dialogue with the world. “Polish Market” has for years perceived art, especially music, as Poland’s best showcase. In 2013, our cultural Pearls go to Jerzy Maksymiuk, the Academic Choir of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań and Mirosław Bałka. The whole activity of Mr Maksymiuk - his concerts, his CDs - and his personality has always inspired us not to be divisive about music. Maestro Jerzy Maksymiuk all is music all by himself. Cleansing, multidimensional, transcendental, living... He is one of the greatest Polish conductors and a remarkable creative personality. He became famous as the head of the Polish Chamber Orchestra, with which he was conquering the world already in the 1970s. Under his baton, the orchestra performed in such venues as New York’s Carnegie Hall or London Proms. It is this ensemble that gave rise in 1984 to the no less famous Sinfonia Varsovia. At the peak of success in 1984 Mr Maksymiuk took the lead for 13 years of BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in Glasgow, with which he frequently toured Europe. In recent years, the maestro has been very active as a composer. His music written for the silent movie “Mania” with Pola Negri was performed in 2012 live in London, Madrid, Paris, Kiev, Berlin and Warsaw. The origins of the Academic Choir of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań - one of the most important vocal university ensembles in Poland, dating back to 1966. For 30 years, a group of students led by prof. Stanisław Kulczyński and his successors performed with great success in Europe, bringing fresh sounds, enthusiasm, contemporary Polish choral compositions and brilliant performance. While the chorus draws upon these
traditions, it was actually created from scratch in 1996 by the well-known composer and choirmaster Jacek Sykulski. Under his baton, the group has developed rapidly and performed on many stages in Poland and abroad. It sang not only in European countries (Latvia, Germany, the Netherlands, Ukraine, Italy ), but also in Asia (China, Japan and Taiwan), and in North America (Canada and the United States). Since October 2010, the conductor of the choir is Beata Bielska. Mirosław Bałka is one of the world’s most famous Polish artists of the middle generation. He graduated from the Sculpture Department of the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts (ASP). For three years, he has also been a professor of ASP and he heads the Chair of Sculpture at the Faculty of Media Arts. Bałka’s works can be found in the largest and most prestigious collections of contemporary art in the world, such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. As a sculptor, he constantly looks for answers to the most difficult existential questions, including the Holocaust, and strives to respond to his own past and personal experience.
There is nothing impossible in science
The scientific community in Poland offers today its own intellectual potential using the language of business and modern challenges. Honorary Pearls in the field of science provide an opportunity not only to recall the profiles of our great scientists, who may now serve as role models for young generation, but also to reflect on the determinants of scientific development. The winners show that there is nothing impossible 11 - 12 /2013 :: polish market :: 19
Pearls of the Polish Economy Contents
in science. They prove that critical intellect, passion and perseverance are of crucial importance. The Pearls 2013 are awarded to: prof. Bogusław Maciejewski, Director of the Oncology Centre at the Maria SkłodowskaCurie Institute in Gliwice, prof. Tomasz Dietl, Head of the Laboratory of Cryogenics and Spintronics and prof. Stanisław Woś, former headof the 2nd Cardiac Surgery Clinic at the Upper Silesian Mediacal Centre. The Oncology Centre at the Maria SkłodowskaCurie Institute in Gliwice, headed by prof. Bogusław Maciejewski, MD, is one of Poland’s leading, highly modern and well-organized clinical and research centres. One of its most spectacular - and lifesaving - accomplishments is a total facial transplantation. The transplantation procedure began on May 15, 2013 in the morning and lasted 26 hours, involving 26 doctors. “The facial transplantation is only a fragment of the work of a team of surgeons who, in addition to being experts in the field of cancer surgery, also become specialists in reconstruction and microreconstruction surgery,” says prof. Maciejewski. Reconstructive surgery has been dedicated, since 2000, primarily to cancer patients, especially with head and neck tumours. Previously, the chance was weak to successfully cure patients that came to the Institute usually at a very late stage of disease. “The available methods were rather palliative ones. Only few patients could be save, and the chance of a 3-year survival (not recovery) was less than 15%. Since the introduction of the reconstructive surgery in these finalstage head and neck, but also breast and chest cancers, the rate of 5-year survival reaches up to 75%,” says prof. Maciejewski. It is, he adds, the greatest asset and achievement of his team and the entire Institute. Prof. Tomasz Dietl deals with experimental and theoretical aspects of nanotechnology, semiconductor spintronics, including magnetic semiconductors, and disordered and mesoscopic systems. Spintronics (or spin electronics) makes part of electronics. While in traditional chips information is carried by alterations in the flow of electricity, in spintronics it is by the spinning of electrons. It is precisely spintronics that offers new possibilities for the construction of electronic components with the spin structure (for example the so-called quantum computers). Based on the spin phenomenon, spinotronic memory
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opens enormous room for IT - computers will be faster, smaller and much more efficient. Prof. Stanisław Woś was for many years (until 2012) the head of the 2nd Cardiac Surgery Clinic at the Upper Silesian Medical Centre - the best cardiac centre in Poland performing surgeries carried out only in a few similar clinics in the U.S. and Europe. The Clinic has the largest experience in Poland in performing extremely complex operations, which are the only solution for patients with severe heart attacks or the long-term valvular heart disease. Until recently, such patients were offered only a heart transplantation (if a donor was found). Currently, they can undergo remodeling (operations carried out under the U.S. STICH programme). These are unique surgeries, where in addition to coronary bypass surgery (additional blood vessel) and repair of the valves, hypertrophied left ventricle is operated (heart attack scars and excessively stretched heart muscle are removed). Prof. Stanislaw Woś was also the first specialist in Poland to perform in 1996 the surgery of coronary artery without using cardiopulmonary bypass.
Patriotism is not easy
Secretary of State, Prime Minister’s Special Representative for International Dialogue, he oversees the development of PolishGerman relations. He is also responsible for the contacts with the Jewish diaspora in the world and Israel. During World War II, he was a prisoner of Auschwitz, contributor of clandestine press, deputy head of the Jewish section of the Government Delegation for Poland, and co-founder of the Council for Aid to Jews “Żegota”. After the war, he was twice imprisoned by communists (1946-1948 and 19491954). In 1990-2001 he served as ambassador to Austria and as Polish Foreign Minister. He is a renowned diplomat, a respected historian, researcher of the history of the Warsaw Uprising, the underground press, writer and journalist. György Spiró, a Hungarian novelist, playwright, essayist and translator, he is the author of one of the most important novels devoted to Polish Romanticism . His “Messiahs” was honoured with the prestigious Angelus Central European Literature Award 2010. Krzysztof Varga called him then “a Polish writer writing in Hungarian”. Indeed, Spiró knows Poles, our vices, but also our qualities, and draws incisive portraits of characters. What makes the strength of his prose -apart from historical knowledge - is great, often hilarious dialogues and creations of the main character.
CSR - the art of responsible business
It is good news that the world of business feel some connection with patriotic. Under communism, Poles were probably ashamed of their own heritage. And today they are learning from their peers in Europe that they can be proud of their heritage. At the same time, they bear in mind that the daily life - social and political - in the 19th and 20th century was going on in the midst of the turmoil of history. The Pearls for promoting Polish traditions and patriotic values are awarded to prof. Władysław Bartoszewski and György Spiró, a Hungarian writer. Many Poles think of prof. Bartoszewski whenever asked about “authorities”. Honest, courageous, intelligent and experienced. The
In these turbulent times for the global economy corporate financial managers need specific skills. But they also should not forget about the corporate social responsibility. It is worth mentioning at this point our next laureate who combines his day-to-day and consistently fulfilled tasks with such CSR. It is Jerzy Starak, President of Polpharma SA, honoured with a Pearl for promoting social values. The owner of Polpharma, a pharmaceutical group, sixth richest Pole on the Forbes list 2013; at the beginning of 2013, he founded the Spectra Art Space in the building “Spectra” at 6 Bobrowiecka Street in Warsaw. Projects like Art Space are usually independent units of the corporate structure. Moreover, foundations are established to coordinate all the artistic activities and an art curator oversees the programme tailored to the audience with whom and for whom he works.
Pearls of the Polish Economy
but other Warsaw residents too. The surface of more than 300m2 allows to create a comfortable space for art presentation, and thus to achieve the objectives with respect to promotion and dissemination of contemporary artistic phenomena. It is worth stressing that Mr Starak did not only get involved in the project and gave the “green light” for its implementation, but he also shares his private collection with the people in Spectra building. The collection is made up of 100 objects of Polish post-war art - Tadeusz Kantor, Jerzy Nowosielski, Wojciech Fangor, Władyslaw Hasior, Jan Lebenstein.
Following the example of the world’s best and proven practices of corporations such as Deutsche Bank or Bloomberg Space, this new site in Warsaw has a promotional, integrational, but also social character. It is open to art and to everyone - company employees,
Special Pearl - the only such manager of culture. The Special Pearl 2013 goes to Waldemar Dąbrowski, Managing Director of the Grand Theatre - National Opera in Warsaw, a person who is fantastically spanning all of our Honorary Pearls: culture and economics, knowledge and sensitivity, patriotism and forward-looking. In the 1970s, he was
a co-founder and director of the Club RivieraRemont. In 1982, he took, with Jerzy Grzegorzewski, the leadership of Studio Art Centre in Warsaw, a major cultural institution of that time, for which he founded an independent impresario, promoting leading artists of Polish theater, music and visual arts. Then, together with Franciszek Wybrańczyk, he created the renowned Sinfonia Varsovia. In 1998 he was appointed Managing Director of the Grand Theatre - National Opera. In 20022005, he served as Minister of Culture (one of his greatest achievements during this period was the adoption of a new law on cinematography, which resulted in the establishment of the Polish Film Institute). In January 2008, he was appointed by the Minister of Culture Bogdan Zdrojewski as President of the Committee of the Chopin Year 2010. Since October 2008 he serves again as Managing Director of the National Opera that strengthens every day our relationship with Europe and the artistic world. :: ADVERTISEMENT
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Pearls of the Polish Economy Contents
An investment in the future Adam Szejnfeld Member of the Polish Parliament
hen in 1845 Karol Ernest Wedel established a company producing sweets in Warsaw he neither held a degree in economics nor had any experience in finance. What he had was the idea of a new quality in the production of confectionery and the firm conviction that this is what the clients expected. He was, however, no stranger to the rules of economics, having a perfect understanding of the market and the mechanisms of supply and demand. In Paris, Berlin and London he had learned not only how to make delicious sweets but also how to market them. Today travelling around the world is hardly necessary to become familiar with the basics of management or to master the principles of economics. Contrary to appearances, we do not need to be graduates or to complete specialist training courses. This knowledge is for the asking in the form of excellent books and thorough on-line courses. The level of knowledge of economics in society is, however, alarmingly low. It is clearly visible as exemplified by the trust which is easily gained by financial fraudsters promising wonders,
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as in the case of Amber Gold, or para-banking institutions offering loans under exorbitant conditions. When in 2009 the Kronenberg Foundation operating with the City Handlowy Bank conducted research entitled “The current state of the Poles’ financial awareness”, it was revealed that the knowledge of financial matters among Poles is definitely low, even appalling. The average of correct answers for 20 questions was 8.1. Unfortunately, political leaders, activists and union members are economically illiterate too. It is they who feed society with false and often populist recipes. Economics is still perceived by the simple man in the street as a complex and difficult science. Poles do not often try to understand even the fundamental concepts and, consequently, they cannot effectively assess their own financial situation. This is commonly reflected in frustration and problems in everyday functioning. A new approach to school education is to prevent this passive attitude – in the last school year, a new core curriculum was implemented in upper-secondary schools which finally included the “Introduction to Entrepreneurship” subject. It is still not enough - we have to educate the adults. If we seriously consider the establishment of a real middle class in Poland, it is necessary to nurture appropriate economic, social and political attitudes. There are no specific options under the word “political”, but resistance to the usual populism - promising the moon - and realism, are essential. These initiatives, which promote successful people, show direction, and broader ideas for building the autonomous and individual activities of people who are to create their future using the available resources, are never enough. We should all contribute to this education. After many years of consideration, months of preparation, and dozens of consultations, I also decided to help in this work. To this end, I set up the Institute of Economics and Law, which will be a response to the growing demand for knowledge provided in a straightforward manner. The institution is focused on disseminating knowledge
in the field of law, and economic and business sciences. Being also of a civil nature, it spreads knowledge in the broader scope of issues relevant for human development and the modern society of the 21st Century. The fields and subjects cover democracy, civil law and freedom, including women’s rights, an efficient State, friendly administration, local government, public and private partnership, business development, the free market, fair competition, employment-activity promotion, information-society development, innovation, internationalisation, social integration, and sustained development. The Institute is designed to support emerging leaders and careers aimed at achieving success, and to educate people to take their fate into their own hands rather than expect support from the welfare state. The promotion and popularisation of knowledge and gaining experience are there to help the young generation to more easily find its place as individuals in society, and as professionals and entrepreneurs on a free market. It is no less important to develop the skills of building their own competitive advantages whilst cooperating with the environment. Our continually-changing reality brings new challenges which require adaptability and the ability to think independently. I hope the Institute of Economics and Law will not only successfully stimulate and develop interest in economic and social issues, and Poland’s directions for development against the world economy, but will also recognise successful individuals who will play a significant role in their society and contribute to building a middle-class in our country – a group of people thinking independently and successful in caring about their own business, and, at the same time, integrated with society, rendering part of their knowledge, experience and achievements for the benefit of the general public. If we hope for a better tomorrow, we have to build a modern society from scratch - and without further delay. ::
GRUPA CARBOAUTOMATYKA 11 - 12 /2013 :: polish market :: 23
Pearls of Innovation Contents
Pearls of Innovation – a new category in the Pearls of the Polish Economy ranking Prof. Leszek Rafalski, PhD. Eng. Chairman of the Main Council of the Research Institutes (RGIB) Member of the Contest Jury for the Progress Award
popularisation of innovative approaches in the economy. The Pearls of Innovation fit the profile of the ranking perfectly – they emphasise the inseparable connection and the necessity of cooperation between science and business. This is because the efforts to the improve innovative character of the products and services introduced into the Polish market, and the commercialisation of the research results, signify the intensification of cooperation between business and the R&D sector.
or 11 years, creative, successful companies have been selected in the ranking of Polish enterprises, the Pearls of the Polish Economy. It should be emphasised that the ranking is prepared on the basis of scientific tools, which enable an objective assessment of the leading business entities. This year – for the second time – the Progress 2013 Pearls of Innovation will be distributed. In this category the Jury, of which I am proud to be a member, grants awards to companies, institutions, scientific units and inventors whose results in work and research areas, as well as innovative solutions, allow them to be recognised as special ambassadors of innovation. This distinction contributes to the promotion, presentation and
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“A significant step in the right direction would be to change the Act on personal and corporate income taxes, which would invite the financing of scientific research. “ The economy requires scientific institutions to build new relationships with business in terms of quality. Nonetheless, these links leave much to be desired. There is a need for tax mechanisms supporting entrepreneurs – including implementation and research tax reliefs. The Act on supporting innovative actions now in force functions inefficiently. Entrepreneurs are not inclined to finance research, which is burdened with too high a financial risk. A significant step in the right direction would be to change the Act on personal and corporate income taxes, which would invite the financing of scientific research.
The cooperation of science and research lies in using instruments motivating entrepreneurs to undertake actions allowing their development, based on the one hand on the implementation of R&D work results, and on the other on encouraging scientists to undertake research and development work focussed on the needs of entrepreneurs. Being a representative of 118 research institutes conducting scientific research, most often applied, but also basic research, for the benefit of innovation in these fields of the Polish economy, healthcare, agriculture, defence and environmental protection - I am aware of the great potential of Polish research institutes. When you look at the scientific research carried out in our laboratories, and the inventions, discoveries, solutions, research methodology, enhancements in existing materials, technologies, etc. – which receive awards in numerous international contests – it seems that in respect of Polish creative potential, leading to the improvement of the innovation index, we are doing quite well. Nonetheless, it should be noticed that innovation is a broad concept – it does not only stand for technologically advanced novelties such as mobile telephony, but also each new implementation, including in non-technical fields, for instance new treatment methods, plant cultivation, and administrative systems. The Pearls of Innovation are a step to motivating the best for their talent, creativity, research passion - those without whom new technologies and innovative solutions would be non-existent in the Polish economy. ::
Pearls of Innovation
The Pearls of Innovation Progress in 2013
he word “innovation” has been tossed around recently. Each company is an innovative company, introducing new technologies, providing modern services. Innovation is the ability of businesses to create and implement innovations, as well as the actual ability to introduce new and improved products, new or enhanced technological or organizational processes. In the maze of all these new solutions, it is important to pick the best ones. In 2011, this task was taken up by “Polish Market”, which organized PROGRESS, a competition for the best innovative companies. PROGRESS annually awards the most innovative companies and institutions. The winners are those
whose work and accomplishments allow to recognize them as ambassadors of innovation. The Pearls of Innovation - Progress in 2013 is already the 3rd edition of the competition for innovators representing businesses, academic institutions, organizations and independent inventors. Is organized by the magazine “Polish Market” and the Central Council of Research Institutes, representing 118 research institutes in Poland and abroad. The competition was opened for businesses, academicians, institutions and inventors operating in Poland. The Jury considered the novelty of the projects, the manner of their implementation and their economic and social impact on the economy and society, but also the achievements of the candidates over the last three years. The winners are:
• 3M Poland; • BSH Sprzęt Gospodarstwa Domowego (Household Appliances) Sp. z o.o.;
• Zakład Usług Brukarskich (Paving Works) “ADROG” Sp. Jawna;
• Neurosoft Sp. z o.o. ; • Instytut “Pomnik – “Centrum Zdrowia Dziecka” (Children’s Memorial Health Institute);
• Instytut Odlewnictwa (Foundry Institute);
• Marek Ścieżko, PhD, Associate Professor Eng.;
• Jerzy Kątcki, PhD, Professor
The art of selling – at the academic level
he academic crisis has been on everyone’s lips for at least a dozen years. Polish universities are being criticised, on the one hand for their failure to prepare students to meet the requirements of the labour market, while on the other for becoming vocational schools and stepping down from the position of the creators and guardians of our cultural heritage. Tadeusz Sławek has even called the university “the Antigone of the corporate world”, suggesting that whichever choice the academics make, it will be considered wrong by one interest group or another. In practical terms, the question is how we can educate people so that they have the knowledge and skills necessary for the labour market, while at the same time preserving their academic level. And how we can teach the knowledge and skills, such as sales and negotiation skills, which have yet to become regular academic courses in their own right. In the academic year 2013/2014, the postgraduate courses at the University of Silesia have come to include majors for individuals
who want to improve their skills in sales and trade negotiations. This is how the abovementioned problem was addressed. This crucial modern business know-how is delivered not only by academics but also by sales practitioners. For the first time ever, the art of selling has officially become an academic course. The idea behind the programme is to acknowledge that
“professional trading has entered a new era which calls for rare skills that are best learnt at the academic level”
These are primarily experts and practitioners cooperating with Nowe Motywacje (Schouten Global). Over 60% of the classes have the form of practical problem-solving, followed by the generalisation of internalised knowledge. Apart from the knowledge required to understand the present-day world of sales, students take part in simulations and workshops to enhance their sales and negotiation skills. The University of Silesia awards its course graduates with a final diploma and a certificate to confirm their professional competence. ::
(Harvard Business Review, No. 118/119, DecemberJanuary 2012).
Lectures are generally given by practitioners in sales management and training, and also the creators of innovative sales concepts.
A post-graduate Course in “Sales and Trade Negotiations” For more information, please visit http://sinh.us.edu.pl Nowe Motywacje – http://nowemotywacje.pl
The University of Silesia has ensured that sales expertise and know-how is delivered to its postgraduate students by top professionals.
Contact: Jarosław Polak (The University of Silesia) tel. 507 715 545 Dawid Stanik (Nowe Motywacje) 602 494 860
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as key element to scientific development In Poland, the innovative economy is non-existent, and commercialisation is hardly found either. Not everything has already been invented. We are at the beginning of a road on which we can innovatively link already-existing elements, which creates new opportunities, products and services. Nowadays, innovations are born the most frequently at the meeting point of the needs of scientists and clients and the existing inventions. Bogdan Sadecki
“I did not invent anything, I simply put inside the automobile the inventions made by other people.” Henry Ford
nnovations are very often associated with inventing and implementing thusfar unknown products and technologies. It is thought that innovations are created not by inventors and scientists, but by entrepreneurs, who can change people’s lives and the means of fulfilling their needs, and convince them of their ideas. The term innovation originates from Latin innovare, which means “creating something new.” Therefore, the most common definition of innovation highlights that it is a process consisting of transforming the existing
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possibilities into new ideas and implementing them for practical use. Well-known scientists often use a definition, which, in simple terms, states that innovation is a process consisting of transforming the existing possibilities into new ideas and implementing them for practical use. In the prestigious World Economic Forum competitiveness ranking, Poland has fallen to 42nd place. However, it has managed to remain in the lead among the post-communist countries. The list of countries occupying the top places has been unchanged for years. Sweden in the lead, then Singapore, Finland in third place, Germany fourth, and the USA fifth. Since 2005 we have been unable to further our position in the four most fundamental fields, i.e. institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, and health and education. Nevertheless, the condition of the Polish economy appears to be stable. We can judge from the ranking that the effiency of the Polish economy has increased; unfortunately, we appear to be lagging behind in terms of innovation. Currently, we are placed at the tail-end of the EU statistics on innovation, and expenditures on research and development. Two years ago, Poland was placed last but fourth in the ranking of innovation conducted by the European Commission. We are using our
resources to import technologies, which results in evident effects. It is generally thought that Poland is a real picture of desolation when it comes to innovation. The Ministry of Science and Higher Education has finally noticed this problem and decided to revive the Polish scientific community. More and more Polish scientists and specialists, who link the worlds of science and business (technology transfer), are travelling to the United States. Their task is to observe modern solutions and transfer them into Poland. The above-quoted Henry Ford was both an entrepreneur and an innovator. Similarly to Clarence Saunders, who nearly 100 years ago, in 1917, patented the retail sales model of self-service. Through this he paved the way and showed the directions for the development of modern mass distribution, which is one of the pillars of the modern economies. According to the well-known McKinsey Global Survey, in the United States, out of 10,000 business ideas 1000 are funded, 100 attract venture capital, 20 float on the stock market, and 2 achieve the status of market leaders. The current state and level of funding science and the whole R&D sector in Poland unequivocally suggest, that, aside from some exceptions, we should not count on an increase
in the number of home-grown inventions and pioneer implementations. Unfortunately, this can mean that, despite genuine intentions and the potential in people, we will have to put up with a low level of innovation. The treaty which has made the problem of innovation one of the key issues of the European Union’s policy was the so-called Lisbon Treaty. An example showing how important innovations are in the EU might be Art. 179 of this treaty: “The Union shall have the objective of strengthening its scientific and technological bases by achieving a European research area in which researchers, scientific knowledge and technology circulate freely, and encouraging it to become more competitive, including in its industry, while promoting all the research activities (...)” “Striving for the better utilisation of the existing labour, scientific and capital potential, and the creation of new forms of competitive advantage through an increase in expenditures on pro-development actions, that is, on research and development, education, an information-society infrastructure and looking for new methods for their efficient utilisation for economic purposes, constitute the only right way. That is why the opinion that has been shared by an increasing number of people is that innovations comprise the foundation of EU Member States’ continuous economic growth and improvements in economic and social conditions. It is accepted that a policy entailing national support in the field of research and innovations can contribute to bolstering the economy’s innovation index, not only through the preservation of products’ market competitiveness acting as a stimulus to innovation, but also through the creation of a framework facilitating the compilation of efficient forms of innovations support by the Member States.” (source: E.K.Chyłek, 2006, “Problematyka innowacji w Unii Europejskiej” [Innovation Issues in the European Union]).
Grants for researchers/
287 young scientists will receive EUR 400 million – these are the grants for novice researchers and the results of the 6th edition of the contest. The European Research Council (ERC) has selected innovative projects which will receive co-funding of up to EUR 2 million. In Poland, the prize will go to Piotr Sułkowski, PhD, from the University of Warsaw, who has been granted EUR 1.3 million to implement his project entitled “Quantum fields and knot homologies.” This research
concerns the relationships between physics and mathematics – to be more precise, between quantum field theory and string theory, and mathematical knot and random matrix theories. The implementation of this project is to take five years. Nowadays, it is not enough to build a lab and place scientists inside to conduct research projects and put them on a shelf – this does not lead anywhere. The best ideas are born inside a specific group of people; therefore, first and foremost, a scientist needs a team in his/her laboratory. There has to be a leader, who in addition to the idea, should have a vision, be able to allocate tasks and plan the research process, and also to leverage resources and equipment. He or she has to be both a manager and a mentor. And to present him/herself and the conducted research. In substantive terms, we are placed on top. Poles are extremely well educated, have great ideas, and are curious about the world. On the other hand, the Americans can sell their research to the world. They are taught self-presentation and how to talk with others. Moreover, they are excellent at explaining their actions and goals, and also at providing practical examples of their implementation. Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, said: “The European Research Council has created a research environment favourable for young talents and has increased the level of scientific studies in the whole of Europe. It is financing preliminary research projects that not only further our knowledge, but also yield groundbreaking solutions, which can influence our daily lives in the future. The ERC is today a synonym for scientific excellence, and, owing to the “Horizon 2020” programme, it will become an even stronger brand.” The European Research Council, established by the EU in 2007, is the first pan-European organisation funding pioneering research. It is the latest innovative element in the 7th Framework Programme for Research (specific programme ‘Ideas’), and it has had at its disposal a total budget of EUR 7.5 billion for the years 2007-2013.
An example of innovation and science – i3d
Among the companies which have been established as startups and have continued their successful operation, there is the Gliwice-based i3D, created by two alumni of Silesian universities. Jacek Jędrzejowski, physicist, and Arkadiusz Patryas, lawyer,
for a long time debated their ideas on business, but as we can see, the debates were successful. They followed the path of innovationand even in the first year of their operation started cooperation with the division of IBM dealing with, among other things, the utilisation of real-time computer graphics, i.e. of computer games technologies in applications. During the first years of operation, the company invested in the creation of a 3D, multimedia, exhibition centre in Gliwice. The local Technopark, a place linking science with business, became the company’s registered office. Currently, i3D is a group of companies, which includes the i3D Home interactive real-estate portal, which makes it possible to go on a virtual walk and design interiors on-line, i3D Med for the implementation of the Medical Innovation Portal project, and i3D Science. Mr Jędrzejowski and Mr Patryas, together with the Silesian University of Technology, have established Laboratorium Wirtualnej Rzeczywistości (The Virtual-Reality Laboratory). The company’s success has been largely determined by its cooperation with this Silesian university. Based on an agreement with the university, an excellence and R&D centre was established. Scientific personnel, students and i3D employees are creating applications, running training courses, and conducting research in the field of virtual-reality technology. Computer scientists and industrial experts have no doubts that i3D is a world leader in the sector of companies dealing with software development and the implementation of 3D visualisations. The company provides services for, among others, the Saudi Aramco petrochemical concern from Saudi Arabia, which owns a newly-built research and development centre, largely based on the Quazar 3D software from Gliwice. Among other things, computer scientists from Gliwice have developed an interactive model of an oil platform, together with its whole surroundings. It has emerged that it is the most modern training centre in the whole of the petrochemical industry. The Exxon Mobil Group has received a visualisation of the equipment of an oil platform, which makes it possible to examine its parts located underwater. Furthermore, the company has made projects for Boeing, Samsung, BP and Paccar. Its Polish customers include GTL’s Katowice Airport in Pyrzowice, Ceramika Paradyż, and Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa. ::
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20 years, 20 months, 20 minutes 20 years – from the Cochlear Center to the World Hearing Center On July 15, 2013 the 20th anniversary was celebrated of the inauguration of the Diagnostic-TreatmentRehabilitation Center for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired “Cochlear Center”, based on ideas and thanks to determination of Professor Henryk Skarżyński, its founder. The jubilee celebrations were attended by members of parliament, government and local government officials, the scientific community, clerics, NGOs and the media. Jerzy Bojanowicz
hat marked the beginning of this history - unusual in Polish economic and scientific realities - was the cochlear implant surgery in a deaf person conducted in 1992 by Professor Henryk Skarżyński, a pioneering operation in Poland that symbolically launched a treatment programme for severe (and from 2002 - partial) deafness. The interest from thousands of patients not only surpassed all expectations of the professor and his then small team, but also gave impetus to further action, as the doctors and scientists had at their disposal... one little room and a niche in the corridor to perform rehabilitation exercises. No wonder that it took Professor Skarżyński only one month to prepare assumptions, concepts and plans for the creation of an institution - a diagnostic and rehabilitation center to look after such patients. A year later, Poland’s first and Europe’s second diagnostics, treatment and rehabilitation centre for the deaf and hearing impaired “Cochlear Center” was inaugurated thanks to the great determination of the professor himself, and to the kindness of many friends. Hanna Suchocka, the then Prime Minister of Poland, attended
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the official opening ceremony. The “Cochlear Center” was officially brought to life by two non-governmental organizations set up by Professor Skarżyński: Foundation of Medical development “Homo Homini” (1990) and Association of Friends of the Deaf and Hearing Impaired (1992). It should also be stressed that its success was possible owing to openness to the world, something rare in the early 1990s. Professor Skarżyński was among the few medicine people to understand that Poles should learn from the best European and U.S. practices. He recognized the need for scientific, clinical and organizational cooperation with the world’s best research centers. After only a few months, the “Cochlear Center” team was receiving over 30 patients per day and approx. 200 specialist examinations were performed. Patients were offered care and rehabilitation of hearing and speech. And after three years in existence, the “Cochlear Center” was successful not only in treating hearing disorders, but could also boast significant scientific, teaching and organizational achievements. This laid the groundwork for a new scientific and clinical unit that Professor Skarżyński had already at the back of his mind. As a proof of
recognition, the Minister of Health and Social Care in agreement with the Minister of Finance and the Chairman of the State Committee for Scientific Research, brought into existence the Institute of Physiology and Pathology of Hearing. The Institute was created from scratch based on ideas, assumptions and the programme originated by Professor Skarżynski in collaboration with a small group of scientists, doctors, psychologists, engineers and other professionals. Its first permanent premises were located at a deserted hospital of a big industrial plant “Huta Warszawa”. “At the beginning of 1996, we were less than a 15-person family of friends. We were creating the Institute from scratch. We had indeed some experience, because the Institute was based on my and my team’s academic, clinical and organizational achievements, but it was still a great challenge,” says Professor Skarżyński. Today the Institute, directed by Professor Skarżyński since its inception, is a fast growing and well-organized company that provides employment to over 300 people, has a strong presence at home and abroad, and receives numerous awards and distinctions. It is a leading research institute and a highly
specialized hospital, and as a research facility, it represents the highest level of reference A +. In assessing its scientific and R&D activities in 2009-2012, the Research Units Evaluation Committee considered to be impressive the Institute’s achievements: 28 M.D.-Ph. Ds. habilitated doctors, M.D.-Ph.Ds., Ph.Ds. in health sciences and humanities, 60 - 70 hearing improvement surgeries a day, 169 conferences and workshops, 1,295 Polish and foreign scientific publications, 4,858 papers and presentations at conferences in Poland and abroad.
