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PU B LISHED SIncE 199 6 No. 1-2 (253) /2017 :: www.polishmarket.com.pl

Global politics chanGes its course ...............................

interview with the ambassador of belarus ...............................

“Openness

and respect fOr a different culture pays Off in business relatiOnships”

KAROL zARAjczyK President of the ManageMent Board of UrsUs sa


MIEJSKIE ZAKLADY AUTOBUSOWE -a company with a green mission

WWW.MZA.WAW.PL


ONTENT

6. From The President’s Press Office 7. From The Government Information Centre OUR GUEST

8.

ECONOMY 26. JERZY PIETRUCHA, CEO of the Pietrucha Group: PROUDLY POLISH, TRULY INTERNATIONAL

27.

STANISŁAW KARCZEWSKI, Speaker of Upper Chamber of the Polish Parliament: WE CAN REBUILD OUR RELATIONS

PROGRAMME FOR SUPPORTING THE INTERNATIONAL EXPANSION OF POLISH BUSINESSES

10. ALEKSANDR AVERYANOV, Ambassador of Belarus to

30. MARCIN HABER: GLOBAL POLITICS CHANGES ITS COURSE

Poland: GREAT PROSPECTS FOR COOPERATION ARE OFFERED BY NEW TECHNOLOGIES AND MODERN SOLUTIONS

POLAND-BELARUS ECONOMIC RELATIONS 12. INFORMATION ON THE ECONOMIC RELATIONS BETWEEN POLAND AND BELARUS

DEFENCE SECTOR 34. THE MOST IMPORTANT EVENTS IN DEFENCE IN 2016: EASTERN FLANK, NATO SUMMIT AND MODERNIZATION

38. EWELINA JANCZYLIK-FORYŚ: PROGRAMME FOR BUILDING CAPITAL

TRANSPORT

14. ALEKSANDR AVERYANOV, Ambassador of Belarus to

Poland: COOPERATION WITH THE COUNTRIES OF THE REGION CAN BE MUTUALLY PROFITABLE

15. KAROL ZARAJCZYK, President of the Board of Ursus SA: WE WANT TO ACTIVELY PARTICIPATE IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF ELECTROMOBILITY

18. PIOTR STOLARCZYK, Vice-President of the Export Credit

Insurance Corporation (KUKE SA): WE FOLLOW OUR EXPORTERS

20. JOANNA MULARCZYK, Expert in Trade Finance

Department, BGK: BUSINESS WITH A NEIGHBOUR - BELARUS

21. KSEZ – A PLACE FOR INVESTORS 22. LESZEK DEC, President of the Suwałki Special Economic

Zone (SSEZ SA): SUWAŁKI SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONE OPEN TO THE EAST

24. UNIBEP TO BUILD A SHOPPING CENTRE NEXT TO

THE BORDER OF THE EUROPEAN UNION

25.

BOGDAN ŁUKASIK, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Modern-Expo S.A.: WE ARE A LEADER IN THE EAST, BUT WE WANT TO BE A GLOBAL BRAND

39.

ADAM MELLER, President of the Board of the Port of Gdynia Authority S.A.: THE PORT OF GDYNIA AUTHORITY EXPECTS ANOTHER YEAR OF STABILITY

40. JAN BUCZEK, President of the Association of International Road Transport Carriers (ZMPD) in Poland: POLAND CONVEYOR BELT BETWEEN WESTERN AND EASTERN EUROPE

42. ELECTRICITY AND GAS - MODERN AND

ENVIRONMENTALLY-FRIENDLY PUBLIC TRANSPORT FOR WARSAW

43. KATOWICE AIRPORT- AIRPORT WITH A FUTURE 44.

MICHAŁ BEIM, PH.D., Member of the Board, Polskie Koleje Państwowe SA (PKP SA): THE RAILWAY STATION IS A SYMBOL OF A CITY

LUXURY GOODS 46. EWELINA JANCZYLIK-FORYŚ: LUXURY GOODS MARKET IN POLAND 2016 EDITION

48.

20TH ANNIVERSARY OF SPOTLIGHT - TWENTY YEARS OF PASSION FOR LIGHT


CULTURE

EVENTS

50. MACIEJ PROLIŃSKI: ROYAL RESIDENCE FREE ENTRY FOR EVERYONE 52. MACIEJ PROLIŃSKI: TRIUMPH OF IMAGINATION AND MUSIC! 54.

62. AUTHORITIES HONOURED FOR THE TWENTY-FIFTH TIME! 64. ANNA PODNIESIŃSKA, The Ladie's Council at the Polish Red Cross:

THE LADIES’ COUNCIL AT THE POLISH RED CROSS – FINAL OF THE “GIVE POOR CHILDREN A VACATION” CAMPAIGN

CULTURAL MONITOR

56. EWA EWART, a well-known Polish documentary filmmaker and a winner of “Polish Market’s” Honorary Pearl Award 2016 for promoting social values: A DOCUMENTARY IS ONLY GOOD WHEN IT TELLS THE TRUTH.

65. MACIEJ PROLIŃSKI: BCC REWARDED FAIR ENTREPRENEURS 66. NEW FACTORY, NEW POSSIBILITIES

58. MAGDALENA TADEUSIAK-MIKOŁAJCZAK, Director, Chief Editor of TVP Polonia:

FOOD INDUSTRY

TVP POLONIA IS THE SHOWPIECE OF POLAND AND TVP PUBLIC TELEVISION

60. MACIEJ PROLIŃSKI: THE MEMORY OF VICTORIA...

68. IMPORTANT ANNIVERSARY OF THE“POLSKA EKOLOGIA”ASSOCIATION 10 YEARS OF HARD WORK ON BEHALF OF CONSUMERS

61. 15TH EQUESTRIAN GALA AT KLICZKÓW CASTLE 69. ECONOMIC MONITOR

Cover: KAROL ZARAJCZYK, President of the Board of Ursus SA Photos on issue: www.shutterstock.com

1-2/2017 Publisher: Oficyna Wydawnicza RYNEK POLSKI Sp. z o.o. (RYNEK POLSKI Publishers Co. Ltd.) President: Krystyna Woźniak-Trzosek Vice - Presidents: Błażej Grabowski, Grażyna Jaskuła Address: ul. Elektoralna 13, 00-137 Warszawa, Poland Phone (+48 22) 620 31 42, 652 95 77 Fax (+48 22) 620 31 37 E-mail: info@polishmarket.com.pl

Writers/Editors: Maciej Proliński, Jan Sosna, Janusz Korzeń, Jerzy Bojanowicz, Andrzej Kazimierski, Janusz Turakiewicz Translation: Sylwia Wesołowska-Betkier, BusinessClass Contributors: Agnieszka Turakiewicz Graphic design: Godai Studio Agnieszka Charuba, Joanna Wiktoria Grabowska

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DTP: Godai Studio www.godai.pl Printing: Zakłady Graficzne TAURUS – Roszkowscy Sp. z o. o., www.drukarniataurus.pl Circulation: 8,000 Oficyna Wydawnicza RYNEK POLSKI Sp. z o.o. Nr KRS 0000080385, Sąd Rejonowy dla m.st. Warszawy XII Wydział Gospodarczy Kapitał zakładowy 80.000,- zł. REGON 011915685, NIP 526-11-62-572 Published articles represent the authors’ personal views only. The Editor and Publisher disclaim any responsibility or liability for their contents. Unso-licited material will not be returned. The editors reserve the right to edit the material for length and content. The editors accept no responsibility what-soever for the content of advertising material. Reproduction of any material from this magazine requires prior written permission from the Publisher.


Editorial

Krystyna Woźniak-Trzosek Editor-in-Chief President of Rynek Polski Publishers Co. Ltd.

A YEAR FULL OF SURPRISES A YEAR OF HORRIBLE SCARES – THIS IS HOW ONE COULD SUMMARISE THE ECONOMIC ANALYSES OF 2016. IT BEGAN WITH PREDICTIONS OF A COLLAPSE OF THE CHINESE ECONOMY, AND WE ALL KNOW WHAT A BREAKDOWN IN THE WORLD’S LARGEST FACTORY COULD MEAN. THEN, THE TENSION ONLY INCREASED. While a slowdown in China’s growth could have been expected because news of various imbalances had been coming for quite some time and finally the Chinese leadership itself decided to change the strategy, the subsequent perturbations came as a much bigger surprise. To tell the truth, we were surprised by our own astonishment. The next event was Brexit. Most commentators followed the pre-referendum opinion polls, saw the ever-changing mood of the British electorate, but nonetheless, they, as well as the initiators of Brexit, woke up very surprised by the outcome of the ballot. Several months later it turned out that history likes to repeat itself. Even on the election night, most voters and observers could not believe that Donald Trump would be elected US president. But it came to pass… Before the end of the year we also had electoral surprises in Austria and Italy, which also raised the atmosphere of “expecting a surprise”, if we look at them as a support act before next year’s ballots in France, the Netherlands and Germany. And what about the impact of all this on the real economy? Of course, the biggest and persisting consequences were those of the slowdown in China. Although not as severe as initially predicted by some, but sufficient to visibly reduce the global demand for raw materials, materials and fuels. Their oversupply extended the global deflation, softened up Iran, hurt Russia and Arab sheiks financially. Brexit, in turn, caused more speculations than real consequences. So far, Great Britain has not activated the exit procedure. Nobody knows how long the negotiations will last and what the future relations between the UK and the EU will look like. We are a bit closer to formulating more specific predictions regarding the presidency of Donald Trump. His victory coincided with an upward trend in the US economy. A fall in the rate of unemployment, increased wages, higher productivity and investment growth (mainly in the housing construction sector) already signal a sustainable expansion of the American economy. The reform of the business taxation policy announced by Trump, or a huge programme of infrastructural projects may provide a strong stimulus for its even faster growth. However, it seems that the lessons received by the financial markets in recent years on the occasion of various financial crises, such as that in the euro zone or in Greece, have been effective. The largest investors are able to hedge against “shocking” surprises. Significant stock market fluctuations after Brexit lasted all of two days, after Trump’s victory three hours, and just fifty minutes after the Italian referendum. So, how is Poland’s economy doing amidst all these global trends? The situation is good, but not hopeless – domestic scoffers used to say. Looking at the situation from the right perspective, that of a boat cast between ocean liners, this opinion contains a grain of truth. It is also true if instead of the cockily announced 4% GDP growth we manage to achieve just under 3%. It will be good if the drop in consumption is just a blip, and the reversal of the downward trend in investments is not just a blip. It will be good if we stop rejoicing because of the depreciation of the zloty, because powering exports and the economy by decreasing the value of our work brings us ever closer to a painful meeting of the head with a wall. To make a long story short, in line with the announcements, we have entered a phase of structural and regulatory reconstruction of the economy, where some ideas may work and others not. Can we escape the middle growth trap where the economy increases by 3-3.5%? We have been repeating for quite some time now: there are chances, but no guarantees. And we want to enter the year 2017 with this catchphrase. Slowly, the number of people who share this opinion is increasing. Back in mid-2016, the World Bank, OECD, the European Commission, rating agencies and analysts at major banks systematically lowered our growth forecasts. In the last quarter of 2016 this trend was arrested. After the latest figures released by the Central Statistical Office of Poland in November the risk of the GDP growth falling below 2% decreased, and it is beginning to appear that the slowdown is temporary. The Polish economy will also be supported by the slow but sustainable growth in Europe, not only predicted by the European Central Bank, but also supported by its quite stable and effective policy.

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President

PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE VISITS POLAND

MEETING OF POLAND’S PRESIDENT WITH REPRESENTATIVES OF THE WORLD BANK

A

visit of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and his wife in Warsaw on December 2, 2016 began with an official welcome ceremony attended by the Presidential Couple: Andrzej Duda and Agata Kornhauser-Duda. The visit coincided with the 25th anniversary of Poland’s recognition of Ukrainian independence. Then, a meeting was held at the Presidential Palace between Presidents Duda and Poroshenko. The main topics of the talks were: security in the region, elections in the USA, Ukraine’s European prospects, the power sector and historical issues. Plenary talks chaired by both leaders were also held. The presidents adopted a joint declaration on energy infrastructure. "Poland and Ukraine have been affected by the European Commission's decision regarding the OPAL gas pipeline, which allows Gazprom to increase gas transit to Europe, bypassing Ukraine," says the joint statement. "We believe that this decision needs to be reconsidered, at the same time understanding that this step can be very difficult and painful. We are committed to defending our common interests, using for this purpose all appropriate legal measures," continues the statement. Presidents Duda and Poroshenko stressed that the decision of the European Commission may be in violation of the reciprocal obligations contained in the Energy Community Treaty. A General Agreement on defence co-operation between the Republic of Poland and Ukraine was also signed in the presence of both leaders.

FOREIGN POLICY OF THE PRESIDENT IN 2017

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he implementation of the decisions of the Warsaw NATO Summit in their military and political dimension, co-operation between the EU and NATO, Poland’s membership in the UN Security Council and strengthening regional co-operation are some of the goals of President Andrzej Duda’s foreign policy in 2017. On January 11, during the annual meeting with the Diplomatic Corps accredited in Poland, President Andrzej Duda presented the main points of his international activities plan.

ADDRESS BY PRESIDENT ANDRZEJ DUDA ON THE OCCASION OF THE NEW YEAR`S MEETING WITH THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS

Photo: A.Hrechorowicz KPRP

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resident Andrzej Duda met at the Presidential Palace on December 8, 2016 with Arup Banerji, World Bank Regional Director for Operations in the European Union. Other guests of the President included Carlos E. Piñerúa, new representative of the World Bank in Poland and Emilia Skrok, who represented the Bank in our country until now. President Andrzej Duda presented the genesis, objectives and the first results of the main steps taken by him and the Polish government, to improve the quality of life of Poles, and thus at equalize the economic conditions of Polish families. He referred to the Family 500+ programme, a gradual increase of the tax-free allowance and the minimum wage, as well as the minimum hourly rate for work in Poland. According to the representatives of the World Bank, these actions support the priorities and objectives of the organisation and are favourably reviewed by experts on the economy. The mission of the World Bank Group is to reduce poverty and support sustainable development. The World Bank has begun work in Poland on a new project aimed at supporting the development of the poorer regions of the country through better use of the EU funds allocated to Poland in the years 2014-2020.

he results of the opinion polls recently conducted in Poland have revealed that, among several crucially important events which took place in 2016, may Compatriots listed two of international dimension: the World Youth Day in Kraków along with the visit of Pope Francis in Poland and the Warsaw NATO Summit. This demonstrates that foreign policy is of interest to the citizens of my country. Today I feel particularly satisfied that, on behalf of Poland, I was able to host both those events. Especially that they were perceived as a success both by the general public as well as by the interested parties. The above-mentioned projects can also be symbolically regarded as the ones indicating the direction of action in the international arena in the newly started year. On the one hand, the World Youth Day represents building a COMMUNITY through respect, dialogue and cooperation of the representatives of different nations, based on similar values. On the other hand, the NATO Summit in Warsaw reflects the striving to build SECURITY and PEACE in the Euro-Atlantic space. It is precisely these two directions that shall govern my foreign policy in 2017. I am firmly convinced that the sense of security and the awareness of being part of a community meets the needs and expectations of our citizens. We can all see how turbulent today`s world is. The beginning of the New Year was overshadowed by tragic and brutal terrorist attacks. Our nations dwell in the gloom of armed conflicts and strong political tensions between states. Such circumstances induce particularistic interests and unilateral actions, which only serve to deepen divisions within the international community. Therefore, as President of the Republic of Poland I will do my best to ensure that this year my country acts as a source of security and an active advocate of community-building efforts in the international arena. As regards the security policy, it is of utmost importance to us that all decisions taken by the Warsaw NATO Summit are implemented to the full extent: both on the military level, as well as the political one. That means going beyond collective defence and establishment of the enhanced forward presence of the North Atlantic Alliance in its Eastern flank. It encompasses also an unceasing readiness for dialogue, as well as cooperation with the non-NATO partners. Cooperation in the Baltic Sea region and in the East is of particular importance to us. Let us be mindful of the fact that in the latter area the issue of security pertains to a real conflict rather than potential threats. This is the reason why my Eastern policy will predominantly focus on actions aimed at ensuring stability and security in the region through enhanced cooperation with our neighbours.

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Prime Minister

"

We have agreed to implement joint infrastructural projects – each country in its own territory," Prime Minister Beata Szydło said during a press conference with Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka held in the Polish mountain resort of Wisła on December 12, 2016. The head of the Polish government thanked the Czech prime minister for supporting Poland’s candidacy as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. "The meeting was dedicated to bilateral co-operation and projects we want to implement together. We also talked about the forthcoming European Council summit in Brussels," Prime Minister Beata Szydło said. She added that the talks with the Czech prime minister also concerned current matters, including the road infrastructure and the construction of the S3 dual carriageway which is to connect to the Czech D11 motorway. Beata Szydło stressed it was an important project financed by the EU funds. "Another issue is the navigability of the River Odra. Our ministers will meet soon and appoint a team tasked with the implementation of this project," the head of the government said. The prime minister said that cultural co-operation was also an important matter. "We are going to sign a Polish-Czech agreement on police co-operation," Beata Szydło announced. The meeting of the heads of governments in Wisła was the first bilateral meeting since the Polish-Czech intergovernmental consultations held on April 8, 2016.

PRIME MINISTER BEATA SZYDŁO IN TIRANA: WE WILL ELIMINATE BARRIERS TO POLISH EXPORTS

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We want a new agency supporting Polish exports and investments to start its work by the end of the year. We intend to set up 60 trade offices abroad", Prime Minister Beata Szydło said in Tirana on December 9, 2016. During the Polish-Albanian Economic Forum she declared that her cabinet wanted to increase Poland’s exports. Prime Minister Szydło declared that Poland wanted to strengthen its economic contacts with Albania and boost trade. In her opinion, there is considerable potential for developing co-operation between our countries. At the forum Poland presented its exports in areas such as the power sector, manufacturing of machinery, buses, agricultural equipment, furniture and food processing. In the course of the forum a Co-operation Agreement between the Federation of Albanian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Polish Chamber of Commerce and a Co-operation Agreement between the Albanian Investment Development Agency and the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency were signed.

PRIME MINISTER BEATA SZYDŁO IN LONDON: GREAT BRITAIN IS POLAND’S STRATEGIC PARTNER

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fter the plenary session on November 28, 2016 of the intergovernmental consultations chaired by both Prime Ministers, Beata Szydło and Theresa May said that Poland and Great Britain were close allies in the European Union and intended to strengthen the ties between the countries. Prime Minister Beata Szydło said the topics broached during the consultations included economic relations, defence, science, culture and matters pertaining to the Poles living in Great Britain. "These were good, concrete talks. We set out plans for the future and agreed to joint obligations. We realise that the British government does not hold such consultations very often, which makes them even more important to us," the prime minister stressed. "We have agreed to hold further talks in the coming month," Beata Szydło said. The prime minister said the Polish-British consultations would be continued next year. "We are going to use this formula to discuss the most important matters regarding our relations," she added.

MEETING OF PRIME MINISTER BEATA SZYDŁO WITH THE PRIME MINISTER OF MALTA

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he priorities of the Maltese presidency in the European Council and the current agenda were the topics of the November 30 talks between Beata Szydło and Joseph Muscat. The meeting with Prime Minister Beata Szydło was an element of the consultations which the head of the Maltese government was holding in selected capitals prior to Malta taking over the presidency of the EU Council in January 2017. This was the first visit of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat in Poland. The priorities of the Maltese presidency in the European Council, discussed during the meeting of the heads of governments, included migration and eastern and southern flanks of the European Union. Other topics broached during the meeting were reforms in the EU, Brexit and economic issues.