Kajetany - a Polish otosurgery hub In order for the “Cochlear Center”, located in a small room on Grójecka Street in Warsaw, to be turned into the International Center of Hearing and Speech, and then into the World Hearing Center in Kajetany, not only hard work was necessary, but above all - the vision. Professor Skarżyński once again rose to the challenge. “I had a dream that in Poland we were going to do something faster and better than anywhere else in the world. I have been to many prestigious clinics, research centers, and I borrowed some details therefrom. But nowhere did I find what I strived to create in Kajetany: a place where innovation would reign. The greatest stimulation for the development of the whole great idea - today on a world scale - was not to disappoint patients,” says Professor Skarżyński. And so, in 1997, the Foundation for Development of Medicine “Homo Homini” began the construction of the new premises of the Institute in Kajetany near Warsaw. The erection act for the International Center of Hearing and Speech was signed by Professor Józef Zwisłocki, a grandson of President Ignacy Mościcki and Honorary President of the International Scientific Committee, Józef Oleksy, the then Prime Minister, Karol Świątkowski, President of the State Fund for Rehabilitation of the Disabled (PFRON), and Professor Henryk Skarżyński. The ceremonial opening of the Center was in May 2003, during the 7th International Conference on Cochlear Implants and Audiological Medicine, which was attended by several hundred guests from Poland and abroad. In the first year of the Center’s existence, Professor Skarżyński performed the world’s first cochlear implant surgery in a partially deaf child and Poland’s first middle ear implantation. The Home Rehabilitation Clinic telemedical programme was developed, and
a series of National Conferences for Tinnitus and Hyperacusis Patients was inaugurated. The increasing demand for scientific and clinical output was one of the reasons behind creating the World Hearing Center. “Even before the World Hearing Center was built, I had known exactly where we were heading for. We wanted to create from scratch a scientific and clinical base, which would allow scientists from Poland and abroad to address the most complex problems and take up the most unique challenges in terms of innovation. So far, the World Hearing Center is the only such facility. However, in the future the whole network is expected to be established. Preparations have already been initiated, as well as various research and clinical programmes in 12 countries in Asia, Africa, the U.S. and Australia. New challenges are being tackled, with the aim to establish international research consortia to conduct multi-directional research and to put groundbreaking solutions into everyday clinical practice,” says Professor Skarżyński. Efforts were stepped up to collect equity contribution, which amounted to 30% of the entire undertaking, but also to obtain other funds for 3 projects, and a total of over PLN 87 million were acquired from the EU
Innovative Economy Programme. This allowed to complete another project of Professor Skarżyński - the World Hearing Center, whose final cost was almost PLN 200 million. It should be stressed that huge project was completed within several months. The Center acquired funds for many other research projects such as: an integrated system supporting research on the physiology and pathology of hearing, based on which a system was developed to assist the flow of information about patients treated at the Institute, remote assessment of hearing disorders or a scientific platform processing sensory screening tests, based on the open standard e-data exchange (an innovative IT tool allowing the Center’s team a swift, quick and easy access to information needed for research, and supporting the conduct of reliable
statistical analysis through effective reporting tools). The strategic scientific programme of the World Hearing Center has been, since its inception, the innovative technological and surgical solutions developed by Professor Henryk Skarżyński for the treatment of partial deafness.
20 months- an unusual anniversary of the World Hearing Center The official opening of the new facility was held on May 10, 2012, attended by the Speaker of the Polish Parliament Ewa Kopacz, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, Minister of Health Bartosz Arłukowicz and Minister of Regional Development Elżbieta Bieńkowska, as well as representatives of ministries of health, education, science, central offices, Polish Academy of Sciences, rectors of 7 universities and nearly 200 science people from Poland and abroad. The World Hearing Center - with 20,418 m2 of usable area, 7 conference rooms, where 800 people can be trained simoultaneously, and 2 multi-media rooms for the world’s first National Teleaudiology Network - is a modern hospital, providing people with hearing, voice, speech and balance disorders (congenital and acquired) with medical services at the highest level, as well as superbly prepared Educational Center. Fitted out with ultramodern exercise equipment, including surgical anatomical preparations and computer simulation, it conducts extensive research and offers training in medicine, clinical engineering, speech therapy, deaf education and psychology of deafness for specialists from around the world. It is the most modern such lab in the world -it is able to train simultaneously 40 people. Some new research departments have been created too, including Telemedicine Department dealing with the world’s first National Teleaudiology Network, which has won many awards and distinctions, including Elsevier Prix Galien, regarded as the most important one - after the Nobel Prize - in this field. Approximately 60-70 hearing improvement surgeries a day, 27,000 medical procedures, 300,000 medical services and 3 pioneering implant surgeries - these are the achievements of 20 months of activity of Professor Skarżyński and the Center. These 20 months of the World Hearing Center, its scientific, clinical and medical output, and more 11 - 12 /2013 :: polish market :: 29
specifically its use in practice, are very important for people suffering from hearing impairment. On October 30, 2013 the Central and Eastern Europe’s first Baha 4 Attract surgery was conducted by Professor Henryk Skarżyński in the World Hearing Center. “I am glad that this is already the third pioneering operation that we have done in a little over a year since the opening of the World Hearing Center,” says Professor Skarżyński. “When creating the Center, I wanted it to provide Polish patients with unprecedented clinical services and to give them access to the latest and most advanced medical technologies in Europe and in the world. The Baha 4 Attract ear implant surgery confirms the position of the Center as a major international clinical and scientific facility. Just as it was after previous pioneering operations, we will also actively participate in training otosurgeons from all over the world,” Professor Skarżyński says. In June 2012, Professor Skarżyński performed the first in Poland and the fourth in the world CODACS implant operation. Lasting more than two hours, it was one of the most difficult surgeries carried out in the Institute. It required great precision and surgical skills. Operations using CODACS implants will be performed as part of the implant programme, although it is difficult to assess the number of patients admitted. “We are now poised to exchange experiences with international research centers,including those in Hanover, Bern, Nijmegen, as well as numerous clinical studies that will allow us to assess the scope of the problem. I anticipate that thousands of people will be eligible. Certainly, a large group of patients will be those over 60 years old, many of whom suffer from various hearing problems,” explains Professor Skarżyński. Half a year later, Professor Skarżyński conducted a pioneering bonebridge ear implant surgery. Implants of this type have been used this year for the first time in 9 centers in the world. This operation ushered in a new era in the treatment of congenital hearing loss due primarily to full or partial lack of outer and middle ear. Inflammatory and traumatic injuries are considered to be additional indications. “This is another milestone in Polish otosurgery. I am glad that this breakthrough operation can be performed at the World Hearing Center. I wanted patients to be given tangible benefits and, moreover, access to the world’s most advanced medical technologies. This pioneering operation shows that we have already implemented a number of
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the latest innovative solutions in the World Hearing Center,” Professor Skarżyński says. Research, implementation, teaching and organizational achievements of Professor Skarżyński and his team have been honoured with more than 100 awards in Poland and abroad. One of the most important and valued by Professor Skarżyński is Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Medal granted to him in 2013 by Pope Francis as a token of appreciation and commitment to work for the human being and the common good. Another one deserving attention is Economic Award of the President of the Republic of Poland in the category of Innovation presented by Bronisław Komorowski for the development of the Institute’s infrastructure and surgical methods and new tools (electrodes) for the treatment of partial deafness, and for performing the world’s first surgeries in children and adults. Professor Henryk Skarżyński is a Knight of the Order of the Smile. In the past 20 months, he also received the title of an “Outstanding Pole”; a medal and an award for the commitment to the development of the Polish Promotional Programme in the field of Innovation awarded by the Chapter of Promotional Emblem “Teraz Polska 2013”; the Honorary Pearl of Polish Economy, distinction awarded by the Jury of the competition organized by “Polish Market” - for lifetime achievements and accomplishments in science and medicine; and Nicolaus Copernicus Medal awarded by the Board of the Polish Academy of Sciences for outstanding scientific achievements. Also noteworthy are “Golden Laurel Innovation” in the 2nd National Competition FSNT-NOT - for the project “World Hearing Center of the Institute of Physiology and Pathology of Hearing”, awarded as part of the National Competition “Stanisław Staszic Laurel Innovation Prize” under the patronage of the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Economy; the Diploma of the Minister of Science and Higher Education - for the project “Platform for Research into Senses”, carried out in collaboration with the Institute of Sensory Organs. Professor Henryk Skarżyński was awarded the Commander’s Cross of the Polonia Restituta Order for outstanding achievements in research and teaching activities as well as for his contribution to the development of medical science in Poland and abroad, and the promotion of international scientific cooperation. He is one of the 19 foreign members and the first ever Pole to be a corresponding member of the American Otological Society - one of the two oldest U.S. scientific
societies, Doctor Honoris Causa of the University of Warsaw and the Maria Grzegorzewska Academy of Special Education, honorary professor of Brigham Young University in Provo, UT, as well as an associate professor of the State University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Nicolae Testemitanu” in Chisinau, the title awarded for his contribution to the training of medical and managing staff and for the promotion of medical science and public health in Moldova. It is worth noting that the spiritus movens of the World Hearing Center and its predecessors was ranked 2nd - for setting himself ambitious goals and for consistency in their implementation - on “Lista Stu 2012”, a ranking of the most influential people in healthcare in Poland compiled by the editors of the independent newspaper professionals “Puls Medycyny” (in 2011 he was ranked 12th).
And why 20 minutes in the title? “We managed - which was not easy - to show our achievements in a 20-minute documentary. And I still believe that taking a few minutes to read these memories, you will learn how many milestones have been made in Polish otosurgery,” sums up Professor Henryk Skarżyński. ::
A medal for Prof. Henryk Skarżyński from Pope Francis Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz is presenting the medal to the Professor , Photos: Lukasz Giersz
Professor Henryk Skarżyński, a world-famous otosurgeon and specialist in otolaryngology, audiology and phoniatrics, the originator and director of the World Hearing Center in Kajetany, was honoured by Pope Francis with the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice medal in recognition of his commitment to working for people and the common good. The medal was presented to the Professor by Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz during a ceremony in the House of the Archbishops of Warsaw on 18 November 2013. Maciej Proliński
aciej Klimczak, the UnderSecretary of State in the Office of the President, Aleksander Sopliński, Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Health, Józef Oleksy, former PM, Mieczysław Szatanek, President of the Regional Medical Chamber in Warsaw, Prof. Jerzy Woy-Wojciechowski, President of the Polish Physicians Society, and many personalities from the Polish world of science, including medicine, participated in the ceremony. The Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice medal (for the Church and the Pope) is one of the highest medals that can be awarded by the Pope to the consecrated and the laity. The medal was established by Leo XIII in 1888. It is presented to clergymen and laity particularly welldeserving in the eyes of the Church and fellow human beings, by the Popes following the request of a Diocesan Bishop. “Many people made the recommendation to award Prof. Henryk Skarżyński with the Pope’s decoration and I admit that it didn’t take too long for me to consider. Prof. Skarżyński knows how to combine in his life two of the most important vocations for every lay person belonging to the Church, namely the vocation to live in the family, bringing up children, and the vocation of a physician. He achieved in his life so much during
his medical career that the whole of Poland, Europe and the world, take advantage of the cooperation”, said Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz. “I recognise this decoration as an expression of the acknowledgement and approval of the idea which serves people, human beings – the improvement of everyday public communication”, thanked Professor Skarżyński. “When you see, when you feel and hear around you, it means that your powers of observation do not fail you. Be happy that so many friends form a circle with whom you can share today’s and tomorrow’s day” said the Professor in the conclusion of his speech. Before that, there were many special thanks extended to every person in the hall. This tells us a lot about the person and who knows if not about the most prominent Professor’s qualities… Over twenty years ago Professor Henryk Skarżyński performed the first cochlear implantation in Poland and East-Central Europe, restoring hearing ability to a deaf person. The World Hearing Center in Kajetany near Warsaw, opened in May 2012, conducts the highest number of operations restoring the sense of hearing in the world. Professor Skarżyński and his team are carrying out there pioneering research in the field of epidemiology and the prevention of hearing impairment, preparing and implementing modern screening programmes for children of different
ages, epidemiology programmes, and modern methods of therapy and rehabilitation of the hearing, voice and speech impairments. Prof. Skarżyński is the author and co-author of over 2500 different Polish and foreign scientific papers, and of over 1800 works presented during scientific conferences in Poland and abroad. Apart from that he is in charge of extensive educational activity for students and physicians from this country and abroad. He became a distinguished Professor of the Brigham Young University Provo in the USA in 1998 and was awarded the degree Honoris Causa twice: the first was awarded by the Maria Grzegorzewska Academy of Special Education in Warsaw in 2011 and the second by the University of Warsaw in 2012. He is a member of the most important national and foreign scientific associations, and the winner of many prestigious prizes in Poland and abroad. The Professor was decorated e.g. by the President of the Republic of Poland with the Knight’s, Officer’s and Commander’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta, and national foreign decorations awarded by the King of the Belgians, the President of Ukraine, and the President of Georgia. He is also the 46th Honorary Citizen of the Capital City of Warsaw. ::
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International Warsaw Invention Show – IWIS 2013 Opening the International Warsaw Invention Show
he International Warsaw Invention Show was held on October 8-9. The show was organized by the Association of Polish Inventors and Rationalizers along with Patent Office of the Republic of Poland an Warsaw University of Technology. It is worth saying that it is still the only invention exhibition in Poland of an international character. Also this year it was held under the auspices of President of Poland Bronisław Komorowski. The Main Hall of the Warsaw University of Technology was visited by many great guests from Poland and from abroad. During the Invention Show participants had an opportunity to see technical solutions from over 20 countries including Taiwan, Korea, Malaysia, Qatar, the United States, Ukraine, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Egypt. The opening ceremony was graced by the appearances of Rector of Warsaw University of Technology prof. Jan Schmidt, President of the Polish Patent Office Alicja Adamczak, Secretary of State in the President’s Office Olgierd Dziekoński, Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Science and Higher Education prof. Jacek Guliński, President of the Main Council of the Research Institutes prof. Leszek Rafalski, President of IFIA Andreas Vedresa and Mr. Wu Kou-Chen - President of the Chinese Innovation and Invention Society. The opening lecture was led by Dr Małgorzata Starczewska-Krzysztoszek, Head Economist of PKPP Lewiatan. Among the creators of innovative projects from research institutes, universities and businesses, the youngest representative of inventors, Marek Rauchfleisz, stood out. His Mars Rover interested not only participants of the event, but also a crowd of onlookers, who besieged stands with the presented solutions. The device can move in every direction, overcome obstacles and slopes up to 45 degrees, transmit image, and remotely control the rover and camera. It is worth noting that Marek announced more innovations to his creation.
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Another invention, which aroused interest was solar powered mechanism turning humid air into water through a system of chillers, compressors, condensers, fans, and various filters. It was constructed and presented on the Show by Mr Adnan Fahad Rashed Al Ramzani from Qatar. The attention of visitors was enchained also by the invention from Chienkuo Technology University. The designers amazed the participants by their extraordinarily simple and practical device which was a laptop cooling pad with mosquito- catching function. Pet House from Taiwan, which possesses an environmental control system, cleaning system, and automatic feeding device which provides serving food to animals, was honoured by Special Award. Members of the Jury under the leadership of prof. Leszek Rafalski had a very demanding task this year – choosing the best solutions among 400 presented inventions. The most covered award, Grand Prix IWIS 2013, went to Stanisław Szczepaniak and his team from the Innovation- Implementation Unit ‘Inwex for “Eco, hydrated, organometallic catalyst for solid, liquid and gas fuel”. The Jury especially appreciated advantages of the inventions, namely decreasing fuel consumption and emission of toxic gases (CO and NOx) by 40-75%, increasing efficiency of energy equipment by 5-10% and maintaining internal heating surfaces without scale or scum. The association of Polish Inventors and Rationalizers decided to grant awards to ChihiChieh Wang ,Hsueh-Min Wang ,Cheue-Chin Hwang ,Pi- Pai Chang for “The Smart Portable Computer Case”, Jakub Kowalczyk and Jakub Olszewski from the sixth class of primary school for “Safe Backpack” and also Patrycja Cabaj and Adrianna Wiewiórka for “Glove for the blind” from the fifth class of primary school with special awards in the category Young Inventor. The winners in the category Polish Youth Inventor were Tomasz Krzysztofik, Paweł Górzyński, Krzysztof Smyczek,
Zbigniew Pałasz for inventing “Torch for the blind”. The Award for Foreign Youth Inventor went to Mr. Masoud Shafaghi from Iran for “Design of concrete containing nano suspension of tin oxide for decreasing concrete penetrability against acids, chemical materials for application in modern war and crisis management”. Awards were also granted to Anna Zajezierska from The Oil and Gas Institute for “Biodegradable lubricating grease” and Sun-Li Wu, Yi-Chun Yeh and Jui-Min Lee, who presented “An electric wheelchair with the function of climbing up and down step” in the categories Polish Inventor and Foreign Inventor. Altogether the Jury honoured around 40 participants of an Invention Show with gold medals. It is worth mentioning that a number of inventors received special awards given by foreign visitors from Taiwan, Korea, the Czech Republic and other countries. Lewiatan Business Angels workshops devoted to the commercialization research findings, during which raising capital from investors, creating a business model and also commercialization of technology was discussed, drew great attention of guests. The programme of Invention Show was enriched by Patent Office Seminars referring to the protection of industrial property, including identification of intangible assets, formulating strategies for their protection, patent information and agreements concerning technology transfer. The lectures attracted not only inventors, but also business representatives, who value transfer of research results for the implementation into economic practice. To sum up, we can proudly state that IWIS 2013 was again a big success. The event is gaining in popularity and many media representatives like TVN 24 arrived to the Main Hall of the Warsaw University of Technology. Congratulations on the high level of all pres:: entations. See you next year.
New year-new projects Wojciech Krystyańczuk, President of MBL Poland, talks to “Polish Market”. We had our last talk in April. At that time MBL Poland was developing its business and operating the biggest number of projects in its history. Is the company’s business still as dynamic as it was then? It definitely is. Previously, in maintaining a constant level of production we reduced employment to optimise costs. Our present development has resulted in increasing employment again. The wheelchair market is steady and MBL has a significant share in it – and this is not going to change. But today we are facing other challenges - we are on the lookout for new projects with high barriers to entry where we can put into practice our experience and technology. We are interested in complex and high-margin projects. But we have to wait till the next year if we want to discuss the details. pm
But perhaps you could reveal in just a couple of lines what the new project will be concerned with? It will be about products that are highly advanced in terms of both technology and engineering. Manufacturing plants will be located in Poland and will be attested with German certification. Since the products require technical checks on a regular basis, service centres will be established in the countries of the resellers. pm
This means brand-new technologies. Does MBL run its own R&D business, or does it co-operate with external entities? Both. We run projects, but we would also like to co-operate with the Warsaw University of Technology – and we have also established co-operation with the Lodz University of Technology. pm
So one might say it’s about product diversification. Yes, it is. But still, the production of wheelchairs and components is to remain the core of our business. We are strongly connected with this sector – based on its requirements and the quality it imposes we have developed and perfected a range of technologies. Our company specialises primarily in steel, pm
aluminum and titanium processing. Currently we are engaged in magnesium processing. On the basic of the technologies we have developed we are planning to expand our business into entirely new markets. Our strategy has evolved! Our project is highly interesting and I can assure you that it will reverberate. Also in Poland? Yes, the products will be available also in Poland – though the primary markets are still the USA, Latin America, Australia, Germany, France and the Arab world. It is those regions that will act as the main resellers of the new products.
to benefit cost-free from the technologies we already have. The implementation of the new project within the already-existing structure will make it possible to reduce costs, and, as a consequence, increase margins. Apart from that, we are building strong barriers to entry to our new market for our possible competitors. This is how our competitive superiority is being created.
It’s an ambitious plan. Wouldn’t it be easier to simply strengthen your leading position in the wheelchair sector? It’s the most common error of most entrepreneurs – both the small ones and those in the lead on the market. Focusing exclusively on our own line of business prevents us from noticing new trends and new technologies, which in turn might result in missing the moment for technological change. This was the case with the photography market, which shifted from analogue to digital technologies in just a couple of years. We are currently witnessing the twilight of plasma technologies in televisions and the companies that made them their essential feature are now facing a serious problem. This is why MBL chooses continuous development, the search for new possibilities, and new business directions. The wheelchair market has also been undergoing changes – it has been evolving – which gives us the opportunity to introduce new technologies and solutions. We nonetheless think that increased diversification will give momentum to the company’s development and give it more confidence in the event of possible fluctuations on the present market. pm
Wouldn’t it be more profitable to set up a new company? An entirely new company would have to build its technological base from scratch and employ new people. It also would not be able pm
Recent information concerning GDP growth rate in Poland sounds optimistic. After the third quarter the growth rate was as high as 1.9%, and this was mainly due to export volumes. What is your analysis of the situation? Poland’s economic-performance results are really good. MBL has also had its modest contribution to it (laugh). Our production is 100% for export. Though I am rather critical about what has recently been going on in Poland, it would be impossible not to notice that Polish companies are operating in an increasingly active way on the international market. They have been undergoing increasingly dynamic development, and, thanks to the use of new technologies, our competitiveness has also been on the increase. Poland is an economically and politically stable country, which results in many projects – that used to be targeted at Spain or Italy – to be directed to the Polish market. And this should be a sufficient reason for contentment. It is thanks to our ability to work hard that we deserve this good GDP performance result. pm
MBL has realised a considerable share of its production in China. Is the new project also going to be carried out in that country? No, it isn’t. MBL China is going to continue to be focused on the wheelchair sector, particularly because the Asian wheelchair market is still developing. The implementation of the new project is intended exclusively for Poland. pm
When should we expect comprehensive information about the new products? At the beginning of next year. :: 11 - 12 /2013 :: polish market :: 33
Polish National Cluster of Innovative Enterprises Anna Figiel
nnovation has a fundamental influence on the competitiveness of the national economy and its place in the international ranking. In a short time, the strategy of competitiveness will be the condition for the survival, development and economic success of companies. That is the reason why the Polish National Cluster of Innovative Enterprises (OKIP Cluster) was established. One of the most important fields of strategic actions is facilitation of research development and other innovative projects. OKIP Cluster includes companies, organizations, institutions, research & development centres, scientific centres, universities and business institutions, which base their activities on different types of innovations, the exchange of their knowledge, transfer of innovative solutions and modern technology and the creation of the linking network, which will raise the level of competitiveness and innovation of themselves
and their regions of activity, thanks to the association of its units. What is the most important, OKIP is a phenomenon on a national scale, because it is the first cluster that is an interregional association including entrepreneurs and institutions from the whole country and cooperating with international partners at the same time. OKIP Cluster was the initiative of enterprises congregated in Menu Group - initiating agency specializing in building brand awareness, public relations, organization of events, trainings, congresses, advertising, TV production and sports events with media service. The director of OKIP management is Bogdan Węgrzynek. He is also vice- president of the Association of Polish Clusters. The members of OKIP council are: director, world-renowned otosurgeon prof. Henryk Skarżyński, prof. Andrzej Siemaszko, dr Stanisław M. Pietruszko, prof. Christopher Von Schirach and many other notable
Representatives of OKIP at the Congress of Polish Clusters; from the left: Agnieszka Frysiak, Vice-President of OKIP, Mariusz Czerkawski –Polish ice hockey player, Bogdan Węgrzynek – President of OKIP, and Anna Pietrzak – expert in renewable energy sources (photo by K. M. Ratschka)
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Bogdan Węgrzynek at the Congress of Polish Clusters in the Sejm of the Republic of Poland (photo by K. M. Ratschka)
people from the field of business, science and innovation. Coordinators, experts and professional project teams specializing in different fields take care of efficient functioning of the huge corporate enterprise- OKIP. Close cooperation between OKIP and the parliamentary team for cluster policy and the Association of Polish Clusters enables the participation of OKIP in every event important for Polish clustering and its influence on making decisions that are crucial for the national economy. The OKIP cluster is planning to have an essential influence on the development of the Polish economy in those fields that are worse when we compare them with European standards. The OKIP is also planning to establish trade clusters, like medical, tourist, renewable energy, energy, rail transport and defence technology clusters. The OKIP Cluster has an experience in organizing numerous projects, cooperation with organization of the 1st Congress of “Polish Clusters” in Polish Parliament. The main coordinator of this congress was the director of OKIP- Bogdan Węgrzynek. On 9 of August 2013, OKIP signed a cooperation agreement with “Futura” Nemzetközi Gazdaságfejlesztés Klaszter from Hungary. It is the basis for many international projects. ::
Poznań Cluster of Science, Technology and Innovation Prof. Bogdan Marciniec The autor is Member of Pol. Acad. Sci.; Adam Mickiewicz University, Center of Advanced Technologies; Poznań Science and Technology Park of Adam Mickiewicz University Foundation
oznań City has a unique model of academic and business synergies. At the core of the model is realization of the infrastructural project of the Wielkopolska Centre of Advanced Technologies – Materials and Biomaterials (WCAT) cofinanced by European Regional Development Found. The centre brings together the best specialists in exact, natural and engineering sciences and is an infrastructural venture of the Poznań scientific community. The centre is a consortium of five universities: the Adam Mickiewicz University, which is the project coordinator, Poznań University of Technology, Poznań University of Life Sciences, Poznań University of Medical Sciences and Poznań University of Economics; four institutes of the Polish Academy of Sciences: the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Plant Genetics, Human Genetics, and Molecular Physics; Institute of Natural Fibers and Medicinal Plants; and the Poznań Science and Technology Park of the Adam Mickiewicz University Foundation and the City of Poznań. The entire scientific community of Poznań is involved in this pioneering undertaking clustering science and technology to be a very important part of the knowledge-based economy that Wielkopolska is keen to build. The centre will bring together renowned scientists and engineers who will do research into multiple-use materials and biomaterials. From mid-2014 WCAT will be operating as a European centre for Advanced Technologies (ECAT), an independent R&D institute modelled on the Fraunhofer Society, presumably in the form of foundation. - The centre will be aiming to develop close cooperation of research entities in the areas of advanced materials and biomaterials with innovative technology companies and with high-tech industry as well. Such an organizational solution will allow almost unlimited possibility of implementing large European research projects of high impacts in these areas, both funded by European and National Funds. The centre will also implement strategic programmes coordinated and managed
by the National Centre for Research and Development. The centre will offer jobs to over 200 research workers as well as 400 PhD and MD students recruited mainly from universities and institutes based in Poznań. There will also be jobs for experts from other European countries. The centre’s mission is to reveal original synthesis of chemicals as well as bio- and nano- materials of the new generation, and to develop on this basis advanced technologies and biotechnologies for optoelectronics, medicine, agriculture and many other industries. The research conducted in WCAT is supposed to lie technological groundwork for a range of applications of bioorganic chemistry, molecular biology and biotechnology to medicine and food industry. The ECAT-Poznań is going to cooperate with the research and development centres of Polish and European corporations but the Poznań Science and Technology Park of Adam Mickiewicz University Foundation (PSTP) is playing the key role in the transfer of technologies and their commercialization. The Park, with R&D and Innovation and Promotion Centres as well as a group of business and technology incubators for innovative spin offs and start ups, is the necessary link needed for the efficient transfer of new materials technologies to practice, especially to industrial parks and high-tech industry. The biggest initiative of PSTP is the implementation of the Complex of High Technology Incubators (HTI). It is the largest laboratory complex in Poznań intended primarily for the spin-offs that deal with materials and biomaterials as well as information and communication technologies project under the Innovative Economy Operational Programme of the EU. It is a place with suitable conditions for simplifying the creation, transfer and diffusion of modern solutions for entrepreneurs. Thanks to modern infrastructure, innovative companies have the opportunity to experience the support in the form of research, business-related and infrastructure services coordinated by PSTP. As a result, the number of spin-off companies is supposed to
increase together with the number of patents and new technology solutions generated on the premises of PSTP. Apart from modern infrastructure, PSTP business tenants gain access to a package of pro-innovation and business services designed to support their expansion. These include advisory services, training, workshops, promotion, technological audit and assistance in acquiring funding from EU research projects. There are very different stories of innovative start-ups in PSTP. Some of the companies started as PSTP research centres led by university researchers. After some period of operation the research centre turns into a successful spin-off company obviously present in PSTP as tenants. In another model of start-ups formation, entrepreneurial scientist create spin-off companies based on knowledge and technology their have created during their scientific career. One of them is a technologically advanced biotechnology company specializing in the synthesis of nucleic acid fragments of DNA / RNA molecular probes containing fluorescent labels and other useful modification of nucleic acids useful in biotechnological research. They also carry out chemical synthesis of other requested bio-molecules. The other spin-off is an innovative chemical company working on the development of technology to receive highly specialized chemicals (fine chemicals) for the pharmaceutical industry. This showcase institutional solution to the relationship between invention and innovation offers a great chance of keeping in Poland and in Poznań the most outstanding young people, those who pursue their ambitions in science and high-tech business. It seems that the “science of the future” designed in this way has finally got its big chance to pursue its mission at a world-class level on the basis of the latest technologies in disciplines which are of key importance for the sustainable development of the region and Poland. ::
Projects are co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund under the Operational Programme Innovative Economy 2007-2013
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The world of 3M in Wrocław – the Customer Technical Center Five business sectors, 46 technology platforms and presence in 190 countries worldwide is just a fraction of the current statistical data on the global 3M brand. In the recently opened 3M Customer Technical Center in Wrocław, this world’s innovation leader is presenting to clients its proprietary solutions and technologies which we could hardly do without today.
Xavier Douellou - Managing Director 3M in Poland
very year, 3M registers nearly 500 patents, its package now comprising close to 55,000 products. The company’s rich, global experience and the efforts of the over 8,000 researchers who in 3M’s laboratories work on innovative solutions, have now been put on display at the 3M Customer Technical Center. This 600 m2 venue in Wrocław provides education and inspiration to every visitor. It has been designed to reflect as accurately as possible 3M’s culture of innovation. The CTC will bring customers from Poland and the rest of Central Europe closer to the world of products and technologies that they deal with everyday. Special, interactive exhibitions serve the role of guides showing around this extraordinary 3M domain. Product technologies such as microreplication, fluoropolymers, ceramic, acoustic and abrasive materials, as well as adhesives and films – all these are ”taken to be worked on” during practical demonstrations
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designed to capture the interest, and to engage our visitors. Indeed, visitors can see by themselves that 3M is something more than the sticky Post-it® notes or the legendary Scotch® tape. It is thanks to 3M’s innovations that we can drink potable water and protect our hearing, while the producers of medicines and spare parts for industrial machinery can deliver high-quality products. The Customer Technical Center also allows the exchange of experiences on the basis of specific 3M solutions which have found application on various local and international markets. Healthcare, renewable energy, personal safety, transportation, construction and infrastructure, energy and telecommunications, and the consumer industry are the constituents of the vast portfolio of possible uses for the 3M technologies. These solutions and products promote steady development, while improving the comfort of living and working.
The CTC 3M Poland has already been visited by over 1000 people, most notably former Polish PM Jan Bielecki, delegates from the US Department of Commerce, representatives of the American Chamber of Commerce in Poland, and business leaders from major Polish companies. Chris Howitt, Technical Manager at 3M Poland / Central & East Europe, said: “The concept behind the CTC is unique on the Polish scale. The visitors know that our Centre will help them understand how to cooperate more effectively with 3M and how to harness our Polish resources in developing one’s own business.” The CTC has been primarily designed as a business tool, the importance of which was explained to us by Xavier Douellou, Managing Director at 3M Poland. “Our Customer Technical Center in Wrocław is an investment we want to use to tighten cooperation, not only with our key customers, but with distributors as well. We wish to solve their problems through 3M products, solutions and technological platforms. Our ultimate goal is to deliver such products and solutions, also those new, developed locally, that will afford our clients a more competitive position and a greater chance of market success.” ::
Market areas showcases 3M technologies and products
Training labs for students at the Poznań University of Technology Anna Tatarska. MSc, Maciej Szafrański, PhD, Eng.
hanges to the vocational training system have recently become a permanent fixture in Polish education. Vocational training, which is part of this system, has failed to provide a comprehensive response to the needs of students and employers alike. On the one hand, during such training, students at vocational schools are given the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the working conditions in a given company or institution. On the other, though, their only activity is usually to perform the simplest tasks or merely to act as passive observers. Employers can hardly be blamed for this situation, as they are justified in putting the pursuit of financial gain before education, which can only be regarded as a praiseworthy, yet minute, part of their business activities. There is no fault on the students’ part, either, as they are often not ready to be given responsible jobs, involving, for instance, the operation of advanced machinery, since they are usually not given the opportunity to use them at school. The question is what vocational training scheme has the greatest potential to fulfil the expectations of both stakeholders. An attempt at arriving at a new scheme is the training lab, which has been developed by the Management Engineering Faculty at the The Logistics Lab. An RFID reader.
Poznań University of Technology (PUT) in cooperation with the Local Government of the Wielkopolskie Province. Researchers at the University have studied knowledge management in companies for a number of years now. The cooperation with the Central Ostrobothnia University of Applied Sciences in Finland and the search for effective methods for
adjusting education to the needs of the labour market have spawned the Technical Knowledge Accelerator® concept, which has become the foundation for projects on the labour market and education. The idea of the training lab has been in the making for several years, evolving from the concept of mobile labs designed to deliver knowledge on leading scientific achievements in remote locations far from large municipalities1, to university-based state-of-the-art laboratories, available not only to students2. As a result, currently PUT has 10 lab rooms with the latest equipment, which is also found in modern companies. The labs are used by vocational-school students from the region of Wielkopolska. By September 2015, they are to welcome as many as 6300 of them. The idea behind this type of vocational training is generally to provide future employees with the opportunity to have hands-on interaction with the latest advancements in the field of technology, which either already are, or soon will be, commonplace in business set-ups. For instance, the labs allow inexperienced interns to program industrial robots, which is a risk a company cannot normally take. In the labs, students are given a chance to work with high-end equipment and to take advantage of all its functions. The facilities provide access to machines such as optical-fibre welders, 3D printers, industrial robots, RFID gateways, and different types of professional software, to name but a few. Special educational programmes have been developed for the labs to focus on independent and creative student experience, and the courses are taught by experienced professionals with practical business expertise. Therefore, the know-how they share is not only on how to use the machinery but also on professional 1 Szafrański M., Grupka K., Goliński M.: Program akceleracji wiedzy technicznej i matematycznoprzyrodniczej w Polsce [The programme of acceleration knowledge of technology, mathematis and natural science in Poland]. Wydawnictwo Politechniki Poznańskiej, Poznań 2008 2 Szafrański M., Goliński M.: Interactive laboratory of technical knowledge acceleration in the program of acceleration of knowledge of technology, mathematics and natural science in Poland. Publishing House of Poznań University of Technology. Poznań 2010.
The IT Lab. The optical-fibre welder.
conduct and the requirements imposed by employers. Students are introduced to the hardware and software necessary in the professions such as economist, IT specialist, machinery engineer, logistician, sales specialist and marketing organisation technician. Their presence in the training labs has met with enthusiastic comments, which is reflected in survey results and evaluations carried out among both students and teachers. Soon, the labs are to be opened to employers, who will be invited to see and assess them during Open Days. Further development of the vocational training cannot be programmed without the relevant input from all stakeholders, and the views of employers on this matter are crucial in this respect. The results of current studies and analyses will constitute the basis for the continued development and enhancement of the vocational training, and will contribute to the expansion of knowledge resources in companies. The labs have already proven to constitute a very interesting alternative to the traditional vocational-training scheme. They provide students with access to sophisticated tools outside their school, which facilitates experience gains, while also offering employers an opportunity to recruit employees with superior experience. More information on the training labs is available on www.zawodowcy.org. ::
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To make the education package more attractive
outheast Poland has been the most important aviation industry centre for over eighty years, not only in our country but also in this part of Europe. The Rzeszow University of Technology has actively participated in building and exploiting aviation potential. We conduct many research projects, together with industrial representatives and, as the only public university, train pilots for civil aviation. The modern materials technologies in aerospace industry project, worth over PLN100 million, is an example of cooperation with the industry in the area of scientific research. The strategic objective of the project is to channel the national research work in the aviation sector conducted in our country into the fields which are making or will be making a crucial
The Rzeszów University of Technology
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contribution to the improvement of the competitive position of the Polish economy. A critical factor which will facilitate the implementation of the research tasks is the existence of one of the more innovative labs in Europe – the Research and Development Laboratory for Aerospace Materials at the Rzeszow University of Technology. Education at the Rzeszow University of Technology is focused primarily on the needs in our region. The personnel of the many companies operating in the Podkarpackie Province comprises mainly our graduates. Cooperating with such companies as WSK PZL Rzeszow, PZL Mielec (Sikorsky), BorgWarner, VacAero, ICN Polfa, Hamilton Poland Ltd., and Skanska, we aim at making young people who graduate from our University, professionally attractive for the businesses located in our region. The Rzeszow University of Technology concentrates on developing and making more attractive its existing educational package. Hence we do not plan to start new programmes of study as from the commencement of the new academic year. In order to meet demand for particular specialists, Economic Councils were set up in every University department, and are made up of representatives of the industrial and business world. The Economic Councils’ tasks involve, among others, presenting labour-market needs for persons with clearly defined skills to the departmental authorities.
Our University actively supports students in undergoing not only on-the-job training but also internships. For instance, this year, a project will be organized in which students and graduates will participate in paid internships in the enterprises from different sectors. An example of cooperation with industry connected with education is a conference organised together with one of the major banks, during which a new app facilitating payments via smartphone will be presented. The Rzeszow University of Technology does not only specialise in aviation. It is the only higher-education institution in Poland which trains students in conjunction with IBM, for instance. It should be also emphasised that we belong to a narrow circle of seven centres in the world with which such cooperation has been established. The Rzeszow University of Technology is a member of several clusters into which, as the major technical university in the region, it contributes particularly great research potential, experience and valued specialists from many areas of science. The largest cluster, a member of which is the University, is Aviation Valley. Through participation in the cluster, the University has an opportunity to obtain information on demand from industry for particular specialists. ::
The employee in the centre of attention
entor is a company which has been operating on the Polish market for over twenty years, and it is currently one of the leaders in Poland’s industrial construction. The company offers to its clients complex services in the field of designing, supplying materials, and installation of all types of thermal and acoustic insulation. Thanks to its stateof-the-art machinery park and systematically implemented innovative technologies, the company also specialises in the production of air-conditioning and ventilation systems. The company’s experience of many years in undertaking complex renovations of drilling rigs makes Ventor a perfect trade partner with respect to steel structure welding and complex pipeline installation. The company also operates in the increasingly popular field of employee leasing. In this respect, the company’s package mainly covers the referral of people employed in construction work associated with the installation of scaffoldings, insulation and ventilation systems, steel structures, and their maintenance and service. The company offers to potential clients its own training resources in such services. Ventor operates mainly on the domestic market and in Norway, which is currently the largest strategic trade partner of the company.
President Janusz Urbanik accepts the award and title at the Gala of the Programme.
The human resources of the company play a crucial role in its operating strategy, particularly in the long term. “We are aware that we would not exist without our employees. The success or failure of our company lies in their hands - their everyday work,
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involvement, and a thorough approach to their assignments. Therefore, the issues associated with the proper education and vocational preparation of the people we employ are very important to us,” stresses Janusz Urbanik, the President of the Board of Ventor Sp. z o.o. “In this respect, the company’s package is not limited to merely the capability to provide a complete line of comprehensive training courses and theoretical and practical workshops. Our company also makes efforts to provide its employees with systematic and multifaceted development, not just directly associated with their duties, but also that which can help them lead a fulfilled life – both in the occupational and private aspect.” The main objective, which is also the main axis of the company’s policy, is to comply with the rule of quality, loyalty, and professionalism. In relation to Ventor’s personnel policy, this means that the company is not only aware of the value of human resources within its hierarchy, but it primarily strives to enhance the knowledge and experience of its employees so as to be at the highest global standards in all fields. “In our country, there are many excellent professionals who are underappreciated just because, they do not speak any foreign languages for instance. We put strong focus on improving this aspect. This is not a groundless requirement, but rather an indication of care for our employees. Due to the fact that we work with foreign companies, communicative command of at least one foreign language is a necessity,” explains Janusz Urbanik. Furthermore, the health and safety policy, which is based on the safety first rule, is a crucial element of the company’s operating strategy. Ventor’s main objective is to care about the health and the safety of every employee. By establishing proper attitudes and procedures, the company not only acquires a market advantage, which helps it to become more competitive, but also forms friendly and safe working conditions. “We also create the awareness of our employees in this area during daily briefings. In these, we regularly take the problems associated with current health and safety issues into consideration. In addition, these briefings provide a great opportunity for us to discuss positive behaviours and to affirm that proper actions be taken when
our people encounter hazardous situations,” stresses Janusz Urbanik. To provide the highest global standards in this area, the company has implemented the health and safety management system based on the OHSAS 18001:2007 standard. “I dream of a similar hierarchy of values in Polish business,” says Janusz Urbanik. “The high qualifications of the people we send to work abroad have been recognised. We select them based not only on their school and training course certificates, but primarily on their practical skills.” President Urbanik deeply believes that the approximately one thousand Ventor employees working annually in Norwegian shipyards will bring the Norwegian working discipline, cult of quality, punctuality, and safety back to Poland. “I am afraid that it will be more difficult to transplant their business ethics,” adds Urbanik. “Over there, a dishonest entrepreneur is immediately eliminated by the market itself. No one wants to do business with such a person.”
Ventor is among this year’s
winners of the Quality International 2013 Programme This is the biggest pro-quality programme in Poland, and it is organised by ForumBiznesu.pl and the Dziennik Gazeta Prawna business attachment to Forum Biznesu. The Programme is also run under the auspices of the Ministry of Regional Development, the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development, and the Polish Forum ISO 9000 Club. The main objective of the contest is to promote institutions, producers, and service providers, in particular their products and services of the highest qualitative parameters, and thus expand their competitiveness on the Polish, European, and global markets. Besides raising competitiveness, credibility, image, and helping enterprises develop trust among their partners, participating in the programme and winning the title also shows the market and clients that the company has reached the proper quality level. This assures the company’s clients services at an adequately high level. ::
“The focus on the customer”that is the shortest way to introduce the philosophy of changes taking place in PKP Intercity. A new approach to the customer is based on three pillars: CONFIDENCE, COMFORT, GOOD PRICE.
Photos: Bartłomiej Banaszak
Confidence The solution under the slogan „Po prostu bilet”. When buying a ticket, the customer receives the seat number. When there are no more seats available, he or she is informed on other connections. The carrier keeps record of the availability of seats and adds carriages if necessary. During the summer holidays, PKP Intercity supplied trains with additional carriages 1,655 times, thus providing 103,488 more seats.
Comfort PLN 5.5 billion that PKP IC spent on fleet investments in 2015 will bring visible changes in travel quality. This year passengers will already be able to use 68 modernized and new carriages. Next year there will be 250 such carriages, and in 2015 - 345 new ones. By the end of 2015, PKP IC will have approximately 70% of its fleet new or modernized. After upgrades, customers traveling with PKP IC will be enjoying: a comfortable armchair, air conditioning, electrical outlet, toilet adapted for disabled people, room for bikes and a changing table for babies. A well-structured schedule will add to the traveling comfort: direct connections from Warsaw to major cities in Poland and abroad,
but also many convenient change opportunities and a short wait time. What adds to travelling comfort is the high standard of service. In each IC train disabled passengers and those traveling with children will have a separate compartment. The carrier has modified the system of providing information on trains, introduced uniform cleanliness standards, and trained about 1,700 conductors with regard to the quality of customer service. Travelling is more comfortable because there are many simple ways of buying a ticket. Passengers can pay for a ticket to the conductor on the train, in one of 240 ticket offices (from 2015 in 330), in one of 120 ticket machines located throughout the country, as well as over the Internet or a cell phone. Using the latter possibility, passengers do not print the ticket, but simply show it on the screen of a mobile device. What further adds to travelling comfort is modernization of railway stations and upgrades in their management. In 2013 PLN 310 million was spent for this purpose. What was changed is cleanness and safety standards on the train and the platforms. Passengers can turn for information to 11 railway offices, 7 managers, as well as to mobile guides. This year, during the summer holiday’s traffic peak over 1,000 informants have served customers at the largest railway stations.
Good price Passengers buying tickets in advance are offered a discount. Tickets purchased at least 15 days before the trip cost 15% less, while a ticket bought 7 or more days prior to departure is 10% cheaper. As many as 8% of the passengers use such an option, and a record was beaten in July with 14% of IC tickets being covered by discounts. 19% of these customers bought their tickets on the Internet.
Where are we heading for? Travelling comfort will be enhanced thanks to shorter journeys by trains of a higher standard. Passengers will readily turn back to railway because the travel time is shorter every year as rail upgrades are near the end. The carrier’s clarity of standard and services will be ever greater with the creation of 3 new categories of trains: Intercity Express Premium (Premium EIC), Express Intercity (EIC) and Twoje Linie Kolejowe (TLK). The plans include a dynamic sale system, loyalty programme, B2B offer, WiFi and multimedia content on the trains. ::
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Mobile banking Mobile phone payments arouse mixed feelings: from joy to intimidation. In theory, the system could have been in use a few years ago already, but organizational solutions lacked. A breakthrough has come only recently. Does a Polish idea stand a chance to become the standard in Europe?
Mieczysław T. Starkowski
irst, there was talk of a wallet, and then of a bank in the phone. These ideas have long stimulated the imagination. Simplicity, speed, convenience, but also security - such should be the features of an innovative system. Therefore, for many years, technology was defeated by psychological barriers. We are faced with an interesting phenomenon. Mobile payments have quickly penetrated the market in Africa, whereas in Europe they still have not developed on a massive scale. In Poland, too, a lot of companies worked on them, because we are not short of good ideas. It is unfair to say that Poles are not innovative. The problem is that there are no sufficient mechanisms to bring new ideas to life. Initially, mobile payments were mainly dealt with by ICT companies: from startups to international corporations. Then, the problem was that, in order to succeed, it was necessary for several partners to come to an agreement. Or so it seemed. The dominant business model was based on consistent cooperation between the application developer, mobile phone operator, the bank and many other partners. The first one - the originator - was mostly a small business, which can serve (although not necessarily) as a settlement agent. However, such a solution was usually not welcomed by operators, convinced of their technological advantages. As it turned out later, life has verified these views. The idea of mobile payments dates back to the beginning of this millennium. The first applications making use of this technology included parking fees and public transport tickets. But so far they have not taken the
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market by storm. Let us have a look at public transport tickets. Five years ago, mPay (originator), also acting as a settlement agent, reached an agreement with Citi Bank Handlowy, Polkomtel (operator of the Plus GSM mobile network) and the Warsaw Public Transport Authority. A service was introduced allowing customers to make payments by mobile phone directly from their bank accounts. Today, hardly anyone remembers that we were pioneers. Poland was the first country in Europe to have offered such a service. It was argued that the solution can become a massive-scale one, and even the standard to which others will head for. The initiative was believed to be a major step toward integration of the largest stakeholders in the mobile payment market. Unfortunately, this did not happen. Two years ago, Citibank Handlowy - this time without fanfare - started to withdraw from the project. As a result, it still continues, but at a slower pace. A few years ago, a new player emerged: SkyCash. It began to act aggressively both in large cities and in small towns. It did not limit itself to public transport tickets, but also offered train tickets in several large cities. The solution providers say that there has been recently a growing interest from cities that want to provide passengers with mobile payments for public transport tickets. There are several reasons for this acceleration. The primary one is to provide comfort to residents. But it is also about reducing the operating costs of transport companies and creating the image of a modern city. Often the cities themselves express willingness
to implement such measures. It is difficult to precisely determine the extent of the phenomenon. Companies do not want to reveal the number of users of mobile payments, which suggests that they are still relatively few. According to information disclosed two years ago, in Warsaw it was less than 50 thousand people.This gives reason to estimate that throughout the country there may be about 200 thousand users. Given the possible benefits, it is very little indeed. But is it surprising? The service is still hardly promoted among potential users. Therefore, it is developing more slowly than it could. Certainly not as much as needed. We are witnessing a weird phenomenon. Mobile payments, although known for a few years, are still something new to ordinary people. So there is still a huge psychological barrier. Therefore, much effort should be put in promotion and education. Unfortunately, companies and institutions involved in the project looked at each other, and as a result were not doing the job sufficiently.
Now one can see the light at the tunnel. It seems that the proponents of innovative solutions should be pleased. A few months ago, mobile payments have been re-introduced to the market. However, the situation changed radically. Two major Polish banks created their own solutions, announcing that mobile payment applications will already be standard next year. Mobile operators have been sidelined. As it turns out, it is banks that have a competitive advantage. Naturally, the most important factor is the large number of customers, both retain and corporate accustomed to services offered by their financial institutions. The crucial thing is that there is a vast network of ATMs and tens of thousands of payment terminals are available throughout the country. Finally, it is difficult to overstate the importance that banks attach to the promotion of these services, contrary to the operators. “Not satisfied with existing solutions, we have developed our own ones,” says Zbigniew Jagiełło, President of PKO Bank Polski. “Working on e-banking solutions, we have decided to offer customers a new quality of mobile payments. These are part of a comprehensive modernization that the bank started three years ago. We have revamped practically everything: from the range of products, through the standard of services to logo,” he adds. In March 2013, the IKO programme of the fourth generation of mobile banking was launched. A few months later, the initiative raised the governing bodies of a number of Polish banks. Based on previous studies, they came to the conclusion that there is no point in inventing different applications. If in excess, they usually get on customers’ nerves and even discourage them. Six major banks: Alior Bank, Bank Millennium, BZ WBK, BRE Bank (mBank), ING Bank Śląski and PKO Bank Polski agreed that they want to build a common standard for mobile payments in Poland. This means that several million of their customers will be able to pay by phone. The above-mentioned banks signed an agreement on strategic cooperation. The project is unique because of its scale, i.e. a significant number of financial institutions involved. Is 2014 going to be marked by a single standard for mobile payments in Poland? PKO BP has ambitious plans. At the turn of 2013 and 2014, the standard is expected to be available for the customers of these six banks. Besides, further financial institutions are likely to join the agreement by the end of 2014. As revealed by Zbigniew Jagiełło, the system can have as many as 500,000 by the
end of next year. If the number reaches 1 million in 2015, it will be a great success. For several months, intensive work is underway so as the agreement between these six banks enters into force. The flow of data between financial institutions makes it necessary to create a dedicated entity to handle the system. The National Clearing House, which joined the project in mid-October, will ensure the operational handling of the system, in addition to providing the IT infrastructure necessary for the implementation of the project. Also, it was no secret that Bank Pekao SA has been working for several months on its own mobile payment system. “It was only recently, however, that conditions were met that are essential to build effective solutions,” says Bartosz Zborowski, Director of the Office of Strategic Projects at Bank Pekao SA. “It is important to prepare customers for these products,” he adds. Bank Pekao SA has previously offered mobile solutions such as mobile banking for individuals and businesses, Eurokonto mobile, mobile shopping planner, mobile portal for loans and mortgages. In June 2013, it launched mobile payments, too. PeoPay is a comprehensive payment system which consists of two components: an application to pay and PeoPay MPOS that allows one to accept payments on one’s smartphone Its creators claim the PeoPay system is open and easily accessible. Anyone who has a smartphone with Android and iOS (the application will soon be available for mobile phones with Windows Phone too) can download the application, register and open a prepaid account remotely. Customers having Pekao Eurokonto can connect PeoPay directly to their accounts.
Success can (and must) be derived from mass production. Therefore, the agreement with the chain of stores Biedronka is extremely important for Bank Pekao SA. At the end of October, a few days were enough to convince customers to make payments by the PeoPay application. Within a week, the system’s users made over 3000 payments, and the number (but also the average value) of transactions grows every day. In this case, too, the crucial thing is the simplicity of the system. The method of payment by PeoPay consists in scanning QR codes. This is a very convenient way as it does not require typing a sequence of digits on the keypad of POS terminal or on a computer screen. It is sufficient to scan QR code with one’s smartphone and confirm the transaction by ePIN. The six-digit code (most common in Biedronka) can be used to pay in older terminals and to withdraw money from ATMs. Shortly after the system was launched at the beginning of November, the number of users reached 25,000 and is quickly growing. The market potential is huge. So who will be the leader? Or perhaps a hegemon? “We do not know whose idea will win,” admits Zbigniew Jagiełło. “We do not reject in advance any good solution. Naturally, we would like Bank Pekao SA to join our agreement and to forge a common system that will be even better than those already in existence,” he adds. “There are already a lot of mobile payment solutions available worldwide. Upon analyzing their strengths and weaknesses, and adding our ideas, we have created our own complete system that combines the convenience of use with a wide network of payment points,” answers indirectly Bartosz Zborowski. ::
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On the way to prosperity For over twenty years, the Polish economy has been characterized by a stable growth of GDP, something that distinguishes us not only in Europe, but also in the world. The economic potential of Poland is still very high, but it should be remembered it is not given forever.