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Photo: P. Tracz KPRM

PRIME MINISTER BEATA SZYDŁO ON CO-OPERATION WITH THE CZECH REPUBLIC: WE WILL IMPLEMENT INFRASTRUCTURAL PROJECTS TOGETHER

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Our Guest

WE CAN REBUILD OUR RELATIONS STANISŁAW KARCZEWSKI, Speaker of Upper Chamber of the Polish Parliament, talks to "Polish Market". Mr Speaker, in early December you visited Belarus and met Aleksandr Lukashenko, the head of state. What are the results of the bilateral talks? My visit ended a year in which, after a long break, we reestablished contacts with Belarus. The rebuilding of our relations became possible because in early 2016 the European Union lifted the sanctions imposed on that country. Since then, Belarus has been visited by Witold Waszczykowski, minister of foreign affairs, deputy premier Mateusz Morawiecki and deputy speaker of the Parliament Ryszard PM

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Terlecki. An important result of these discussions is an agreement on cooperation in the field of education signed between the Government of Poland and the Government of the Republic of Belarus, which was ratified by the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly (the equivalent of our Senate), during my visit. It is a very important agreement which means, among others, permission for Polish teachers to work in Belarus, collaboration between universities, exchange of students and young people, work on common history textbooks. I hope that this agreement


Our Guest IN BELARUS THERE LIVES A LARGE GROUP OF POLES. ACCORDING TO THE OFFICIAL CENSUS, IT IS APPROXIMATELY 295,000 STRONG, BUT ACCORDING TO UNOFFICIAL ESTIMATES, THERE ARE MORE THAN A MILLION POLES IN BELARUS. THEREFORE, MY ROLE IS CARING FOR OUR COMPATRIOTS AND THE LEGACY LEFT IN THE EAST.

will be an impulse to revive the Polish-Belarusian cooperation and will constitute an important element of building good-neighbourly relations. During the visit we signed with the President of the Republic a declaration on cooperation between the upper chambers of the parliaments of the two countries, aimed at establishing parliamentary cooperation, cooperation between parliamentary committees. The aim of parliamentary diplomacy is precisely to create a good climate for concrete discussions on economic and political cooperation. I discussed all topics of interest to us with President Lukashenko. The president expects that our economic relations will match good political relations. This meeting showed that Belarus wants economic cooperation. It welcomed the initiative to organize a Forum of Regions and the PolandBelarus Economic Forum , and I think that Poland will organize such a forum in 2017. We have experience in organizing such forums - once with Russia, now with Croatia. During the 20th “Good Neighbours 2016” Polish-Belarusian Economic Forum, deputy Prime Minister Mikhail Rusy pointed out that this year saw an upsurge in Belarus-Poland relations and that "a constructive and progressive dialogue with the Polish government was continuing”. Are you satisfied with this dialogue? The most important thing is that this dialogue has been initiated. As the Speaker of the Senate, in addition to establishing interparliamentary relations I have one very important task. The Senate takes care of the Polish Diaspora and Poles abroad. In Belarus there lives a large group of Poles. According to the official census, it is approximately 295,000 strong, but according to unofficial estimates, there are more than a million Poles in Belarus. Therefore, my role is caring for our compatriots and the legacy left in the East. During the visit I met with Poles living in Belarus. I talked with them about their expectations and concerns. The most important issue for the Poles in Belarus is to legalize the Union of Poles in Belarus. The organization was banned in 2005 and was replaced by one with the same name but with a pro-government leadership. I talked about this with Belarusian politicians. They would prefer to see a merger of the two unions, but the Poles in the banned union do not agree to this and therefore there is no consent to such a solution. There also remains the question of the Polish Homes built with the support of Poland. Fourteen of the sixteen of these homes are managed by this legalized union, recognized by the Belarusian authorities. For now, we have not reached any agreement on these points, but I think at every opportunity we must come back to this issue and persist in seeking a solution. I am satisfied with the talks held in Belarus, because it is always worth talking. I am an advocate of dialogue. If we are able to improve the situation of Polish education in Belarus just a little, then it would have been worth the effort. The same applies if we manage to open Belarusian society to Europe, and if we can increase the security of Poland and Belarus. PM

Are political differences going to be a hindrance in economic contacts? I think that violations of human rights can be a bigger obstacle. Lately, the authorities have been rePM

fraining from repression and according to the opposition figures I met during my visit, currently there are no political prisoners in Belarus. However, it would be difficult to speak of full freedom of association and full political pluralism. In 2016, the value of trade between Belarus and Poland may exceed USD 2.5 billion. Should we be satisfied with this result? This is not a satisfactory result, but we are happy with the fact that the turnover increases. We have not yet reached the level of trade from a few years ago. There is great potential on both sides, but until now politics has stood in the way. There are also fewer trade barriers. It is also difficult to overcome the reluctance and fear of the Belarusian side of ratifying the agreement on local cross-border traffic. Poland has completed all ratification procedures in this respect. PM

Which sectors of the economy provide opportunities for co-operation between Poland and Belarus. Poland and Belarus lie on one East-West transport route, which opens up prospects for co-operation. It is an opportunity to make money and, therefore, it is in our common interest to develop projects related to transport and border infrastructure. We want to work in the field of agriculture, we want to promote tourism in the border regions. The growth of Polish agri-food exports to Belarus should be accompanied by our investments in food processing, transfer of equipment and technology. I think that economic co-operation can be the basis for closer ties between both countries. In the area of scientific co-operation a good example is the agreement concluded during our stay in Minsk between the Polish Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus. • PM

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Economy

GREAT PROSPECTS FOR COOPERATION ARE OFFERED BY NEW TECHNOLOGIES AND MODERN SOLUTIONS ALEKSANDR AVERYANOV, Ambassador of Belarus to Poland, talks to “Polish Market.” In October 2016, deputy Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki met in Minsk with Aleksandr Lukashenko, the Belarusian head of state. He opened the 20th PolishBelarusian Economic Forum “Good Neighbourhood 2016”. What is the outcome of the talks between representatives of the two countries? Deputy Prime Minister Morawiecki declared at the meeting that Poland wanted to cooperate with Belarus as a partner and to the benefit of both sides. The effects are obvious here. It will enable us to continue strengthening economic and investment cooperation between our countries. Belarus is interested in setting up joint companies with Poland while Polish firms, by starting up businesses in Belarus, gain not only access to our country’s market of 10 million consumers but also have an opportunity to benefit from PM

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direct access to the markets of the Eurasian Economic Union members. Can the Economic Forum be regarded as a “new opening”? Polish business people hope to carry out new projects on the Belarusian market and believe it offers great prospects. More than 270 Polish entrepreneurs came to Minsk to attend the 20th Economic Forum “Good Neighbourhood 2016” in Minsk. It was for the first time in 10 years that we recorded such a large number of business people and such great interest in the Forum. Almost all sectors of the economy were presented at the Forum, which contributed to establishing new and developing existing business contacts. We are open to more active cooperation. We offer Polish firms special conditions for the fast development of business because

Belarus is interested in stimulating the process of privatization in conjunction with large strategic investors.

PM

Why should Polish entrepreneurs and investors choose Belarus. Why is it worth investing in Belarus? Many advantages of investing in Belarus result from the favourable geographical location of our country – at the intersection of transport routes, between the European Union and the Eurasian Economic Union. Social and political stability, the absence of regional and national conflicts, and low crime are also of great importance for investors. When choosing where to invest, one also takes into consideration the legal and treaty framework. From this perspective, very favourable legal conditions have been created in our country for the foreign investor. They are guaranteed PM


Economy by both international agreements and national legislation. Additionally, a system of special reliefs and preferential treatment has been created for investors in free economic zones, the high-technology park, the Chinese-Belarusian industrial park, small and mediumsized cities and in rural areas. Data from the World Bank’s annual Doing Business Report show that measures taken by Belarus to improve conditions for business activity, including conditions for prospective investors, have been effective. In the Doing Business 2017 league table, Belarus is ranked 37th among 190 countries. The report stresses that Belarus is one of the countries which have made the biggest improvement in the ranking’s individual indicators. In which spheres could our cooperation be the best? I am sure that - apart from traditional areas of cooperation – great prospects for cooperation are offered by new technologies and modern solutions in the energy sector, including the renewable energy industry, the IT sector and telecom technologies, the production of industrial goods and the automotive industry, agriculture, construction, the food industry and processing, the wood industry, the production of furniture and components, tourism and transport and logistics services. Belarusian deputy Prime Minister Mikhail Rusy said that in 2016 the value of trade between Belarus and Poland may exceed USD2.5 billion. “Our goal should be to cross the USD4 billion mark in the next two or three years,” he added. Do you think it is feasible? In the best years, the value of trade between our countries, according to Belarusian statistics, was already close to USD3 billion. I am speaking about the years 2011-2014. At present, we cooperate under conditions of the trends which dominate the global economy: the global financial crisis, constraints in trade relations with the Russian Federation and the European Union, which are still our main trading partners, and unfavourable changes in the prices of a significant part of our exports. There was no way for all this not to affect the size of our bilateral trade. I am not going to make a forecast for the future, but I can assure you that we will spare no effort for our foreign trade to measure up to our potential and to make our goods trade more balanced. PM

Speaking about our relations, we should not focus exclusively on economy. It is worth visiting Belarus as a tourist, going there for a holiday. For Polish people Belarus is the least visited and least known country among Poland’s PM

Photo: Krzysztof M. Ratschk

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neighbours. It is not only because one needs a visa to enter our country. The main reason is that Polish media show our country in a rather biased and selective manner. Another one is that people are simply unaware that there is a very interesting country close by, at the other side of the Bug river and Augustów Forest and in the eastern part of Białowieża Forest – a country rich in beautiful nature and picturesque landscapes, with cultural heritage worth seeing and hospitable and friendly people whose fathers and forefathers lived with Poles in harmony for several centuries. I believe that our country truly deserves to become better known. For this to happen, our government has adopted ordinances making it possible to come to Belarus without a visa – for up to three days to visit Białowieża Forest and up to five days to visit Grodno (Hrodna) and the Augustów Canal. And on February 12, 2017, the presidential decree will come into force allowing visa-free stays in Belarus for up to five days if one travels by air. Deputy Prime Minister Mikhail Rusy pointed to the intensification of Belarussian-Polish relations in 2016 and the ongoing “constructive and progressing dialogue with the Polish government.” Are you satisfied with this dialogue? We have indeed managed to improve our relations, raise the level of our bilateral contacts, and resume active exchange not only PM

at the public administration level but also at the level of businesses. We wish to thank our Polish partners for what we have already achieved and we hope for more. We have many ideas of how to make our relations even better and raise political and economic relations to a higher level. Last year in August, 25 years passed since Belarus had proclaimed its independence. And in a few months we will be celebrating a quarter-century of diplomatic relations between Warsaw and Minsk. They were established on March 2, 1992. How do you view our relations, 25 years on? I see these 25 years first of all as a difficult period of transition and uncertainty, a time of building confidence and of lost opportunities. I think, however, that we have managed, even under difficult economic conditions, not to lose trust in each other and return to a constructive dialogue, which will never be replaced again by uncertainty, disrespect and stereotypes. I am convinced that our peoples deserve to have a decent life and respect and that we should no longer choose between the West and East. Our shared history has already made this choice for us – together, we should be links between the West and East, work together in our own interest and for the good of our neighbours, ensuring peace and stability on the European continent. • PM

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Poland-Belarus Economic Relations

INFORMATION ON THE ECONOMIC RELATIONS BETWEEN POLAND AND BELARUS BELARUS General information • • • • • • •

AREA: 207,600 KM² POPULATION: 9.5 MILLION HEAD OF STATE (PRESIDENT): ALEKSANDR LUKASHENKO PRIME MINISTER (CHANCELLOR) ANDREI KOBYAKOV SINCE 27 DECEMBER 2014 MINISTER OF ECONOMY VLADIMIR ZINOVSKY SINCE 27 DECEMBER 2014 MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS VLADIMIR MAKEI SINCE 20 AUGUST 2014 AMBASSADOR OF BELARUS TO POLAND ALEKSANDR AVERYANOV SINCE 30 JANUARY 2014 AMBASSADOR OF POLAND TO BELARUS KONRAD PAWLIK SINCE MARCH 2016

BASIC INFORMATION, ECONOMIC SITUATION Capital – Minsk Currency – Belarusian rouble Type of state: presidential republic Belarus is a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). It has bilateral free trade agreements with other CIS countries.

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Since 1999 it has been in a Union with the Russian Federation. Since July 6, 2010 Belarus has been a member of the Belarus-Russia-Kazakhstan Customs Union and is part of the Common Economic Area created by these states, which began functioning on January 1, 2015. On January 1, 2015 Belarus joined the Eurasian Economic Union. Belarus is also a member of international organisations such as the UN, IMF, WB and UNIDO. It also expresses interest in joining the WTO.

ECONOMIC POLICY The economic policy of Belarus is strongly centralized. In the years 1996-2008, Belarus experienced steady economic growth. In 2009, as a result of crises, a slowdown of economic growth took place combined with a decline in industrial production. After a good 2010, in which the GDP of Belarus increased by 7.6%, there followed a marked slowdown. Starting from March 2011, a systematic deterioration of the financial sector of Belarus was observed, with the collapse of the exchange rate of the Belarusian rouble and the necessity of its devaluation. The value of the US dollar at this time almost

tripled compared to the Belarusian rouble. This improved the situation in exports, but negatively changed the system of prices in the internal market. Since the beginning of 2012, symptoms of a relative stabilization of the Belarusian economy have been seen. The year 2013 ended with an increase in GDP of 0.9%. In 2014, GDP growth began to undulate, to end at 1.6% due to the weakness in exports, whose share in the GDP is well over 50%. After the first half of 2015, the main domestic macroeconomic indicator (GDP) showed a negative growth rate, which increases from month to month. In 2015, there was a collapse in exports (-25%) and imports. The GDP expressed in the Belarusian rouble declined by 3.9%. The equivalent dollar GDP decreased by 28%. There was a sharp reduction in the standard of living of the population. Real income decreased by half. Further economic development of Belarus needs restructuring reforms (including privatization), inflow of foreign capital and new technologies. The government of Belarus in the long term assumes a doubling of the GDP by 2030. The largest economic partners of Belarus in exports were: Russia, Great Britain, Ukraine and Holland. When it comes to imports, in


Poland-Belarus Economic Relations

2015 the top spot was occupied by Russia followed by China, Germany and Poland.

TREATY FRAMEWORK OF ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION Following Poland's accession to the EU, Polish economic co-operation with Belarus was governed by the Trade Agreement between the EU and the Soviet Union from 1989, whose provisions were extended to include the new EU Member States. The Partnership and Cooperation Treaty signed by the EU and Belarus, ratified by Belarus, has not been ratified by the EU and has not entered into force. The Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Belarus and the Government of the Republic of Poland on economic cooperation (2006/26/286MP)was signed on 30 April 2004. Its provisions do not collide with the competencies of the EU. It served as the legal basis for the formation of the New Polish-Belarusian Economic Co-operation Commission. So far, three meetings of the Commission have been held. The first took place on April 14, 2008 in Warsaw, the second on January 14, 2010 in Minsk and the last on December 1, 2014 in Warsaw. Another meeting is scheduled to take place in the autumn of 2016 in Belarus. There exist several agreements regulating economic relations between Poland and Belarus, such as intergovernmental agreements on the avoidance of double taxation of November 18, 1992 (1993/120/534Dz.U), on mutual support and protection of investments of April 24, 1992 (1993/122/545Dz.U) and on tourism cooperation of 1995.

TRADE BETWEEN POLAND AND BELARUS According to the figures for 2015, the value of trade between Poland and Belarus reached nearly USD 2.1 billion (a decline by 28% compared with 2014), with Polish exports amounting to USD 1.3 billion (a drop by 38%), and imports to USD 832.7 million (down 3%). According to the preliminary data for January-April 2016, the value of trade between the countries was USD 704.5 million (an increase by 3.4% compared with the same period of 2015), with Polish exports reaching USD 420 million (up by 6.3%), and imports USD 284.4 million (down by 0.5%). In 2015, Belarus occupied the 25th place among Poland’s most important export markets and 36th place among the biggest import markets.

In 2015, some 6,000 Polish companies were engaged in export transactions involving the Belarussian market, with approximately 1,000 companies importing goods from Belarus.

INVESTMENT AND CAPITAL COOPERATION According to the estimates of the National Bank of Poland, since 1991 the total value of direct investments of Poland in Belarus amounted to USD 360 million. In terms of foreign direct investments in Belarus, in 2015 Poland occupied the 9th place (10th in 2014). According to figures released by Belstat, in 2015 Polish investments in Belarus reached USD 136.9 million, including USD 112.5 million of direct investment. The geographical structure of Polish investments in Belarus differs from the structure of the total foreign investment in the country, as they are situated mainly in the border areas. According to data for 2015, the largest Polish investments can be found in Brest (31.4%), Grodno (28.5%), Vitebsk (20%), with Minsk accounting for 5.7%. Polish companies are situated mainly in the border areas. The special economic zones in Belarus currently play host to 35 Polish companies.

MARKET ACCESS In 2008, a number of legal measures were adopted to improve the investment climate in Belarus. In 2014, as in the previous year, there were six preferential areas for use by investors, including foreign ones. These included free economic zones, the programme for the development of medium and small towns and rural areas, a High Technology Park, agreements with investors, the "Augustów Canal" Park of Tourism and Recreation and the Chinese-Belarusian Industrial Park.

ACTIONS AIMED AT STIMULATING BILATERAL ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION After a 5 year hiatus, co-operation at the level of the Joint Polish-Belarusian Economic Co-operation Commission was resumed in 2014. In addition, on December 1, 2014, a Memorandum of Co-operation between the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency (PAIiIZ S.A.) and the National Investment and Privatisation Agency of Belarus (NAIP) was signed. On June 15, 2015 the 4th meeting of the permanent Polish-Belarusian Working Group on Trade and Investment operating within the frame of the Joint Polish-Belarusian

Commission was held in Minsk. The Polish delegation was chaired by Andrzej Dycha, Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Economy while the Belarusian delegation was headed by Aleksandr Guryanov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus. During the meeting, the Group discussed important areas of economic cooperation, including trade and investment. Numerous contacts at the level of companies have been maintained at all times. In 2014 and 2015 they were intense. In 2014, the events in Belarus were attended by more than 80 delegations, missions and visits co-organised by the Department of Trade and Investment Promotion in Minsk. On April 3, 2014 the Polish-Belarusian Business Forum took place in Minsk, attended by representatives of Polish and Belarusian entrepreneurs. The Good Neighbourhood Economic Forum is a permanent form of bilateral contacts between entrepreneurs from Poland and Belarus. It takes place alternately in the two countries. These initiatives involved mostly centres located a short distance from the border: in Biała Podlaska, Minsk, Białystok and Brest. Belarus is covered by a system of financial support for Polish exports from the Polish national budget, which means, among others, the possibility of financing part of the cost of obtaining a product certificate. Measures to support Polish exports and investment are also implemented by the Department of Trade and Investment Promotion in Minsk. Detailed information regarding the rules of granting the aforesaid support can be found at: http://www.eksporter.gov.pl.

POTENTIAL AREAS OF CO-OPERATION Prospective areas of economic co-operation include energy, including renewable energy sources and energy efficiency, transport, construction, environmental protection, co-operation in the banking and insurance sector, co-operation between customs and border services, certification, small- and medium-sized enterprises, tourism. The main regions for tourism development on both sides of the border include Białowieża Forest and the Augustów Canal region.