Krzysztof Pietraszkiewicz, President of the Association of Polish Banks
lthough it is not easy, we need to build a coherent development and stability programme for the coming years. The most recent data on Polish GDP give reason to be glad and are a good omen for the upcoming year 2014. Still, we need to continually work to establish optimal conditions for the economic development of the country. There are many areas to be supported and developed, the priority one being innovation. Modernization and innovation provide a key to catching up with Western Europe. My view is that a relatively short period of two decades of a free market economy allowed us to break through the mental barriers of certain powerlessness that restricted opportunities in the minds of Polish entrepreneurs. Successful performance of many Polish companies in Europe and in the world has shown that we can offer modern and competitive products. Still, we are rather at the outset of the way to prosperity, which I hope Poland will reach in the near future. In order to achieve this goal, we already have to solve problems that hinder our economic development. Where we should seek opportunities is in improving productivity and economic efficiency. Therefore, it is necessary to finance innovative projects, and focus on investment in IT, in logistics and transportation, energy and energy-saving technologies and designs,
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and environment-friendly technologies. Barriers restricting the development of small and medium enterprises (SME) can be overcome through the creation of a wider system of startup funds, a more powerful loan system and a stable system of funding guarantees for SMEs, which, if necessary, should also serve the purpose of restructuring. It is also necessary to create in Poalnd a system of development funding instruments: establishing support mechanisms encouraging people to make long-term savings for housing, pensions and health purposes, clearing the mortgage bonds issuance, securitization of good assets and issuance of bonds. The strategic segment should be the construction industry as it is of particular social and economic importance. It usually develops the propensity to save, but also to invest. It is necessary to consistently develop a sustainable banking system and security deposits. We have already achieved a lot of success in this field. What is furthermore needed is the development of public information critical systems and solutions compatible with banking sector information resources. I believe that we should firmly base our success in Poland on the digital economy. In this respect, banks have a lot to offer to businesses, the government, but also to ordinary people. I think at this point about a universal, cost-effective and user-friendly payment
and settlement system, but also about modern methods of risk management in business. The development of electronic commerce and computerization are necessary to sustain economic growth. If neglected, these areas risk to be a significant obstacle to economic development. It is necessary to develop a system of electronic identification of citizens, establish and implement packages of basic electronic services provided by public administration bodies. The legal provisions should be adapted so as to allow e-contacts with the administration, including the ability to use state-gathered information. In that regard, a specific code of best practices should be adopted, highlighting the significance of the principle of reciprocity. Another important sphere of activity is economic the education of people, which is a kind of investment in the future, guaranteeing greater economic stability and rapid economic development. For over twenty years, the Polish economy has been characterized by a stable growth of GDP, something that distinguishes us not only in Europe, but also in the world. The economic potential of Poland is still very high, but it should be remembered it is not given forever. Therefore, we should make every effort to be rated permanently among developed countries. I strongly believe that, if only efforts are joined, we will manage to achieve this goal. ::
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“Economics for the future. Unveiling the nature and causes of economic phenomena”– 9th Congress of Polish Economists The Polish Economic Society organizes every few years the Congress of Polish Economists – an event important both for economic theory and business practice. The upcoming 9th Congress will be held on November 28-29, 2013 under the theme “Economics for the future. Unveiling the nature and causes of economic phenomena”. Prof. Elżbieta Mączyńska Elżbieta Mączyńska, Professor of Economics, Warsaw School of Economics, Institute of Economics of the Polish Academy of Sciences, President of the Polish Economic Society
rganized every few years, the Congress of Polish Economists has always been considered as a very important event touching upon the fundamental issues of Polish and global economy and economic sciences. The tradition of the Congress dates back to 1887, when Polish economists and lawyers from the three parts of occupied Poland organized in Kraków the First Congress of Economists and Lawyers. It was attended by about 200 people, with speeches delivered by Witold Skarżyński (“On the necessity and possibility of a comprehensive reform of the farm loan”) and Antoni Donimirski (“On the internal colonization). After World War II meetings and congresses were organized in important periods for the country. The National Congress of Polish Economists was held on December 8-10, 1950
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and laid the groundwork for the Congress of Polish Science in 1951. The 2nd Congress of Polish Economists took place in June 1956 in Warsaw, the 3rd Congress – in January 1971, and the 4th Congress – in March 1981, with a debate “On the vectors of reshaping of the Polish economy in the 1980s”. In order to mark the centenary of the Congress, the 5th Congress of Polish Economists was organized in Kraków. It adopted the paper entitled “Poland’s economy – development challenges of the late 20th century”. In 1993, at the 6th Congress, organized in cooperation with the Federation of Engineering Associations, the Association of Accountants in Poland, Polish Lawyers Association and the Society of Scientific Organization and Management, the crucial question was: How to boost the Polish economy? Summoned in January 2001, the 7th Congress of Polish Economists debated under the theme “Economics in the age of information civilization” and addressed some matters of pressing concern ahead in the 21st century. The 8th Congress in November 2007 was the first one held since Poland’s accession to the European Union, and that was the issue that was extensively discussed. The Congress was held under the banner of “Poland in the global economy – opportunities and threats”. As demonstrated by the history of the Congress of Polish Economists, it was held once every few years against a highly diverse social, economic and political background, thus guiding thoughts of subsequent editions were a kind of signum temporis (see
http://www.kongres.pte.pl/congress/idea kongresu.html) . Also the present one – 9th Congress of Polish Economists – takes place under specific conditions defined by the consequences of the global economic crisis. Unprecedentedly deep and rapid economic and social changes cause that economists are faced with problems and questions to which there are no ready-made solutions and unambiguous answers. At the same time, ideas evolve and new trends emerge in the theory of economics. A number of questions and doubts are being raised. And one will not make it to the truth nor have real knowledge if they do not “understand the causes of things”. That is why it is so important to be able to recognize them. Scire est rerum causas cognoscere, and so is the theme of the 9th Congress of Polish Economists “Economics for the future. Unveiling the nature and causes of economic phenomena”. The aim of this Congress, like the previous ones, is to present the latest research results, share views and experiences among economists (academics and practitioners), politicians and representatives of other scientific disciplines. The Congress is therefore considered as a kind of synthesis of the contribution of Polish economists to solving important problems of economic practice. I strongly encourage you to take interest in what we do and familiarize yourself with the Congress materials available at the website of the Polish Economic Society (http://www.kongres.pte.pl/kongres). ::
Road to the euro
Prof. Małgorzata Zaleska The author is a member of National Bank of Poland’s Management Board, a Full Professor of the Institute of Banking and Business Insurance of the Warsaw School of Economics, and Vice-President of the Committee on Financial Sciences of the Polish Academy of Sciences.
oland’s p o ssible entr y to the euro zone has not been a popular topic recently. There are a few reasons. Among them is that the euro zone has suffered from the crisis more than Poland, most Poles are opposed to Poland’s entry to the single currency and there is no parliamentary majority to make the amendments to the Polish constitution that are necessary for the adoption of the euro. As a rule, popular discussion about Poland’s possible entry to the euro zone boils down to the two questions: when will this take place and by how much will the prices increase. Meanwhile, the issue is definitely more complex. Firstly, it should be stressed that the euro zone which Poland would enter in the future will be quite different from what it is now. In response to the crisis, a thorough reform is carried out in the euro zone designed to lead “step by step” to deeper political, fiscal and financial integration. This means that more and more powers are transferred from national to European level. One can even say that the goal
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is to create a United States of Europe on the basis of today’s euro zone. Time will show if this project is successfully implemented but it is certain that one should not assess the benefits and risks associated with euro zone entry through the prism of its present shape. Secondly, irrespective of whether and when Poland will enter the euro zone, it is necessary to carry out further reforms aimed at ensuring strong macroeconomic indicators and high competitiveness for the Polish economy. It is not about temporarily meeting the Maastricht criteria or the recently introduced external and internal imbalance indicators. The problem is not the absence of criteria. The challenge is that they should be consistently obeyed by all of the existing euro-zone members. One may say that the Maastricht criteria are inadequate considering the present global conditions. If this is the case then it is advisable to consider modifying the criteria rather than introducing further indicators, which are not always obeyed either. Thus, irrespective of the criteria adopted, we need not only nominal convergence but first of all real convergence because an economy aspiring to enter the euro zone has to reach a state where it can function well and return to equilibrium without the use of such instruments as interest rates and exchange rates because they will not be available at national level once the country has adopted the single currency. Meanwhile, election cycles, which are short, are
not conducive to reform. A coherent and coordinated macro-prudential policy may be helpful in this respect. The European Systemic Risk Board has proposed that an institution pursuing such policy, with the central bank playing the leading role, should be set up in each European Union country. Unfortunately, such an institution has not been established in Poland yet. How much Poland will benefit or lose by entering the euro zone depends on how well it is prepared for the adoption of the single currency. Entry to the euro zone does not ensure an improvement in the country’s competitiveness, macroeconomic equilibrium or credibility if the country is not adequately prepared for the adoption of the euro. Euro-zone entry creates opportunities but does not guarantee success. Thirdly, Poland as a nation and economy is so big compared to the nations which have recently entered the euro zone that it is impossible to transfer in a simple way their experience to Polish realities. This involves the need to ensure an adequate amount of new money in circulation. This amount will depend on when Poland will be joining the euro zone and how popular non-cash payments will be at that time. To conclude, one should hope that both the euro zone and the Polish economy will be successfully reformed. The better the euro zone is perceived, the more supporters of euro adoption there will be and vice versa. ::
Keep calm and invest – the zones will operate until 2026 Special economic zones are a very effective tool supporting foreign investments in Poland. The risk that the zones might stop being operational in 2020 has caused the suspension of some investment projects. When the zones’ activity was extended to 2026 the companies became certain that their plans would be fully implemented.
here are 14 special economic zones in Poland – areas where entrepreneurs can run business activities under preferential conditions. The companies functioning within these zones benefit from CIT tax exemption and in certain communes they can also benefit from exemption from property tax. Lots within the zones are affordable and well adjusted to future investment projects. They were created in order to improve the investment attractiveness of the region. As a result, this was intended to create an economic revival and a decrease in joblessness. And this is exactly what has happened. According to the E&Y analysis, in districts where the zones function, the unemployment rate is lower by 2.3 - 2.9% and the GDP level per per capita is higher than in other regions as much as by PLN 2500.
The zones today The number of permits issued in the zones exceeded 1600 at the end of June this year, the value of the completed investment projects was close to PLN 90,000, and the number of employees was over 255 000. Concerning the value of the capital invested as well as the number of new jobs created, the Katowice and Wałbrzych zones were the most successful ones. The zones are usually associated with huge foreign companies, yet small and mediumsized businesses are in the majority. Contrary to the stereotype, Polish companies do extremely well in these zones. Almost 75% of the capital invested in the zones comes from the following six countries: Poland, Germany, USA, Netherlands, Italy and Japan.
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Aggregations of companies operating in related sectors have naturally become the basis for the creation of clusters. Many zones have created their own industry specialisations: in the Legnica and Katowice zones the automotive industry dominates, within the Mielec zone the Aviation Valley was created, and in the Pomorze zone an ICT cluster was created. The Wałbrzych zone is often chosen by the household-appliances companies and the Warmińsko-Mazurska zone is where the furniture sector is growing.
Benefits for both sides An investor in the zone means that not only new jobs will be created but also the number of orders will grow. This leads to contractors creating jobs and the development of the neighbouring infrastructure and cooperation network, as well as the blooming of the region. During the past few years the profile of foreign investments in Poland has changed, and with it the landscape of the zones has changed too. “Most of the projects with foreign capital which are implemented in Poland in cooperation with PAIiIZ are highly technologically advanced production investments” says Monika Piątkowska, vice-president of the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency. Along with the improvements in the technologies used in production, the researchand-development units started coming into the zones and developing innovative solutions to meet the plants’ needs. The first special economic zone in Poland was created in 1994. Only 10 years later the SEZs started generating profit – the income for the national budget transfered the companies operating in the zones started exceeding
the total national budget revenue lost due to tax breaks. This support tool for investors is therefore effective. According to estimates, each PLN 1 lost in the form of tax exemption results in PLN 8 invested by investors. “Tax breaks for investors are widely used in many countries as a catalyst for new investments. Giving up on those offered by the zones would be a blow to the regions. Before the decision on extending the functioning of the zones was made, many companies operating in the SEZs suspended their reinvestments.” says Ms Piątkowska.
The investors breathe a sigh of relief This year the Government made the vital decision to extend the functioning of the zones up to 2026. According to previous decisions, the zones were intended to cease operating in just seven years. Monika Piątkowska says that the approval for zones to be functional until 2026 will definitely lead to a growth in Poland’s investment attractiveness. “Along with the improvement of the flexibility of the working time and the record EU subsidies for Poland in the new financial perspective, the country has a chance to remain at the top of the ranking as one of the best places to invest in, in the whole world.” Monika Piątkowska says. The zones are partnering up and will cooperate in the field of promotion. They plan to implement a promotional campaign in foreign media in order to advertise the benefits of investing in those areas. About 60% of the total area of special economic zones is utilised therefore there is still room for new investors. ::
Special Economic Zones attract investors Thousands of new investment projects carried out since 2004 have been co-financed from EU funds. What has also contributed to Poland’s economic development in recent years is Special Economic Zones (SEZs). Since 1995 when the first one was founded the 14 SEZs operating in Poland have generated a total investment volume of nearly PLN 89 billion (as at the end of the first half of 2013) and 255 thousand jobs. The government extended the lifetime of the Polish SEZs until 2026.
pecial Economic Zones are administratively separated parts of Polish territory sized from a few hundred to a few thousand hectares. In these areas, entrepreneurs can invest on favourable terms, and benefit from income tax exemptions. As noted by Agnieszka Piwowarczyk from the Kraków University of Economics, the main objective of the establishment and functioning of the SEZs is to stimulate regional development by boosting investment and job creation. The analysis conducted by the Ministry of Economy shows that were it not for the jobs created as a result of investments made in SEZs, the unemployment rate at the end of 2012 would be 14.7 % and not 13.4% as recorded. The idea of SEZs constitutes an exception to the EU principle that public authorities are not allowed to provide assistance to entrepreneurs. Poland negotiated the possibility to maintain the SEZs when holding accession talks. After Poland became an EU member state, SEZs formally fall within the scope of regional aid. In the opinion of Deputy Prime Minister Janusz Piechociński, SEZs offer a cheap and effective form of assistance. “We estimate that PLN 1 of tax exemption resulted in PLN 8 in invested capital,” he says. According to Piechociński, SEZs are also an effective tool for using real estate. “Since the beginning of their existence, an average of PLN 11.5 million was invested and 35 jobs were created per one hectare of SEZs,” he adds. In Poland there are 14 Special Economic Zones, namely: Kamiennagórska SEZ, Katowicka SEZ, Kostrzyńsko-Słubicka SEZ,
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Krakowska SEZ, Legnicka SEZ, Łódzka SEZ, Mielecka SEZ, Pomorska SEZ, Słupska SEZ, Starachowicka SEZ, Suwalska SEZ, Tarnobrzeska SEZ, Wałbrzyska SEZ and Warmińsko-Mazurska SEZ. The law stipulates that the overall surface of SEZs cannot exceed 20 thousand hectares. According to the Ministry of the Economy as at the end of 2012, the total area occupied by SEZs was slightly over 15.8 thousand hectares. Three quarters of the capital invested in the zones originated from six countries: Poland, Germany, the USA, the Netherlands, Italy and Japan. The largest share in the accumulated investment value was that of automotive sector companies (25.6% of investment expenditure). The following places were taken by manufacturers of rubber and plastic products (10.1%) and businesses producing goods made of other non-metallic mineral products (9.7 %). SEZs offer a friendly environment for industrial parks and technology clusters, especially in automotive and aviation industry, construction materials, household appliances and TV, and high specialized services. The SEZs accommodate clusters: the Aviation Valley in Mielecka SEZ, Automotive Silesia in Katowicka SEZ, ICT cluster in Pomorska SEZ, furniture cluster in Warmińsko-Mazurska SEZ, Tarnów Industrial Cluster in Krakowska SEZ, automotive and household appliances in Wałbrzyska SEZ. In 2012, all the companies managing Special Economic Zones achieved positive financial results, including Suwalska Special Economic Zone, which in previous years
registered losses. The highest profit was generated by Wałbrzyska SEZ Inwest Park - nearly PLN 14.2 million, and the lowest by Kraków Technology Park - a mere PLN 0.3 million. A lot of well-known corporations are investing in the SEZs. The largest expenditures have been incurred by General Motors, Fiat, Toyota, Volkswagen and Michelin, and outside the automotive sector: Kraft Foods, LG, Mondi Świecie, NGK Ceramics, Gillette or Electrolux. The total outlay of the 15 largest investors as at the end of 2012 amounted to nearly PLN 21.5 billion, which accounts for one fourth of the total value of investments made in the SEZs. In last year’s report FDI Global Free Zones of the Future 2012/2013, which presents the world’s top 50 Special Economic Zones, there were as many as 5 Polish ones. They were ranked as follows: 11th (Katowicka SEZ), 18th (Łódzka SEZ), 22nd (Wałbrzyska SEZ Invest Park), 35th (Pomorska SEZ ) and 37th (Starachowicka SEZ). According to KPMG, Polish SEZs were included in the ranking due to the high quality infrastructure and a dense network of various modes of transport. This year’s government decision to extend the lifetime of SEZs for six years, until 2026 (as opposed to 2020 as it was previously assumed) will certainly increase their attractiveness and will bring in new investors. As shown in last year’s report by KPMG, this is likely to increase the overall investment volume in the SEZs by as much as PLN 40 billion. ::
The role of partnerships in business
Tadeusz Rybak, President of Mostostal Puławy S.A.
or several years Mostostal Puławy S.A. has operated on the construction and energy markets across Europe. For this reason, we welcomed the legislative drafts published by the European Commission two years ago, aimed at modernising the EU regulations on public procurement. Making the current regulations simpler and more flexible is meant to contribute to a better adjustment of the public procurement provisions to the continually-evolving socioeconomic conditions. Many Polish enterprises and investors have experienced the adverse consequences of the formerly-binding regulations. In order to achieve more efficient spending of public finances, along with high investment sustainability, the provisions in force should indeed be modified. The best-value-for-money principle should allow us to make efficient choices. Mostostal Puławy S.A. is a reliable business partner. For fifteen years we have sought to ensure the highest standards of services. Our qualified and experienced staff, service certifications, training programmes and previous investments are in line with an appropriate business strategy and a good governance model.
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Our current business relations commenced with cooperation established within particular markets. Afterwards, the investors have attentively monitored the implementation of contracts awarded to Mostostal Puławy. Today
“The best-valuefor-money principle should allow us to make efficient choices. “ we may take pride in our partnerships with international energy and chemical corporations. Our effort and continuous care for both reliability and quality have been recognised several times, e.g., earning us the title of Ambassador of the Polish Economy, Ambassador of the Lubelskie province, and the European Medal for the manufacture and assembly of steel structures. Therefore, we closely follow, as do many other representatives of the
industry, the binding provisions in Poland. It goes without saying that such regulations are indispensable to any further strategic
planning of corporate development, and may be used to overcome the current economic difficulties. The Act of 11 October 2013 amending the Public Procurement Law regulates a number of issues concerning construction-work contracts, including especially subcontractors and remunerations. The problems faced by entities implementing public contracts have nevertheless remained apparent. These mainly stem from the lack of balance between the contracting parties, and the evident dictate of the awarding party. Not infrequently have the provisions of the Specification of Essential Conditions of Contract led to excluding long-standing companies, and to selecting a contractor actually unprepared to perform the contract. The fact that the awarding party prepares the specification in such a way that it knows straightaway who will get the contract seems rather alarming. For instance, our company was once expelled from the tender procedure involving a bridge construction because we had not built such a structure in the previous 5 years, acting as a general contractor or a consortium partner. But the point is that Mostostal S.A. has constructed such bridges as the John Paul II Bridge over the Vistula in Gdańsk, and the Świętokrzyski and Siekierkowski Bridges in Warsaw, which seem to provide the best references. The construction-law provisions pose another big issue, as they have made bridges part of the road infrastructure, thereby depriving bridge builders of many interesting contract opportunities. The awarding party’s indecision and unwillingness to make any necessary changes in the course of contract fulfilment appears increasingly more disturbing. Shifting the entire responsibility, for example for technical documentation errors, onto the contractor, results in severe conflicts and costabsorbing litigation. The common practice of procrastinating on the consideration of contractor’s complaints, eventually followed by their rejection, by the awarding party, is an issue which definitely needs to be formally solved under the law. Mostostal Puławy S.A. highly appreciates its partnership relations with Scandinavian companies. The business culture of Sweden, Finland and Norway encourages us to successfully implement consecutive contracts in those countries. This is where the contractor and the awarding party try to “go hand in hand” throughout the investment process, with the investment acting as their
“challenge” or “the top to reach”. It is the usual practice in Scandinavia to look at a construction from a multi-annual utility perspective. The investor mainly intends to derive longterm benefits from the investment, which is why the policy of “waiting for the contractor to stumble” is entirely absent. The awarding party seeks to cooperate with the contractors to actually prevent them from stumbling. If a company proves successful for the first time, it receives appropriate recommendations, and, eventually, further contracts. “Investing” knowledge and money in the contractor proves to pay off, given that suitable relations with adequately-trained staff deliver tangible effects. Mostostal Puławy S.A. seeks to develop partner relations with investors as we consider recommendations the best proof of quality. We nowadays act as a leader in energy and industrial construction, as well as in environmental-protection sector. While planning our further growth and expansion into new markets, we are driven by a clear-cut vision and working strategy. Taking into consideration the Polish economy, and the principles
binding between awarding parties and contractors, one may rightly infer that we still have a lot to learn from our foreign partners. The lack of efficient activities, leading to legal and practical amendments in the public procurement field, acts as a disincentive, giving rise to a large number of lawsuits. Investors should meet contractors at the construction sites, which are the right places to discuss the investment projects, and not in court houses. Therefore, we must believe that the good practices flowing, from the Scandinavian market, will trigger a gradual change in the Polish realities. ::
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The Gdynia Port welcomes new partners and cares for the old ones
Within only a week the Port of Gdynia Authority S.A. has signed two major contracts, one resulting in a new partnership and the other consolidating the position of its long-standing partner.
Photo: Location of a new ferry terminal on the Polish Quay (T.Urbaniak/ZMPG-a S.A.)
n line with the multi-annual lease agreement concerning the area located on the Hungarian Quay, concluded at the beginning of November 2013, Aalborg Portland, the largest producer and exporter of white cement, will expand its activity in Gdynia. The cement terminal located in the reference venue had previously been owned by Górażdże Cement SA. Acting as the new terminal operator, Aalborg Portland, owned by the Italian Cement Group operating as Cementir Holding S.p.A., indicates a yearly production capacity of 3 million tonnes of the product sold under the trademark of AALBORG WHITE® cement. The new location of the Company’s activity will foster its expansion in the Polish market, along with the acquisition of new export partners and the facilitation of consumer service in logistical terms (i.e. shorter delivery time). The road and rail infrastructure in the Gdynia Port, recently extended by the Port Authority, is also conducive to corporate development. While acquiring new contractors, the Port Authority remains attentive to the future
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development prospects of its former partners, who have proved reliable in the course of long-standing cooperation. In mid-November representatives of the Port of Gdynia Authority S.A. concluded a contract with Tebodin Poland Sp. z o.o., involving the design of a new ferry terminal on the Polish Quay. The terminal design, worth over PLN 3 million gross, is to be developed by the end of 2014. Along with the quay repair, this investment will also entail constructing a ferry station and a cargo storehouse with an area of around 450 m2, including office and welfare facilities for maintenance workers. Adjacent to the terminal will be a public car park for 100 passenger cars. The rail connection to the rail line in the first zone of the French Quay is to be preserved. The ship service in the new terminal is to take a maximum of 120 minutes (from the commencement of mooring until departure). The ferries calling at the new terminal will mainly include Stena Line vessels, though the port authorities are also willing to cooperate with other ship-owners. Currently the Stena Line ferries running
between Gdynia and Karlskrona depart every day from the ferry base located at Dock VIII. The advantages of the new terminal location include its closeness to the city centre and being a short distance from the port entry. The erection of the terminal on the Polish Quay will contribute to the further development of the ferry connection, which in 2010 was recognised by the European Commission as part of the Maritime Highways system. It accounts for around 30% of the entire passenger and cargo traffic between Poland and Sweden. Moving the ferry terminal out of its current location at Dock VIII will also allow the attractive area bordering on the two Gdynia container terminals (BCT and GCT), and on the continually-extending area intended for logistical purposes, to serve new functions, thereby diversifying the current resource provided by the Port Authority to its upcoming and former business partners. ::
Investing in Poland 2014 - new investments on the horizon
his autumn, the Warsaw Business Journal Group has presented its 5th edition of the “Investing in Poland” project whose purpose is to promote Poland as an attractive location for investments. Despite intense competition on markets around the world and the global recession that has lasted for several years now, Poland has still been ranked in the forefront of the countries that attract the most foreign capital. Its strengths include a large number of people living there which enables the diversification of the economy according to sector types, and also its easy access to the markets of both Eastern and Western Europe. The Polish economy has a strong internal market which allows it to remain secure against external disruptions. It is characterised by a stable growth rate, low inflation, and a low risk of economic crisis. Foreign investors are willing to choose Poland as a place to locate their new investments. And most of them come from OECD member countries. “Investing in Poland” is a project aimed at presenting Poland’s investment climate to the widest-possible public. It offers an extensive presentation of market possibilities, and it also shows and recognises the best projects implemented over the past year. The project comprises the “Investing in Poland 2014” publication, a conference accompanied by a discussion summarising the situation on the investment market this year, and the “Investment of the Year” competition concluded with a formal gala. On 2 September the publishing market welcomed “Investing in Poland”, which is a compendium of information concerning the investment attractiveness of Poland. It has been prepared by journalists of the Warsaw Business Journal in co-operation with the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency, PwC, and the Bilateral Chambers of Industry and Commerce that actively operate in Poland. It comprises two parts – the first is concerned with the presentation of cities and regions and describes their economic and business potential. The second part contains
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information concerning the most buoyant sectors of this year – finance, real estate, tax and accounting analyses, the pharmaceutical industry, Intelligent Cities, IT and modern technologies, energy, R&D and BPO. The publication is distributed through Polish embassies, honorary and general consulates, Investors and Exporters’ Service Centres and Polish institutions. It is also distributed during trade fairs and conferences in Poland and abroad, such as Mipim, Mapic, Expo Real and AIM in Dubai. “Investing in Poland” can be downloaded from the websites of Partners or read on iPads. The second stage of the project was the “Investing in Poland 2014” conference that was held on 17 September in Villa Foxal in Warsaw. Panel sessions featured such experts as Sławomir Majman, President of the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency, Jacek Socha, partner in the consulting services section at PwC and Vice-President of the company in Poland. Much attention was devoted to special economic zones. One of the conclusions was that the zones should function permanently, not on a regular renewal basis as they do now. They are created in places where a need for re-investment arises. Sławomir Majman also stressed their importance in the context of limited possibilities of support for business in Poland and fierce competition on international markets, as far as securing foreign direct investments is concerned. The type of business that is most noticeably attracted by Poland was also discussed; these were mostly highly-professional services. It is less often that large-scale industrial projects are carried out in Poland. The promising prospects are related to business-services centres and cluster development. The conference stressed the attractiveness of Poland as a place for investors. Its strengths include qualified and highly-motivated staff with superior efficiency whose distinctive features are their analytical skills and creativity. The present trends are the development of shared services centres and an
increasing interest by financial institutions devoted to Poland. The panel discussions focussed on what should be improved in Poland to attract more investments. The major emphasis must be put on the development of the infrastructure and the increase in the State’s commitment to the support of the research-and-development segment. The significant role of the structural funds of the European Union was indicated. Poland is the main beneficiary of these funds on a Community scale. This, however, is expected to change after 2020. The project was officially ended during a Gala on 23 October 2013 in the Amber Room restaurant in Warsaw. The Warsaw Business Journal newspaper awarded the most innovative investments in Poland with the Investment of the Year award. The nominated investments were divided into three categories based on the employment growth they created, and, subsequently, assessed according to the value investments, level of innovation and influence on local communities. The award in the category of small investments was granted to a Spanish company – Sener – for the opening of a space-flights unit in its Warsaw-based office. The award for medium-sized investments went to the Veolia Environmental Services specialising in waste management, which has opened a new municipal waste-transfer station, a production line for biofuel originating from waste, and a composting plant. The winner in the category of large investments was the GDF Suez Energy Poland for the modernisation of a power plant in Połaniec, a venture which involved 700 people in the construction works and the renovation stage, and created 100 new jobs on the premises of the facility after the project’s completion. Nearly two hundred guests from the world of business, Boards of Directors, and diplomats participated in the Gala. The partners in the project are Randstad, CBRE, Bank PKO SA, and Dentons as well as the Łódź Special Economic Zone, and the cities of Lublin and Rzeszów. ::
CEO After Hours
Sport around the globe Sport is my balance and sometimes, in busy weeks, it is the only possibility to leave the hotel, because my work starts when I open the door. For two and a half years, my family and I have been living in Warsaw at the Hyatt hotel. Heddo Siebs, General Manager of the Hyatt Regency Warsaw
y sport always depends on where I am living. When I worked in Chicago, I played beach-volleyball and I loved skating close to Lake Michigan. In Cairo, I went horse riding in the desert close to the pyramids and in Sharm el Sheikh I went diving in the Red Sea. Since Berlin, where we moved seven years ago, I love to run and play golf, and this remains the case in Warsaw. Three times a week at 6 a.m., I meet my trainer, Michał. Last year, we were running in all types of weather. The craziest runs were in temperatures of minus 12 degrees on ice and snow, but I liked them nevertheless. I run about ten kilometres and
the focus, in addition to speed and technique, is the route. Of course, I love to make my way through the beautiful Łazienki Park or Nowy Świat, but the best run is when I can explore new things, and take in some little side streets. At 6 a.m. there is little traffic and it is fascinating how many parks you can run in from the Hyatt hotel to the Old Town, and how nice it is to go near the river. Since I have been in Poland, I have participated in a half marathon, I have twice taken part in the Independence Run and I have participated in some other small races, such as the Zoo Run. I love the atmosphere, the sightseeing and the company when I run with my wife, friends or sometimes with guests.
I also like to play golf, but this, of course, takes much more time. A free weekend is normally saved for the family. Sometimes my family joins me on the driving range in Wilanów. I can hit some balls and my family can play mini-golf. If we have time and a babysitter, my wife and I love to go on the proper course. I am not a very serious player, but I enjoy the peace, the nature and the nice walk. However, this does not mean I am not happy about a good game. In general, I like everything that gets me outdoors. I really love the development in Warsaw. Knowing the city and the people I meet through my activities makes me feel more at home. :: ADVERTISEMENT
We take care of the ne brand of the Polish economy • The best location for investments • Comprehensive counselling on every stage of the implementation of an investment project • Industrial sites in northern Poland close to the major transport routes and international airports and ports • Innovative investment projects: the Gdańsk Science and Technology Park and the Baltic Port of New Technologies • Advanced technologies • Cooperation with state and local government bodies, universities, research facilities, economic and cultural institutions
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Prestige? Elitism? Luxury?
A few remarks on the behaviour of consumers of the Polish emerging upper class. Prof. Małgorzata Bombol Consumer Behaviour Research Unit, Institute of Management Warsaw School of Economics (SGH)
he very title of this article imposes some constraints resulting from the fact that not all Polish consumers seek prestigious and elite consumption by means of luxury goods and services. However, many research studies indicate that after more than two decades since the start of a market economy in Poland the country has a stable, though not uniform, segment of high-income consumers who are no strangers to luxury products and brands. This group has a steadily growing buying potential, which has not been undermined by macroeconomic factors. And the period after 2008 should definitely be counted among these factors. Who are the people making up this elite group? What brands do they prefer? How do they do their shopping? What will their
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expectations be in the future? Such questions may be multiplied because the answers are needed by the “other” party on the market – those who offer products and services. It is the researcher’s and scientist’s curiosity and inquiring mind that prompted me to conduct empirical research among members of the Polish emerging upper class. I am aware that some readers may doubt whether this group is indeed present in Poland because of the lack of continuity in the historical evolution of the traditional (pre-World War II) Polish upper class. Assuming that the year 1939 is the demarcation line between the two periods, this group was virtually non-existent in Poland for 60 successive years. On the other hand, the on-going changes in social and economic life have given rise to new fortunes, behaviours and customs, which allow us to believe that a group of people displaying behaviours typical of the traditional upper class is emerging in Poland. Several important features are noticeable that make the Polish emerging upper class stand out against other classes in the social structure. Although it is still difficult to speak about the existence of Polish “dynasties” and families with a well-established position of traditional upper class, an increasingly hermetic group of people with a high wealth position is already noticeable. What sets this group apart from other social classes is not only wealth but for the most part behaviour styles and values they represent. This group has its own identity, attitudes, norms and beliefs. One can say that in Poland we are approaching a standard situation – in every society the upper class is made up of families which are at the top of the prestige hierarchy, people united
by strong bonds of friendship, acquaintance and marriage. By analysing the secondary information that is available we can isolate several criteria which set this group apart from others. The first criterion – probably the most perceptible one – is wealth. The buying potential of this group and its size differ depending on the estimates adopted 1. It is worth pointing, however, to classification differences in segmentation according to affluence level compared to other countries. Since the financial means at the disposal of Polish well-off people are much smaller compared to their counterparts in Europe for instance, the income brackets for the status of affluent and HNWI (high-networth individual) people are different in Poland. Additionally, the assets held by the 100 richest Poles, as indicated by data published in the league tables, are impressive against the income stratification in Poland but they come far from the top of global rankings. The lack of detailed data about this group of consumers was an investigatory challenge for the author. To get an insight into the problem, empirical research 2 was conducted on three groups of 1 KPMG analysts divide this group into the “aspiring” with a gross monthly income of PLN3,700-7,100 and their number is estimated at 2 million; the “well-off” with a gross monthly income of PLN7,100-20,000 and the “rich” with a gross monthly income of at least PLN20,000. In 2012, the number of well-off and rich people was estimated at 750,900 – see: “Luxury Goods Market in Poland. Edition 2012,” KPMG, Warsaw 2012. 2 “Economic Behaviours and the Quality of Life of the Emerging Polish Upper Class,” a project carried out at the Warsaw School of Economics (SGH) under the guidance of Prof. M. Bombol, funded by a grant from the National Science Centre.
portfele, portmonetki, etui, teczki, walizki, kuferki, paski... • znakowanie produktów logo klienta • projekty dopasowane do indywidualnych oczekiwań • bony upominkowe o nominałach 100, 250 i 500 PLN, do realizacji we wszystkich Salonach Firmowych na terenie całego kraju
11 - 12 /2013 :: polish market :: 61
Polish consumers, with arbitrarily defined income thresholds and other distinguishing criteria. The goal was to combine attributes associated with consumption with a wider context of the functioning of Polish consumers3. The first group was called the “credit bourgeoisie”4 (people with a net monthly income of at least PLN5,000 and a home loan). This group is largely composed of people in occupations which emerged after 1989 (creative class). These are managers and small business people who, soon after completing university education, quickly changed their financial position and the group they belonged to. This is why they are convinced that one has to fight one’s way up to achieve professional and financial success. At the same time, their lightning – by the standards of mature capitalist economies social advancement means they do not feel secure in their position as the middle class. This is why they have to buy to confirm their prestige and isolate themselves from the poor. Loans, including long-term mortgages, are their passport to elite life. The second group is the “ethos intelligentsia (people with a net monthly income of at least PLN5,000 who have properties – often inherited – like land, a house or apartment). Among them are mainly members of the old intelligentsia, professionals and research staff at universities. Members of this group do not need to have the highest incomes or seek prestige through consumption because their knowledge and position ensures them respect, which enables them to create cultural patterns and standards. It is them who dictate high culture and build foundations for civil society. The third group is “businessocracy” (people with a net monthly income of at least PLN20,000). The name combines the semantic contexts of the words aristocracy and business, which brings about a clear association with business elites. This group no longer tries to dazzle others with their wealth in bad taste (snob effect), as could be seen in the 1990s. Members of the group set the trends and behaviours which the mass middle class still cannot afford. They show 3 The terminology has been proposed by Polish sociologist Maciej Gdula. 4 Here, the meaning of the word bourgeoisie (city dwellers in French) is closer to the original meaning as a synonym of townspeople and then as entrepreneurs and wealthy people as a whole. It is a reference to the 15th-century understanding of the upper, wealthy class of townspeople. In this article, the meaning of the phrase credit bourgeoisie is far from the concept of Karl Marx, who criticized the existence of the bourgeois class as such.
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Table 1. Shopping attitudes of the Polish embryonic upper class as a percentage of positive responses (%) Do you agree with the following statements:
Product quality is the most important thing for me when buying. Price is a secondary issue.
I always buy products of the best quality.
I like to buy from time to time products which I have never tried before.
I sometimes buy something to improve my mood.
I am up to date with modern technology.
I like spending money on technological equipment.
I sometimes buy things that I almost never use after the purchase.
I often wait for the sales to make a major purchase.
When I have a choice I prefer to buy foreign than Polishmade products.
Source: The author’s own findings on the basis of quantitative research 2012.
consumer behaviours of a new kind, like for example promoting unknown Polish painters by displaying their works in the interiors where they work and live. They are role models in activities benefiting others, giving examples to follow in their social commitment and charitable activity. One should note that difficulties with getting an insight into this group are due to the limited access of researchers to its members, with recommendations usually needed. Additionally, members of this class are reluctant to share knowledge about themselves, probably to protect the tightly closed nature of the group. This is standard for typical members of the upper class in countries where it has developed uninterruptedly for many generations. Recommendations were needed to do the research. The subject of this article is shopping behaviours. Consequently, one should note that the behaviours excellently expose the real character of the consumer. The reality of Polish consumption is disclosed by observation and empirical diagnosis. The assumption that a group’s image is shaped through symbols “anchored” in attributes of shopping and consumption behaviours was adopted as a path bringing us closer to a proper understanding of Polish consumption. Consumers publicly consume brand-name products to achieve
various goals such as showing others their social position, the values they adhere to and preferred image; emphasizing and celebrating important events, in which case the product is a ritual tool; integrating with their social group; understanding the surrounding world (reading specific magazines and daily newspapers) and entertainment (improving the consumer’s mood). Going to the author’s own research (see: Table 1), it should be stressed that those surveyed like novelties and it gives them pleasure to buy new things (69%). Shopping is often treated by those surveyed as a way to improve their mood (78%). One in two people sometimes act on the spur of the moment - they buy products, which later they do not use. Slightly over 35% of those surveyed, in particular members of the “ethos intelligentsia” and “credit bourgeoisie,” prefer foreignmade products. In contrast, the businessocracy turned out to be the most ethnocentric. The respondents also like new technology products, with 64% of them always following the novelties and 54% admitting it gives them pleasure to buy technological equipment. The purchase of such products is the most popular among the “credit bourgeoisie,” which should be attributed to this group’s tendency towards conspicuous consumption. Members of the businessocracy are less likely to
treat shopping emotionally – they are less likely to buy something in order to improve their mood or to be impulse buyers. They attach less importance to whether the product is made in Poland. They are also less likely to invest in technological novelties or keep up with modern technology. Preferences as to places where one does the shopping and personal involvement in the process is another important area in research into shopping behaviours. The respondents most often do the shopping in shopping malls. They regard this as a way to save their time and find a wide selection of products “under one roof.” The credit bourgeoisie are regular customers at chain fashion stores like Levis, Reserved and Orsay. One in three of those surveyed do the shopping in stores selling luxury brands. The ethos intelligentsia buy in such stores relatively least often. The businessocracy is the group least likely to buy in places like no-brand fashion stores, boutiques of well-known Polish designers and stores with second-hand clothes. Interestingly, concept stores and boutiques of well-known designers are not very popular. The businessocracy visit them relatively least often while the credit bourgeoisie, who treat shopping as a way to improve the perception of their status, do so relatively most often. The main place where 46% of those surveyed buy food is delicatessens while 41% buy food mainly in supermarkets and hypermarkets. The most important thing for the surveyed people is convenience (proximity, wide selection of products, the ability to do the shopping quickly), which is why they do the shopping in delicatessens so often, more often than in hypermarkets. On average, one in five of the people surveyed buy in healthfood stores where prices are much higher than average. One can also notice that the less time a surveyed person has, the more often he or she buys online. It can be presumed that the choice of preferable places for doing the shopping is dictated by convenience and the ability to save time on the one hand and status and prestige-seeking on the other. If this is taken into account, one can notice a visible difference between the businessocracy, who are less concentrated on conspicuous consumption, and the credit bourgeoisie, who build their position by ostentatiously using luxury places for shopping.
Shopping places preferred by the Polish embryonic upper class
• second-hand stores with clothes • boutiques of well-known Polish fashion designers 64 :: polish market :: 11-12 /2013
• discount stores • no-brand fashion stores • concept stores • markets/ bazaars • health-food stores • on-line stores • stores selling luxury brands • supermarkets/hypermarkets • delicatessens (e.g. Piotr i Paweł, Bomi, Alma) • brand fashion stores (e.g. Levis, Reserved, Orsay) • shopping malls Source: The author’s own findings on the basis of quantitative research 2012.
In the process of qualitative research 5, the author managed to obtain a number of interesting data on shopping behaviours of the elite group of consumers. In the further part of the article, the author uses selected quotes from the interviews. Those surveyed admit that they do not have time and do not like to go out shopping. Shopping for them is a task that has to be done. Consequently, they buy what they need in such a way so as to put as little effort into it as possible and spend as little time as possible. They buy clothes when they need them. As a result, they go to a store not to improve their mood but to achieve a specific goal. This kind of shopping involves visiting a few selected stores, often those located close to the workplace or home. Many people buy from small, well-tried stores and in most cases these are not chain stores. The buyers often do not even remember the name of the store, the important thing being that they can always find there something for themselves. “If I am to drive for three hours to buy something I am not always able to find this time. I know that in the vicinity of the bank there is a shop with shoes where I can buy something and that they sell dresses on Nowy Świat Street. And this is how it goes.” In such small shops, one does not usually buy expensive brand-name products but products which look good and at the same time are not expensive. It seems that buying in this kind of shops gives special satisfaction to those surveyed. They buy something that 5 The author conducted the interviews in 2012 with members of financial, political and media elites, people holding key posts in the financial sector (presidents or Board members of the central bank and the National Depositary of Securities), deputies and senators, Board members and directors of TV stations, the head of an opinion-forming monthly, presidents of charity foundations, owners of private firms, members of the aristocracy and opinion-forming journalists with a net monthly income of over PLN20,000 per person.
they like and at the same time feel like clever individualists who buy in places known only to a few insiders. Those who are especially rich and can indeed be counted among the upper class often do the shopping in an individualized way, one which is possibly most convenient to them but unaffordable to ordinary people. “I like to have new things but hate shopping. There is a shop I have ‘befriended’ and if they have something new they send it to me. I try it on at home. If I like it I take it and send the rest back. This saves time. I am too tired to visit these stores.” Since the main priority is time, the surveyed to not pay much attention to prices. Those polled admit that they spend a bit more time on shopping when they are abroad. The main reason is that they have a little more of free time then. Among other important reasons is access to stores that are not present in Poland, the presence of large fashion houses, the ability to buy things that will be unique in Poland, and a wider selection and lower prices than in the same stores in Poland. Additionally, the surveyed stress that doing the shopping abroad is more pleasant to them because of professional and discreet service. Interestingly, most of the surveyed persons say they do not attach special importance to the brands of the products they buy. Speaking of brands, most of the surveyed people think mainly of clothes. Most of them admit that they have at least a few pieces of clothing or extras of expensive brands like Boss, Max Mara, Escada, Armani, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Burberry and Pollini. They admit that brand is regarded by some as a goal in itself - a sign of prestige. But there are people who buy expensive brand-name clothes because of their quality and because they want to express themselves through the clothes. Brands are also perceived as a guarantee of quality and durability. In this case, the buyers seek clothes and extras that will be durable and will be used for many years. However, when brand is treated as a way to express oneself brand-name products are bought because of their quality and style. “If someone is a fifth-generation member of the elite then he or she has this brand and uses it as a hammer.” “Dolce Gabana suits are suits for Russians. They are too ostentatious.” “If I buy something from Armani it is only because it is ascetic. If I wear Diesel jeans it is because they are a bit coarse and without any doodads. I choose brands because of their image and the atmosphere they create.” To conclude, I would like to outline a few general thoughts about the analyzed group of
consumers. Firstly, an attempt to define the embryonic Polish upper class may involve a number of difficulties. On the basis of the values and attitudes identified in the course of broader research6, it should be noted that these are mostly first-generation / secondgeneration wealthy people, however, they try to distinguish themselves from “nouveau-riche” fortunes. They are also focused on skilfully multiplying their assets so as to ensure a good start for the next generations. Thanks to their career choices and favourable circumstances, they have high positions in business, economy, and professional elites. Their social position ensures them prestige and esteem, which – in the opinion of the public - they have won relatively recently through their hard work and transparency in gathering wealth. The research shows that a characteristic thing about the Polish situation is that members of the emerging upper class have received from their parents a capital in the form of education, values and sometimes also financial assistance at the start of their adult life. Owing to this capital, the beginning of their career paths has been easier - thanks to their contacts, aspirations instilled in them and efforts to secure a specific lifestyle, or the basic material goods, which have enabled them to focus on building their own careers. A good start into adulthood means receiving some support from parents, which makes things easier and at the same time gives one motivation to develop, work and try to achieve more. Looking at the findings of the quantitative research, one can say that the demarcation line between contemporary Polish upper and middle classes, at least using the criteria of wealth and lifestyle, should be drawn between the credit bourgeoisie (behaviours typical of the middle class) and a part of the upper strata of the ethos intelligentsia and businessocracy (behaviours similar to the typical behaviours of the European uppermiddle class and lower-upper class). This may have a significant influence on economic language – the ability presents itself for the market exploration of the two groups, with specific measures to target and position products and with properly selected types of marketing communication. Additionally, research into consumption processes revealed some stigmatization with
goods and services, which one should have and use, irrespective of one’s attitude to consumerism. This also is a valuable market information because it makes it possible to compete for this group of consumers who often do their shopping a broad. What is more, it should be stressed that the identified shopping behaviours are a real and tangible proof of consumer choices. They also provide a picture of contemporary tastes and preferences, and an indirect hint for further segmentation analyses, taking into account the extent of consumers’ commitment to the buying process and their awareness. As a result, on the basis of the analyses conducted one can say that properly used stratification tools are useful segmentation tools. Reflecting on the emerging Polish upper class, it should be stressed at the end that economists have a historic chance to observe the birth and strengthening of a new social
class. It is no doubt still imperfect but has already marked its presence, including presence in a market and economic sense. What is this class like? “Not yet perfect, resembling a little a table in an elegant restaurant that has not been properly set, or a not-so-beautiful icing on an exquisite cake. It is a bit like a childhood disease – people have to get over it to gain strength for the rest of their life (…). But there is the upper class in Poland and it is developing. And this is the most important thing (…).” ::
6 M. Bombol, “The Emerging Polish Upper Class. Economic and Social Drafts,” Warsaw School of Economics Press, Warsaw 2012; M. Bombol, “Polish Upper Class Consumer Behaviour, Warsaw School of Economics Press, Warsaw 2013.
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Luxury alternative investments The bitter experience of the world financial crisis highlighted the uncertainty and risks of investment in traditional financial instruments. People started to look for alternative investment channels, which would be less dependent on the stock market situation. This strategy allows to avoid losses in case of a stock market meltdown, or even make money when others lose.
Gold Gold is a unique asset and an international currency. Investing in gold protects the value of savings against inflation and therefore is a proven and safe investment channel. It is a transnational, universal currency, recognized by each and every economic system. Gold is everywhere the same, it cannot be printed or artificially created like money in the banking system. The price of gold increased sevenfold between 2001 and 2011, and currently it is five times the price in 2001. Traditional investment in gold involves buying gold bars or coins, which can be divided into bullion coins and collectibles. The former are produced without restriction, usually
Source: London Bullion Market Association
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have the millesimal fineness of 999.9 (the highest possible), and therefore their valuation is closely linked to the price of gold on stock markets (South African Krugerrand, American Gold Eagle, British Gold Sovereign, Chinese Panda, Canadian Maple Leaf, Polish Orzeł Bielik etc.). The latter collectible coins are available up to a certain limit, and their price depends on the issuance volume and their peculiarities. The sale of investment gold is VAT free. “Investing in the physical metal, you come into possession of real wealth that you can freely make use of. The purchasing power of savings invested in gold does not fall in the times of crisis or hyperinflation. In particularly difficult political situations, such as wartime, gold is the only sure means of payment,” says Wojciech Kaźmierczak, CEO of Mennica Wrocławska (Wrocław Mint) that sells bars and coins made of gold and other precious metals and diamonds. Anyone can afford investing in gold, since bars or coins are offered in a variety of weights - from 1 g to 1000 g of gold. A 999.9 fine gold bullion coin weighing one ounce (31.1 g) costs in Mennica Wrocławska about PLN 4,400. One can invest in gold also through investment funds, derivatives, or by purchasing shares of a gold mine.
Antique cars Antique cars, also called classic, are like a work of art. Human intervention in their production was once higher than now as robots perform most operations on the assembly line. Investing in these cars can not only be profitable, but also bring lots of satisfaction and joy. A classic car is one that is at least 30 years old. The most valuable brands include: Aston Martin, Bentley, BMW, Bugatti, Ferrari, Ford, Jaguar, Maybach, Mercedes, Porsche, Rolls-Royce. The value of an antique car depends not only on its age, but also on who was its previous user: an outstanding artist, the Pope or the head of state etc. A Russian oligarch, whose name and the transaction price were not disclosed, bought a MercedesBenz 770K, which belonged to Hitler. The rumor has it that he paid more than USD 4 million for it. The unique historical models serve not only as a capital investment, but also strengthen the prestige of the buyer. The owner of a classic car can achieve profits by renting it for weddings, shows or films. The classic car rental market is doing well in the world, and it is expanding in Poland. The source of information on the classic car market is price indices published by
the U.S. insurance company Hagerty. The fastest growing price index is that of Ferrari, spanning cars worth from several hundred thousand to several million dollars. The most expensive of them, Ferrari 250 GT California SWB 1963, is valued at nearly USD 11 million, and as lately as in 2009 its cost was a mere USD 4.4 million.
Fine spirits Wine was once considered a drink of gods. It is used today not only to cheer the heart and delight the spirit, but is a valuable investment asset. Its price depends on the brand, quality grade, production volume, place of origin, age of grapes and of the wine itself. The ratings of wines are strongly influenced by assessments of critics such as Robert Parker, James Suckling and Jancis Robinson. The most successful investments are those in French wines. The certificate of Institut National des Appellations d’Origine in France guarantees the highest standards. First Growth (Premiers Crus) wines - mainly from the Bordeaux region and other regions of France, Italy and the countries of the New World - can bring aboveaverage returns. An investor buys through an intermediary boxes of wines, which are stored in air-conditioned wine vaults. The market of French wines has been increasingly influenced by wealthy Chinese people, who have taken a liking to Bordeaux wines. A lucrative form of investment is the purchase of wine in the primary market (en primeur) immediately after harvest or when grapes are still maturing in barrels. Wine purchased in the primary market remains in the vaults and under a watchful eye of the producer so as to reach the best price. After several years it is bottled and sold at a much higher price. Liv-ex Fine Wine 100 Index is a leading benchmark that represents the price movement of 100 of the most sought-after fine wines traded on the London International Vintage Exchange. Over the past 10 years, the index has risen from 100 to 300 points, which means the annual rate of return of 11%. Whiskey is produced from cereals, usually barley, rye, and corn. The most valuable is that made of malted barley - malt whiskey. If it comes from one distillery it is called single malt, and if it is stored in one particular barrel - single cask malt whiskey. The focus of investors is a single malt whiskey, which is produced from a single type of malted barley, and contains no grain whiskey nor is a mixture of spirits from different distilleries. Malt is subjected to double or triple distillation in copper alembics, then distillates
are left to mature in sherry or bourbon casks for at least three years (the longer they mature, the better quality they have). Whiskey is especially appreciated by collectors, and its value increases with time, especially if it is released in limited editions. “These stocks are slowly depleting due to growing demand, so each barrel is very precious, especially if there is high-quality whiskey inside,” says Paweł Morozowicz, Spirits Investment Portfolio Manager at Wealth Solutions. Among recognized authorities, whose opinions are highly valued by whiskey investors, are Jim Murray, author of the annual edition of “Whisky Bible” and Serge Valentin, author of the blog whiskyfun.com. Noble whiskey is an interesting asset that allows to make a profitable investment. According to a report by Whisky Highland, a portfolio consisting of the top 100 Scottish whiskey generated a 300% revenue in the last four years. A 30-year-old bottle of Macallan whiskey bought in 2008 for 260 pounds is now worth 1550 pounds.
Diamonds Diamond is the most precious gemstone. Only an experienced grinder can give it such a shape so as to make the light, which penetrates its interior and reflects off its surface, refract into various reflections and colours. A diamond cut in a particular form with numerous facets so as to have exceptional brilliance is called brilliant. Over the past 50 years, diamond prices have increased tenfold. In the early 1960s, the wholesale price of diamonds (clear, perfectly clean, round cut) amounted to USD 2,700 per carat, and now it amounts to USD 28,400 (source: www.ajediam.com). The value of diamonds is assessed on the basis of four factors - carat, colour, clarity, cut - referred to as “4C”. Carat. The size of a diamond is of paramount importance for its valuation. For example, the price of a diamond weighing 0.5 carat (1 carat = 0.200 g) colourless (D), moderately clear (VVS1) with round diamond cut is USD 2,400, which means that the price per carat is USD 4,800. By comparison, the diamond with the same features but weighing 1 carat costs around USD 12,000 thousand (source: www.washingtondiamond.com). Colour. The colours of diamonds are identified by the letters of the alphabet from D to Z, starting with the largest colourless to yellow colour saturation. The most valuable diamonds are colourless.
Clarity. Perfectly clear diamonds are rare in nature. Their clarity is graded as follows (starting from the clearest): FL, IF, VVS1, VVS2, VS1, VS2, SI1, SI2, I1, I2, I3. Cut. Rough diamonds are cut into polished gemstones. The most beautiful and the most expensive is round cut (brilliant). Other popular cuts are: marquise, oval, emerald, pear shape, princess. Each legally traded diamond has a certificate of authenticity granted by the certifying body, such as the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or the International Gemological Institute (IGI).
Foreign real estate Real estate investments can yield high profits provided that they are made on the prospective market. The easiest way is to invest in one of the EU member states because there are no formal obstacles to buy a house or flat in Spain, Greece, Italy or Bulgaria. The most popular among investors are apartments in countries with large tourist potential. They may generate rental income and profits due to the increase in value. Buying a home requires a higher outlay and it is therefore affordable for the wealthiest only. The summer tourist season in the Mediterranean countries lasts about half a year. An interesting place is Spain where the crisis caused significant declines in real estate prices. It is a land of historic towns and beautiful beaches that attract millions of tourists every year. On Costa del Sol prices range between EUR 2,700 - 8,500 per square meter. Apart from the well-known bathing areas on the mainland, there are also popular ones located on picturesque islands. In Playa Paraiso, Tenerife, a seaside studio can be purchased for EUR 60,000. Usually, however, prices range between EUR 3,000-4,000 per square meter. Greece and Croatia offer attractive property prices too. An elegant apartment of 75 square meters of a high standard, situated in a prestigious resort on the Aegean Sea costs about EUR 100,000. In Bulgaria it is ever cheaper. It is also possible to purchase real estate in Florida or on the Pacific islands. A whole island can be bought. Just a few hundred thousand dollars, and you are going to live like Robinson Crusoe. Islands are also available for sale in colder areas of the globe, like for example in Canada. Such investments are not only a source of income, but provide an opportunity to spend long holidays cheaply in an exotic location. ::
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“Welcoming the world” Heddo Siebs, General Manager of Hyatt Regency Warsaw, has already welcomed over 30 heads of state at the hotel and a great number of corporate executives from all around the world.