Memorandum drawn up by: Department of International Co-operation Ministry of Economic Development • July 2016 1-2/2017  1-2/2017 polish market

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COOPERATION WITH THE

COUNTRIES OF THE REGION CAN BE MUTUALLY PROFITABLE ALEKSANDR AVERYANOV, Ambassador of Belarus to Poland

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elarus and Poland share not only a long history, an over 400-kilometre border and the Belovezhskaya Pushch a (Białowieża Forest). But still there is a lot of room to raise awareness and knowledge about one another. Belarusians often travel to Poland and I believe Belarus can be an interesting destination for Poles and travellers from Western Europe, too. Today, however, I would like to focus on the economic aspect of the Belarusian-Polish relations, which our country wants to increase. The 20th Belarusian-Polish Economic Forum Good Neighbourhood 2016, which took place on October 24-25 in Minsk, is an excellent platform for the mutual engagement to grow significantly. Joint interests and the need to increase the collaboration was expressed by the Belarusian Head of State, Alexander Lukashenko, and the Head of the Government, Andrei Kobiakov, as well as the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development and Finance of Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki, and sealed by numerous businesses from both countries, including over 200 entrepreneurs from Poland. It is important to emphasise that Belarus has been recently sending very clear positive signals to European business. Our country, badly hit by recession caused by the global economic crisis and in particular by the economic crisis in neighboring Russia, is opening for foreign investors, offering best investment opportunities

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ever in free economic areas, industrial parks and in small settlements and towns. It also allows to increase the participation of private capital in the economy. Also, since July 2016 investment projects can be conducted within the framework of public-private partnership, that enhances possibilities considerably. In the coming couple of years almost 60 state-owned enterprises are to be privatised. During his visit to Minsk, Poland’s Deputy Prime Minister discussed how Polish companies could participate in the privatisation process and which companies could Polish firms potentially invest in. Mr Morawiecki believes, Belarus could also benefit from the Polish know-how in the insurance and banking sector. During the Forum, the Warsaw Stock Exchange signed a memorandum of understanding, whose goal will be to encourage Belarusian firms to look for financing at the bourse through initial public offerings (IPOs). Today’s Belarus very much resembles most of CEE countries in the mid-1990s when there were still plenty of large state-owned companies with huge potential looking to be restructured and modernised. There is good access to well-qualified labour force, there are lots of development prospects and a huge demand for new technologies, innovations and foreign investments. Poland’s transition to a market economy has been rather successful and Polish companies competing on the global markets are quite

numerous today. The Polish capital market has grown to become one of the biggest in the region. Poland similarly to seven other countries in Central and Eastern Europe, has been a member of the European Union for over a decade now. We are very happy that there are already plenty of Polish firms operating in Belarus. At the end of 2015, there were over 350 firms with Polish capital in Belarus, which ranked Poland seventh amongst the largest investors in the country. Polish companies invest about USD200 million per year in Belarus. During the Forum, the Belarussian Deputy Prime Minister confirmed that during the first seven months of 2016, Belarus’ imports from Poland amounted to USD790 million (4.5% more than in the same period of 2015), and exports — USD490 million (7% more than in the first seven months of 2016). He believes that growth can be sustained in the coming years and the value of bilateral trade should exceed USD4 billion in 2018. The Forum was focussed on the new opening of Belarus for Polish companies and it would be a great privilege for us to welcome more Polish and Western European investors in Belarus. In the end, the two countries have been very close to one another for centuries. It is high time to make them even closer, both by raising awareness about one another as well as trade and investment. •


Poland-Belarus Economic Relations

KAROL ZARAJCZYK, President of the Board of Ursus SA, talks to "Polish Market" about the company’s international expansion, markets where Ursus products are available and electromobility.

WE WANT TO ACTIVELY PARTICIPATE IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF

ELECTROMOBILITY Ursus is one of the engines of Polish exports. What is the secret behind your international success? Foreign expansion is an important element of Ursus’ development strategy. We sell our products in tens of countries including the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Belgium, Holland, Slovenia, Croatia, Scandinavian and Eastern markets. We also look with interest at the former Soviet republics: Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. We are expanding in the European markets, both in the PM

segment of tractors and environment-friendly buses and in Africa, where we offer tractors and agricultural machinery. Success in Africa is a result of building a competitive advantage on many levels: business, cultural and government support. The Ursus brand has been well known there for many years and worked its magic when we negotiated the first contracts. However, the involvement in the development of the local business, investment, knowledge and technology transfer is a prerequisite for securing contracts 1-2/2017  1-2/2017 polish market

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Poland-Belarus Economic Relations

in Africa. Openness and respect for a different culture pays off in business relationships. Africa needs equipment that is easy to operate and reliable. You participate in many trade missions. Can it be said that your export success derives from these missions? What is their impact on the way the Ursus brand is perceived abroad? Ursus is the oldest Polish brand with over 120 years of tradition in the mechanisation of Polish agriculture. It is a significant part of the history of the Polish automotive industry, both before and after the Second World War. It is a brand with great domestic and international potential. Acquiring foreign orders requires prior preparation, building credibility, participation in missions, which are a very good way of achieving mutual understanding with potential partners. The fact that economic missions are supported by the Polish government is a very important factor lending Polish businesses credibility at the beginning of the road. A good example of the effectiveness of such missions is the arrival of Ursus in the African markets. PM

Africa, a market where you are present, is very specific when it comes to new investors. How did you build your business relations in that market and how much time did it take? Already in 2011, we saw positive changes taking place in the area of African politics and PM

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economy. Today, the economic growth rate is much higher there than in other parts of the world, which leads to interest in business development on that continent. We came to the conclusion that African countries are a space in which we can leverage our experience in agricultural mechanisation. We knew that Africa needed the equipment that would be easy to use and reliable. Moreover, the transfer of knowledge is extremely important to Africa. Africans expect investment contracts to be accompanied by access to the know-how of the investor, to his knowledge and modern technology, which is why business relationships are long-term in nature. We signed the first contract in Africa in 2013 with the Ethiopian company METEC. In August 2015, we

entered into another, this time with the Ethiopian Sugar Corporation (ESC). A few months later, in October 2015, we signed a contract in Tanzania. In these two countries, we have a strong position and are perceived as a reliable business partner. We are working hard on gaining new markets in Africa. We intend to increase our business both in terms of tractor production, their distribution and maintenance services. The prospects are huge, this is only the beginning of our expansion in Africa. PM

Ursus is increasingly boldly going into the electric transport segment. You build buses. What is the current market for these vehicles? Who will buy them?


Poland-Belarus Economic Relations We put a particularly strong focus on envronment-friendly means of transport. We want to be at the forefront of the European players in this market. The prospects for electric vehicles are very good, because many of the EU funds will be directed towards the replacement of urban transport fleets towards envronment-friendly vehicles, due to the European green transport requirements. We offer two electric buses - Ursus City Smile and Ursus Ekovolt and a hydrogen bus called City Smile Fuel Cell Electric Bus. In September last year, the Ursus Bus consortium won the tender for the supply of electric buses for Warsaw. Currently, at the Ursus plant in Lublin, we are able to make 100 buses annually. In 3-4 years we would like to manufacture a few hundred electric buses and trolleybuses annually. According to our analysis, over the next three years, in Polish cities alone tenders will be held for the purchase of 500-600 new electric buses. Outside Poland we plan to participate in tenders organised in Sweden, England, Israel, the Czech Republic and Mexico. We also see great interest in our hydrogen bus in the European market. What is the competition in the electric vehicles market today? There has been quite a lot of talk about this, especially at the government level. The Polish government sees the potential of envronment-friendly means of transport, so we can expect public support for the production of such vehicles. In Septemberlast year, the Ministry of Energy adopted the Electromobility Development Plan and announced that by 2025 there should be 1 million electric vehicles driving on Polish roads, consuming some 4 TWh of electricity annually. At the end of September, the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) approved the establishing by the four largest Polish energy companies of a joint company tasked with contributing to the development of the electric vehicles industry in Poland. The company is to be named Electromobility Poland. The company's activity is to stimulate the development of the electric vehicle market and related markets, allow Polish companies to compete in the EU market and the world, which should bring economic, social and environmental benefits for the country's economy, raising the competitiveness of domestic enterprises. The EU programmes funding envronment-friendly means of transport are getting under way. There are tenders in European cities and these factors drive the market and mobilise production. We want to be an active participant in the development of electromobility in Poland and support the PM

Polish government in the implementation of strategic objectives in this area. That is why for several years we have been successfully developing our department of vehicles powered by the "green" energy.

of the key Polish players in the African market. We can see the commitment of the Polish government to supporting the development of Polish companies abroad. Tractors, military vehicles, electric buses‌ when should we expect to see passenger cars made by Ursus? Each project associated with electromobility is thoroughly analysed by us. We carefully observe the passenger car market. In September of last year, we presented a prototype electric delivery vehicle. We want to offer the car to transport companies and municipal services in cities and municipalities. Due to the fact that electric cars are extremely quiet, the new vehicle can be used to make night-time deliveries. It is also ideal for utility companies. We see a chance of finding a niche for ourselves thanks to co-operation with this sector. Our plans assume the development and launch of production of an entirely Polish medium-size delivery van. The start of mass production is a matter of the next two, maximum three years. This is to be a vehicle up to 3.5 tonnes, satisfying the L7e approval conditions, making it roadworthy in Europe. The size of this vehicle will be comparable to that of the Fiat Scudo. In order to develop the new vehicle we have organised a consortium with a group of Polish companies. It includes, besides Ursus: AMZ Kutno, Impact Automotive Technologies and the Institute of Electrical Drives and Machines Komel. • PM

What about building economic diplomacy in your sector? Are diplomats helpful in the Asian or African market? Polish entrepreneurs expect government support for the promotion of Polish products and companies in the EU markets and beyond. Government support validates our companies abroad. This translates into easier administrative procedures and allows for the acquisition of security and financing of foreign projects, which in many countries is a prerequisite for trade. The climate for Polish companies has been changing for the better in recent years. And the Polish government increasingly actively promotes Poland and supports domestic business in foreign markets. Ursus is an example of a company that has received state support under a government programme which promotes Polish companies on the African continent. All our contracts in Africa were signed on the basis of bilateral agreements concluded by the Polish government with the governments of African countries. Poland, within the framework of the tied aid within the OECD, has given Ethiopia and Tanzania a loan for the purchase of, among others, our machines. This support translates into real business. Today, we are Africa's partner in the mechanisation of agriculture and one PM

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Poland-Belarus Economic Relations

WE FOLLOW

PIOTR STOLARCZYK, Vice-President of the Export Credit Insurance Corporation (KUKE SA), talks to Ewelina Janczylik-Foryś.

OUR EXPORTERS As part of the Programme for the International Expansion of Polish Businesses, the Polish Development Fund plans to strengthen the role of KUKE in supporting exports by providing it with a capital injection of PLN200 million. In what way can the capital injection be helpful? It may enhance our insurance potential and enable us to insure larger contracts. Please remember that our firm is based on two pillars. As the only insurer in Poland, we offer insurance and the state’s exports guarantees, which ensure security of trade on high-risk markets. In the latter case, the risk is borne by the state. But we also carry out commercial activity. The capital injection is very important for our commercial operations because they are based on our capital. This activity means we insure trade receivables on the domestic market and export receivables. From the point of view of the exporter, it makes no difference whether a specific product we present them is offered as part of our guaranteed or commercial activity. The companies we directly compete with in the area of financial insurance have a stronger capital base than KUKE. The capital injection makes it possible for us to strengthen our position and increase our support for Polish businesses. PM

How does KUKE differ from other companies? The year 2009 and the global financial crisis comes to my mind. At that time, our competition reduced insurance limits. As a result, Polish businesses had to face a higher trade risk because they were unable to insure their receivables PM

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to the same extent as before the crisis. The result was increased interest in KUKE products, which is reflected in a rise in our exposure in that period. Many businesses started to use our services then and have remained our clients to this day. Our clients see us as a predictable company. We give them stability and this is important. Does your experience and observations tell you that Polish businesses are now more active on foreign markets than in the past? Indeed. Polish firms penetrate foreign markets increasingly boldly. We encourage exporters to contact us at the early stages when they are only considering signing a foreign contract. We are able not only to help the exporter in the negotiations, but also assess whether the deal and its financing makes sense at all. Starting talks with us early increases the likelihood that the negotiations about the export contract will be successful. I would like to encourage businesses to contact us and talk with us. PM

You take exporters under your protective umbrella. We want KUKE to be treated as a professional financial institution. This is why we are undergoing changes and adjusting to the requirements of businesses and banks. In the case of long-term insurance, we conduct business negotiations with the importer in parallel with the exporter and the bank. Together, we shape the deal to make it optimal for the exporter’s business model. We customize our PM


Poland-Belarus Economic Relations

solutions, combining insurance and financial products such as long-term loans, letters of credit and short-term financing. Already at the early stages, we try to show banks how we approach the risk of the transaction so as to make the whole process predictable for all the parties involved. We invite banks to take part in financing. Many transactions are so large that no bank is able independently to offer a loan for the full amount needed. In such cases, it is necessary to set up a consortium. We have changed our philosophy and are now more active. We take part in the talks which exporters hold with their customers. We try to be as close to our client as possible. Terms of the transaction and financing conditions are among the key factors determining the exporter’s competitiveness. This is why we jointly try to propose solutions making what Polish businesses offer on foreign markets sufficiently attractive for them to secure contracts. Who exports more – large or small firms? We work to a large extent with small and medium businesses. PM

PM “Coverage

for the Whole World” with KUKE is a package of trade receivables insurance for micro and small businesses. It seems to be something new. Do you think such a product is needed? In other words, are micro and small businesses able at all to compete on foreign markets? Of course. It is true, however, that it is more difficult for a small firm. There is the question of costs associated with penetrating the market and ensuring trade security. Hence the idea to support micro and small businesses and reduce the barriers they encounter. KUKE offers them insurance products which effectively reduce the financial risk involved in the sale of their products and services. This enhances trade security, supports sales and makes it easier to finance expansion. Insurance enables avoiding payment backlogs. Apart from damages in the case of non-payment for goods or services, our insurance also guarantees checking the reliability of the trading partner and debt recovery by a financial institution, which increases the buyers’ readiness to pay. In other words, thanks to our insurance products, a small firm exporting products to foreign markets may feel secure. This means in practice that we take responsibility for vetting the customer. For what else does setting an insurance limit for the customer mean? It actually means vetting them. We assess the customer’s financial situation and payment morale.

Have there been any transactions where you suggested the exporter to think carefully whether to take the risk and invest? Yes, this is our daily work. We have a lot of such cases. The outcome of some vetting processes in negative. This shows the exporter that perhaps the customer does not have sufficient ability to pay. This is why it is so important for the exporter to come to us at a very early stage as this may save them time and effort. PM

After years of “going out” onto Western European markets, Polish businesses are increasingly looking for new opportunities on Eastern markets. A good example is Belarus. KUKE has been present on the Belarussian market since 1996 when the first agreements were signed. We have 20 years of experience in this country. Our short-term and long-term products are available on the Belarussian market. Short-term products are mostly intended for exporters, who are interested in trade. These are typical products in insuring receivables from a trade contract of up to two years. Long-term insurance is important when it comes to investment goods because they involve long payment periods. In many cases, it takes several years to close a transaction financially. We insure longterm investment credits and receivables from contracts where the importer expects to have the payment spread over several years. In negotiations with their potential partners, Belarussian importers are interested not only in the goods that are offered, but also the costs of acquiring financing for their purchase. The Polish entrepreneur should present a comprehensive cooperation proposal, that is present the price, the product’s technical parameters and quality, and financial conditions – the cost of financing the transaction. In the case of long-term insurance, we insure three forms of credit. The first one is buyer credit where a Polish bank provides a Belarussian bank with financing to be used for the purchase of Polish goods and services. The repayment period is usually around five years. We work with several Belarussian banks, for which we have set specific commitment limits. Thanks to this, having insurance protection provided by KUKE, Polish banks are able to open credit lines for Belarussian banks. The second form is supplier credit where a Polish exporter extends credit directly to their Belarussian customer by extending the payment deadline for the goods and services delivered. The third form, which is quite new, is credit offered by a Polish bank to a Belarussian importer, without the involvement of a Belarussian bank. An example of such activity is a recent project carried out by KUKE with Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego (BGK) and PM

a Belarussian customer. The BGK bank signed a credit agreement with the Belarussian company for financing a contract for the construction of a turn-key retail and office complex in the Belarussian city of Grodno. The contract was signed by the Belarussian partner with a Polish exporter - Unibep SA. The credit, extended by BGK under the government programme of financial support for exports, is insured by KUKE. The value of the deal is PLN245 million. The project is important for the development of the Polish company, but without our participation would have had no chance of success. Why is it so important? What makes this transaction special is not only the long-term insurance provided by KUKE, but also the direct financing of the transaction. the risk of the transaction is assumed by KUKE and the BGK bank, instead of a private investor operating on the Belarussian market. The Belarussian market waited for this product for many years. It gives economic sense to the investment project, but also makes the whole process easier. PM

Is this product developing on other markets as well? Yes, it is. We have long-term insurance products for almost the whole world. We are not able to provide and insure direct financing everywhere. But as long as we have a partner and a bank in a country and the risk presented by the partner is acceptable to us we are able to set insurance limits and Polish banks can finance foreign transactions to the extent determined by our limits. We try to arrange all inquiries from exporters about specific markets into acceptable structures and offer long-term insurance. Of course, everything depends on the assessment of the transaction’s parameters and checking who the debtor is, how the transaction is secured and whether the financial risk involved is acceptable. As of this year, we have a full range of products available for the Belarussian market. And we are going with this message to businesses, to the market, in 2017. PM

What are the forecasts for 2017? We are optimistic. Judging by the transactions already announced by Polish exporters, we hope that the total value of such deals will be higher than in previous years. During our conversation I focused on Belarus, because you asked me about it. But apart from the Eastern markets, we are also present in such countries as Canada and Norway. We follow our exporters. • PM

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Poland-Belarus Economic Relations

BUSINESS WITH A NEIGHBOUR BELARUS B

elarus is Poland’s natural economic partner – not only because of the absence of cultural differences between the two countries but also because of its geographical proximity. The latter means low costs of delivery, which raises the competitiveness of Polish businesses. A customs border existing between Poland and Belarus which, at the same time, is the border between two large economic communities – the European Union and the Eurasian Economic Union is also an important factor. Bordering on a large market created by a customs union offers Polish entrepreneurs unique business opportunities. Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego (BGK) actively supports the development of economic relations between Polish and Belarussian businesses through financial instruments supporting exports. Since 2010 BGK has been offering solutions improving not only liquidity, but also securing the risk connected to exports transactions. Thanks to BGK activity and Government Programme Financial Support for Exports, exporters can use financing based on letter of credit, ensuring payment security. BGK offers a full line of products: postfinancing and discounting documentary letters of credit, L/C confirmations as well as the purchase of export receivables. Entrepreneurs also have access to exports pre-financing and long-term financing in the form of buyer’s credit granted directly or with the participation of Belarusian banks. Belarusian banks are involved in most exports transactions with Belarusian partners supported by BGK. So far, BGK carried out a number of transactions with the following Belarusian banks: Belagroprombank, Belinvest Bank, BPS Sberbank, Belarusbank, Priorbank, Belgazprom, Development Bank of the Republic of Belarus, VTB Bank Belarus and Alfa Bank Belarus.