Since its opening, Hyatt Regency Warsaw has been one of the most prestigious hotels in Warsaw. Can you tell us something about its history, mission and goals. As the hotel is in its 12th year of operation and is located next to Łazienki Royal Park the number one park in Poland - next to the Royal Route and in the city’s diplomatic district, I think we have made a name for ourselves as a host to delegations and heads of state worldwide. We have a well-established position in hosting top world leaders, not only from diplomatic circles but also from the corporate world. We see ourselves as a hotel for company executives. We have hosted a lot of board meetings since global players have found that Warsaw, and Poland, is a nice venue for such meetings. In the past, all these board meetings would take place in London, Paris and Berlin. Now Warsaw is coming more and more into focus, although many of these executives had never been to Poland or Warsaw. When I arrived in 2011 Poland held the EU presidency and that was a very good start to put Poland on the map. I remember that on 17 September we had 17 heads of state in our hotel. The media are of course talking about this. The media bring Warsaw and Poland to the world’s attention, which I think is very important. Then, in 2012, Poland hosted the European football championships. I think it is just amazing how Poland organised this event, how it managed to have the infrastructure ready, with a second airport and a very important highway built between Berlin and Warsaw, and how smoothly the event went without any major problems. It was a true sporting event, and this has attracted leisure clients to Warsaw. This is very much needed. A city cannot only live off business alone, because business is done only from Monday to Friday, while there is also the weekend. Warsaw was never perceived as a weekend destination. It was always a business destination and was growing as a place for business. One reason was that Warsaw is pm
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the capital and also that Poland is on the border of the Schengen Area. Consequently, we see a lot of company area offices in Poland and in Warsaw where the CEOs look not only after the Polish market but also other countries in the region. The corporate business segment has always been strong here. However the leisure and weekend business were not because there were always other cities, like Prague, Berlin, Vienna and Barcelona, to attract tourists. I myself lived for five years in Berlin and it never crossed my mind to travel to Warsaw. It was not that I did not want to come, I simply never thought about it and I think that was a shame. Again, events like the European Championships did a lot to put Warsaw on the map for weekend destination travellers and we can see that this year the leisure business is growing. It is estimated that there were 450,000 visitors more this year in Poland compared to last year. So that has changed. Hyatt Regency Warsaw is not only dedicated to business clients now but also leisure guests. You said that the hotel is located near Łazienki Park, which is not precisely in the city centre. Do you think it is your strength? Yes, I think it is a strong point. The competition try to say that it is a weak point but I think that business people and leisure guests see it as an advantage. Even though we are not in the city centre, it is only 10 minutes away from us. Walking down Belwederska Street, passing by the Russian Embassy, Belweder Palace, the Prime Minister’s Office, Łazienki Park, and all the old villas along the way – it is a beautiful walk - going down Nowy Świat Street, all the way to the Old Town, you can really see and feel Warsaw. I think this is much more important. Then on your way back you can walk all the way through the parks, one after another, to end up at Łazienki Park again. You can either walk or use a bicycle because Warsaw has become very attractive for cyclists. Two years ago we started pm
renting out bicycles as the first hotel, I think, and I was very proud of it. I am happy that last year the Warsaw municipality followed that initiative as well and placed hundreds of bicycles throughout the city, not only in tourist areas. Now lots of people use bicycles, which makes the city cleaner and greener. It is a great initiative, also in the context of the global climate conference which is being held right now in Warsaw. Can you say something about your loyalty programmes. I have read that the Hyatt Gourmet Club is now available in Warsaw. Is it intended only for business people? Not only for them. It is something new which I have brought into Warsaw, a kind of food and beverage programme. For business people, we have the Gold Passport™ loyalty programme, which is a worldwide programme. Many international business travellers already use it, collecting points like miles. The Gourmet Club is something which has been established in Germany and our hotel has joined in. With this programme we give guests a chance to participate in the special events which we create, such as cooking classes, champagne dinners, big-bottle parties and a lot of other very interesting events. In Poland people are more and more interested in food and beverages in general. People want to know about wines and ingredients. The Gourmet Club gives them an opportunity to find out more about this. They can benefit a little because there are discounts on meals in this programme and they receive special rates in Hyatt Hotels. With special vouchers they get a free night’s stay with us, which enables them to explore our hotel with its great spa. They can stay overnight, have a nice dinner, a bottle of champagne is included – things that make a weekend special. pm
What about Hyatt Nin Hao programme? I wonder why it is only for Chinese
travellers. I understand that they are special guests. We have a variety of programmes targeted at specific markets and China is a big market. The hotels in China are growing but we can also see that many more Chinese people are now travelling around the world than in the past. Hyatt Regency Warsaw is participating in this programme with more than 40 other Hyatt hotels worldwide. We give Chinese travellers the opportunity to feel like it is a home away from home. We have a Mandarin-speaking employee who can assist them in their own language, we accept Union Pay cards, the most common payment method in China, which they normally cannot do. We have a Chinese menu for them, we have Chinese tea in the room, just to make them feel a little more welcome because of the differences in culture. The feedback we are receiving is really great.
rooms, the lounge and the atmosphere, but it is also our staff, which I think is the most important part. Every hotel has a great lobby, marble bathrooms, flat-screen TVs, comfortable mattresses but when the employees welcome you, look after you and recognise you - that makes a difference. I have to say that we have a very low staff turnover. For our repeat guests that is really important. We get this feedback also through surveys. Our hotel in Warsaw is always in the top 20 globally for guest satisfaction. We of course also have a spa and I am very proud of it. There are spas and there are spas. At our hotel we have a real 17-metre pool which you can really swim in rather than just put your feet into the water. We also have a very exclusive, quiet and well-equipped gym. I am a sports person and understand how important it is for business people to be able to engage in sports activities while travelling.
Besides these loyalty programmes and the perfect location of the hotel, what are its other strong points? One strong point is that the hotel is the right size. As you can see, as we are sitting in our lobby, and it has a very homely feel. You do not feel here like you are in a train station, in a rush. There are no escalators. Many Warsaw business people come here to have lunch and meet other people and we really appreciate this. Our rooms themselves are among the biggest in Warsaw and have, for sure, the biggest bathrooms. When you think about how much time guests spend awake in a hotel room, most of this time is in the bathroom. So I think the bathroom is very important and our bathrooms are very spacious. Women especially like them. For female travellers we have a special programme called Women’s Experience. Last year Hyatt carried out the biggest survey among female business travellers to find out what they really need and we now offer specific amenities for them, such as special make-up areas and bathrooms which meet their needs. We have adjusted a special menu for women where meal sizes are smaller, for instance and we have received positive responses. That is why I think we are on the right track.
And what about conferences and business meetings? As in every hotel, we have conference facilities. This is very important because, as I mentioned before, more and more board meetings are held in Poland. Compared to other big cities, Warsaw is less expensive when it comes to group nights and conferences and we offer very high quality. We have many boardrooms which accommodate smaller meetings, a banquet room, a ballroom, and a room for bigger conferences. Being located in a diplomatic district, we also host many national days, which bring a lot of international people into our hotel.
I am actually surprised because usually, when we think about a hotel, it is just a place to stay, not a place to feel like at home. I think this is where we really make a difference with our hotel. We have a lot of clients who feel in our hotel like they are at home. The advantage of our hotel is its pm
I have heard that you have a bee yard on the roof. One can say that this initiative makes you eco-friendly. Please, tell me something about it. Indeed, the bees on the roof give us the opportunity to talk about our eco-friendliness. It also is a lot of fun for the guests and the idea has really worked. It actually came from my wife. She was visiting the Old Town with a friend and they came across a demonstration designed to highlight that the bee population in Poland and Warsaw was declining. My wife told me about this and I thought that was where we could really make a difference and show Warsaw residents that we are not just a luxury hotel but also a part of the city. I asked my chefs if we could find a beekeeper to help us set up an apiary on our roof. Being situated next to Łazienki Park and with another park behind the hotel, we are in the ideal location with a good environment for bees and we have space on the roof. We pm
tried with only two bee families two years ago to see if it would be a success. The beekeeper was not sure if it would work. However after a few months it turned out to be a total success. The bees feel very comfortable here and they produce a lot of honey. This is the ideal sign because bees will only produce honey when they feel they are in a clean and healthy environment. Since the hotel is located in the city, we did all the tests to find out if our honey was healthy and the results show that it is very healthy. Can the guests try your honey? Of course. We serve it for breakfast and use it for special honey desserts. The honey comes under our own label, Łazienki Gold. We have small glasses with this label, which we give to our guests as a gift from Warsaw and everybody takes our honey home. No guest has ever left it in the hotel room. For us it is an opportunity to show what we think about food. The ecosystem is very important for us. Our philosophy is “Food. Thoughtfully sourced. Carefully served,” which means we really want to know where the products which we use in our kitchen are coming from. We do not import beef any more – we only have Polish beef. Our eggs are free-range eggs. The vegetables are from Polish farmers whom we know. So we know where our food is coming from. For us it is very important because we want our guests to trust us. We want to make sure that they know that our products are good and where they are sourced from. We have recently won two food and beverage awards for our restaurant Venti-tre – one was the Food Business Awards 2013, where we won as the “Best Polish Hotel Restaurant in 2013”. The other award was the Gourmet Award of “Poland’s 100 Best Restaurants 2013”. Venti-tre restaurant has joined a prestigious group of best restaurants in Poland being awarded with “Poland’s 100 Best Restaurants 2013” recognition in 2013. This shows again that we are not just a hotel but also have a great restaurant. pm
What are your plans. Are you planning to open more Hyatt Hotels in Poland? Right now we have only one here in Warsaw. As far as I know, there are no immediate plans to do so but Hyatt is always open to the idea of opening more hotels. As for our hotel, we plan to redecorate our public areas next year. We also want to start with our mock-up rooms in order to carry out renovation in the future and to introduce the newest products on into the market. :: pm
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A new impetus in Polish-Kazakh cooperation On October 28, 2013 Poland’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Janusz Piechociński and Kazakhstan’s First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Rapil Zhoshybayev signed in Warsaw the Protocol of the 3rd Meeting of the Kazakh-Polish International Commission on Trade Cooperation, giving a new impetus for the development of Polish-Kazakh economic relations. Natalia Suhoveeva talks to the Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan to Poland, Yerik Utembayev.
Mr Ambassador, trade and economic relations between Poland and Kazakhstan have been fruitfully developed in recent years. What trends do you personally believe are strategic ones? First of all, it should be said that last year the value of trade between our countries exceeded USD 2 billion, and this year it is going to be ever higher. Polish companies invested in Kazakhstan over USD 134 million, and there are as many as 130 joint ventures operating in the market. The potential is so big that these indicators will ever increase in the near future. Last year, representatives of Polish companies: KGHM, Bumar and Polpharma were on a visit to Kazakhstan, during which they spoke to Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan and outlined key directions of bilateral cooperation. This strategy has been confirmed at the 3rd Meeting of the Kazakh-Polish Joint Commission. We want to broaden the scope of our cooperation. To this end, I have set up the Council for the Development of Polish-Kazakh Partnership. Our efforts will focus on 7-8 new areas that require further enhancement. Firstly, it is mining and the fuel sector – the engines of our economy. We have held a number of meetings on copper with Herbert pm
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Wirth, the President of KGHM. Not only exploitation of new deposits is discussed, but also opportunities for mechanical engineering development. Coal is very important for us, too. We are interested in coal trade and its processing, as well as in construction and maintenance of mining equipment. Several joint ventures are currently being worked on, which will allow us to develop our own mining facilities. With future in mind, a dedicated national plan of enhanced industrial development is underway in Kazakhstan, as part of which large-scale industrial projects have already been launched. For example, we have come into partnership with General Electric to manufacture locomotives, which are sold not only domestically, but also to the Russian market. We bank on industry and new technologies. Secondly – petrochemicals. Kazakhstan will start, already this year, oil and gas exploration on the Kashagan field in the Caspian Sea, where resources are estimated at more than 1 billion tonnes. This is of particular importance for the development of the whole region. A project is being developed that aims to create a large petrochemical cluster harbouring new technologies. Several petrochemical plants are going to be set up there, and potential Polish partners, such as
Synthos, Alwernia, Orlen, Azoty Group and Lotos are welcomed. Thirdly – agriculture, an extremely important sector for Kazakhstan. As you may know, Kazakhstan is among the world’s five largest producers of wheat. Last year, 22 million tonnes of crops were yielded, a mere 8 of which were sold domestically, and the rest was exported. However, we are planning to cease trading agricultural goods, and instead set up a large agro-processing cluster. Talks are already underway with the Polish Agricultural Market Agency. The government of Kazakhstan provides great support for the agri-food industry, including cheaper fuel, fertilizers and equipment. There is also a great potential for the agricultural machinery market, and we are willing to establish a dedicated joint venture. We are planning to engage in cooperation with Pronar, and we are negotiating with Ursus. Polish entrepreneurs have significant experience and are perfect partners. Take for example such a narrow market niche as beekeeping. Last year, in Lublin, we joined the European Honey Producers Association, and we can firmly state that Polish producers are among the best suppliers of equipment for this industry. Another direction where I see great opportunities for cooperation is transport and
logistics. In terms of land area, Kazakhstan is the ninth country in the world and a sort of a bridge between Europe and Asia. With Russia alone we share 7,500 km of common border. The ability to use our membership in the Customs Union with Russia and Belarus, unification of tariffs, a single harmonized system create new opportunities not only for Kazakh producers in the European markets, but also for Polish companies to venture into Asian markets. Taking advantage of our geographical situation, we are now building new roads and infrastructure that will allow us to create transcontinental transport corridors to Europe. Are you going to cooperate with Polish companies with their extensive experience in the construction of infrastructure and logistics centres? We are open to such cooperation, and we are already actively working with the Polish company PESA, which has provided us with some of its products. We are also intent on developing logistics centres, and we want to take advantage of the experience of Polish companies. One of such centres was built right on the border with China and Polish companies are welcomed there. I recently visited Euroterminal in Sławków with a broad gauge rail system running for about 400 km to the Polish-Ukrainian border and further way to Kazakhstan. There is a pilot project to launch a large container train. By developing a common railway and truck network, and in the future also an air connection, Poland stands a chance to become for us a window to the European Union, and Kazakhstan - a gateway for Poland to Asian markets. This helps to strengthen our cooperation . Speaking of infrastructure, it is worth mentioning that we are building a new port Ahtau on the Caspian Sea, which will not only be a transport point, but a basis for the future energy system that will connect Kazakhstan to Europe. Let me remind you that western investors allocated more than USD 50 billion in Kazakhstan in the development of fuel and energy industry. pm
You do pay a lot of attention to interregional cooperation, it that right? Yes, last year I visited 14 Polish provinces. Our countries have a lot in common: both Poland and Kazakhstan have 16 provinces, divided into 2,500 communes. When implementing the reform of local government, we drew upon Polish experience. Now, we are preparing for the 1st Kazakh-Polish Regional Forum scheduled in early 2014. The Forum will be held in two locations: Astana pm
and Karaganda. The Marshal of Warmińsko -Mazurskie province Jacek Protas, the Marshal of Lubelskie province Krzysztof Hetman, and the Marshal of Mazowieckie province Adam Struzik are very much involved in these preparations. Kazakhstan is now actively carrying out regional reforms and is willing to use Polish experience. We are also looking at how Special Economic Zones and Science and Technology Parks operate in Polish provinces. We have similar problems with diversification of the textile industry, something that I discussed with the mayor of Łódź, Hanna Zdanowska. I do hope that the Regional Forum will result in substantial conclusions and concrete agreements between our provinces. Do you see room for green technologies as part of this cooperation? Ecology is becoming increasingly important for Europe. And how does Kazakhstan handle these problems? As part of our preparations for EXPO 2017, we have actively begun to develop a green economy. It is known that Kazakhstan has vast oil and gas reserves, as well as 20% of global uranium resources. At the same time, we are working on alternative technologies. The energy efficiency of our economy is now a priority for us, all the more that EXPO 2017 in Astana will be held under the theme “Energy of the Future”. Our experts are examining foreign experiences, including Polish ones, in order to create a “Green Bridge” to Europe. The first outcome of this cooperation is a French investment projects worth USD 300 million - a battery manufacturing pm
plant based on French technology and our natural resources. Could you elaborate on how the preparations for EXPO 2017 are coming along? Are Polish companies involved? We do appreciate that the Polish government was the first one to support the candidacy of Astana to host EXPO 2017. According to our expectations, 3.5 million people will visit the exhibition. The project has already been selected, the winner being a consortium Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture. This will be a unique closed city, the architecture of which will allow to save 60% of energy compared to other projects. For sure, EXPO 2017 will give a new impetus for the development of our construction industry, though large buildings is nothing new for us. Since it became the capital city of Kazakhstan in 1998, Astana has been a huge building site. Building programmes continued even during the crisis. Following in the footsteps of other countries with rich natural resources, we have established the National Fund for Sustainable Development. By 2015, we plan to collect about USD 120 billion in this “moneybox for future generations”. During the crisis USD 4 billion were spent on supporting our banking system, USD 4 billion on the development of small and medium businesses, and USD 4 billion on housing industry. Astana today gives impetus for the economic development of the whole country. At the EXPO 2017 Kazakhstan will show itself as a country with new technologies and we welcome Polish companies to get involved. :: pm
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Law & Taxes
Technical support facilities and support staff are the determining factors for a fixed place of business The fact that a company trades in fuel gas in Poland and leases/rents office space and storage facilities determines the existence of a “fixed place of business”, which means that a company has an obligation to register for VAT purposes, pay VAT and submit tax returns. Tomasz Hatylak, tax advisor at Squire Sanders Święcicki Krześniak sp. k.
Areas of dispute A company has its place of business in the United Kingdom and it is registered there as a VAT payer. It is not registered for VAT purposes in Poland and at the moment does not conduct any business in Poland. The firm plans to start trading in natural gas. The company asked whether it would be deemed to have a fixed place of business in Poland as defined in the VAT act in light of the planned business activity and what obligations it would have with respect to VAT. The company’s view was that it did not have a fixed place of business in Poland. The director of the Warsaw Tax Chamber disagreed and ruled that the company’s position was incorrect.
Point of view of court The Voivodship Administrative Court in Warsaw disagreed with the company’s view that there was no element of permanence in its activity if it was conducting business operations with regard to trading in fuels. The court stated that in light of the facts presented by the company (for example that it leased storage space in Poland, used means of transport and employed staff in Poland and that a branch had signed agreements) a branch established in Poland would be a fixed place of business for the company. The expert was asked: What is the connection between the purchases made by the branch in Poland and business activity conducted by the central office abroad? Under art. 5 section 1 subsection 1 of the VAT Act of 11 March 2004, delivery of goods performed for payment and services
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performed for payment in Poland are taxable. This is why the question of whether the party providing the services or supplier of goods has a fixed place of business in a given country decides who is responsible for paying that tax. The definition of a “fixed place of business” is given in art. 11 of Council Implementing Regulation EC 282/2011 of 15 March 2011, which is directly applicable in Poland. This term should be understood to mean any place other than the location of a business premises of a taxpayer. It is characterized by sufficient permanence and appropriate structure with respect to support staff and technical facilities enabling it to receive and make use of services provided for the needs of that fixed place of business. Whether it has to pay input tax on supply of goods in Poland depends on whether a foreign entity has a fixed place of business. In the ruling in question the Voivodship Administrative Court in Warsaw concluded that a UK firm intending to open a branch in Poland trading in gas fuels will have a fixed place of business in Poland. Despite the assertions made by the taxpayer the Voivodship Administrative Court said in the prospective scenario described in the application for an individual tax ruling the branch of a foreign company will be its fixed place of business. In the court’s opinion there will be an element of permanence in the branch’s activity, it will be provided with minimum support staff and the minimum technical facilities and the branch will make use of services of other entities in Poland, including distribution and storage services. At the same time, the court emphasized, the permanence of the place of business is also demonstrated by the mere fact that the
company will be granted a concession for trading in gaseous fuels, which is granted for a period of at least ten years. According to this position the UK company will have the obligation to register for VAT purposes in Poland. It will also have to pay VAT on the activity conducted in Poland. It is worth noting the precedential nature of the ruling of the Supreme Administrative Court of 26 February 2013. The court confirmed in this ruling that settlement of payments between a Polish-registered branch of a foreign company and the parent company may be classed as subject to VAT. For this reason they might be deductible. The Supreme Administrative Court’s adjudication is highly relevant for all foreign business entities which have located joint service centers maintenance centers, consultancy firms, and engineering firms in Poland, and branches for supporting sales on the Polish market. This applies to all businesses active in Poland in the form of branches or registered in Poland for VAT purposes. Taking into account EU VAT rules it is easy to demonstrate a link between purchases made by a branch in Poland and business activity performed by a central facility abroad. This link should be sufficient grounds for VAT on purchases of goods and services in Poland to be tax-deductible. :: Legal basis: (i) art. 5, art. 15 section 1, art. 17 section 1 of the VAT Act, (ii) art. 11 of Council Implementing Regulation EC 282/2011 Warsaw Voivodship Administrative Court ruling of 24 July 2013, deed file III SA/Wa 3118/12 Supreme Administrative Court ruling of 26 February 2013, deed file I FSK 493/12
Law & Taxes
Very special zones In July 2013, Janusz Piechociński, Minister of the Economy, announced that Special Economic Zones (SEZ) are going to be functioning until 2026. The investors who have already discovered the advantages of running businesses in the zones, and the communes where the zones were established have been waiting for this decision for months. Natalia Kabacińska, MA Lawyer in the Chmaj & Associates Law Firm
here are 14 special economic zones in Poland. Each zone is an administratively-separate area of Poland. The primary aim in establishing these zones was to accelerate economic growth and improve the competitiveness of less-developed regions, by attracting new investments and promoting the creation of new job opportunities. The investors were to be attracted to the zones mostly by the preferential conditions for running businesses. From the day they acquire a permit for running a business in the SEZ until the regional aid is exhausted, or until the end of the period the SEZ functions, the entrepreneurs can take advantage of public aid, in the form of income-tax exemption on the basis of a new investment or new-job creation. The amount of aid depends on the maximum level of aid for a certain area where the investment is being implemented, or the level of costs incurred by investors who have the right to take advantage of the aid. The maximum amount of aid in case of investments implemented in the following provinces - Lubelskie, Podkarpackie,
Warmińsko-Mazurskie, Podlaskie, Opolskie, Świętokrzyskie, Małopolskie, Lubuskie, Łódzkie and Kujawsko-Pomorskie - equals 50% of the incurred costs. In the other provinces it is 40%, and in Warsaw 30%. Addi-
“Up to this moment the companies conductingbusiness activities in the SEZs have invested over PLN 90 billion.” tional aid is provided for small and mediumsized businesses - in their case the exemption area grows by respectively 20 or 10 percentage points, with the exclusion of entrepreneurs operating in the transport sector. The opportunity for income-tax exemption is not the only advantage. The SEZ also means a highly-developed infrastructure and a dense transport network ready for new investors. The detailed terms and conditions for investing in the SEZ areas and the benefits of
running a business in these areas are specified in the Act of 20 October 1994 on special economic zones (Journal of Laws of 2007, No. 42, item 274 and of 2008, No. 118, item 746) with secondary legislation. The SEZs are neither a Polish nor a new invention. The world’s first special economic zone was created in Ireland in 1959. According to the World Bank’s estimate, currently there are about 3,000 areas around the world which can be classified as free economic zones, in 70 countries. The US clearly dominates with 200 SEZ. The first SEZ in Poland, Euro-Park Mielec, was only set up in 1995, the rest of them within the following three years. Since their establishment, Polish SEZ have regularly ranked high in the rankings of attractiveness for investors. Up to this moment the companies conducting business activities in the SEZs have invested over PLN 90 billion. The Katowice zone has attracted the most - over PLN20 billion. The Wałbrzych and Łódź zones follow closely with PLN15.5 and 10.4 billion respectively. ::
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Cultural Monitor – November – December 2013 Maciej Proliński recommends the end-of-the-year events
The 2013 Felix Awards given away
We already know the winners of the most prestigious Warsaw theatre awards – the Felix Awards.
”Queen Margot” at the National Theatre – phot. Krzysztof Bieliński
he first time prizes were awarded was in the 1998/99 season. The originator and founder was a patron of culture from London – Feliks Łaski. Since his death in 2004, the Felix Awards have been funded by the Allianz Polska Insurance Company. The competition is organised each year by a different theatre. This year it included the Edward Dziewoński Kwadrat Theatre and the Narodowy Theatre in Warsaw, which took over this year’s competition. As many as four statuettes were awarded directly to this theatre, including the award for the best direction in the season. The award went to Grzegorz Wiśniewski for the play “Queen Margot”, based on a novel by Alexandre Dumas. Religious war and authority nuances echoing in the book were put aside, and the subjects of love and hatred, existing, by all appearances, among the most intimate persons, were put in the foreground. A special Felix was awarded to Maciej Englert, Director of the Współczesny Theatre, for his lifetime’s achievement.
Bernard Ładysz – “Wspomnienie” (“Reminiscence”) – Polish Radio – 2 CD’s
he world-famous Polish bass-baritone voice (an Honorary Pearl laureate of 2012 in the ranking by “Polish Market” in the category “Culture”) has been recording his patriotic, classical and light-music – including musicals – repertoire on Polish Radio for fifty years now. The presented album features the greatest and at the same time the most popular tracks recorded by the artist, including “Znasz-li ten kraj” (Know You This Country?) and “Gdybym był bogaczem” (If I Were a Rich Man). What’s more, the CD’s include fragments of interviews with the singer, recorded to be broadcast by Polish Radio, and texts and photographs illustrating Bernard Ładysz’s oeuvre. The two-CD album is put together as an autobiography of the artist, beautifully composed of sounds and pictures, which is why, apart from its artistic and documentary value, the publication also has a cognitive and educational dimension: it presents Polish light and classical music, and also Polish patriotic songs, in the best possible and stylish rendition.
Marek Niedźwiecki – “Muzyka ciszy” (“Music of Silence”) – Polish Radio – 2 CD’s
his music is played by the popular radio presenter in exceptional and special moments, almost always on every 1st November. Listeners have asked for a long time when it would be possible to listen to such records. As of this year, we also have a special music-publishing company. Both records start and end with songs by Jon Anderson, and, in addition, there are pieces which we all know from Radio Three, but there are also new discoveries such as Porcupine Tree, Archive, and fantastic old hits – Antoine Duhamel (“Ferdinand”), and Ray Charles (“Say No More”). The whole (nearly 160 minutes of music!) forms a pleasing, smart and melancholic, non-accidental set of truly purifying music. The only thing missing is Mr Marek Niedźwiecki’s voice…
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The 20th edition of the Good Design competition The best-designed products and services on the Polish market are available to see in the Institute of Industrial Design (IWP) in Warsaw from 25 October until 8 December 2013. These are the finalists and winners of the 2013 Good Design contest.
he competition has been organised by the Institute of Industrial Design since 1993. It is the only national independent design monitoring of the market. Producers, distributors, service providers and design studios, The Gama Marathon multisystem locomotive – whose products and ser- 2013 Good Design – Public Zone. vices are recommended Material by the Organiser. by the Institute’s specialists as meeting the requirements of good design, are encouraged to participate. The Institute of Industrial Design has set itself the task of selecting the best from the deluge of goods, not only from among designer “fireworks” and exclusive designs, but also welldesigned, modern and innovative products priced according to the financial means of the average Pole. From among one hundred and ninety submissions, ninety nine products and services qualified for this year’s finale. Minister of the Economy awarded a special prize – the 2013 Good Design Prize – to the PESA Gama Marathon multisystem locomotive. The President of the Institute of Industrial Design, Bożena Gargas, awarded the title of the Designer of the Year 2013 to Joanna Leciejewska, the originator of the 8X56 ROH binoculars produced by the Delta Optical Company, and co-designer (with Piotr Kuchciński) of the set of furniture 4You by Vox, in the category “Home”. “For the combination of professionalism with feminine sensitivity, for daring and thoughtful design, but open to the user”, said the President of IWP.
Interesting new releases Mateusz Pospieszalski – “My Own Pole – film music” – Universal Music Polska - CD
n 25 October “My Own Pole” directed by Marcin Głowacki, entered the cinemas. The film tells the story of Jan Mela, the disabled conqueror of both poles. The film’s showing coincides with the premiere of film music by Mateusz Pospieszalski - the sixth signature record of the Voo Voo group multi-instrumentalist. Writing about Mateusz’s music, I will again disagree with those who claim that “the best film music is that which is not heard”… Its task in combination with the picture is extremely important. In “My Own Pole” I can find so many qualities peculiar to Pospieszalki’s style (including language) where meagre composer’s means are combined with technical sophistication and great emotions. However, the aesthetics here have adopted a specifically compact embodiment with clear musical contour. Folk and jazz are neighbouring on thrash metal, whereas “ambient” is neighbouring on classical music! Among the instrumentalists we can quickly recognise half of the legendary Tie Break group, namely Mateusz Pospieszalski, Marcin Pospieszalski and Janusz Yanina Iwański, as well as an excellent string quartet – Lasoniowie.
Mieczysław Kosz – “Polish Radio Jazz Archives” – Polish Radio – CD
“Renata Przemyk w Trójce” (“Renata Przemyk on Three Radio”) – Polish Radio – CD
n important reminder! This alreadytenth episode of the “Polish Radio Jazz Archives” series contains tracks recorded by the genius blind pianist. Though he was fulfilled and surrounded by the glory on the part of his audience and critics while on the scene, his private life remained immersed in profound unhappiness. Mieczysław Kosz (1944-1973) exerted a significant influence on Polish jazz. In terms of style he was compared to Bill Evans, with whom he shared a similar attitude to the form and melodics. When listening to his imaginative interpretations of “Yesterday” by Lennon and McCartney, or “Rosemary’s Baby” by Komeda, or admiring the lightness with which he plays his own compositions, one is persuaded to admit the great loss that Polish pianism suffered due to the premature death of this wonderfully developing artist.
The Works of Art of the Polish Cinema: Andrzej Wajda – Published by the Kino Polska TV – 3 DVD
enata Przemyk is an extraordinary vocalist who has followed her individual path for many years now, independently from any external influence. Her music is original, tuneful and brilliantly arranged; her songs also present poetic charm rarely seen on the Polish musical scene. The album is published as part of the “Koncerty w Trójce vol. 7” (Concerts on Three Radio vol. 7) series and it offers to the audience the concert that Renata Przemyk gave at the Agnieszka Osiecka Studio on 26 February 2012. It was her first performance in the legendary studio since the beginning of her musical career which has now lasted for 20 years. The album contains the best-known and most popular tracks from all the albums published by the singer, including “Babę zesłał Bóg” (Woman Was Sent by God), “Ten taniec” (This Dance), and “Odjazd” (Departure). There is an additional attraction – some of the songs are played in slightly modified arrangements, which gives them an intriguing air of novelty.
ajda is the master of form. Single, frozen-in-time scenes from his films, emotionally charged, saturated with colour, remain in the memory of the viewer as if they were pictures by famous painters. On 26 March 2000, Wajda was awarded an Honorary Oscar. The speech he gave during the ceremony was in Polish because, as he highlighted, he always thinks in this language. This is significant. For fifty years his movies have borne testimony to the momentous Polish debates, teaching how to be a proud member of one’s own nation, and at the same time to be critical of the nation’s sins and complexes. It may be the “Polishness” of the films, admittedly – apart from the great talent of the painter and filmmaker – that contributed to their worldwide appreciation. The offered set of DVD’s includes the digitally remastered “Człowiek z marmuru” (Man of Marble), “Człowiek z żelaza” (Man of Iron) (The Palme d’Or winner at the Cannes Film Festival of 1981), “Bez znieczulenia” (Without Anesthesia), and a documentary film by Paladino Film Group “Andrzej Wajda: róbmy zdjęcie!” (Andrzej Wajda. Let’s shoot!), produced by the Wajda Studio. A story about a model worker in the Polish reality of the 1950’s and a woman working as a film director for public TV, who, after some years, decides to follow in his footsteps, as well as an apt continuation of these motifs at the heart of the events of August ’80 in Gdańsk, are simply “The Best of Wajda”. “Bez znieczulenia” (Without Anesthesia), the dramatic story of an outstanding reporter entangled in family and professional conflicts, is not mentioned among “the best of the best” by the director. It nonetheless offers several indisputable merits, such as Zbigniew Zapasiewicz’s role. It’s well worth knowing!