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JOANNA MULARCZYK, Expert in Trade Finance Department, BGK

As a rule, the partner in arranging financing in the name of a Polish exporter is BGK. This means that the exporter himself does not need to contact the Belarusian bank of the foreign buyer. The Polish exporter only needs to include in their commercial offer information on the possibility to use the instruments offered by BGK under Government Programme Financial Support for Exports. Since BGK actively cooperates with the largest banks on the Belarusian market, there is no need for the exporter to initiate cooperation with a foreign bank, as is often the case on less popular foreign markets. The exporter, as a beneficiary of the government programme, has to present a declaration confirming the Polish origin of their products, in line with the December 19, 2014 regulation of the Ministry of the Economy about the maximum percentage share of foreign components, and a declaration concerning the export contract and the final destination of the exported products. In the case of long-term financing provided by a foreign bank, the Bank and the exporter sign a special Exporter's agreement. In the case of other support instruments, which do not require an active involvement of a foreign bank, like for example bank guarantees, receivables purchase and exports pre-financing, the exporter signs an agreement with BGK, which describes in detail the rights and duties of the parties. BGK has provided nearly PLN1.45 billion for financing export transactions with the Belarusian market so far. The bank has gained vast experience by financing several hundred contracts for the delivery of equipment, production lines, means of transport, wind farms, raw materials and consumer products, both food and industrial products. One example is a footwear producer’s contract, for which BGK

has provided short-term financing. Another is the sale of milk to a Belarussian buyer by a Dairy Producer plant – BGK post-financed the purchase for the Belarusian partner. BGK also provides funding for building, construction and assembly contracts, for example a contract for completing the construction of a shopping centre in Belarus. Products offered by BGK are very attractive not only for Polish entrepreneurs, but also for Belarussian businesses seeking more advantageous funding compared to what is offered on their own market. This is due to the special role of BGK as a development bank, which first of all supports the development of Polish enterprise. In many cases, BGK offers loans denominated in euro at a price two, three or even four times lower than what is available on the Belarussian market. According to data published in November 2016 by the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus, the annual interest rate on loans in Belarus amounted to as much as 20%. Additionally, a loan repayment period offered by BGK may be as long as five years, which is something unique on the Polish market. BGK’s cooperation with Belarussian banks, which take an active part in arranging funding for transactions of Polish exporters, is stimulated by a number of joint undertakings with the participation of entrepreneurs, like for example the annual “Dobrosąsiedztwo” conference in the capital of Belarus, Minsk, and the Eastern Economic Congress in the northeastern Polish city of Białystok. The active role played by the Polish representatives of Belarusian banks, which support projects in trade finance area and provide assistance with formalities needed to acquire financing for projects carried out in Belarus with the participation of Polish firms is of no small importance as well. •


Poland-Belarus Economic Relations

KSEZ – A PLACE FOR INVESTORS

A

new opening in the bilateral relations between Poland and Belarusinitiated by the participation of Mateusz Morawiecki, Deputy Prime Minister, in the jubilee 20th “Good Neighbourhood 2016” Polish-Belarusian Economic Forum and meetings with the President and Premier of Belarus and by signing a number of agreements on co-operation in areas such as the power, manufacturing but also education sector – has had a direct impact on last year’s actions taken in this respect by the Katowice Special Economic Zone (KSEZ). In mid-2016, at the request of the Polish-Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a number of agreements were signed with the KSEZ for the implementation of a project forming part of a public task entitled “Increasing the Competencies of Voluntary Service Leaders” carried out in agreement with Poland's Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy. Consequently, in the August-October 2016 period, the KSEZ received in its sub-zones (Tychy and Jastrzębie-Żory) two groups of trainees with varied programme profiles adjusted to the status of the participants. The first Volunteer Service Group, made up of students and faculty of Minsk higher schools, carried out its programme at the Tychy Sub-zone by familiarising themselves with the organisational and economic aspects of the functioning of the KSEZ and its important investors such as the automotive company Nexteer or Agora operating in the media sector. In order to extend the experiences acquired by the trainees, visits were organised to the Historical Silver Mine in Tarnogóra, the Brewery in Tychy, but also to Promnice and the Polish National Radio Symphony

Orchestra in Katowice (NOSPR), with the latter intended as a way of presenting the history and culture of Silesia. The second Volunteer Service Group, comprising representatives of business in Brest operating in sectors such as the automotive and construction industry, carried out its programme at the Jastrzębie-Żory Sub-zone where, apart from learning about the organisational and economic profile of the KSEZ, the participants attended a number of strictly business meeting. They took part in: - the “Day of the Entrepreneur 2016” Gala organised by the Żory Chamber of Commerce, - a meeting with the local authorities in Żory, - a visit to the Żory Craft Guild, - visits to production plants (located in this Sub-zone) operating in the construction, automotive and plastics sectors. As before, the experiences of the Group were expanded thanks to visits to the Central Highway, The Museum of Fire, The Municipal Museum in Żory and the NOSPR. The training of the economic volunteers at the KSEZ ended with meetings attended by President of the KSEZ Piotr Wojaczek and his Deputy Janusz Michałek, during which the Programme participants were provided with information on the strategic economic and financial instruments (including efforts to maintain competitive advantages) which guarantee the Katowice Zone its dominant position among Polish Special Economic Zones. It is necessary to stress the high quality of the volunteer courses organised at the KSEZ by the Polish-Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as demonstrated not just by the words of thanks (also coming from the participants),

Programme participants visit one of the plants operating in the Katowice Special Economic Zone but also the reports published in the media. An initiative put forward by academics from Minsk higher schools aimed at establishing co-operation involving organisation of work practices for students at the KSEZ was welcomed by the President of the KSEZ. The recruitment for the programme should be limited to students (from second year upwards) specialising in IT – the discipline most desired by investors in the KSEZ. Any collaboration in this respect would require analysing the demand among investors and ensuring bilateral co-ordination at the re• cruitment stage. 1-2/2017 polish market

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Poland-Belarus Economic Relations

SUWAŁKI SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONE

OPEN TO THE EAST LESZEK DEC, President of the Suwałki Special Economic Zone (SSEZ SA), talks to “Polish Market.”

The location of the Suwałki Special Economic Zone is very demanding, but it also creates many opportunities. The zone is in the eastern part of Poland and at the EU’s border, but its strong point is proximity to Russia, Lithuania and Belarus. How do you exploit these opportunities? This geographic and geopolitical location undoubtedly has an impact on the functioning of the zone itself and our businesses. Being located in north-eastern Poland clearly determines the direction of business activity. We focus mainly on looking for new investors and partners while entrepreneurs are seeking, first of all, new marketing outlets. There are two aspects to our location. We are far from large industrial centres, which means low land prices, availability of well-qualified human resources, weaker competition and favourable labour costs. Additionally, we offer the highest possible income tax breaks, which results in short payback periods and, consequently, enables the rapid development of the businesses. What is more, this makes exporting to the East and Scandinavia much easier. I also have to say that the policy pursued by the government to strengthen our economic relations with our eastern neighbours allows us to believe that new contacts will be established soon.

contacts are effectively blocked. This is why Belarus and Ukraine are much more promising partners. Some businesses had already operated on these markets before they withdrew due to problems with exports or payments. The removal of these barriers will boost trade. Please remember that countries to the east are natural partners for our investors. An improvement in relations between Poland and Belarus will certainly be reflected in our business contacts.

Is it companies from Russia, Lithuania and Belarus and Polish ones interested in these markets that are the most active in the zone? I see the biggest interest from Lithuanian and Ukrainian businesses. But Polish capital has the strongest presence. As Polish-Russian relations are difficult, bilateral business

The Suwałki zone is celebrating its 20th anniversary. From the perspective of our economy, the difference between now and then is striking. How would you sum up this period? Twenty years of activity is indeed a good reason for being proud. Special economic

PM

PM

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Recently we have seen diplomatic relations between Poland and Belarus warm up. Is it translated into more business? As I said before, it definitely does. However, this requires time. Polish-Belarussian relations had different shades. Our businesses need more certainty to carry out their plans. Belarus also has special economic zones, for example in Minsk and Grodno (Hrodna). We have the same leading industries, which are the wood, furniture, food-processing and metal sectors. This is why we plan meetings with the officials of Belarussian zones. I hope that we – institutions supporting enterprise - will manage to establish good relations and will be working together. And this will definitely be translated into more business activity. PM

PM

zones were set up as a response to very marked disparities among Polish regions in terms of their economic situation. The Suwałki zone was one of the first to start operations. After the two decades, and after we have granted more than 230 permits to investors and the zone’s area has been expanded several times, I can say that so far we have managed to effectively influence the economic development of our region. That we have managed, at least to some extent, to fulfil our initial task, is proven by the fact that the role of our special economic zone is gradually changing. Its core of course is still support for enterprise through a range of incentives. But this support has a somewhat different dimension these days. First of all, one of our priorities is preventing structural unemployment rather than reducing unemployment in general, as was the case 20 years ago. This is why we put emphasis on promoting vocational education. What is new is also our support for small start-ups, because they advance innovation. Our biggest success is probably that we managed to influence the development of cities. Unemployment decreased several fold and around 10,000 people now work for businesses operating in the zone. Firms offering business services, like for example insurers, accountancies and construction companies, have developed as a result of capital flows, creating additional jobs. Thanks to an improvement in the financial situation of the local population, infrastructure is also improving, fertility is on the increase, new school types are appearing and the small services sector is growing. •


SUWAĹ KI SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONE SA

W E I N V E ST I N I N V E ST M E N T 250 hectares of land ready for quick investment processes 12 locations in north-eastern Poland Proximity to the borders with three countries: Russia, Lithuania and Belarus Income tax exemptions for up to 70% of the investment two-y labour costs costs or two-year Availability of highly qualiďŹ ed labour Investment advice and professional services for investors Short process for granting permits and transferring land ownership rights Friendly local authorities Opportunity to establish cooperation with science par and technology parks

W W W. S S S E . CO M . P L

polish market

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Poland-Belarus Economic Relations

UNIBEP TO BUILD A SHOPPING CENTRE NEXT TO THE BORDER OF THE EUROPEAN UNION

UNIBEP SA IS TO BUILD A SHOPPING CENTRE IN THE BELARUSSIAN CITY OF GRODNO. THE PROJECT IS WORTH IN EXCESS OF PLN 260 MILLION.

T

he contract between Unibep SA, a construction company based in Bielsk Podlaski in eastern Poland, and Trinity Invest was signed 20 months ago. In April 2015, Unibep announced that it would be the general contractor of a shopping mall with a car park and office block in Grodno, Belarus. This retail facility’s area will be 60,000 square metres and the floorage space of the office block will be 5,000 square metres. Users are going to have at their disposal some 2,200 parking spaces on ground-level car parks occupying 71,000 square metres.

DIFFICULT NEGOTIATIONS It took months of hard work for the Belarussian investor to secure financing from Polish banks insured by KUKE. In mid-December 2016, Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego (BGK) signed a credit agreement with Trinity Invest to finance an export contract concluded with Unibep SA. The value of this agreement is PLN 245 million (EUR 55 million). "This is the largest credit extended by BGK under a government programme and the first such major credit in Belarus granted by a Polish bank to a foreign company without the intermediation of a local bank. By crediting the purchase of construction services provided by a Polish company we support the development of Unibep in Poland and in a foreign market" – this was how Arkadiusz Zabłoński, deputy director of the Structural Financing Department of BGK, commented on the signing of the agreement. "In our case, this is the first transaction performed in the direct system. Securing

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the financing by KUKE will enable a Polish company to perform a large contract," Marek Czerski, President of the Board of KUKE SA said in a press release drawn up by BGK. "This is yet another joint project with Unibep. We believe that the company is able to develop dynamically thanks to this collaboration. Moreover, the co-operation between BGK, KUKE and Unibep is an excellent example for other entrepreneurs how to effectively obtain and take advantage of support for their international expansion."

UNIBEP, OR A GOOD BRAND IN BELARUS "This contract confirms that we are able to secure orders in the demanding and difficult Belarussian market. It also shows that this is a prospective market for us. This is yet another order following the successful completion of a hotel in Minsk. I wish to stress that we have a building and general contracting license in Belarus," said Leszek Gołąbiecki, president of the board of Unibep SA. " We are glad that thanks to BGK and KUKE the funding of the project has been secured. This is very important in the case of export services." Obtaining financing by Trinity Invest is a condition of Unibep commencing the performance of its building works contract. However, it is still necessary to agree upon the technical scope of the works, schedules, etc. The money received from the investor will go directly to the Polish contractor, which means that there is no risk of non-payment. In return for its work Unibep SA is to receive approximately EUR 66 million net and, according to the preliminary plans, the shopping centre is to be completed by the end of 2018.

NOT JUST A SHOPPING MALL We should add that currently Unibep SA is building the Zelwa wind farm in Belarus (this contrat is worth PLN 11 million) and has one more contract there – for the construction of a Tennis Centre in Minsk. It was signed on August 13, 2015 and is worth EUR 28.6 million net. The investor is Municipal Undertaking “Aqua Mińsk". "This is a prestigious project at the international level," said Leszek Gołąbiecki. Professional players are to practise at the largest tennis centre in the capital of Belarus, but the courts will also be open to amateur beginners.  A medical centre will be an integral part of the facility. The centre will house 13 indoor courts with changing rooms and auxiliary premises, a fitness centre, aerobic room and a specialist 3-star hotel with 15 rooms and up to 60 beds, a cafe with tables for 80 guests or a spa centre with a swimming pool. There will also be a multi-storey car park with 195 parking spaces. The total area of the complex is 22,000 square metres. The contract will come into force after the contracting party has secured the financing – after the conclusion of a credit agreement and meeting the conditions required for credit activation. Talks are continuing.

EXPERIENCE IN EASTERN MARKETS Unibep has for many years been perceived in Eastern European markets as an experienced general contractor who can deliver solutions at the European level. It is also Poland’s largest exporter of construction services and one of the founding members of the Polish Construction Exporters Cluster. •


Poland-Belarus Economic Relations

WE ARE A LEADER IN THE EAST, BUT WE WANT TO BE A GLOBAL BRAND BOGDAN ŁUKASIK, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Modern-Expo S.A. talks to “Polish Market”. How would you asses the position of Modern-Expo in the retail spaces fit-out manufacturing sector? Over 15 years of trading we have managed to build a leading position in the Central and Eastern European market. We continue to develop at a very fast rate, with our expansion reaching Western Europe and other continents. I can say without false modesty that our ambition is to turn Modern-Expo into a global brand aspiring to the title of world leader in its sector. PM

Today, the company has nearly 2,500 employees and has production facilities in Ukraine and Belarus. Why there?. The roots of the company are in Lublin, so the neighbouring markets of Ukraine, Belarus or Russia seemed a natural direction of development. I sought partners and counterparties in markets where until quite recently the demand outstripped the supply and the labour costs were (and still are) very competitive compared with the European or even Asian markets. I set up a joint venture with my local partner in Ukraine in 1997 and three years later we decided to build a factory in Luck. With hindsight we can see that this was a very good decision. Two years ago we opened a plant in Dnepropetrovsk. PM

After Ukraine it was Belarus’s turn. Modern-Expo is building its third plant there. By a happy coincident, towards the end of last year we received the occupancy permit for our factory from the Belarussian authorities. This means that we can start production in January 2017. We chose the Free Economic PM

Zone in Vitebsk, a university town which is highly industrialised. It has a population of 380,000, so we assumed that there would be no problems with recruiting workers, and especially engineers. Another important factor is we have been exempted from the income tax for a period of 10 years. Our project has three stages, the first entails an investment of nearly EUR 10 million, employment of 300 people and commissioning a production line making produce shelves for supermarkets. The second stage requires investing further EUR 5-7 million and increasing employment to 500 people. In the third stage, we assume that the number of employees will increase to 800. So far everything has been going according to our plans and probably next year our factory in Vitebsk will employ 500 people already. What are your experiences of working with the Belarus authorities, their openness to business, attracting foreign investments? Maybe I'll start with a story from July 2014, when my Belarusian partners invited me to sign a number of documents relating to, among others, foundation of the company, opening a bank account, permission to enter the economic zone. Imagine that the whole process took me less than a day, including a break for lunch. I was positively surprised by the speed and efficiency of work and very happy. Later, it was just like this, Of course, there were problems during our contacts with the state administration, but it is understandable when business is conducted abroad. We encounter similar technical PM

difficulties in France, Germany, UK, where we conduct our business. In Belarus, the most important thing for potential investors is being true to one's own word and performing contractual obligations. You have to draw up a proper business plan, since withdrawal, changes in obligations can be difficult to accept for the Belarusian authorities. It is also good to have a local partner, who can guide the investor through the twists and turns of legal and economic differences. Culturally and mentally we are very similar nations, and this element can only be to our favour. My experiences with Belarus are good, the best evidence of this is the fact that we are commissioning the factory on time. Business people often fear relations with officials. How are things in Belarus in this regard? Perhaps what I say will be a surprise, but my relationship with the authorities in Belarus have often been more correct than in Poland. I noticed great understanding and commitment to helping foreign investors. Belarus opens for business and it shows not only at the level of international politics, but also at the level of local authorities. I must also mention the great support from the Ambassador Alexander Averyanov and the trade personnel of the Embassy of Belarus in Poland, who helped us in the ongoing contacts with the authorities, which resulted in the timely completion of our investment project. Equally I appreciate the commitment of our Embassy in Minsk and the Ambassador Konrad Pawlik. I would like to thank for this assistance in particular. It is also an excellent example of well-execut• ed economic diplomacy. PM

1-2/2017 polish market

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Economy

PROUDLY POLISH, TRULY INTERNATIONAL JERZY PIETRUCHA, CEO of the Pietrucha Group, talks to Marcin Haber about foreign expansion and ther company's presence in Africa and Southeast Asia. What is the current production structure of the Pietrucha Group? In Poland we have two plants, one in Błaszki, my home town, where nearly 60 years ago the history of our company began. The other factory is located in the Łódź Special Economic Zone in Ksawerów. There we manufacture specialist construction marerials, niche products dedicated to civil and water engineering. These are vinyl sheet piling and geogrids. The latter are used, among others, in geotechnical projects for ground stabilisation and strengthening the load-bearing capacity of soil sub-base. Vinyl pilings, in turn, are utilised in regions which are highly susceptible to climate change. They are deployed in infrastructure projects involving regulation of river banks and ground water levels, and flood protection systems. Hence our presence in the exotic markets of Africa or Southeast Asia, in areas frequently suffering the effects of natural disasters. It is also important that such projects are implemented in the public-private partnership system and receive funding from the World Bank and institutions such as the African or Asian Development Bank. Our products are used in major infrastructure projects connected with preventing the consequence of climate change. PM

How do you operate abroad? We see Europe as a local market and try to contact customers directly. In the emerging markets we set up networks of distributors who co-operate with investors and contractors, and provide financing mechanisms. Our products are usually tailor-made and adjusted to the requirements of specific projects in which we participate. PM

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So why the change of your approach in Asia and the decision to build your own production facility? In 2010 we decided to enter the markets of Southeast Asia, in countries which are members of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations). Within 3-4 years, building a network of distributors, we have created in this region a large market. In 2014, Southeast Asia accounted for 30% of total exports of the group. It was a strong enough position, providing the impetus to set up a sales office in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), while also prompting us to consider the construction of a production plant. The idea is to be closer to the customer, shorten the supply chain, and significantly simplify the logistics. Trading with Asia means that containers with goods sometimes travel for as long as a month and a half. It also often happened that our containers remained for month and a half in the port due to congestion. It was about gaining a competitive advantage. We considered two locations - the already mentioned Malaysia, and the Philippines. The latter convinced us by its strategic location, convenient connections with other countries in the region, but also with Australia where we also have customers. Other significant factors included the economic conditions and growth prospects. The Philippines is currently the leading economy in the ASEAN region and, most importantly, has launched many comprehensive projects funded by the Asian Development Bank which provided the Philippines with a credit line of USD 600 billion for the years 2016 to 2020, to finance infrastructure projects. Another important aspect determining our choice of this location was the fact that we had there a trusted partner interested in developing his co-operation with the Pietrucha Group. Consequently, in the years PM

2015-16 we changed our relations from supplier – distributor to partner - partner and set up a joint venture called Pietrucha Manufacturing Phillipines Ltd. How was the company received in the Philippines? Very well. We, as Poles, have a clean record there. There are many similarities in the history of the two countries, with all the violence and drama. It turned out that we had common experiences from the times of the world wars. Another matter is that Poland has no colonial past in Asia. This is also a powerful argument when building relations in Africa. Owing to the fact that our country bears no stigma of colonialism and that we have undergone a successful economic transition, we can establish understanding and gain sympathy, which are good starting points for further building of business contacts. On the other hand, this is also a drawback because compared with countries such as France, Great Britain or Holland, we have no colonial experiences which could be used in building better growth of our business in these regions. PM

You mentioned that Asia accounts for 30% of your exports. You also have a strong presence in Africa. Do you see yourselves still as a Polish company or an international business with Polish roots? Our activities have a common denominator which defines the Pietrucha Group and its undertakings - Proudly Polish, Truly International. We are a proud Polish family business going back to the 1960s, but in terms of our field of activity and reach we are a global company present in 34 countries on five con• tinents. PM


Economy

PROGRAMME

FOR SUPPORTING THE INTERNATIONAL

EXPANSION

OF POLISH BUSINESSES

E

stablishing the Polish Trade & Invest Agency and replacing Trade and Investment Promotion Sections at Polish embassies with a new network of Trade Offices are the key aspects of a new system for supporting exports and Polish investment abroad. “It is necessary for the management of the business support system to be coordinated and integrated by a central institution. This is why we are setting up the Polish Trade & Invest Agency, which will start operating in January 2017. It will be established on the basis of the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency and will be included in the Polish Development Fund,” said Mateusz Morawiecki, deputy prime minister and minister of economic development and finance. “As a key element of the new system, it will be responsible for the development of the scale of exports by Polish firms and for enhancing their investment activity abroad. I count on the new support system to help create

premium export brands,” stressed Minister Morawiecki. “It will be a completely new and unique model based on ambitious institutional changes and modern financing and advisory services. It will be adjusted to the level of businesses’ internationalization, the potential of public administration and the available budget resources. Businesses will get professional and comprehensive support comparable to the one offered by highly developed countries.” The foreign expansion of Polish businesses is one of the five pillars of the Strategy for Responsible Development. The Programme for the International Expansion of Polish Businesses is carried out by the Polish Development Fund company (PFR SA). Exports financing packages to be offered by PFR Group will have a combined value of up to PLN60 billion. The Polish Development Fund will be responsible for pursuing the programme under the new model for supporting Polish exports. It will be managing advisory services and 1-2/2017  1-2/2017 polish market

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Economy financial products, and creating support instruments tailored to the needs of businesses on the basis of institutions integrated within the group. “The share of technologically advanced products in Polish exports is low,” said Paweł Borys, president of the Polish Development Fund. “Only around one third of the exports are products made by Polish-owned firms and the absence of strong Polish brands is evident. We will be supporting the international competitiveness of Polish businesses, offering them a comprehensive range of financial and advisory instruments.” The institutions responsible for the programme will be the Export Credit Insurance Corporation (KUKE), whose role will be significantly strengthened, Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego (BGK), and the Polish Trade & Invest Agency (PAHI), which will be established as a result of the transformation of the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency (PAIiIZ). PAHI will manage a network of Trade Offices abroad providing support to Polish businesses on individual target markets. The Foreign Expansion Fund is to be responsible for co-financing foreign investment by Polish businesses.