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KGHM’s success from the human-centred perspective...
Renowned documentary filmmaker Ewa Ewart talks to Maciej Proliński.
Stills from “Miedź czy nie mieć” directed by Ewa Ewart; Source: TBA KOMUNIKACJA MARKETINGOWA.
The jury for the 70th Venice Film Festival recently awarded the Golden Lion to “Sacro Gra” - an Italian documentary by Gianfranco Rosi. It was the first triumph of a documentary, not a feature film, in the history of this festival. Isn’t it compelling evidence that documentary films are still going strong? Yes, it is. The documentary genre has lived through many of its own “funerals”. True, documentaries suffer from chronic under financing, and yet every declaration of their “demise” turns out to be premature. As a person devoted to making documentaries, I’m really glad about this fact. pm
What would you describe as the essential function of the documentary today? I can speak about current-affairs documentaries, dealing with socio-political issues, as this is the type of film I make. Their primary role is to reveal the broad picture of what normally reaches audiences as no more than a one-minute-long piece of news. I’ve had 20 years of experience at the BBC. Although my adventure with television started pm
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with newscasts in the early 1990s and I spent 3 years in the Moscow branch of the American CBS channel, one day I decided that I’d had enough. I resolved to stop reporting “what happened” and tell audiences “why it happened.” My initial idealism, which made me believe that my films would make the world better, was short-lived. Then it became important to me that my films should help individual people. Make it just one person, or a few, as in the case of “The Children of Beslan”, and I’m contented. I believe it’s the only approach that can help you understand and grasp reality. It makes you bow your head before the inscrutable. It helps you believe. The central character is always vital to me and I think that the audience can only relate to a documentary approached from the human-centred perspective. As a result, all this can appeal to the viewer, even when it’s about economics. pm
Exactly... In your documentaries you usually touch on difficult socio-political issues. During the last Economic Forum in Krynica we could see your film “Miedź
albo nie mieć” with very different characters, about KGHM Polska Miedź, one of the most highly-capitalised Polish companies, which successfully conquers foreign markets. Who initiated this project? The inside story of the biggest transaction in the history of the Polish economy – the purchase by KGHM of the Canadian company Quadra FNX... you’re right, it’s really difficult to imagine a subject more different from what I had dealt with before. Difficult subjects are indeed my specialty. However, taking up a certain subject I never wonder whether it’s difficult or easy, this only occurs to me when I’m doing the film. What’s the most important is my first response – if I see the shape of something, if I “see that subject” – then I just start doing it. It’s the passion and preparation that decide whether a film is finally made. It’s impossible to create without this passion. Making a film about KGHM wasn’t my idea. It came from Przemysław Hauser – the owner of TBA KOMUNIKACJA MARKETINGOWA – a Poznań-based company specialising in the production of films, both for its own purposes and also those commissioned
At this point we could ask if we are effective enough in demonstrating to the world what Poland is? We shouldn’t expect that somebody would tell the story of us and our country – its economy or culture – better than we can... I’m a Pole who has spent most of her life abroad. This lets me look at this country from a different angle and from a critical distance. I believe too little is being said and we’re definitely not getting across. We’re not good at selling ourselves! When making the film I talked to Canadians who participated in the Quadra transaction. They visited Poland a few times and they were delighted by our country and people. They were impressed when they first went down to the copper mine in Lubin. One of them speaks about it in a film. At the same time, they were asking why Poland mainly brings to mind John Paul II, Lech Wałęsa, and “Solidarność”. Of course we should be glad that we have great Poles and that Poland has contributed to the development of contemporary history. But why is so little said today about the rapid growth of this country, which has been doing quite fine in the times of the global economic and financial crisis, avoiding recession. Even though not all our actions lead to great success, we have certainly not failed. We mustn’t forget where we started and that we’ve come such a long way since 1989. How could others believe in the prestige of the brand named Poland, if we are the ones questioning its reliability? When travelling across Poland, I’m delighted to see how much this country has changed since I left it. pm
And “Poland, Go Global!”? Doesn’t it sound a bit over the top, even in the context of your latest film? Why not? Another Canadian in the film said that it’s high time Poland started establishing global companies that will provide
opportunities for Poles all over the world. Polish companies need new outlets, for some of them Poland is becoming too small. There are Polish companies which carry out the strategy of going global, which requires them to start expanding abroad. Engaging in foreign direct investments is often more profitable and better than exporting. KGHM, after taking over the Canadian company Quadra FNX, possesses a lot of valuable experience in this field, which it wants to share with others. The transaction which made the Polish company a global player was very well received by the market. My film shows that its success was not sealed from the beginning. On more than one occasion it hung by a thread. Today, the copper powerhouse has become a model and point of reference for other Polish companies. At some point in my film, Herbert Wirth, President of KGHM, also invites people to create groups with common interests in countries where KGHM has already invested. What I think is very important as the message of “Miedź albo nie mieć” is definitely the fact that this Polish company is a success for all Poles and the Polish economy. What was the prerequisite for you to take up this subject at all? I had absolute freedom when it came to carrying out my concept of the film. There were no suggestions from the producer, let alone from KGHM. I had to rely on normal consultations with the industry insiders. Today I can, for example, tell copper ore from copper concentrate and I know what a billet is... Nobody tried to interfere with my idea of what this film should look like. People were kind and opened all doors for me – in Poland, Canada, and Chile. I didn’t feel, even for a moment, that I was somebody’s unwanted visitor. Remember that I had to invite all the decision-makers in the transaction, on the both Polish and Canadian sides. Taking advantage of my tricks, which had proven useful more than once before, I made these people open up in front of the video camera. After a screening of the film during the Economic Forum in Krynica, one of the guests said that you could see it had been made by a woman and that the film was told from a human-centred perspective. I’m very pleased with these remarks.
is currently being constructed, resemble those of an alien planet. The Robinson openpit mine in Nevada made a similar impression on me, but at this point I must stress that this film is the product of the whole crew. My thanks first go to Mateusz Kruszelnicki, Director of Photography, and my long-time collaborator. The second person who was key to the final formal shape of this film was Robert Ciodyk, an absolute master of video editing, with whom I’ve also worked on numerous occasions. ::
It’s also worth adding that the film is also very interesting visually... In its visual aspect, it was something of a pushover. The landscapes of Sierra Gorda in the Chilean desert of Atacama, where a mine pm
Photo: Piotr Bławicki /DDTVN/ EAST NEWS.
by media companies. I must admit that before I began working on this film I knew very little about the subject, or about the fact that this Polish company was making this transaction at all. I didn’t know much about KGHM itself – the company’s history, evolution, region in which it operates, and finally its people. It’s worth noting that at a very early stage in my research I saw the great success of Poland as a country. I thought that Poland had achieved something really big whereas few people are actually talking about. If they are, this can be found in trade magazines. I became convinced that it’s really a great untold story.
Ewa Ewart Journalist and documentary filmmaker, director. She graduated in Spanish and Portuguese studies from the University of Warsaw. Since 1993 she has cooperated with the BBC. She is the winner of the most prestigious awards for documentaries, including three times winner of the Royal Television Society award. For the film “Children of Beslan” she received the American Peabody Award, which is widely regarded as the Pulitzer of television. She specialises in extreme subjects, getting to places no one has ever reached. She revealed the existence of death camps in North Korea and talked to the leaders of Colombian drug cartels, and the chiefs of the ETA Basque separatists. She is the only reporter to have interviewed Mikhail Gorbachev the day after the failed August Putsch. In Poland she collaborates with the TVN24 channel.
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cannot be seen…
On 13 December 2013, Wielki Theatre – Polish National Opera in Warsaw will stage the premiere of “Iolanta” by Pyotr Tchaikovsky and “Bluebeard’s Castle” by Béla Bartók. This unique theatrical undertaking, combining the two single-act plays, will be directed by Mariusz Treliński, who will then use them in his debut in the Metropolitan Opera, NY, in January 2015. This original combination of the two plays is a prelude to a thriller that compares with Kubrick’s “The Shining”. The Orchestra of Wielki Theatre– Polish National Opera will be conducted by Valery Gergiev, and the set design will be prepared by Boris Kudlička. Maciej Proliński
“Old is this castle and old is the tale that tells its story. Listen in silence,” read the opening lines of “Bluebeard’s Castle” by Bartók. The character of Bluebeard is known from the tale by Charles Perrault. He was a rich nobleman whose wives tended to disappear in mysterious circumstances. Perrault based his story on an English legend. It derives from the historical figure of Gilles de Rais who was the 15th-Century companion-in-arms of Joan of Arc. When he moved to England, it surfaced after a while that he was a serial killer. Difficult to pronounce, and even more difficult to sing, the Hungarian verse of “Bluebeard’s Castle” is the primary reason why the play is rarely staged worldwide. This psychoanalytical tale by Bartók, composed to a libretto by Béla Balázs, is actually a performance by two actors-singers, who engage in a mortal battle of words. Bluebeard, the demonic serial killer, who needs to murder what he loves, and Judith, who understands this beast of a human, and manages
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to save her life, are roles which call for vocal excellence, a superb ear for music, intelligence, and, above all, an extraordinary musical memory. In Warsaw, the Bluebeard part will be performed by Gidon Saks, and that of his wife, Judith, by Nadja Michael. “Iolanta” is one of two stage plays by Tchaikovsky, in which the composer, so much attached to the Russian culture, took inspiration from foreign literature. He drew on a tale by Henrik Hertz, a Danish poet. Iolanta is a blind princess, brought up by her father, King René, keeping her unaware of her handicap. As long as she is ignorant of her burden, she is happy. The truth is revealed to Iolanta by Duke Vaudemont, who falls in love with her at first sight. The King wants to punish him, but Iolanta, elevated by love, regains her sight… “Iolanta” is recognised for its musical quality but rarely staged outside Russia. Now we will also have the opportunity to see the play performed by renowned Russian and Polish artists (King René - Alexei Tanovitski; Robert - Mikołaj Zalasiński; Vaudemont - Sergei Skorokhodov; Iolanta - Tatiana Monogarova). “Both plays can be interpreted as investigating the light and dark sides of erotic violation. The tales leave space for mystery and vagueness. They are a looking glass for subsequent generations. In my quest I have drawn inspiration from a book entitled ‘The Uses of
Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales’ by Bruno Bettelheim. “Iolanta” is falsely thought of as a light-hearted fairytale. Tchaikovsky wrote this piece in a very difficult moment in his life. He had been publicly accused of being a homosexual and was facing a trial. This is not a setting you could produce an idyllic story in. In my view, its leading theme is apostasy, alienation, longing… “Iolanta” is a story of a young girl living in a cage created by her father. My rendering of the play will be a low-key one. In “Iolanta” I wish to show an uprooted forest, a primeval setting, a thicket… My rendition of “Bluebeard’s Castle” shows the main female protagonist who, in her pursuit for a relationship with a dominant older man, in fact comes full circle to the type of a relationship she shared with her father… In terms of its form, the play will be hyper-realistic. I mean a film-like story, drawing on the lyrical characteristics of a horror movie, based on the combination of a live performance and video recordings. This is also because Béla Balázs was a prominent theorist of the cinema and his works embody the experience of the silver screen – of expressionist works,” said Mariusz Treliński, Art Director at the Warsaw Opera, revealing the details of his next opera premieres. ::
Marie Leszczyńska and the art of Versailles Marie Leszczyńska – a daughter of Stanisław Leszczyński, King of Poland, who lived in exile, a Princess with no dowry, defeated nearly one hundred candidates to marry the King of France. She was twenty two years old, and even though Louis XV was seven years younger than her, Marie was considered the best match for the King. The dynastic hopes they had for her Marie fulfilled completely. She gave birth to ten children, including the heir to the throne – Louis Ferdinand. It is worth seeing the exhibition at the Royal Castle in Warsaw, which is open until 5 January 2014, and organised in cooperation with the Palace of Versailles. The objective of the exhibition is not only to show the unusual life of the Polish Princess, grandmother of three kings of France, but also the refined court art under the rule of Louis XV. Maciej Proliński
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and maternity, the lovers of King Louis XV, the most intimate friends of Queen Marie, her passion for music and painting, the decorations and fittings of her apartments, and also everyday life, royal court festivities and pleasures. This multilayered presentation is comprised of superb carefully-selected, portraits, original pieces of decorations from the Queen’s apartment - including Five Senses by Jean-Baptist Oudry, and other paintings according to the Queen’s concept, some of which were painted with her participation, like the Chinese Room, and refined crafts such us a remarkable cabinet by the well-known ébéniste Robert-Antoine Gaudreaus, ordered for one of her drawing rooms. While entering the exhibition rooms, we are seized with the feeling that we have really been taken to Versailles of Marie Leszczyńska. In the first room we are welcomed by the royal couple in the paintings by Jean-Baptiste Vanloo. He presented them in full dignity: Louis wearing the coronation robe and Marie in a sparkling golden gown, resting her hand on the royal crown. Marie was also painted by other artist. Alexis Simon Belle portrayed a twenty-seven-year-old Queen with a bunch of white lilies in the company of a faithful greyhound and an amusing page. The Queen is not deprived of dignity, but exudes inner cheerfulness. A popular court painter, Jean-Marc Nattier, painted her in a red gown several years later.
He created a unique image, presenting her in private. Even Marie Leszczyńska painted. We can assess whether or not she was gifted judging by the decorative paintings (painted by the Queen with the help of professionals) from the Chinese Room and a copy of one of the Jean-Baptiste Oudry’s paintings displayed in the Royal Castle in Warsaw. ::
Jean-Baptiste Vanloo, Portrait of Louis XV, King of France , National Museum of Versailles and Trianon. Photo: © Château de Versailles, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Jean-Marc Manaï.
he exhibition vividly describes the life of Marie and Louis, other residents of the court, and the customs prevailing at the court. Moreover, the exhibition is a great review of 18th-Century art, especially of portrait painting and decorative arts. We can see nearly one hundred works, which almost exclusively come from French collections – public and private. For the exhibition, the Palace of Versailles has lent from its permanent exhibitions sixty exceptional works, including eight superb Jean-Marc Nattier’s canvasses presenting, among others, royal daughters, and an excellent portrait of Madame Henriette as Flora. Other artists which should be mentioned include Jean-Baptiste Oudry, Jean-Baptiste Vanloo, Hyacinthe Rigaud, Alexander Roslin, Pierre Gobert, Alexis-Simon Belle, François-Hubert Drouais, and Joseph-Marie Vien. Apart from the Palace of Versailles, works have been lent by the following French institutions: the Painting Department and the Graphic Arts Department at the Louvre, the Palace of Fontainebleau, the Museum of l’Ilede-France in Sceaux, the National Museum of Ceramics in Sèvres, the Adrien Dubouché National Museum of Porcelain in Limoges, the Cognacq-Jay Museum, the National Library of France, the State Archives, the Archives of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Versailles Municipal Library, and private owners. The exposition brings insights on several issues, such as Marie Leszczyńska’s marriage
Handling a baton and a camera Since 1984, Bożena Garus-Hockuba, a film director, has been making for Polish TV and UNESCO a series of documentary films on cultural, social and historical processes. Her latest, “Maestro Rodziński”, is a documentary film telling the story of the world-famous orchestra conductor of Polish-American origin, Artur Rodziński. We heartily recommend it – both the name and the film are certainly worth being familiar with. Maciej Proliński
rtur Rodziński, (born on 1 January 1892 in Split, died on 27 November 1958 in Boston) studied piano performance under Emia von Sauer and Jerzy Lalewicz, composition under Franz Schreker and Joseph Marx, conducting in a class under Franz Schalk at the Vienna Conservatory, and law at the University of Vienna (from which he graduated with a doctoral degree). His career was initially bound up with the Lwów Opera, the Warsaw Philharmonic and the Grand Theatre. In 1954 he was invited to the renowned La Scala to stage “Faust” by Gounod. The premiere turned out a success, not only for Artur Rodziński, but also for Boris Christoff (Méphistophélès), Elizabeth Schwarzkopf (Marguerite) and Gianni Poggi (Doctor Faust). A year later, on 10 May 1955, he also conducted the premiere of a new staging of “Eugene Onegin” by Tchaikovsky, with Renata Tebaldi, Ettore Bastianini and Giuseppe di Stefano as lead singers. Rodziński was also the only Polish conductor to conduct four orchestras that form the so-called American “Big Five” – in Philadelphia, Boston, Cleveland, New York and Chicago. He made history as the perfect leader of these orchestras. His valuable contribution to the US orchestras which he conducted raised many of them to the highest level and earned them their global renown. He added to their repertoires new compositions by 20th-century composers, and also pieces of music that were rarely performed at that time – he conducted the premiere performances of Samuel Barber’s Symphony (1936), Symphony No. 4 by William Schuman (1942), to mention just a few. He also contributed to the premiere performances in the US of such Polish masterpieces as “Harnasie” by Karol Szymanowski (1937).
Rome - Bożena Garus-Hockuba the director of the film, and Richard Rodziński, the conductor’s son (on location). Bis Film.
The film presents and – first of all – does an excellent job at bringing back the memory of the artistic career path trodden by Rodziński. So, it is in the first place a story of a great artist, a man of success, whose primary goal in life was to create perfect things. In this remembrance journey we are accompanied by his son, Richard Rodziński, who visits places that were witnesses to his father’s life and musical career. He meets people who worked with him. The unquestionable value of this film, apart from the story of the protagonist – his career and the people he met, are the archive pictures from Poland and across the world. They were taken by Artur Rodziński himself, as filmmaking was his second great passion after music.
So what we have here is an absolutely unique collection of film materials from the meeting of Maestro with Karol Szymanowski in the Villa Atma in Zakopane, or from a meeting with George Gershwin where the composer is marvellously captured when playing the piano in a domestic and informal setting. “Maestro Rodziński” is also a perfect and very natural, as it seems, sequel to one of the motifs in the previous film shot by Hockuba – the movie entitled “Lilpop Sisters and their Passions” (2005). The film presents the stories of the Lilpop sisters, daughters of a famous architect from Warsaw. Four parallel themes depict the emotions that were the driving force of their lives. And one of the elements in that story was the deeply-committed marriage of Halina Lilpop with Artur Rodziński. :: 11 - 12 /2013 :: polish market :: 81
Theme restaurants with a real host
Marcin Kręglicki, restaurant owner, talks to Maciej Proliński.
Like all the Warsaw restaurants you and Ms Agnieszka Kręglicka put your name to, “Piąta Ćwiartka” (“The Fifth Quarter”) caters for both Polish and foreign guests. This brings me to the noteworthy issue of the enormous changes that Warsaw’s restaurants have been undergoing, mostly in the last few years. Indeed, many interesting locations have recently sprouted up, and you can choose from a wide variety of good-quality food. What do you think of these developments? We have seen immense changes. When I started up in the business 25 years ago, establishing the first Chinese restaurant in Warsaw, there was almost no competition. The only major player in the food market was Powszechna Spółdzielnia Spożywców Społem (a consumer co-operative). At that time, it would take you only six months to get a return on your restaurant investment. Now, the competition is formidable. Warsaw has become a full-blown European capital, with a robust dining industry and a complete spectrum of restaurants, ranging from chain brands to a group of, if you will, sophisticated restaurants – and these are set up to cater for the needs and dreams of customers rather than to make a profit. They create unique values which can make the clients feel good, happy and willing to visit the restaurant again. And while such enterprises require full commitment and a go-ahead attitude from the owners, they often turn out a success. We hope our restaurants fall into this category too... pm
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Taking a broad view, it’s clear that the Polish public has not grown prosperous as fast as the restaurant market has developed.
to have the spirit and the attitude of the host of such place. This often requires you to be the sole owner.
Quite so. Various studies and statistical data show that Poles are definitely not used to celebrating food. And in fact, they rarely eat out... That’s right, in terms of goods and services, Poles have other priorities than eating out. Their priority is to, say, get a place to live in and buy a car. So they can’t afford to dine in a restaurant, and they eat at home. Now if you look at more affluent societies, things look completely different. People there aren’t used to cooking at home. They go out to restaurants, in which they spend money to enjoy some new enticing flavours offered by the restaurant owners which they wouldn’t otherwise come up with at home.
And when did you feel the urge to become the host you mentioned? It was in 1988, after I had graduated from the Warsaw School of Economics (SGH), that I came up with the idea of pursuing these dreams. I wanted to use the economics education I had received to run my own business or, even more so, be a host to people. At home, we’d always cook something good. I liked to cook. In 1989, I opened “Mekong” – a Chinese restaurant I’d like to patronise myself. It paved the way for more restaurants, ethnic, theme, and so on. Joined by Agnieszka, I have since pursued my fascination with the cuisines of the world. We opened and now run a Mexican restaurant “El Popo”, “Santorini” and “Meltemi”, which serve Greek food, and an Italian restaurant “Chianti.” A journalist has even coined a kind of saying that “when the Kręglicki couple are back from vacation, a new restaurant is about to crop up...” Together with Agnieszka, we also make sure that the idea of “slow food in Poland” is not only about reviving old Polish cuisine or keeping traditional Polish cuisine alive. While drawing inspiration from traditional recipes, we also develop our own, tasty, healthy and seasonal cuisine. It is in “Piąta Ćwiartka”, located in Arkady Kubickiego (“The Kubicki Arcades”), and “Opasły Tom”,
So what do you think makes Poles, including Polish celebrities, so keen on opening restaurants? This brings up the question of where all the ideas for restaurants come from. I know a lot of people who open restaurants while keeping the job they have done so far. Is it worth the effort and money? As far as I’m concerned, it is – as long as the owner is fully committed. If you think short term, however, like “let’s get a business going, hire a good chef, a manager, some waiters, and locate them somewhere fancy,” it won’t work out. I think in order to “bring home the bacon”, you need pm
Culture that you can get the idea of what Polish slow food is actually about. We’re not new to mass catering services as well – you’ll be surprised at our varied and rich menus. Our quality is built by chefs from different parts of the world and by experienced Polish staff. In addition to our flagship site “Forteca”, we host parties in our restaurants, as well as in other places in and around Warsaw, according to what the customer wishes. As you look at your portfolio of restaurants, what do you think is the idea behind and the function of “Piąta Ćwiartka”? What do you think is its main strength? The restaurant is based within Podzamcze neighbourhood at the foot of the Royal Castle. Centuries ago, it was home to marketplaces and slaughterhouses. This is where the trading took place. The finest meats would go to the Castle, for the King. What was left here was offal. And what we now offer is exactly a kind of “offal”, simple food, if you like, made in keeping with the old recipes. This is the gist of this place. “Piąta Ćwiartka” is also unique for its location, as it’s based in Arkady Kubickiego (Kubicki Arcades) near the Royal Castle in Warsaw. Following a 15-year-long renovation, this historic site was reopened in 2009. Its history goes back to 1818-1821, when they were built to the design of Neoclassical architect Jakub Kubicki, on an escarpment east of the Royal Castle. They made up an integral part of the Royal residence. Though they survived World War II, they weren’t properly looked after and gradually grew dilapidated. It wasn’t until 1995 that the works commenced to renovate the building and secure the escarpment. The beautifully renovated Arcades have been designed by Stanisław Fiszer – a Polish-born architect and town planner, who resides in Paris, France – to attract people not only with its aesthetics, but also modern functional qualities. So, they are used as a venue for major artistic events, such as exhibitions, performances, galas, trade shows and concerts. In the future, the Arcades are to become the main gateway to the Castle, a large hallway leading the audience into the museum’s exhibition area. As I said, it is a busy place. We have already hosted 1000-people dinner parties here. We are determined to prove to everyone that this place is unique, not only for its history, but also for what it represents today, and we hope our commitment to making the culinary dreams of our guests come true plays a major role in that. Our big dream is to give Podzamcze back to the people of Warsaw and to create a place they’ll be happy to visit on a regular basis. pm
What food that you serve here would you recommend? Some of our guests might find some parts of offal hardly palatable...But they are more than palatable. Take for example the traditional apple-stuffed duck or sweetbreads – these are real gems that are very much forgotten by the Poles. And they certainly deserve much more popularity. I always encourage my friends and acquaintances to come by and have a taste of the ones we make in “Piąta Ćwiartka.” Kidney stew with mustard and cherry is certainly worth a try as well. You’ll be surprised at how sublime and delicious they are. Just come and try! pm
signs of recovery in 2013, true, but there have also been periods of stagnation. So, we have to stay vigilant, invest with caution. We need to “keep our fingers on the pulse” to remain one of the best five catering companies in Warsaw. We’re aware that in this business it’s not all about luck. It’s not easy money. You need to put in hard work and effort to pull it off. :: Photographs by Jola Lipka
“The crisis is over,” said Donald Tusk at the recent Economic Forum in Krynica. Is it over for restaurant keepers too? For sure, for the last 3-4 years, we’ve been through some tough times as well, recording lower sales and income. We’ve seen some pm
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Into a new century with the
League of Polish Women
On 19 October 2013, at the Radisson Blu Sobieski Hotel in Warsaw, the centenary of the League of Polish Women was celebrated. The Gala of one of the oldest social organisations acting on behalf of women and their families gathered over 300 women from all over Poland, delegations of women invited for the evening from China, Russia and the Czech Republic, and special guests honoured by the organisation with commemorative statuettes. One was awarded to Krystyna Woźniak-Trzosek, President and Chief Editor of the “Polish Market” magazine, for the annual support for the summer Disabled Youth Song Festival “Artistic Impressions” in Ciechocinek. Maciej Proliński
I am proud of this distinction. It is so often said that men make houses, but women make homes. Certainly, such an organisation as the League of Polish Women reminds us well of this role of women,” emphasised Krystyna WoźniakTrzosek, giving thanks for the award. The Chair of the League of Polish Women, Aldona Michalak, also awarded the special distinctions, and a commemorative diploma, among others, to the distinguished Polish Television reporter Elżbieta Jaworowicz, and acclaimed Polish song composer Katarzyna Gaertner. The League of Polish Women was founded in 1913, established by Izabela Moszczyńska; the initial goal of the organisation was to help the military. Today, the League of Polish Women focusses on the family, with special
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attention given to the disabled, as Jolanta Arendarska, a member of the League, emphasises. “We give special assistance to the disabled, we conduct occupational therapy classes for the disabled and their families. Smaller branches run children’s community centres, or organise meetings for women”. The League is an association uniting women regardless of their philosophy of life, beliefs or membership in various social organisations or political parties, churches or religious denominations, who want to act on behalf of women and their families. Ciechocinek – one of the best-known Polish health resorts. Every year it organises an extraordinary event. At the turn of July and August, the Disabled Youth Song Festival “Artistic Impressions” is held there, organised by the “Pro Omnibus” Foundation. Sixteen editions have already taken place. Honorary patronage over the event has been held by the “Polish Market” magazine, and Krystyna Woźniak-Trzosek is the Chair of the contest Jury. The summer Festival in Ciechocinek is the biggest event of its kind in Europe. Not only is it attractive to young artists, but also to the health resort visitors, tourists and residents of the town. Its faithful audience supports the sick children in their festal singing. The contestants are young disabled people presenting unusual musical talents, who often sacrifice very much to succeed, working persistently to raise their abilities. The
Festival is a contest. “Each year we announce the recruitment of candidates to the Festival. The application deadline is always in March. Application forms are available in various media: on the website of our Foundation, in the press, on the Internet. Who can compete? Disabled people with a musical talent up to the age of 23. Our goal is to promote authentic talents. And, of course, in one respect, it is a festival and a song contest, and we agree that, in fact, we want to prove that disability is a relative notion… We have two age groups: up to 14 years and above that age. Those willing to participate in the Festival send their application forms and their music propositions recorded on any media available to them. We listen to the applications. The most interesting are chosen for presentation in Ciechocinek,” says Mirosław Satora, President of the“Pro Omnibus” Foundation (Laureate of the Polish Market Honorary Pearl for the promotion of social values in 2007). What is noteworthy is that the Laureates of the Festival have appeared several times in the Pearls of the Polish Economy Gala crowning a prestigious ranking of the Pearls of the Polish Economy organised by our magazine in cooperation with the Institute of Economics of the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN). They sang beautifully in culturally significant places (the Royal Castle, the Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera in Warsaw). Angela Wawrzyk, Laureate of Grand Prix at the “Artistic Impressions” in 2010, has been invited to sing in the artistic part of our Gala four times! ::
Belgian Days 2013 Conferences, cultural, culinary and business meetings – these are just a few of the events organised in Poznań and in Warsaw as part of this year’s edition of the Belgian Days held from October 21 to November 15. The organiser of the project was the Belgian Business Chamber and the Embassy of Belgium, together with economic representatives of the Regions: the Brussels-Capital Region, Flemish Region and Walloon Region. The Belgian Days are dedicated both to the representatives of business and to the enthusiasts of Belgian culture.