PILLARS OF THE NEW SYSTEM POLISH TRADE & INVEST AGENCY (PAHI)

The Agency will combine the existing pro-exports, proinvestment and promotional resources and potential. It will integrate economic diplomacy measures and will be responsible for creating a strategy for supporting exports and foreign investment. Additionally, it will be pursuing the policy of promoting the Polish economy. The Agency will be responsible for the development of advisory services for Polish exporters and investors. As the coordinator of operational instruments, it will: • be organizing trade missions and fairs on foreign markets; • create support programmes dedicated to individual markets and sectors; • offer Polish businesses strategies for their entry onto foreign markets; • enable businesses to gain knowledge about the business culture of their target market, will help the client gain an insight into the regulations and regulatory barriers present on the market; and will check the foreign partners. Through these activities, the Agency will help businesses reduce costs of foreign market entry as these costs often result from insufficient knowledge of the rules governing trade and distribution in the country or economic region they want to enter. Managing financial instruments designated for pro-exports and pro-investment measures will be an important element of the Agency’s activity. The Agency will provide new exports financing opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises and large export contracts. It will be a goal-oriented organization with a strong business and managerial culture. In 2017, the Agency will have a budget

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of around PLN100 million while its predecessor, the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency, has a budget of only PLN12 million.

TRADE OFFICES

The Polish Trade & Invest Agency will run a network of Trade Offices abroad. They will replace the 49 Trade and Investment Promotion Sections which now operate at Polish embassies. Ultimately, 69 Trade Offices will be established. The Trade Offices network will be tailored to the needs of businesses and adjusted to the directions of development of the global economy. This is why the institutional presence on promising non-European markets will be increased. The activity of the Trade Offices will contribute to optimizing the costs and minimizing the risks involved in entering foreign markets. The Trade Offices will be able to conduct commercial activity for, for example, state-owned companies on foreign markets. A system of paid services supported by financial instruments – services like market research and strategies for the development of exports and foreign investment – will be established. Businesses will have an opportunity to use Trade Offices for commercial purposes, for example as a virtual office.

FOREIGN EXPANSION FUND

The Foreign Expansion Fund will be co-financing Polish investment on foreign markets, sharing the risk involved in foreign projects. The Fund will be taking over shares or equities in foreign companies controlled by Polish partners or will be granting loans to the foreign companies without recourse for the Polish partner. The standard amount to be contributed by the Foreign Expansion Fund for a project will be up to EUR12.5 million.

FLEXIBLE FINANCING AND PROFESSIONAL ADVISORY SERVICES CAPITAL INJECTION FOR KUKE

The programme of export credit guarantees is a system of guarantees for small and medium enterprises aimed at building their competitiveness, innovation and potential for international expansion. “Coverage for the Whole World” with KUKE is a package of trade receivables insurance for micro and small businesses. Subsidies for export credits will make it possible for commercial banks to finance investment goods exports on the basis of a fixed CIRR rate. The development of foreign factoring services will consist in buying export receivables from high risk markets and European markets. The system of financing large export projects on foreign markets involves joint financing through government loans and by the banking sector using KUKE insurance. Providing financing to buyers of Polish exports will be possible thanks to closer cooperation among BGK, KUKE and PKO


Economy Bank Polski (the banking sector) in the direct financing of large projects on foreign markets. KUKE will act as reinsurer for commercial companies insuring trade receivables in high-risk countries, within activity guaranteed by the state. It will also be offering additional services like, for example, risk evaluation and debt recovery on foreign markets. Financing exports and investment is equally important as the products and services one has to offer on foreign markets. This is why funding for these purposes is to be made more available for businesses under the new system. The Polish Development Fund will be managing financial instruments, both debt and equity instruments, designated for supporting pro-export and pro-investment activities of Polish businesses. A special focus will be given to the development of financial services intended for small and medium enterprises. Large export contracts will also be supported. The new financial instruments for supporting exports and foreign investment offered to businesses by the Polish Development Fund will have a combined value of up to PLN60 billion, of which PLN36 billion will be set aside for financing, PLN8.2 billion for guarantees, PLN9.6 billion for insurance and factoring, PLN3.5 billion for settlement limits, and PLN1.5 billion for the foreign expansion fund. The products will be distributed by KUKE, BGK and commercial banks. PKO Bank Polski is the strategic partner of PFR Group in providing financial and advisory products to businesses. Also important is their efficient distribution and making financial institutions more flexible and less averse to risk. This is why the system of pro-export investment insurance will be operating in a more flexible risk model. We need a policy more market-oriented and making assistance more available. Meanwhile, in practice, it is only safe transactions that are insured at present. Under the reform, the Polish Development Fund is to provide KUKE with a capital injection of around PLN200 million. At present, KUKE has an 8% share in the market for commercial export credit insurance. The goal is to raise the appetite for risk on the part of the government export credit insurance programme and increase the limit for countries with a lower rating – Africa, Asia and South America. The development of factoring and the international debt recovery system is planned. It is necessary for KUKE to get a rating at a level acceptable by commercial banks. To this end, there are plans for the Polish Development Fund to inject PLN200 million to KUKE. Also planned is investment in a modern operating platform to improve the quality of services provided to businesses and financial institutions, and the development of KUKE’s reinsurance activity. The goal of the Ministry of Economic Development within the programme for supporting the international expansion of Polish businesses is to enhance their competitiveness on foreign markets on the basis of product quality and financial services, improve the quality and scope of advisory services for Polish exporters and investors abroad, ensure quicker and easier access for businesses to products supporting exports, increase the potential for financing large projects abroad, open new export markets and increase exports to existing markets. “We plan to modernize KUKE and strengthen its capital base, increase export financing at BGK, and combine financial and advisory products of the Polish Trade & Invest Agency,” said Paweł Borys, president of the Polish Development Fund.

EASIER ACCESS TO INFORMATION An integrated IT system will be developed to provide access to the resources at the disposal of the public administration. As a result, every entrepreneur will be able to adjust the field of their activity to the export potential. The system will be updated on a current basis with information about tenders held in various countries, and entry barriers, certificates required and business culture on individual markets. Users will be able to profile their business or product in terms of export and investment potential. The system will direct the users across foreign markets and relevant public institutions, providing them with information about available financial and advisory instruments.

WHAT WE HAVE NOW Support for Polish businesses provided on foreign markets by the existing development institutions is not efficient because it is dispersed among various agencies. Poland’s competitive advantage has been based to a large extent so far on low labour costs. As a result, Polish exports are dominated by products with a low innovation level. The share of technologically advanced products is in the order of 8.5%. In this respect, Poland comes out worse than Western European countries and its partners in the Visegrad Group. The poor internationalization of Polish businesses is also reflected in their strong concentration on simple forms of relations with foreign partners. Nine in 10 Polish businesses operating on international markets are involved in strictly trade operations. Few of them undertake more advanced forms of activity, such as subcontracting, R&D cooperation and joint ventures. Only 0.6% of Polish businesses invest abroad.

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WHAT WE WANT TO ACHIEVE

We would like to develop the scale of exports and increase the investment activity of Polish businesses abroad. It is important to stimulate Polish investment in other countries and maintain a high rate of growth in exports while at the same time making them more innovative. This means the need to encourage Polish businesses to develop advanced forms of cooperation, for example in the research and development sector, and increase the share of technologically advanced exports. The new export policy will ensure the support of the public administration for the development of business activity on promising markets, especially in Asia and Africa. They are more difficult and demanding than EU markets, but offer new business opportunities for Polish firms. The state needs to play an active role so as to reduce the investment risk for Polish exporters and investors. We give priority to supporting small and medium enterprises as they have the biggest potential for the development of international activity, shape their development visions by themselves and have a great capacity to adapt to the changing market conditions. •

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GLOBAL POLITICS CHANGES ITS COURSE

The world is getting radicalised. This trend can be seen in politics, the economy and social relations. Particularly significant are the results of parliamentary and presidential elections in Europe, and lately also in the United States. Citizens no longer go for moderate candidates. Power goes to politicians with very clear and strongly articulated views – mostly of the nationalist kind. Politics is no longer without colour.


Economy

Marcin Haber

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his is partly due to the volatile migration movements, the negative perception of the assimilation policies by many people in Western Europe, but also to a natural cycle which can be observed in the history of political movements. Politics, just like many other aspects of social and economic life, is characterised by fluctuations. A sine wave used in other disciplines perfectly depicts these developments. Politics moves between extreme conservative and extreme liberal attitudes. Currently, the world seems to be close to the radical end of the scale. After years of pro-EU and proliberal trends the moment of change has come. Each generation has to rebel against something. The easiest way, of course, is to fight a clearly defined enemy the German Third Reich and the Soviet Union for the interwar generation, Communism for their children. Today, the generation that comes into adult life has no clearly defined enemy. So, it rebels against the reality - a world where political correctness, tolerance and transnational accord is the norm. On the basis of this rebellion new political movements are born and parties with clearly defined conservative roots come to power. The most widely commented on in the world, mainly due to the scale and potential consequences, is the result of the elections in the United States. The votes of electors have given the victory to Donald Trump, a billionaire, who has so far had no clear links to politics. A controversial person, with very radical visions of immigration policy. He won against Hilary Clinton, associated with the current world order, a candidate with much more subdued, conservative views, who in debates avoided using radical terms, levelling charges and making specific declarations. Many commentators argued that Trump is a populist, with no concrete, substantively prepared trained group of people behind him, who has no sensible political programme. Did this stop him from winning? No. We saw here the mechanism of “fatigue” following two terms of office of Barack Obama – a president coming from the Democratic Party. Citizens, or, to be more precise, electors voted for Trump regardless of all the doubts in his preparation for assuming the mantle of US president. It is worth pointing out that this is a universal trend in politics, in particular in America. Historically, presidents representing the Republicans changed places with those nominated by the Democrats. This long “tug-of-war” allowed maintaining a certain harmony in politics and the economic and also social order. This is best attested by the words of outgoing president Barack Obama spoken in a speech delivered shortly after the US elections: “Now, it is no secret that the President-elect and I have some pretty significant differences.  But remember, eight years ago, President Bush and I had some pretty significant differences.  But President Bush’s team could not have been more professional or more gracious in making sure we had a smooth transition so that we could hit the ground running.  And one thing you realize quickly in this job is that the presidency, and the vice presidency, is bigger than any of us. So I have instructed my team to follow the example that President Bush’s team set

ON THE BASIS OF THIS REBELLION NEW POLITICAL MOVEMENTS ARE BORN AND PARTIES WITH CLEARLY DEFINED CONSERVATIVE ROOTS COME TO POWER.

eight years ago, and work as hard as we can to make sure that this is a successful transition for the President-elect because we are now all rooting for his success in uniting and leading the country.  The peaceful transition of power is one of the hallmarks of our democracy.  And over the next few months, we are going to show that to the world. […] But the day after, we have to remember that we’re actually all on one team. This is an intramural scrimmage. We’re not Democrats first. We're not Republicans first. We are Americans first. We’re patriots first.” Obviously, Brexit is the most important determinant of radicalization policy from the point of view of the European Union. UK citizens in a referendum held in June 2016 voted for UK's exit from the European Union. A vote for leaving the EU was cast by 51.9% of the participants. The referendum results have been declared valid. As a result, David Cameron tended his resignation from the post of prime minister, giving way to Teresa May - the second woman to hold this post in the history of Great Britain. However, six months after the referendum, the UK's exit from the Union is no longer so obvious. A lot is being said about the economic turmoil which Brexit would cause. The British currency has also suffered considerably. There are serious concerns about the fate of British workers permanently employed in other EU Member States and European citizens who make a big contribution to the British economy. It is worth noting that, although the referendum was binding, no specific date of the UK leaving the European Union has been given. What is more, even though it would be an unprecedented action, the UK authorities are not obliged to act upon the results of the vote. Hearing the news of the results of the referendum vote, President of the European Council Donald Tusk wrote that it was "a serious, even dramatic moment. Especially for the UK." In retrospect, the EU countries have not responded in a violent manner. The current state of affairs seems to indicate that the Union can imagine its continued existence without the United Kingdom. Marine Le Pen, the president of the National Front, which under her leadership receives more and more attention among French citizens, reacted vigorously to the news of 1-2/2017  polish market

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Economy

Brexit. Le Pen said it was time for a similar vote to be held in her homeland. According to experts, if in France, however, there was a similar referendum, its results would be overwhelmingly in favour of staying in the EU. However, this does not stop Marine Le Pen from building her political position on the basis of the unstable political situation in the Union, as well as terrorist attacks, which have recently spiralled out of control in France. This is another of the radical political forces, which are likely to add even more confusion to a very unstable system of the European Union. A significant referendum has also taken place in Italy. Premier Matteo Renzi, who had held this position since 2014, proposed a package of reforms that were to stabilize the shaky Italian economy. His reforms have been rejected as a result of that referendum, leading to Renzi's resignation. His place has been taken temporarily by former Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni. But this is a stop-gap solution aimed at sending a representative to the European Union's summit. His successor will be chosen in early elections in the spring of 2017. It should be noted that the two Prime Ministers, Renzi and Gentiloni, come from the center-left Democratic Party. Also Poland has been following this trend. After two terms of office of the Civic Platform (PO), on October 25, 2015, the parliamentary elections were won by the Law and Justice (PiS) Party, for the first time since 1989 gaining an outright parliamentary majority. Again, there was nothing extraordinary in that vote. A change came after two terms in government, with the second in particular coming in for strong criticism. The expectations were for radicalised politics which turned out to be focused on social policy. In Poland there is now an unusual combination of conservatism and references to the national values with a pro-social policy. A more detailed description of the government policies in 2016 can be found in the December edition of "Polish Market" on page 82. Former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski, in one of his television interviews, voiced concerns that the prevailing trend in the ascent to power of radical politicians, was a sign of the collapse of democracy. But can a situation where citizens elect politicians according to their own convictions and not in line with established rules and tendencies really be called the collapse of democracy? It seems that the opposite is the case. Something snapped. Democracy has not been doing so well for a long time. A separate matter, however, is what the consequences of the current political and social changes will be. The current situation should be viewed through the prism of not a few years, but rather as part of a broader mechanism that regulates the political and social order. It is a moment of departure from liberal politics predominating in the Western culture in recent years toward the centre. •

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PROFESSOR BOHDAN SZKLARSKI, expert in Political Sciences and American Studies at Collegium Civitas Is the change of government in the USA and the accompanying chaos natural situation or it is exacerbated by the personality of Donald Trump? This situation is very natural. It always occurs when taking over the presidency. This is particularly apparent in the era of social media, where we can read the comments of hundreds of bloggers. Each of them draws a conclusion based on what has happened and of what has not happened. Of course, a different issue is the scale of the chaos. Trump is unprepared for holding office. His management style is very loose, which increases chaos even more. There is therefore a certain atmosphere of the unknown. Despite the fact that someone from his entourage says something, we do not take it completely seriously, because Trump himself may say something at the next moment. PM

Is the fact that such an unpredictable person will be the president of the USA not frightening? I would not use the word “frightening”. We still know nothing. It is hard to say what sort of president he will be. The world has changed. Trump is not an aberration, but a product of these changes. Maybe we failed to notice what was going on. Trump is not the cause but the effect. PM

PM

Are Trump’s views regarding America’s commitment to NATO important from Poland’s standpoint?

They are, because Poland will no longer be viewed in American foreign policy as an individual country, a single actor, but as a fragment of NATO as a whole. This also affects the perception of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as such. Donald Trump takes a business approach. The worst aspect of this attitude is the instrumentalisation of the alliance. We must remember that NATO is not automatic and for life. It depends on a specific situation and funding. In this sense it is very bad that Donald Trump thinks this way. Then, we have the shady relations between his advisers and Russia. Also, the “let’s sit down and reach an agreement” approach of Trump is worrying. This shows that the president-elect recognises only major actors in the international arena. Small countries simply do not exist in this concept. NATO, of which we are a member, is also not seen by him in a favourable light. There is no point presuming that • Trump will take our interests into account.