Belgian business together with Polish investors This year’s Belgian Days were an excellent occasion for the business community to integrate. During the conference “Sharing Experiences on Logistics”, the participants could attend speeches on the current situation in the logistics industry in Poland and on cooperation between Poland and Belgium in this field. Experts focused on the future of the industry and raised questions connected with road, river and sea transportation. After the conferences, the assembled participants were able to hold bilateral meetings. Another event organised on the same day was the Business Mixer, which was attended not only by representatives of Belgian companies, but also by local entrepreneurs, representatives of the authorities of Poznań and members of the Wielkopolska Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The organisers also prepared meetings at the top management level – for the CEOs of major Belgian companies operating in the Polish market and directors of Polish enterprises. A special guest at this event was the Minister of Treasury, Mr. Włodzimierz Karpiński, who discussed issues affecting the Polish economy on the threshold of 2014. Another interesting talk was given by Mr. Paweł Tamborski, Under-Secretary of State at the Ministry of Treasury, who discussed co-operation in capital and investment matters between Poland and Belgium. He pointed out that the relationship between Poland and Belgium is developing dynamically, and both countries are showing a growing interest in extended political, inter-parliamentary and economic activity. The Belgian Days also included a Gala Dinner – a meeting between representatives of the Belgian Business Chamber, local authorities and entrepreneurs. Notable guests included the Ambassador of the Kingdom of
Belgium H.E. Mr Raoul Delcorde with his wife, as well as Tomasz Jerzy Kayser – deputy mayor of Poznań, senator Marek Ziółkowski and business representatives from Lhoist Polska, CFE, BPI, Magemar, BNP Paribas and Poznań International Fair. The Gala Dinner was also attended by prominent figures from Adam Mickiewicz University and Poznań University of Economics. During the event, the Belgian Business Chamber presented the Belgian Business Chamber Award to Lhoist Polska, a company operating internationally and with over 100 years of tradition, which manufactures lime and lime products from the best quality deposits. The award was presented to Lhoist for their support of economic relations between Poland and Belgium. The Gala was preceded by a concert by the Belgian pianist, Inge Spinette, and the Polish opera singer, Kinga Borowska, who has performed, among others, at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels.
Intercultural events in Poznań and Warsaw This year’s Belgian Days were also an excellent opportunity to discover more about Belgium. Events such as the “Mussels & Fries” culinary evenings, Belgian Beer Tasting or the Belgian Film Festival allowed everyone interested to learn more about Belgian cuisine and culture. Those who attended the “Mussels & Fries” evenings had the opportunity to taste seafood served with Belgian fries, prepared by the world-famous chef Kristof Delaure. The Belgian Days could never be complete without an event connected with beer, as Belgium is famous for over 700 kinds of this beverage. The main attraction of the evening was food pairing, meaning the art of choosing the right snacks to go with the right beer, which was presented by the beer expert and
enthusiast, Michel Winniczek from Bar Expert Polska. The organisers prepared more than just culinary events, however. Filmlovers also had the opportunity to attend the Belgian Film Festival, which was organised to promote Belgian cinematography. In addition, the Belgian Days gave a mural to Poznań, showing an open window with incorporated elements of the Polish and Belgian flags. The mural “is a symbol of co-operation between our nations. This is a window that is open for both countries, in various fields: in cultural, economic and also social matters”, says the artist himself, Ives Ingelaere. This year’s special edition of the Belgian Days “allowed us to reinforce business connections between Poland and Belgium, and also to learn more about the culture and cuisine of Belgium. If anyone missed this year’s edition, we would already like to invite you to the Belgian Days next year”, says Małgorzata Napierała-Vincent, General Manager of the Belgian Business Chamber.
About the Belgian Business Chamber: The Belgian Business Chamber (BBC) was established in 1992. It currently has about 110 members, which include mainly Belgian companies who conduct business activity in Poland, but also companies interested in starting co-operation with Belgian partners and/ or the Belgian market. The Belgian Business Chamber is involved in the promotion of Belgian companies in the Polish market and the organisation of business events. In addition, the BBC provides support for its members by facilitating access to professional and competent external partners. The Belgian Business Chamber is also active in social matters. ::
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The gala of the VIP and VIPs Influential and illustrious personalities from cultural, journalistic, media, artistic, and business circles, representatives of public institutions. Breathtaking artistic performances, a provocative and lively fashion show, an exquisite banquet, a unique atmosphere, beautiful women, elegant men, and luxury products. All this in one evening, at the Sheraton Hotel in Warsaw – on 10 October at the 10th Anniversary Gala of VIP magazine. Impossible? Find out for yourself and read the report from this event.
This is a unique moment for us, and I am very pleased that we can share it with our friends in such a marvellous atmosphere,” Mariusz Gryżewski, editor-in-chief of “VIP Polityka Biznes Fakty”, greeted his guests from the stage. This anniversary meeting, excellently hosted by TVP journalists Anna Popek and Michał Olszański, was also an opportunity to honour members of various public spheres with the exclusive VIP 2013 laurel. “Especially in times of crisis, and not only the economic one, but more importantly, a crisis of trust,
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we would like information about those who make our country better, richer and more modern to reach even broader audience,” said Mr Gryżewski, thus highlighting the uniqueness of the evening. In the first part of the event, statuettes were granted to people who – while managing important institutions, or being eminent public personalities – had contributed to social and economic development. On the other hand, the second part saw the granting of distinctions to VIP-worthy products, companies, places and institutions. This event also attracted many people from business, members of local government entities, and public figures. The guests included Tomasz Stockinger, Zbigniew Buczkowski, Michał Fajbusiewicz, Mieczysław Hryniewicz, Beata Ścibakówna, Iwo Orłowski and Elżbieta Starostecka. The evening started with a dance show of the Sabat Theatre, which was part of the “Rewia Forever” performance. What is more, a recital by the finalist of the last XFactor, TV competition, Wojciech Ezzat, accompanied by Serguei Tsekh on the piano, ensured the perfect atmosphere of the event. After solo pieces, the artists created a music trio inviting Robert Chojnacki to the stage, who then swayed the guests with his own repertoire. In the artistic part of the event, the guests could admire beautiful models during the Alles lingerie show, which was carried out with true splendour. There was also a surprising element to the show, consisting of a business-card lottery featuring attractive prizes. The unique atmosphere, accompanied by dance music played by the BIG-BIT group
of Waldemar Kuleczka, went on till the small hours. ::
People awarded for outstanding achievements as the managers and administrators of public entities, with special regard given to healthcare entities Maria Jolanta Batycka-Wąsik, Lesznowola Commune Head Andrzej Szczepocki, President of the Kleszczów Commune Development Foundation Jerzy Szarecki, Director of the Professor Antoni Gębala Children’s Teaching Hospital of Lublin Andrzej Kondaszewski, Director of the Mikołaj Kopernik Voivodeship Hospital in Koszalin Marian Przylepa, Director of the Independent Public Teaching Hospital No. 4 in Lublin Lucyna Kęsicka, Director of the Voivodeship Ambulance and Sanitary Transport Station in Płock Henryk Milcarz, Director of Wodociągi Kielce Sp. z o.o. Maria Aleksandra Kąkol, Director of the WarszawaWawer Independent Complex of Out-Patient Healthcare Centres
People awarded for actions, achievements and work which bolster the image of Polish entrepreneurship abroad Anna and Czesław Kolisz, Owners of the Ankol Company from Chorzelów Monika Siecińska-Jaworowska, President of the Suempol Group from Bielsk Podlaski Emil Płowiecki, President of Balton Sp. z o.o. from Warsaw Tadeusz Wrześniak, Owner of Huta Szkła Gospodarczego Tadeusz Wrześniak Sp. z o.o. from Skrzyszów
People awarded for centering their business around the finest quality of their products and services, and also on their promotion on the domestic market
and also for exceptional professional achievements Grzegorz Miecugow, journalist, commentator, TV presenter
Robert Gajda, Director of the “Gajda-Med” Medical Centre from Pułtusk Wojciech Szubert, President of Welmax from Poznań Edward Kostrubiec, Owner of the Komech Metals Processing Centre from Lublin Wojciech Henrykowski, President of the Polish Centre for Testing and Certification from Warsaw
For devoting his life to sport ideas, acting to reconstruct the social role of sport, and for establishing a partnership between sport, local governments and employers on the labour market Robert Korzeniowski, athlete, racewalker, Olympic champion
People awarded for outstanding achievements and actions ccontributing to the development of Polish theatrical and film arts, and for the creation of films and plays that are engraved on the audience’s memory Jan Englert, theatre actor, director, Professor at Aleksander Zelwerowicz State Theatre Academy in Warsaw and Director of the Narodowy Theatre in Warsaw Ewa Braun, set designer, interior decorator and costume designer Bożena Dykiel, theatre, film and TV actress Waldemar Dąbrowski, Director of the Grand Theatre-National Opera Emilian Kamiński, actor, Founder and Director of the Kamienica Theatre Wojciech Smarzowski, director and scriptwriter
People awarded for shaping their musical silhouettes and for the creation of memorable pieces, songs and texts, as well as for the development of the musical culture of the countr y Alicja Majewska, singer Michał Bajor, singer and actor
For the popularisation of culinary arts and the promotion of Polish cuisine and culture abroad
The Extraordinary Personage of Public Life
Atlantic Worldmaster 1888 The Original,
People awarded for contribution to and involvement in the development of the local market and social relations, and also for the dynamic development of enterprises managed by them
The Mild Master e-cigarette, the “Gadget” category
The 2013 VIP’s Clinic
Eugeniusz Zieliński, owner of the “Gwarant” Building
The Wolmed clinic in Dubie
the “Watch” category
Prof. Krzysztof Ireneusz Rybiński, economist and commentator, former Vice-President of the National Bank of Poland
For the extraordinary and outstanding fulfilment of journalist mission, submitting political and social events to intelligent and sharp-tongued criticism,
The Eldom G47 electric shaver, the “For Men” category
and Installation Company from Otwock Krzysztof Żmijewski, President of GAZ Sp. z o.o.
The 2013 VIP’s Hotel
The Windsor Palace Hotel in Jachranka,
Jacek Gromek, President of the Elgrom Service, Trading and Manufacturing Company from Raszyn
The Chlewiska Manor House Spa in Chlewiska,
Eugeniusz Gorczowski, President of Jaekel-Bud-Tech Sp. z o.o. from Chorzów Wiesław Cyzowski, President of Władysław Jagiełło Housing Cooperative in Łódź Sławomir Kruk, President of Techpol from Radom Jacek Kazimierczak, Owner of the Agencja Techniczno-Handlowa Projektowanie i Realizacja Inwestycji from Warsaw
The 2013 VIP’s Business Partner Incentive Planet Sp. z o.o. from Warsaw, the “Business Debut” category
the “Business Hotel” category the “Spa Hotel” category St Bruno Hotel in Giżycko, the “Design/Boutique Hotel” category The Chotynia Manor House in Chotynia, the “Historic Hotel” category
The 2013 VIP’s Place The Sabat Theatre, the “Entertainment and Culture” category
The 2013 VIP’s Passion Dobre Jachty (Good Yachts), the “Yachting” category
Senator Polska Sp. z o.o. from Sulechów, the “Marketing and Advertising” category
For active involvement in and support of the process of solving social and economic problems in the country, and for making brave and constructive assessments of Poland’s economic situation, based on substantive arguments
Welmax from Poznań, the “Quality” category The Golden Touch line of cosmetics of Invex Remedies from Kielce, the “Cosmetics” category
Robert Sowa, culinary master and authority
Włodzimierz Korcz, composer, pianist, arranger and conductor
The 2013 VIP’s Product
The 2013 VIP’s Travel MY Travel Multiagent from Lubin,
The 2013 VIP’s Creativity
the “Travel Agency”category
Sandomierz Municipality, the “Region’s Promotion” category
The 2013 VIP’s Insurance VIP’s open life insurance “Polisa-Życie” Towarzystwo Ubezpieczeń Spółka Akcyjna Vienna Insurance Group (Insurance company from Warsaw
The 2013 VIP’s Car The Warszawa-Wola Lexus Car Dealership, the “Car Dealership” category
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Events KU HIT RO
2 014 MIE SIĘC
Z N IK A
For the twelfth time, “Gazeta Bankowa” will pick the best technologies
A new edition has started of the technological contests for financial institutions and cooperating companies. The winners will be awarded the prestigious titles of the IT Leader and the Hit of the Year.
he rules of participation in this year’s contest of “Gazeta Bankowa” remain unchanged, and can be found at www.konkursytechnologiczne.gb.pl in the section “Rules and Regulations of the Contest”.
Leader of Financial Institutions 2013
In this contest “Gazeta Bankowa” will grant awards to financial institutions which completed in 2013 IT implementation processes and have enrolled for the contest. As a prerequisite to join the contest, competitors had to complete the implementation process between January 1 and December 31, 2013 (the date of its commencement has no significance), and start the normal use of the implemented system within this time frame. The size of the implementation is irrelevant both in terms of the area in which the implementation was performed and the scope of activities carried out in connection with the implementation. The fulfillment of these conditions ensures that each implementation may only be registered for one edition of the contest only, but in several categories. This year’s 12th edition will consist of four categories: • Transaction systems, • Back office systems, • e-banking and e-finance, • Security of e-banking.
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In addition, the Jury will award the IT Leaders 2013 titles (in banking and insurance). The Jury will evaluate only registered implementations, and it is worth recalling that although the contest’s beneficiaries are always financial institutions, implementations may be reported by those performing them too (usually by vendors of systems or solutions, that is, in many cases, independent implementing bodies) or suppliers (manufacturers) of such solutions or systems. There is a common condition for all competitors: applications can be made only through the electronic form available at www.konkursytechnologiczne.gb.pl no later than January 31, 2014 at midnight. Each accepted application will be confirmed by e-mail.
Hit of the Year 2014 for a Financial Institution
The 7th edition of the contest will span, as in the previous year, five categories: • Product (a device or a system), • Solution, • Service, • Digital exclusion counteraction, • Cloud computing and data transmission security. As every year, the Jury will pick offers that financial institutions should pay attention to. Offers in each category that deserve the highest recognition will be awarded the title of the Hit of the Year.
Whether the winners of the previous editions did actually market hits, is to be found out by reading texts with a distinctive logo of the contest that have been published in “Gazeta Bankowa” since last September. The Hit of the Year contest serves the purpose of promotion and does the job perfectly. Recommendations granted within the scope of the contest draw the attention of financial institutions to such offers and - without prejudging the choice - give the winner a chance to beat its competitors. Substantially speaking, admission to the contest holds no restrictions other than the offer’s utility to a financial institution, and from the formal point of view competitors must observe the form and the time limit of filing an application. The contest will be crowned by the Great Technology Gala of “Gazeta Bankowa” that will take place on March 12, 2014 in the Copernicus Science Centre and during which results will be released of both contests, and the winners will be awarded statuettes and recommendations. Every year, the Great Technology Gala of “Gazeta Bankowa” serves as a meeting place for the managers of IT solutions’ providers and those of financial institutions. It brings together over 150 CEOs and high-level managers from both financial and IT companies. ::
Szynaka Meble selected Industry Transformation Leader
n 21 June 2013, the headquarters of the Business Centre Club in Warsaw hosted a conference accompanied by the Grand Finale ceremony of the Industry Transformation Leaders (ITL) competition. The title was awarded to sixteen companies from five sectors – chemicals, food, construction, furniture and transport. Each of the businesses was recognised for its successfully implemented proprietary transformation strategy. Szynaka Meble Sp. z o.o. was one of them.
skills, whose proprietary strategies were assessed by the ITL experts as true inspirations in the search for new development directions. Szynaka Meble is committed to continuous growth and maintaining its high and well-established position on the furniture market in Poland and abroad. Its products can be found in hundreds of partner stores across the country, and also in numerous outlets and major retail chains worldwide. With its advanced management methods and successful marketing policy, the Company has established a number of trading partners,
meetings, it provides the basis for networking with political and cultural professionals. Former Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak spoke about the role of furniture-making in the Polish economy and about the way Szynaka Meble had come from being a small fami-
Former Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak speaks at Szynaka Meble Fair
Milo In order to encourage businesses to build their own adaptation algorithms, the ITL promotes active strategies based on non-standard and often unique solutions. The Finale distinguished enterprises with special adaptation
including global distributors, whose sales networks extend over nearly all continents. Its top quality and style are combined with functionality and durable performance. The Company’s management techniques, coupled with the business vision of its owners, Alina and Jan Szynaka, have enabled the company to build six successful manufacturing plants, as well as its own Logistics and Exhibition Centres. The Partner Fair, organised by Szynaka Meble in September at the Exhibition Centre in Iława, provided an excellent opportunity to address the issue of original transformation strategies. The Fair is an event which goes beyond the traditional understanding of internal fairs organised by various other companies. Apart from business
ly business to a large enterprise with a global footprint. He also used Szynaka Meble to define an exemplary strategy of operation. His speech emphasised the immense importance of the furniture-making industry for the Polish economy. Alina and Jan Szynaka were thanked for their contribution and effort in achieving such an extraordinary success, and were wished further growth and satisfaction from their undertaking. “The definition of success is a very complex one and can be viewed from different angles. There is no ready recipe for success. Everyone pursues their previously established objectives and way of life. Generally, you achieve them one by one and slowly, taking baby steps to the top. The path to the top is usually long and winding, but you must never doubt yourself or others along the way,” said Szynaka Meble CEO Jan Szynaka, thanking all the guests present at the ceremony. During the five days of the Partner Fair, Szynaka Meble showcased nearly 30 sets of cabinet, kitchen, and bathroom furniture. The majority of the presented products were new items in the Company’s portfolio. ::
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The Luxury Brand of 2013
he fourth, “Luxury Brand of the Year” gala was held on 27 October, at the prestigious Courtyard by Marriott Warsaw Airport Hotel. This ceremonial evening saw the granting of awards to the companies whose activities or products were prizeworthy in 2013, and first and foremost those companies which aspired to be deemed as “luxurious.” The idea of such a “luxury guide” originated from Mariusz Pu-
The Main Partner in the Gala, Henrik Sjolund, DQ Vodka
jszo. And the venture itself was undertaken by Excellent Events.
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The grand “Luxury Brand of 2013” gala was presented by Wiola Gut, together with Ryszard Rembiszewski. The individuals and companies that were awarded statuettes included Volvo, Deutsche Bank, Pako Lorente, Hotel Poziom 511, Wittchen, Tomasz Jacyków, LOT, Ghelamco, Muses Urbańska & Komornicka, Rubinstein Residence, Pure Sky Club, and the main partner of the gala DQ Vodka represented by Henrik Sjolund. The official part aside, the event also featured the stage appearances of Nick Sincler and Rafał Sadowski, and also incredibly gifted opera artists from the OH!PERA Foundation. Next, “Betti Design,” which also received a distinction of its own, presented its international collection. Another noteworthy attraction involved culinary delicacies. Guests tasted delicious dishes prepared by the Master Chef of the Courtyard by Marriott Warsaw Airport Hotel and sipped drinks such as Cin&Cin and DQ Vodka provided by Ambra S.A, which is one of Formula 1 partners. Such a luxurious evening could not do without a host of interesting celebrities. Among the many there were Grażyna Wolszczak with Cezary Harasimowicz, Andrzej Supron, Marek Włodarczyk, Jerzy Gruza, Krzysztof Skiba, Beata Sadowska, Piotr Szwedes, Władysław Kozakiewicz, Marcin Kwaśny, Stan Borys, Candy Girl, and the previously mentioned Tomasz Jacyków, who stated: “I love to use things, but don’t have to own
Tomasz Jacyków receives the award
them. Still, every day I try to spoil myself with some luxury. Isn’t this our purpose in the world?” The invited guests from business and show-business circles revelled till the small hours, and Mariusz Pujszo reminded us: “It’s not the early bird that achieves success, but rather the one who gets up smiling.” ::
Photographs by Łukasz Giersz
lili proJekt proJect manufacture advertisment logotype dtp architecture photography media webdesign scrapbooking
l i l i proJ e k t.pl
“European Meat” on its way Kaliningrad is the last but one of this year’s stops on the international route of the publicity programme entitled “Tradition, Quality and European Taste,” implemented by the Association of Polish Butchers and Cured Meat Producers. The programme has already been presented in Dubai (March), Hong Kong (May), Moscow (September), and Shanghai (November). The exhibitions presented by the Association, rich in culinary and promotional events, enjoyed wide attention in each of the cities. This has been reflected in an increased interest in the European and Polish meat among importers from the United Arab Emirates, China and Russia.
t the Agrokompleks 2013 food fair, which took place in October in Kaliningrad, Russia, the Association of Polish Butchers and Cured Meat Producers promoted the unique taste of meat and meat products. The event was held as part of the 3rd round of the EU programme entitled “Tradition, Quality and European Taste,” which has been carried out for 7 years by the Association. Kaliningrad hosted representatives of several meat-processing plants which are members of the Association. The event was also attended by Zbigniew Nowak, Head of the National Council of the Association, Janusz Rodziewicz, President of the Board of the Association, and Piotr Ziemann, EU Projects Coordinator, and other prominent guests. Delegates from the Agricultural Market Agency, together with Deputy President Lucjan Zwolak, were present as well. Agrokompleks is a closed-circle trade show. However, it is the Kaliningrad authorities’ wish to make it wider and more popular. This year, the fair featured presentations by several dozen companies, mainly from Russia. Among foreign exhibitors, Polish presentations proved the most outstanding, with the largest stand prepared by the Association of Polish Butchers and Cured Meat Producers. Year-by-year the number of Polish participants in the Kaliningrad-based fair has been growing. Such cooperation is in line with the policy of both countries. The agricultural sector in the Kaliningrad Region has seen a stable growth which, as claimed by the Russians, would not be possible but
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for efficient and beneficial cooperation with the neighbour countries. The Polish stand, which featured a wide array of culinary attractions, enjoyed wide media interest, and so did the press conference. It was attended by several dozen representatives of the Russian media. The fair- included a Regional Conference of the Agricultural and Food Producers. Mikhail Khovansky, representative of the local authorities, participating in the conference, encouraged Polish businessmen to invest in the Kaliningrad-based food production. The conference attendees also discussed veterinary and phytosanitary requirements pertaining to food exports to Russia. Is it worth participating in the Kaliningrad fairs? Russia, and the Kaliningrad Region itself, constitute an important market, located close to Poland which is continually seeking new opportunities to export food, including meat. Fairs are no longer only a place where contracts are signed, but they also create excellent prospects for cooperation. Representatives of the companies that decided to participate in the Kaliningrad fair will be hardly disappointed with that! The Russians are willing to trade with Poland, which is their closest neighbour. The Kaliningrad residents are familiar not only with Polish culture, but also with the food and culinary products available. They consider Poles as good trade partners. Such contacts are certainly worth maintaining and fostering.
Photo: Elżbieta Zgoda and Wojciech Hajdacki
China is again the last stop on this year’s promotion of the “Tradition, Quality and European Taste” programme. This time the destination is Shanghai. The FHC China food fair, one of the largest global events of its kind, was attended by representatives of the Association. An eye-catching stand decorated with fire burning over a roasting-spit drew the attention of thousands of visitors interested in the quality and taste of the traditional Polish, and thus European, meat. ::
PROMOCJA NAJNOWSZEJ KSIĄŻKI RONI A. EINAVA
Miriam Yahil-Wax & Roni A. Einav
“NA ROGU NORDAU I WALL STREET” HISTORIA IZRAELSKIEJ FIRMY HIITECH
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Taste Simmental beef from the Podkarpackie province Bogumiła Choroszy, PhD Eng., Zenon Choroszy, PhD Eng. National Research Institute of Animal Production Polish Simmental Cattle Breeders Association
he value of Simmental cattle in slaughter livestock production is highly appreciated – not only by Polish breeders, but also by those from Europe and other continents. This breed is used both for dairy and slaughter purposes, with good slaughter traits, and meeting the requirements of the slaughter industry. Simmentals easily adapt to difficult environmental conditions, thanks to their ability to make the best use of the grasslands and roughage produced there. Thus, it is a very competitive breed for typically dairy cattle, and even for slaughter cattle breeds, as far as the economics of fattening is concerned. In most European countries breeders sell Simmental calves at twice the price of dairy calves. Simmentals reach maturity later than other breeds. The growth and production of muscle tissue without excessive adiposity lasts up to the 18th month and longer, and, taking into account the quality of cattle intended for slaughter, it is extremely important that fattening should stop at the right time. The rule that has to be obeyed to obtain high slaughter standards for Simmental cattle is to fatten them to body weights exceeding 550-600 kg. The most sought-after carcass in the meat industry has to contain a high percentage of nutritious cuts and meat in these cuts, the correct, 4% proportion of fat and the lowest possible share of bones. The share of meat, fat and bones in the carcass, as well as the proportions between them, determine the slaughter value of cattle carcasses. An objective classification can provide information on the actual value of slaughter products. Most Simmental slaughter bulls that are killed after they have reached their final body weight of more than 550 kg are rated as high-conformation classes – E, U and R, in the EUROP grid method. Simmental cattle carcasses are characterised by a good condition factor (the length-to-weight relationship) and at the same time there is no excessive adiposity.
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Their musculature is better shaped, which attests to their greater amount of nutritious meat. Simmental beef and beef obtained from Simmental hybrids are characterised by better quality compared to meat obtained from Holstein Friesian cattle. Thanks to the fattening of Simmentals to higher body weights, the percentage of quality meat increases by means of growth and the increase in the area of the cross-section of the haunch, back, and shoulder. There is also an increase in the percentage of the most coveted intramuscular fat which raises the quality of the meat – especially its tenderness and juiciness. The shade of colour is among the key factors of beef quality. It indicates its freshness and suitability for consumption and is the first characteristic that decides the consumer’s choice. Simmental beef has an attractive bright-red hue. Beef obtained in natural (ecological) conditions, based especially on pasture feeding, is distinguished by a greater amount of desirable fatty acids and active substances. This way of feeding preferred for Simmentals means that the meat from this cattle has good health and dietetic benefits. The Polish Simmental Cattle Breeders Association, located in Odrzechowa, is responsible for the implementation of the breeding programme for the Simmental cattle breed in Poland, used both for dairy and slaughter purposes. Due to the fact that female Simmentals can be successfully used as suckling cows to nurse calves, the Association does its best to start, at the breeders’ request, a chapter on meat in the breed registry of Simmental cattle. There was an opportunity to taste Simmental beef during various events promoting beef from the Podkarapackie province co-financed by the Beef Promotion Fund: • The interregional show and competition involving horse fire pumps, and wood cutting competitions, Rudawka Rymanowska, 16 June 2013
• The 15th Regional Exhibition of Breeding Animals, Boguchwała, 29-30 June 2013 • The Borderland Culture Festival – the Hutsul horse in the Culture of the East Carpathian Mountains. The organiser of the promotional exhibition was the Polish Simmental Cattle Breeders Association – the subject of the contest was “The most delicious Carpathian dish based on Lemko, Boyko and Hutsul cuisine using beef”, Rudawka Rymanowska, 7 July 2013 • 13th Farewell to Holidays with the Hutsul Horse – The 9th National Exhibition of Simmental Cattle, Rudawka Rymanowska, 23-25 August 2013 • The Presidential Harvest Festival in Spała, 16 September 2013 The main organiser of events connected with the promotion of beef from the Podkarpackie province was the Polish Simmental Cattle Breeders Association, located in Odrzechowa, a meat-processing plant – Zakład Mięsny Jasiołka Sp. z o.o. Dukla – a producer of traditional organic, old Polish, Subcarpathian and Galician’s charcuterie, and the Experimental Centre of the National Research Institute of Animal Production. ::
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Published on Dec 3, 2013
Polish Market” is a prestigious English-language magazine published since 1996. In its pages, it promotes the Polish economy, businesses, re...