Economy

Photo: PAP/Lech Muszyński

From left: Elżbieta Rafalska, Minister of Family, Labour and Social Policy, Władysław Dajczak, Voivod of Lubuskie Region, Paul Jones, Ambassador of USA in Poland, Beata Szydło, Prime Minister of Poland, Antoni Macierewicz, Minister of Defence, and other officials, at the welcoming ceremony of US Troops at Żagań

THE MOST IMPORTANT EVENTS IN DEFENCE IN 2016:

EASTERN FLANK, NATO SUMMIT AND MODERNIZATION

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ummarising the activities of her government in the area of defence Premier Beata Szydło said: "Poland can finally feel safe, the Polish Armed Forces are being modernised, rebuilt and strengthened." The conference was also attended by Antoni Macierewicz, Minister of Defence, who also listed the most important steps taken by his Ministry in 2016. During the conference Antoni Macierewicz said: "The priority that guided and still guides me is the expansion of the armed forces and their modernization. In this area barriers have been removed that prevented the development of the Polish Armed Forces. The 12-year barrier for privates, who could not serve in the military after their twelfth year of service in the army has been lifted, and the quantitative

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limits imposed on promotion opportunities of officers and non-commissioned officers have been removed. They were not accepted, even though there were so many willing to serve, to get a degree. It was also necessary to abolish limits on admissions to courses for officers. These were barriers imposed on the military to prevent it from developing.   Without a doubt, the most important event in 2016 was the organization of the NATO Summit in Warsaw. Our expectations were confirmed at the summit. Our main goal was to strengthen the security of countries making up the eastern flank of NATO, primarily through a measurable, qualitatively new presence of allied forces in the east. Was it a landmark summit? It is difficult to say. Certainly, Poland as the organiser, but also

a member of NATO is satisfied with its decisions to strengthen the security of Poland, thanks to the eastern flank of NATO and the stationing of NATO troops in the form of four battalions and commanding forces in Poland and the Baltic States since the beginning of 2017. As early as January 12, we witnessed the informal welcome of American troops from the ABCT – Armoured Brigade Combat Team by the commander of the Black Brigade in Żagań, Major General Jarosław Mika. Two days later, the official welcome ceremony was attended by: Prime Minister Beata Szydło, Minister of Defence Antoni Macierewicz and U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Poland, Paul W. Jones. During the Summit it was decided that a total of 6,000 NATO and US soldiers would be stationed in Poland. What is very important


Economy to Poland, the decisions taken during the Summit have not been challenged by Donald Trump, the newly-elected US President, who during the election campaign did not hide his doubts regarding NATO. This is a very important election promise made to the Polish nation, undoubtedly sustaining and consolidating our security. An important element of strengthening national defence and the Polish Armed Forces will be the development of what we call cyber-army. The NATO Summit considered combat in cyberspace as one of the most important elements of defence. Therefore, more than PLN 1 billion will be spent this year and the next on building troops defending us in cyberspace, said Antoni Macierewicz. The NATO summit was preceded by an equally important event, and namely the building of a missile defence shield base in Redzikowo, as reported by "Polish Market" in the July issue. The installation in Redzikowo will be deployed as part of the US missile defence system in Europe. The base in Redzikowo is to be used for storing and firing the SM-3 missiles defending against kinetic short and medium range missiles. The breaking off of the negotiations of an offset agreement with Airbus Helicopters – the company with which the government was supposed to sign a contract for the purchase of the H225M Caracal multi-role helicopters received equally wide coverage (more on this in the December issue of "Polish Market").

TERRITORIAL ARMY

The Territorial Army (TA) is a new kind of active military service. As we read on the MoD website: "The duration of the territorial army military service is between one and six years. Military service in this new kind of units will be done on a rotation basis, at least once a month for 2 days off work and on the availability basis. The time of the rotation service will be spent in the structures of a military unit in a specific position. Soldiers of the Territorial Army on duty on the availability basis outside the military unit, remain in readiness for deployment on the rotation basis within the prescribed period.” This year, the operational force of the Polish Armed Forces will be expanded by nearly 5,000 soldiers. If we add to this the newly-created Territorial Army, the number increases to over 8,000. The Territorial Army, the fifth type of armed forces, is one of the biggest tasks connected with the development of the Polish Armed Forces. The commanding officers of this formation have already been appointed. By the end of this year, three brigades will be formed in the regions of Podlasie, Lubelszczyzna and Podkarpacie, consisting

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of 3,500 soldiers and officers. This means that among the 10,000 volunteers who have already reported to the TA, most will be includes in these forces next year, when the TA reaches more than 18,000 soldiers, so that in 2019 the figure totals 53,000.  This is the fifth type of armed forces subordinated directly to the minister of defence. However, its commander is appointed by the President, in line with the hierarchy rules in force in the armed forces and in compliance with the Polish Constitution, explained minister Macierewicz. An equally important measure, albeit less spectacular, was granting pay increases to civilian employees of the armed forces who have not had any raise in eight years. They, as well as soldiers, now receive PLN 300 – 400 more every month.

MODERNISATION

From time to time there are discussions about increasing defence spending. Of course, everything depends on the condition of the national budget. However, since 2016 we have been spending 2% of the GDP on defence. Minister Macierewicz said: "The technical modernization of the armed forces is an extremely important task. For this purpose, this year alone more than 100 contracts have been signed. This is the first year in 8 years, in which the funds allocated by the public to the military through the budget will be utilised in full." A number of very important contracts were signed towards the end of 2016. They include, for instance, a contract for the delivery to the Polish Armed Forces of the Regina fire modules, a contract for the purchase of the Piorun sets or a contract for the delivery of missiles for the F-16 multi-role aircraft. The head of the MoD stated that "The Jassm missiles are the most advanced type of armaments and thanks to them Poland no longer has to passively wait for an attack, but is able to mount effective defence." On December 14, 2016 the Management Board of Huta Stalowa Wola SA signed with the Armaments Inspectorate of the Polish Armed Forces a contract for the delivery of four division fire modules. Premier Beata Szydło and the minister of defence were present at its signing. Huta Stalowa Wola SA has concluded the biggest contract in the history of the Polish armaments industry for deliveries of equipment manufactured in Poland. Its value exceeds PLN 4.5 billion which puts it among the biggest contracts ever signed in the Polish armaments sector. The object of the contract are four Regina Division Fire Modules. Each division fire module consists of: 24 self-propelled Krab howitzers, 3 staff-command vehicles, 8 command vehicles of various ranks,

6 ammunition vehicles and 1 armaments and electronics repair vehicle. On December 20, 2016 Minister Antoni Macierewicz took part in signing a contract for the purchase for the Polish Armed Forces of the Piorun portable anti-aircraft missile systems. The contract is worth PLN 932 million and according to its provisions the Polish Armed Forces are to receive 1,300 missiles and 420 launchers. This is yet another major contract. The Piorun portable anti-aircraft missile system is a product of very deep modernisation of the Grom portable missile. Its range is greater than that of Grom and is more immune to interference. The guiding precision has also been greatly improved – the range of target detection and monitoring has been increased two-fold. Owing to the addition to the system of a thermal viewfinder Piorun is able to destroy targets not only during the day, but also at night. Piorun is designed to combat helicopters, aircraft and winged missiles flying at an altitude between 4 m and 4 km and at a distance of 500 m to more than 6 km. On the same day, Bartosz Kownacki, deputy Defence Minister received at the Pentagon a set of contracts for the delivery of missiles for the F-16 multi-role aircraft. The contracts were signed under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme. Sales of the JASSM ER missiles by the government of the USA to another country requires the consent of the US Congress. Poland is the only country to have received this consent. The AGM-158B (JASSM ER) missiles are a modernised version of the AGM-158A missiles, with the range extended to approximately 1,000. Referring to the challenges of army modernisation, the deputy minister said that “the most important orders have been placed with factories employing Poles and located in Poland. As regards helicopters, the tendering procedure announced is open also to the plants in Mielec, Świdnik, although there are also foreign bidders. All of them have equal rights, but we hope that Polish manufacturers will be able to supply us with these helicopters."   Premier Beata Szydło, present at the signing of the contract in Huta Stalowa Wola, said: "The armaments industry must become the engine of the Polish economy. (…) We hope that soon we will meet at another factory to announce further good projects for the Polish Armed Forces, carried out at Polish plants by Polish engineers." Minister Antoni Macierewicz added: "The Polish industry will support the Polish Armed Forces, but will also develop to ensure that all Poles benefit from its growth in terms of security and wealth." We do hope so! •


Economy

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PROGRAMME FOR BUILDING CAPITAL The Programme for Building Capital is one of the components of the Plan for Responsible Development. Its guidelines were presented last summer by deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Development and Finance Mateusz Morawiecki. Ewelina Janczylik-Foryś

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he programme has four objectives: to enhance the financial security of the Polish people, strengthen the stability of public finances, develop the local capital market and increase the potential for economic development. The aspect of the programme which particularly electrified public opinion is the proposal to restructure the functioning of OpenEnded Pension Funds (OFE). Under the Programme for Building Capital, there are plans to establish Employee Capital Programmes and Individual Capital Programmes as part of the third pillar of the pension system. The two programmes are planned to start operating on January 1, 2018. In the first stage, the reform is to affect large companies providing employment to more than 250 people. But medium-sized and small businesses are to be included in the programme since January 1, 2019. Under initial proposals, the money accumulated in Open-Ended Pension Funds is to be transferred to Individual Pension Accounts and – according to information from the Ministry of Economic Development – earmarked for “new important undertakings, which will be building the strength of our economic policy.” 75% of the OFE assets (PLN103 billion) would be transferred on January 1, 2018 to the Individual Pension Accounts of all the 16.5 million of OFE members – on average PLN6,300 per person. At the same time, OFE would be transformed into Polish Equity Investment Funds while Pension Fund Management Companies (PTE) would be turned into Investment Fund Companies (TFI). After a person has reached pensionable age, 25% of the money accumulated in the account could be paid out in a lump sum and 75% could be used to buy a temporary or lifetime pension.

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The remaining 25% of the OFE assets (PLN35 billion) would be transferred, under law, to the Demographic Reserve Fund (FRD) “to strengthen the financial buffer of the pension system.” The means could be managed by the Polish Development Fund company (PFR SA) and part of them could go to the third pillar of the pension system. “We want to propose that the Democratic Reserve Fund should really serve to strengthen retirement provision for all citizens. We do not want it [the money - ed.] to be absorbed by the national budget in a single go, as our predecessor did with PLN160 billion [of OFE money – ed.],” deputy Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said. Why does the existing model require change? There are several reasons, including a low level of savings in Poland, an unfavourable demographic situation resulting in mounting tensions within the pension system, the absence of a universal third pillar of the pension system, and a low level of pensions from the second pillar. The Ministry of Economic Development assumes that the Programme for Building Capital will result in a rise in the number of people taking part in the third pillar by 5.5 million, and an increase in the amount of savings in the third pillar by over PLN12 billion if the average rate is at 4%, or PLN22 billion with the average rate of 7%. This is also expected to add around 0.4 pct. points annually to the long-term GDP growth rate. At a press conference, deputy Prime Minister Morawiecki said it was a preliminary concept subject to consultations with the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy. The discussion about pensions returned in autumn when, in mid-November, the parliament lowered the age of retirement back to 60 years for women and 65 years for men and the

Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy presented for consultation a recommendation proposal following a pension review. According to the Polish Press Agency (PAP), the Ministry proposed that all the money accumulated in OFE should be transferred to the Demographic Reserve Fund and that the amounts corresponding with the value of assets collected in OFE accounts should be written in sub-accounts in the Social Insurance Institution (ZUS). This came as a surprise to the Ministry of Economic Development in view of its proposals for the Programme for Building Capital. Commenting on the issue, Marcin Zieleniecki, deputy minister of family, labour and social policy, told PAP: “For the time being, it is just a recommendation proposal. It is the draft document which has only been sent to individual ministries with a request for them to present their comments and possible recommendations. For the time being, it is a draft prepared by our Ministry, but it is at a very early stage. We are waiting for comments from the Ministry of Finance, for instance, because these comments will be very important. Only after we have received them will we be able to prepare a draft document to be presented to the government. One can hardly comment on draft proposals which do not take into account the position of other ministries.” One can see that the issue of the pension system and its reform is not only complex from the formal point of view, but also creates divisions within the government. Irrespective of the final form of the draft amendments to the law, every change, even the smallest one, will be widely commented by public opinion, economists and experts. Those who think that the question of pensions has no impact on the Polish economy and the whole capitalist system are wrong. •


Transport

THE PORT OF GDYNIA AUTHORITY EXPECTS ANOTHER YEAR OF STABILITY Adam Meller, President of the Board of the Port of Gdynia Authority S.A., talks to "Polish Market". The year 2016 saw record cargo handling volumes. What was the reason for that? Was it mainly due to the modernisation of the port? Indeed, preliminary calculations indicate that the amount of cargo increased by over 7% against 2015 and reached a record level of 19.5 million tonnes. In 2016, Port of Gdynia maintained national primacy in the Polish export of grain and fodder - handling approximately 4 million tonnes representing an improvement on 2015 by some 10%. Very good results were also achieved in the handling of general cargo. It was a successful year in terms of turnover in goods using ferry services on the KarlskronaGdynia line. The Hanko (Finland) - Gdynia roro services also show steady trade. The result achieved was due to the high quality of service and competitiveness of the Gdynia terminals, supported by investment activities of the Port of Gdynia Authority S.A. PM

Is the Gdynia Port technically prepared for increasing the volume of cargo next year? The technical capacity of the Port of Gdynia, estimated on the basis of the length of quays and the handling and storage potential of the terminals exceeds 30 million tonnes. The increase of cargo handling capacity of the Port of Gdynia will take place after the completion of such important investment projects like improving the parameters of the entrance to the inner port and execution of the expanded turning basin allowing for handling ships of up to 400 metres in length. In the Port of Gdynia, we expect for 2017 to contunue with the level of 19 PM

million tonnes. The actual result of stevedoring is the sum of many factors. With the favourable development of maritime trade, especially in the bulk cargo group, and further increases in the ferry and ro-ro cargo groups we cannot rule out breaking yet another record of 20 million tonnes of cargo handled at the Port. This year, you are celebrating your 95th anniversary. It is possible to compare that first port with the one of today? The Port of Gdynia was the largest investment project of the Second Republic of Poland - in 1938 it already handled more than 9 million tonnes of cargo, becoming the largest port on the Baltic Sea and one of the largest in Europe. Since the late seventies it has played a pioneering role of containerisation. The systematic improvement of infrastructure standards determines the current market position of the Port of Gdynia. The reactivation of the Ministry of Maritime and Inland Shipping will allow for a more comprehensive approach to the issues of port development. I also hope for good co-operation between this Ministry and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Construction, which is responsible for the whole system of road and rail connections. The construction of efficient connections to the Port of Gdynia from the land side is a condition for maintaining its competitiveness. PM

PM

The condition of ports depends on the state of the national economy. In recent years Polish ports have been going through a period

of strong revival. Do you expect this trend to continue? The strength of every port is the service potential of its terminals owned mostly by international investors. Their relationships with shipment owners and sea carriers very often influence the choice of port and the logistic path, which in turn stimulates the construction of facilities, and the development of the cargo handling capacity and new jobs. Port authorities as public utility entities look after the conditions for business development. Traditional specialisations of the Port of Gdyniathe support of exports and imports of grain and fodder, support of the trade with Sweden, Norway and Finland by ferry and ro-ro shipping services, and short sea shipping connections with the British Isles-seem to be a stable base for the maintenance of a favourable level of cargo handling. You place strong emphasis on environmental protection. Raising the standards of environmental protection is a key task for the coming years, especially for the ports in the Baltic Sea, which has been included in the SECA area, where ships are required to reduce emissions of sulphur into the atmosphere. As the managing body of the port, we should deliberately promote innovative technologies, work for the good of the local community, which also means exploring and reducing emissions of harmful agents in the port area. • PM

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Transport

POLAND

CONVEYOR BELT BETWEEN WESTERN AND EASTERN EUROPE JAN BUCZEK, President of the Association of International Road Transport Carriers (ZMPD) in Poland, talks to Ewelina Janczylik-Foryś.

The ZMPD is Poland’s largest association in the road haulage sector, established in 1957, almost 60 years ago. It has nearly 4,500 members. Let us describe to our readers the objectives of the Association. The basic aim of the Association is providing assistance and information to the ZMPD members in matters relating to haulage activity and representing them before State authorities, domestic and international organisations, and taking steps designed to defend the industry’s interests. PM

Assistance and information? Yes. We provide up-to-date information regarding requirements of the road, border and customs services in dozens of countries and new traffic restrictions, toll charges or working hours of drivers, as well as other news useful from the point of view of pursuing transport activity. Our information concerns the current conditions of carrying freight in Europe and Asia. We provide it over the phone, by electronic mail, publish announcements in the national press, and in urgent matters we co-operate with radio and television broadcasters. The ZMPD is an active member of the IRU - International Road Transport Union in Geneva. Since 2014, I have been a member of the IRU Presidential Executive. PM

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In 2017, you will celebrate your 60th anniversary. What can you tell us about the beginnings? International transport was given a huge opportunity following the adoption in 1989 of the Road Transport Act. This piece of legislation removed all restrictions hitherto imposed upon business activity in line with the “everything that is not prohibited shall be allowed” principle. PM

Now, we are also hearing of the Business Constitution of deputy Prime Minister Morawiecki. The Business Constitution is a novelty. I think that the work on it will continue for many months to come. During one of the meetings of the Social Dialogue Council the deputy prime minister presented its outline to us. However, returning to the first question, after the fall of communism, following the introduction of a market economy, we, Polish hauliers, realised that we were facing an opportunity to make our presence felt in the markets of Western Europe. We became an excellent conveyor belt between Western and Eastern Europe. At that time Western transport companies did not want to drive over Polish roads which were in a bad state of repair, or venture even further to the East. They found it more convenient to hand over transport orders together with the entire PM


Transport

WHEN INTERNATIONAL ROAD TRANSPORT WAS BEING DEVELOPED IN POLAND AFTER THE CHANGES AND THE DOMESTIC INDUSTRY WAS ON THE WANE, WE WERE FLOODED WITH WESTERN GOODS.

responsibility to other entrepreneurs. And usually we were those entrepreneurs. Is Poland still a “conveyor belt” for countries of Western Europe? There is no simple rule here. When international road transport was being developed in Poland after the changes and the domestic industry was on the wane, we were flooded with Western goods. Only the influx of new capital led to the creation in Poland of subsidiaries of Western companies or even entire enterprises with Western capital. Towards the end of the 1990s, the Polish road transport, still using old trucks, was managed by very good entrepreneurs who quickly found their bearings in the difficult new conditions and continued to develop the sector in leaps and bounds. We carried huge volumes of freight from the West. We imported everything. Also, at the time there arose the need to carry freight from Western Europe to countries east of Poland. We responded to this demand, helped by our courage, business acumen and a responsible approach to security issues. PM

Today, Polish transport companies are looking towards markets such as… Even certain far-flung Eastern markets, such as Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan. But we also go to North Africa, Iraq or Iran. Currently, following the lifting of economic sanctions imposed on Iran, we decided to establish co-operation with this country. A Polish-Iranian meeting was quickly arranged, attended by the Iranian Ambassador and 20 of their entrepreneurs. On May 11, 2016 in Gdańsk economic operators from the transport sectors of Poland and Iran were given their first opportunity to discuss future co-operation. PM

Are there any effects of these measures? Yes. We have signed a co-operation agreement between the Association of International Road Transport Carriers in Poland and the Iranian Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture. We are planning a reciprocal visit to Iran to seek partners for our carriers. The prospects offered by that market are promising. Please remember that Iran is also a very good transit point. I am convinced that road transport will conquer than market, even if we have to compete against other modes of transport. PM

Can road transport be replaced by another type of transport? There is no such threat because the demand for carrying freight is growing constantly. There is a place for everybody. The import-export market is very fragmented and 80% of it is small players who carry modest loads which they can control. When it comes to large-scale freight over long distances where one type of transport is not enough, it is necessary to use intermodal transport. PM

PM

Has the road infrastructure in Poland improved from the point of view of carriers?

The infrastructure in Poland has been improving for many years now. It seems that we have no reasons for complaining because we have one of the best road networks in this part of Europe. Of course, things can always be improved, and that’s what is going to happen for sure. We already can reach every factory, because there is a road leading to it. However, we have formal problems. 115 kN is the single axle weight of a heavy goods vehicle. The maximum permitted weight on provincial roads is 80 kN, and on the national roads it increases to 100 kN! Vehicles with a single axle weight of 115 kN are allowed to use only dual carriageways and motorways. This means that our roads are not adapted to greater loads. This is a huge problem because we are unable to drive on all our roads. This factor is important and constitutes a serious hindrance. I hope that the government will try to resolve this problem. And what is your opinion of the plans to introduce a freight monitoring system designed to eliminate fraud and VAT and excise duty evasion? We are talking here first and foremost about excisable goods, such as engine fuels, grease and plant oils, dried tobacco or denatured ethylene. I do not deny the expediency of making changes, but in my opinion the way these goals are to be achieved is inappropriate. The draft regulations presented to us impose further obligations on carriers, forcing them to buy and install a GPS device in the vehicle which, instead of monitoring the load, will only indicate the location of the truck. The Association maintains that the responsibility for the performance of specific administrative actions, connected with obtaining a reference number and making changes in the notification, should be borne by the entity reporting or collecting the goods and not the driver. Carriers should concentrate solely on transporting • goods from point A to point B. PM

1-2/2017  polish market

41


Transport

ELECTRICITY AND GAS

MODERN AND ENVIRONMENTALLY-FRIENDLY PUBLIC TRANSPORT FOR WARSAW

W

arsaw's Municipal Bus Company (MZA) is replacing 10% of its fleet this year. The new vehicles will include 10 electric buses. The number of these most environmentally-friendly vehicles is going to increase from one year to another – in 2020 the capital city will boast 160 of them, the highest number in Poland. Municipal Bus Company is the largest public transport enterprise in Poland and one of the largest in Europe. Its fleet of almost 1,400 vehicles is based in four depots. Every day, 1,220 of them can be found driving on the streets of Warsaw. The size goes hand in hand with modernity. For several years the company has been conducting an ambitious investment programme. Back in 2006, most of the buses were of the high-floor variety and outdated, and procurement remained well below needs. Since that time more than a thousand brand-new low-floor buses have been purchased. They come with increasingly advanced features, ranging from video surveillance, air conditioning, fire protection systems, electronic information internal and external devices for counting passengers in the vehicle, to the ticket machines. At this time, the standard of the vehicles operated by MZA in many cases already exceeds many Western European cities, and the average age of the fleet has fallen to just over six years (with a constant downward trend). In 2017, the company will continue its ambitious investment programme. Municipal Bus Company will buy 45 articulated buses. Five of them will be fuelled with CNG and be kept at the Ostrobramska "gas" depot, joining the 35 Solbus LNG (liquefied natural gas) in operation since 2015. The remaining 40 articulated vehicles will be equipped with a traditional combustion engine.

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35 maxi class buses (12 metres long) will be powered by diesel engines meeting the strict Euro 6 exhaust gases purity standard. The purchase of 90 new buses will be complemented by another ten 12 metres long electric buses. The entire investment will be carried out in the form of six-year leasing. In mid-2017 the Woronicza depot will receive 10 electric buses as a result of a contract signed last year. The new Ursus vehicles for Warsaw are already being manufactured in a plant in Lublin. Electric and low-emission vehicles are the future of MZA and the apple of the eye of the Management Board. For several years, the Company has been a precursor to further "green" technologies. The company is open to testing buses equipped with low or zero-emission drives, and as one of the first in Poland it decided to purchase four hybrid buses. The year 2015 brought new technical innovations in the fleet - 35 buses fuelled by LNG (as the second city in Europe ) and 10 electric buses. Then, there are energy-efficient solutions to improve economic performance, while helping to protect the environment - LED lighting installed in all the depots, the use of the roof of the Woronicza depot as a solar farm (several hundred solar panels), and finally photovoltaic panels mounted on dozens of vehicles. They decrease fuel consumption by several percent, their energy is sufficient to power the air conditioning or electronic information. The coming years will bring even greater changes in MZA. By 2020, the depots of the Company will be home to 160 electric vehicles. 130 of them, in the articulated version, will be purchased with the help of the European Union. Most of them will be based in the modernized Redutowa depot. This ultra-modern facility will have underground parking for buses, one hundred electric bus charging stations and energy efficient heat pumps. Above all, however, it will

be built so as not to disturb local residents. This will be achieved, among other things, thanks to a large area of greenery at the site. Environmental investments will be complemented by a network of street chargers allowing batteries to be re-charged. The use of modern technology allows charging to be done in public places with complete safety for pedestrians. The vehicles have been equipped with special pantographs, which protrude from the roof of the vehicle and draw the current from the device hanging over the road. In Warsaw as many as 19 such devices will be installed at the terminals of buses plying the Krakowskie Przedmieście and Nowy Świat routes. A 20-minute charge will enable electric buses to travel between 20 and even 40 km. Thanks to these investments it will be possible to fulfil the promise of the municipal authorities to turn the Royal Tract into a place free from exhaust and noise produced by the means of transport. The company realizes that "green" buses and depots are not everything that can be done to protect the environment in Warsaw. Hence the commitment to environmental awareness campaigns, such as the recent action entitled "With eco bus through green Warsaw." Within its framework practical measures are taken involving planting plant species at the depots that absorb harmful particulates and dust (the selection of such plant is made by employees of the Botanical Garden of the Polish Academy of Sciences), but also campaigns on buses promoting Warsaw nature reserves and birds liv• ing in the capital.


KATOWICE AIRPORT

Transport

AIRPORT WITH A FUTURE

T

ransport infrastructure is a key element enabling the development of the region. In this area one of the most important assets of Śląskie province (Silesia) is Katowice Airport. It was built virtually from scratch in the last decade. This was possible thanks to the investment programme drawn up and implemented by Górnośląskie Towarzystwo Lotnicze SA (Upper Silesian Aviation Group, GTL SA), the company managing the airport. Consistent co-operation of GTL SA with its business partners, such as airlines and travel agencies, has resulted in a dynamically expanding range of regular and charter flights. Last year was a record one for the airport and ended with the best results in its history in terms of the number travellers served in all segments of air traffic. Its network of connections was used by a record 3.22 million travellers, about 152,000 more than in 2015. That number included 1.08 million charter passengers, 21,700 more than a year earlier. By reaching a record result in this segment Katowice Airport maintained an upward trend and its leading position among regional airports. In 2016, the airport significantly expanded its network of regular connections. Nine new routes were added. Five of them are yearround connections - to Liverpool, Bari, Dubai, Tenerife and Lanzarote, and four are seasonal routes available in the spring and summer to Corfu, Sardinia, Heraklion and Thessaloniki. In the holiday season Katowice Airport, as every year, offered the widest network of chartered flights among all Polish regional airports. Among them was the first direct, longhaul charter connection to the Dominican Republic in the history of Polish regional airports, served by the Boeing 767-300ER widebodied aircraft. The consequence of excellent cooperation with airlines, airports and tour operators will be further development of the flights network in 2017. In high season Katowice Airport is going to offer more than 110 regular and charter routes.

In mid-March four new regular connections will be launched by Wizz Air: to Lisbon, Catania, Reykjavik and Malta. In addition, in the first half of the year a new, regular carrier will make its debut at the airport. From 9 May of this year, Transavia, a Dutch low-cost airline, will start flights to Amsterdam. Summing up the year 2016, Artur Tomasik President of GTL SA, managing Katowice Airport said: "Yet another record year is behind us. Very good results in all segments of passenger traffic and the constant development of the network is the result of our consistent, long-term co-operation with airlines and travel agencies. Forecasts for 2017 are optimistic, we are planning to achieve another historic result serving between 3.5 and 3.6 million passengers. It is crucial for the development of the airport that, through the competent execution of our strategy, we have for years posted a positive financial result, and this is the foundation of sustainable development. This airport is the kind of infrastructure where there is always something to do, so in the coming years, we will pursue further investments aimed at reconstruction, modernisation and development”. There would be no development of the route network and an increase of the passenger and cargo traffic at Katowice Airport without the excellent infrastructure, which GTL SA has been successfully developing and modernising for years. After opening the new runway and passenger terminal C in 2015, last year too saw the commissioning of investment projects of great importance from the point of view of the development of the airport. In May, a new cargo base, located in the south-eastern part of the airport, was opened. The new cargo terminal currently occupies an area of 12 thousand sq. m. The construction of a new cargo terminal is the first element of a long-term strategy of GTL SA aimed at building a cargo base and creating a future cargo city around the cargo zone of Katowice Airport. In the future the Cargo City should become a significant area of economic activity in Silesia, becoming a production, logistics and warehousing centre. This

project is to serve the economic and social development of the Silesian region and local governments on whose territory it is to be located. The airport currently serves as an air cargo hub for the southern Poland and is the largest cargo airport in the country. Global courier companies like DHL Express, TNT, FedEx, flying freight daily to their European transhipment airports, operate there. In addition, Katowice Airport is the airport of choice for cargo charters. In 2016, 17.5 thousand tonnes of highly valuable freight was handled at the airport, representing an increase by 9.6% on 2015. In addition, in mid-2016 the modernised and reconstructed passenger terminal A was put into service. In September, the airport launched a category II ILS system. As a result, the operating availability of the airport in conditions of limited visibility has increased considerably. The airport also continued investments associated with turning the old runway into a taxiway. In 2017, the investment programme of GTL SA is not slowing down. The plan is to expand the apron for cargo aircraft. The company will also be working on the formal preparation of the construction of a fuel depot, reconstruction and modernisation of passenger terminal B, construction of a zone for business aircraft and reconstruction of part of road 913, including a system of internal roads. The airport management company works closely with PKP PLK in the execution of an important project involving the revitalisation of railway line No 182 between Tarnowskie Góry and Zawiercie. Work on the document is to be completed by the end of the first half of this year. In addition, partners of GTL SA will also carry out investments at the airport. By the end of March, the Polish Air Navigation Services Agency should begin the construction of a new airport control tower. On the other hand, in the second half of 2017, Chopin Airport Development will probably begin the construction of a three-star hotel belonging to the Moxy chain (a brand owned by Marriott). • 1-2/2017  polish market

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Transport

THE RAILWAY STATION IS A SYMBOL OF A CITY

MICHAŁ BEIM, Ph.D., Member of the Board, Polskie Koleje Państwowe SA (PKP SA), talks to Marcin Haber.

The division within Poland’s railways is slightly misleading. What is the objective of PKP SA? Currently, the main objective of PKP SA is the implementation of railway station investment projects. The modernisation programme includes 464 stations and is financed by the European Union. It encompasses all working stations belonging to PKP. We manage some 600 stations in Poland, with nearly 130 already modernised. The overhaul of the remaining 464 is interesting because for the first time in the history of railways this work will be consulted with the local communities. We organise creative workshops attended by our designers. They talk to the locals and listen to their needs and suggestions. The end result of such consultations is a vision of a station adjusted to the individual needs of a given community. Of course, we also take into account purely town planning issues, such as zero emissions, management of precipitation water – rainwater may be used for flushing toilets. We also make sure that our stations are built in accordance with the “universal design” principle. In this planning approach the aim is to optimise the planning of every solution: ramps for wheelchairs, stairs, etc. Every station user should feel comfortable, be it a woman in high heels, someone dragging a heavy suitcase, a mother with a pram or a person recovering from a heart attack. There is a large group of people with mobility issues which are not immediately apparent: people convalescing after serious illnesses, heart attacks or strokes. “The right to a shadow” is also very important to such people. We must design stations so PM

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that they include trees providing shaded spots where one can find refuge on a hot summer day. This is a perfect moment for such projects. In its 2016-2020 financial plan the European Union puts the main emphasis on the development of railway transport. This is a chance to join the leaders in Europe. We, as PKP SA, are responsible for railway stations and some real properties. We want the results of their modernisation to be a benchmark for others. We are the first railway to embrace the universal planning model as our principal guideline. Besides the already mentioned aspects of this approach, it is also important that it provides security in three basic categories. Firstly, the fact that at the station there are no dark corners, visibility is good. There are no conditions for undesirable behaviour. Secondly, a well-designed train station has easy and visible escape route. Thirdly, if we create an interesting space that engages the local community, people with positive intentions, it is only natural that people with bad intentions do not drift towards this place. It is much less likely that someone will come to consume alcohol to such a station. Our aim is to implement projects wisely. And this cannot be done wisely without combining technical knowledge with the knowledge of the local community. Today a station may have different functions. It may be a small waiting room with the ticket office, but it can also be a place where the local community is animated, a place of culture, a kind of temple of mobility. PM

PM

Just like the station in Falenica where we can find a cinema…

Precisely. That station contains a cinema and a cafe. It is a very interesting and lively place. Creating a station wisely should provide such additional functions. I can imagine placing a kindergarten there serving the inhabitants of the metropolitan area. Parents could drive to the station, leave the car at a “park and ride” facility, bring their children to the kindergarten and then catch a commuter train. In small towns railway stations could house the local labour office or library. Even if the next train comes in an hour’s time, the station would be alive. If there are people about, it is possible to open a kiosk or a cafe. The idea is to turn such stations into the centre for the local community, but also to ensure that they serve passengers well. Travelling in Poland by train we see that most stations are identical. Are you going to abandon this approach? Most certainly. The station is an element of the commune’s identity. Apart from its functionality we also must create its cultural identity. The railway station is the symbol of a city. We want to appreciate this fact. Combining our technical know-how and low emission approach with the needs of the local community is very demanding, but also important. This must be done skilfully. This is our main task at the moment. Besides, we co-operate with the government in the Flat Plus programme. We make our land available for building housing estates included in that scheme. We want the new quarters to have good railway connections in keeping with the transit oriented development prin• ciple. PM


226

km/h

FIRST POLISH TRAIN F U L LY C O M P L I A N T W I T H T S I – – S T R I C T E U R O P E A N U N I O N S TA N D A R D S . The fastest rail vehicle designed and manufactured in Poland.


Luxury Goods

LUXURY GOODS MARKET IN POLAND 2016 EDITION

Ewelina Janczylik-Foryś

K

PMG in Poland has yet again published the results of its report entitled “The Luxury Goods Market in Poland. 2016 Edition”. The first conclusions drawn after reading the document are that the number of wealthy and rich Poles is growing, which is a cause for satisfaction, and spending on luxury goods is 51% higher than last year. Poland has nearly one million wealthy and rich citizens. The survey was conducted on a sample of 354 adults whose monthly income before taxes exceeds PLN 7,100 and the annual income is greater than PLN 85,000. Such people are considered wealthy. The largest number of wealthy and rich persons – more than 250,000 – paid their income tax in Mazowieckie province, followed by Śląskie province, with approximately 104,000 tax payers – nearly three times fewer than in Mazowieckie. Compared with the rest of the EU, financial and non-financial assets of Poles are modest (USD 19,800 per person, compared with the European Union’s average of USD 132,500), but over the last 16 years they have increased by 7.6%. Experts predict that Poles will continue to increase their net wealth. Bearing in mind the fact that the total income of wealthy and rich persons amounts to PLN 171 billion, or approximately PLN 18,000 per month, this is an amount which can be sensibly disposed of and invested. This opens many opportunities

46  polish market 

to the manufacturers and suppliers of luxury goods, because as many as 44% of the respondents is of the opinion that access to such goods is moderate.

WHAT ARE LUXURY GOODS?

KPMG experts state in the report that luxury goods are “all goods sold under a brand generally considered to be luxury in a given market, or goods which in view of their nature (uniqueness, high price, etc.) become a luxury.” This definition is confirmed by studies, because as many as 94% of respondents believe that luxury goods are distinguished by their high quality and reliability.

EIGHT OUT OF 10 RESPONDENTS DECLARE BUYING LUXURY GOODS

As many as 97% of persons earning in excess of PLN 20,000 before tax per month declare that they buy luxury goods. But one in five admits that they do not need luxury goods and that often such products are impractical and their functionality does not increase in direct relation to the price. In the opinion of wealthy and rich people a luxury car means an expenditure of at least PLN 215,000. In the case of a week-long foreign trip, the price of “luxury” begins at PLN 7,200 per person, and a bottle of wine should cost no less than PLN 350. A woman who would like to buy a luxury bag would have to


Luxury Goods pay for it at least PLN 1,900, and a luxury pair of shoes would set her back by PLN 1,200. Men should be prepared to pay at least PLN 6,100 for a luxury watch. The respondents indicated that they mostly purchased luxury goods at traditional stores in Poland. Almost seven out of ten wealthy and rich Poles admit to buying on-line. In 2016, the luxury goods market was worth PLN 16.4 billion, representing a 15% increase compared with the previous year.

CARS

The largest analysed category were premium and luxury cars whose combined value stood at approximately PLN 8.5 billion. The number of newly registered premium and luxury cars (at the end of the 3rd quarter of 2016) reached a record level of 40,400 vehicles. The report published by KPMG shows that BMW remains the most popular premium brand (9,500 cars), followed by MercedesBenz which for the first time since 2011 increased its sales in this segment (8,800) with Audi (8,000) coming third. The sales of Jaguar vehicles is growing fast – in the first three quarters of 2016 the make sold 423 cars, 60% more than in the entire previous year. Lexus, too, saw an improvement because between January and September 2016 it sold 200 vehicles more (2,700) than in 2015.

APPAREL AND ACCESSORIES

Another important segment is luxury apparel and accessories worth PLN 2.2 billion in total. Interestingly, it accounts for just 5.5% of the entire clothes market in Poland while in Western Europe these figures are different. In France 23% of the entire clothes market is accounted for by luxury apparel, and in Italy the corresponding figure is 21%. However, it has to be admitted that over the years this market has increased by 2.8%. But the future too looks bright. In the years 2016-2020 the value of this segment will exceed PLN 2.8 billion. Hotel and spa services, real estate, furniture, alcoholic beverages, yachts and planes followed in the ranking.

REAL ESTATE

Since 2015, experts have seen increased sales of luxury apartments. The value of the entire market went up by 7 pct. points compared with the preceding year, reaching PLN 1.2 billion. According to the forecasts of KPMG, by the year 2020 this market will increase to 22% (PLN 1.5 billion). The luxury real estate market in Poland is still characterised by relatively low prices compared to Western Europe. Even in the case of the most prestigious properties (Angel Wawel in Kraków, Złota 44 and Cosmopolitan in Warsaw or La Playa Palace in Sopot), the average price per square metre

does not exceed several tens of thousands of zlotys. Spending this amount allows one to buy a luxury apartment in a good location, with high standards of customer support during the sale process and often finished to the customer’s individual specifications. Apartments considered luxury cost in excess of PLN 11,800 per one square metre.

JEWELLERY AND WATCHES

The market of luxury jewellery in Poland is almost three times bigger than the market of luxury watches. In Switzerland the situation is completely different, because the amounts spent on luxury watches exceed those used for buying luxury trinkets. The number of international and domestic brands offering luxury watches and jewellery in the Polish market is growing. Most products in the segment are still sold at multi-brand showrooms. Nonetheless, the luxury watches market will increase in the years 2016-2020 on average by 15% per annum.

YACHTS AND PLANES

Polish yachts are very popular. Alas, 95% of all boats manufactured in Poland are exported. According to KMPG, in 2016, 1,322 small and medium-sized yachts were registered in Poland. Sebastian Nietupski, President of the Polish Chamber of the Yacht Industry and Water Sports told KPMG: "The yacht sector in Poland employs 35,000 people and is made up of approximately 900 businesses (these are not just manufacturers, but also companies dealing with water tourism). The production capacity of our yards is 22,000 boats per year. They are made both under the Polish brand and for large foreign yards. The potential is huge, bearing in mind the fact that our plants are among the most advanced in Europe. Long experience, modern infrastructure, co-operation with the best designers, access to the latest solutions in the field of technology and quality management allow us to offer products at the highest world level capable of competing with success in international markets. Our industry specialises in 6-9 m long motor yachts. Poland is the second-largest manufacturer in this category after the United States." As regards aeroplanes, at the end of September 2016 there were 243 private aircraft registered in Poland. According to the Civil Aviation Authority, this was the highest number in several years. Also KPMG analysts believe that this market, currently estimated at PLN 109 million, will exceed PLN 151 million in 2020. The development of the infrastructure is also a factor. The number of airfields or places allowing aircraft fuelling is growing and pilot schools are being set up.

LUXURY COLLECTIBLE GOODS – COMBINATION OF INVESTMENT AND PASSION Investing in luxury collectibles is not among the most popular forms of multiplying capital among wealthy and rich Poles, although the number of people seeking alternative ways of investing is growing every year. This is due to such factors as low interest rates and low rates of return on investments in classical financial instruments. The propensity to purchase luxury goods for investment purposes increases along with monthly income. In the survey carried out by KPMG 35% of wealthy and rich respondents declared that they invest or plan to invest in art. Investments in luxury watches, alcoholic beverages and cars is slightly less popular. "The situation in the Polish collectibles market is quite optimistic, although compared to Western Europe this market is still in the initial phase of development. Investments of wealthy and rich Poles are becoming increasingly bold and more thought-out, and high rates of return and the exclusive character of the market tempt new investors. Investing capital in luxury collectibles allows combining passion, prestige derived from possessing a given object and a probability of making a profit at some undetermined point in time," said Andrzej Marczak, partner and KPMG in Poland.

AND WHAT ABOUT THE FUTURE?

According to the forecasts of KPMG and the data published by Euromonitor International, the value of the Polish market of luxury goods will reach nearly PLN 20.9 billion in 2020. This means an increase by 27% compared with 2016. Tomasz Wiśniewski, Partner at KPMG in Poland, said: "Among all segments of the luxury goods market the highest rate of growth can be seen in the jewellery and watches category, where the average annual increase reaches double digits. However, premium and luxury cars have for years remained the largest segment of this market. We estimate that in 2020 the luxury goods market in Poland will be close to PLN 21 billion." And Andrzej Marczak, partner at KPMG in Poland added: "According to the forecasts, the coming years look promising both in terms of an increase of the number of wealthy and rich people, and their total disposable income. We predict that in 2019 there will be nearly 1.3 million of wealthy and rich people living in Poland. However, we should stress that this still applies to a relatively small part of our society representing approximately 3% of the population. • 11-2/2017  -2/2017  polish market

47


Events

OF SPOT

20 Light

TH ANNIVERSARY

TWENTY YEARS OF PASSION FOR LIGHT

Unique design and an extensive range of lighting products – all this has made SPOT Light to a leader in its sector. The history of this family business started 20 years ago in Cisek, a small town in southern Poland.

- Since the beginning, the first and most important reviewers of our new lamp designs have been our employees. They are actively engaged in the process of creating utility models. Thanks to their passion and ideas our lighting products, that are regularly presented at the largest lighting fairs, gain recognition of customers both at home and abroad – said Christian Ortlieb, the owner of SPOT Light. In the past few years SPOT Light has won numerous awards on the International Fair of Lighting Equipment LIGHT in Warsaw. In 2014 the company received a title "e-Gazele Biznesu" as one of the most dynamically developing e-commerce companies in Poland, and 2016 the golden certificate “Reliable Company” that confirms business integrity and timely settlement of liabilities.

Photo SPOT Light

TWO DECADES IS JUST THE beginning…

From the left: Łukasz Cichoń – Sales Director, Bernard Skowronek – Logistics Director, Bożena Piotrowska – Chief Financial Officer / Chief Accountant, Monika Sopałowicz – President of the Board, Christian Ortlieb - owner, Mariusz Cichoń – President of the Board, Bożena Szewerda – Production Director.

T

he early 1990s was a period of rapid development of entrepreneurship in Poland, also on the lighting market. The SPOT Light´s story began when Christian Ortlieb noticed a gap in the transforming polish market – the supply of fashion able then spot lamps was limited. He spotted his chance and registered a new company on April 1st, 1996. Today SPOT Light has more than 155 employees, and its products can be found in 46 countries worldwide.

THE RECIPE FOR A SHINING success

First production site was located in a family home of its owner - Christian Ortlieb in Cisek and the staff consisted of just six people. Only two years later the business expanded and the biggest retail chains in Poland became company´s main customers. Over the years the product range has been extended and includes now all types of interior lighting divided into: • WOOD Collection – simple, almost raw design perfectly matches the warm colours and unique wood grain. Excellent craftsmanship combined with the highest quality of polish, FSC certified wood. • BASIC Line – apart from the modern designs like Loft and Future includes a comprehensive collection of classical lighting. BASIC Line stands for individuality in lighting for all ages with an outstanding price-performance ratio. • PREMIUM – a collection combining exceptional design, great attention to detail and

functionality. Perfect for luxurious and extravagant interior arrangements. 2010 turned out to be a breakthrough; SPOT Light grounded a new brand BRITOP Lighting and the company moved its production facilities to a new building in Bierawa. In the next few years another assembly and storage facilities has been built, together with an extraordinary headquarter, that reminds of SPOT Light´s logo. With 2.400 qm of production-, 6.200 qm of storage- and 1.400 qm office space SPOT Light has contributed to the revival of the local market by creating new jobs, especially for women. Despite the growing competition and quickly changing design trends SPOT Light remains a top manufacturer of lighting fixtures. How come, that your products invariably meet the tastes of consumers?

More on: www.spotlight.pl

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To the success of SPOT Light contributed its well-developed distribution network. In addition to the traditional channels, such as lighting showrooms, electrical wholesalers and the DIY chains, the company invests heavily in the e-commerce sector, among others in its LIGHT CENTER online shop set up in 2012. SPOT Light has been also engaged in ambitious lighting projects for hotels, restaurants and commercial spaces. Illumination of a bridge connecting Cisek and Bierawa was even awarded as “The Best Lighting Investment Project of 2015” by the Polish Association of Lighting Industry. Thanks to its modern logistics facilities and professional service, customers of SPOT Light may count on full availability of the assortment, timely delivery and technical support. - In coming years we plan to develop further our business, increase production and extend the distribution network. We want to strengthen our position abroad and gain new markets. We will pay even more attention to new lighting technologies, but these are only business goals. Our biggest mission and challenge will remain the same: to provide inspiration for stylish interiors. We want to bring light into people’s homes, a symbol of warmth and beauty – said Mariusz Cichoń, CEO of SPOT Light. •


Economy

PREMIUM www.spotlight.pl

The PREMIUM catalogue of SPOT Light is the essence of a good taste. It was created for demanding clients whose interior arrangements are focused mainly on good taste, original design and functionality. With original shapes, careful finish, top manufacturing quality and care of the smallest detail made, that the SPOT Light products meets the requirements of luxury and extravagant interior arrangements.

Lighting ideas for a

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SPOT Light Sp. z o.o. 47-240 Bierawa • ul. Nowe Osiedle 13D tel. +48 77 487 70 00 • fax +48 77 487 70 08 spotlight@spotlight.pl • www.spotlight.pl

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Culture

ROYAL RESIDENCE

FREE ENTRY FOR EVERYONE

Last November, for a fifth time royal residencies in Poland were open to the public for free. The “Free November" programme includes the Royal Castle in Warsaw, the Wilanów Palace Museum, Łazienki Królewskie Museum and the Wawel Royal Castle. In November 2016 the Royal Castle in Warsaw had nearly 60,000 visitors! During that period approximately 10,800 pupils participated in museum classes, including 4,350 attending them for free. Maciej Proliński

T

he “Free November” programme is part of the “Accessible Culture” project run by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. It is addressed to everybody, especially to children, youths and senior citizens. As always, it has three main goals: cultural education, increasing access to national cultural institutions and promoting participation in culture. As part of the scheme, the Royal Castle in Warsaw offers free entry to its permanent expositions. They are the Castle Route, the Lanckoroński Gallery, the multimedia exhibition entitled “Destruction and Rebuilding of the Castle” and the Painting, Sculpture and Decorative Arts Gallery. In the Copper-Roof Palace visitors may see the Apartment of Prince Józef Poniatowski, or a new edition of an exhibition of eastern rugs called “Towards Mecca”. The topics of the free museum classes cover the life of Poland’s last king Stanisław August Poniatowski (1732-1798) and the history of the Castle and its collections during his reign. In November 2016 the Royal Castle in Warsaw was visited by 60,000 people. In addition, the Museum offered free museum classes for pupils at all levels of school education, dedicated to, among others, Stanisław August as a patron of the arts and his collections. During that period approximately 10,800 pupils

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participated in these museum classes, including 4,350 attending 200 of them for free. The Castle’s programme also included other attractions, such as “An Hour with Art,” during which visitors were able to ask questions and discuss the most valuable and interesting exhibits of the collection. The Museum also organised weekend family workshops for families which children aged between 5 and 9. The Royal Castle in Warsaw – a Monument of National History and Culture – is a historic place, the seat of the royal court and the authorities of the Republic. Today, this symbol of State sovereignty is mostly a museum. Apart from permanent collections it also hosts numerous temporary exhibitions and some of the most important State events. It has over 50,000 museum exhibits and nearly 100,000 archival items. Many of those exhibits are of European or even global importance. They include paintings, sculptures and arts and crafts objects coming from the original interiors existing at the times of Stanisław August and from the State Art Collection from the years 1922-1939, bequests and purchases, deposits of copies and reconstructions, as well as collections of two foundations: Ciechanowiecki and Teresa Sahakian. The most important paintings include the vistas of Warsaw by Bernardo Bellotto and the portraits and historic scenes depicted by Marcello Bacciarelli.

There are etchings, drawings, albums, maps and globes presenting portraits, antiquity, religious and court scenes, and views of architecture. Many people do not realise that the Castle we see today is just a reconstruction erected after World War 2. Although the first voices calling for the rebuilding of the Royal Castle could be heard shortly after the war, this initiative was not received warmly by the authorities in view of the expected costs and also for ideological reasons. The reconstruction of the Royal Castle began in 1971, following Edward Gierek’s accession to power, and completed in 1981, the year of his removal from power. Not much was left of the original Castle. Just 2% of the materials used in the reconstruction came from the old building. The reconstruction was financed mainly with public donations and money provided by the Polish Diaspora. The total amount collected was close to PLN 1 billion and USD 800,000. To this we have to add many donations in kind. The shell of the building was completed in 1974. In the same year the Old Town with the Royal Castle was entered in the UNESCO World Heritage List. On August 30, 1984 the Castle was officially opened, but the finishing works continued for a few more years. The final crowning of its reconstruction was the opening in 2009 of the Kubicki Arcades. •


Economy

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Culture

TRIUMPH OF IMAGINATION AND MUSIC! As of December 11, 2016 audiences at the National Opera House in Warsaw may watch the “opera of all operas”, meaning Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” staged by Barrie Kosky, a master of contemporary opera directing. For more than 200 years, this opera has enjoyed huge popularity, inspiring composers, writers and dramatists. Several times it has been adapted for the cinema, for instance by Ingmar Bergman in 1974 and Kenneth Branagh in 2006. In Warsaw we surrender to the unique imagination of Kosky and the genius of Mozart. We believe in their victory and the ultimate meeting of the main characters of the story.

Photo Iko Freese / drama-berlin.de

Maciej Proliński

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he premiere of this “mother of all the operas” took place on September 30, 1791 with Mozart himself wielding the baton. A simple story, loosely based on texts from a collection of fairytales by Karl Ludwig Giesecke, with references to the “Oberon” singspiel by Paul Wranitzky, was immediately met with enthusiastic reception by the Viennese audience. No wonder, since even in the overture the genius of Mozart attains the peak of composition mastery. The entire opera astonishes above all with its organic music and unity despite a huge variety of elements – from simple folk melodies, through emotion-filled arias, to the mystic atmosphere of priestly choirs. The meandering plot of the libretto of “The Magic Flute” draws from mediaeval legends and fascination with Egyptian mythology. It tells a charming story of prince Tamino who enters the enchanted land of the Queen of the Night and falls in love with the image of

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her abducted daughter Pamina. Searching for the girl, he comes to the country of Sarastro. In order to reclaim his loved one Tamino must go through a number of adventures and verify what is good and what is evil, because appearances often deceive him... The director of the current production, the Australian Barrie Kosky, Artistic Director of Berlin’s Komische Oper, has been a prominent figure in the opera world for over twenty years. Since the 2012/2013 season, he has been Chief Director of Komische Oper Berlin. At the end of his first season there the magazine “Opernwelt” awarded Komische Oper Berlin the Opera House of the Year title in a poll held among critics, and in 2015 he received the International Opera Award in the Artistic Ensemble of the Year category. He invited the British “1927” theatre group to collaborate in the production of the opera in Warsaw. Together, they combined silent cinema, live video and music, animation and pantomime. According to Barrie Kosky, this approach emulates the style of the Viennese theatre of Emanuel Schikaneder, the

inspiration behind and the author of the libretto of “The Magic Flute”. This production is certain to satisfy both children and adult music lovers. They are going to spend two hours in the labyrinths of the theatre and imagination experiencing both fear and laughter. Significantly, this rather bold vision of the director does not overwhelm or distort the sense of Mozart’s masterly music performed by the Orchestra of the National Opera conducted by its music director Andriy Yurkevych, and the artists cast in the main roles: Iwona Sobotka, Joel Prieto, Rafał Siwek, Aleksandra Olczyk and Mikołaj Trąbka. Nonetheless, this “animated”, cinematic version retains certain original aspects such as symbolism, philosophical musings on the one hand, and “magic tricks”, animals: monkeys, lions, elephants, snakes, on the other. Leaving the Warsaw Opera House after the performance we will never doubt that we have just seen one of the most beautiful, and yet mysterious and wise operas created by Mozart. That we have just visited a beautiful world. •


Cultural Monitor

WE ENTER THE NEW YEAR WITH A SONG AND A CAROL. IN WISE REFLECTION AND WITH A TENDER SMILE. MACIEJ PROLIŃSKI RECOMMENDS NEW RELEASES (INCLUDING VERY INTERESTING RE-EDITIONS). “Moniuszko - Pieśni vol. 2” - Michał Dembiński; Jolanta Pawlik – Pawlik Relations – CD The second album from the label of Jolanta Pawlik – pianist and music producer (her portfolio includes the Grammy-winner "Night in Calisia” album by Włodek Pawlik). The first record in this series with a selection of songs for mezzo-soprano performed by Elwira Janasik was released in 2014 and has been very well received by audiences and critics. The second album offers a selection of songs by Stanisław Moniuszko (1819-1872) performed by a young and equally talented singer Michał Dembiński (bass). We find there sixteen songs ranging from one-minute vocal miniatures to many-versed songs. Eight of the pieces address war and soldiering themes (including the “Three Knights” ballad, “Beads”, “The Cossack”). Another extensive block of works are Lamentations (“Treny”) based on Jan Kochanowski’s poetry. Moniuszko chose four Lamentations (III, V, VI, X), depicting the father’s growing grief following the death of a beloved child. One should pay particular attention to the way in which the composer treats a literary text – artfully arranged, full of epithets and comparisons, apostrophes and rhetorical questions. Moniuszko subordinated the course of musical phrases and a variable mood to the division of content into fragments constituting a conceptual whole. The result are over-composed songs, extremely rare in the Polish music of the era. The album also includes a beautiful love poem by Mickiewicz ("The Dream”) and a surprise – the famous “Spinner” performed by a bass! The booklet contains not only the lyrics in Polish, but also their translations into four languages (English, Russian, Japanese and Chinese). This is because all those who have worked on this album want the outstanding vocal lyricism of Moniuszko to reach music lovers all over the world.

“Krzysztof Komeda-Trzciński w Radiu – Litania” - Polskie Radio – LP Krzysztof Komeda Trzciński (1931-1969) is the most famous Polish composer of jazz and soundtracks. His works are recognised the world over. An extraordinary talent, he has left his mark on the work of musicians working with him who are now the pillars of the Polish jazz scene (Tomasz Stańko, Zbigniew Namysłowski, Michał Urbaniak), as well as on the activities of the subsequent generations of Polish jazzmen. His music reflected the growing-up of this music in our country, it was an echo of different directions and influences of the world of jazz. The compositions included in the release are simply the milestones of Polish jazz. “Astigmatic” – both as an album and a stand-alone composition, is an icon of the entire Polish art, the benchmark of the Polish jazz sound which made such an impact upon the entire contemporary jazz scene of the Old Continent. Next to it we have “Kattorna”, another manifestation of Komeda’s greatness as a composer and interpreter. And last, but not least, there is the title “Litany”, often overshadowed by other works by Komeda. And this was the composition chosen by Tomasz Stańko as the title piece of his 1997 album, which achieved global success. “According to Professor Marek Hendrykowski, outstanding Polish film historian and theoretician, for Komeda jazz was a metaphor of human life. It became a genre of music expressing the desire for personal freedom, flowing from the inside as a unique type of experience consisting in discovering self and the world through art”. And this can be clearly heard on this canonical, beautifully re-released album. In the notes and between them. It’s a must!

“Nierówni” – Mieczysław Szcześniak – Polskie Radio – CD Mieczysław Szcześniak – one of the most popular Polish vocalists – freely uses various styles where the common denominator are balanced compositions as well as poetic lyrics. His new album is inspired by the works of one of the most distinctive Polish poets – Reverend Jan Twardowski (1915-2006). The intention of the artist was simple – to share these poems with others by moving them from the hearts to the minds and the lips, so that they can be sung, danced, laughed and cried to. The form of the record adds lightness and emphasises everything that is important to this poet and to the composer (Szcześniak himself) – warm hope, affirmation of poetic simplicity, distanced and yet unforced wisdom. This is why these poems are told using the language of compositions which have their roots in the acoustic, light and sunny music of Brazil (bossanova, samba, chorinho, sao). The entire album was recorded by Brazilian musicians in the USA, has a great, organic sound (great Polish experts: Krzysztof Herdzin and Marcin Pospieszalski were in charge of the arrangements and musical production). As far as I can tell, it begins where the beautiful 1959 movie "The Black Orpheus” ends... “When a beautiful girl walks across the world this is a metaphor for grace; nobody knows where she is coming from or where she is going, and yet she changes the meaning of the world that surrounds her” – this is what I can repeat after another priest – Professor Tischner when I listen to this record. This beautiful congress of music and words is a joy to behold. Other listeners are bound to be equally enchanted!

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CM – January 2017

Cultural Monitor

“Dusza w uszach” – Michał Kulenty – Polskie Radio – CD Michał Kulenty was a special, albeit slightly forgotten Polish jazzman. He graduated in Polish Philology from Warsaw University and in Classical Saxophone from the Warsaw Academy of Music. He was a versatile musician working with symphonic orchestras, jazz formations and folk groups. He also played all types of flutes, ethnic instruments, created music for the theatre and film, gave solo concerts. Critics call him “a Polish Garbarek – a poet of the saxophone”. His extremely suggestive and expressive music is strongly inspired by Polish folk, classical music and religion, and is not easy to classify. The main characteristic of his compositions is romanticism, melodiousness and spirituality. On the new album the leader is accompanied by: Krzysztof Herdzin on the grand piano and keys, Robert Kubiszyn on the bass and Cezary Konrad on the drums. The Polish Radio Orchestra is conducted by Krzysztof Herdzin, who was also the arranger and producer of the record. Its message captivates by its maturity, musical purity, restraint and discipline. But also, let’s not be afraid to use this word – by its sublimity. The album has turned out to be Kulenty’s farewell disc. The musician died on January 3, 2017 after a grave illness.

“Opowieści wigilijne” – Andrzej Jagodziński Trio - Studio Realizacji Myśli Twórczych – CD Andrzej Jagodziński is among the most outstanding Polish jazz pianists, a composer and arranger. In 1993, together with the drummer Czesław Bartkowski and the double bass player Adam Cegielski, he formed The Andrzej Jagodziński Trio. They still continue to delight the audiences. “Opowieści wigilijne” is their exceptional meeting. “After many years we decided to again record Christmas carols which we have been playing for over twenty years. Over that long time our performance ideas have changed a little, matured. We are giving you a thought-out work verified by hundreds of concerts” – the artists declare. The Jagodziński Trio have translated carols with great love for the original. Listeners will easily recognise many characteristic and beautiful themes (canon such as “Silent Night, Holy Night”, “Mizerna cicha”, “Gdy śliczna Panna”, “Lulajże Jezuniu”). However, sometimes Jagodziński, a great artist of the piano, “obliterates the traces,” which results in the creation of a completely new and individual music saturated with jazz and improvisation. A restrained improvisation, we must add. The sound of his piano is a fascinating, very proprietary mix of "nakedness”, rawness and tenderness. I am taken in by and enjoy this simple approach to music (containing no jazz showing-off!), where nevertheless “all the hues of Christmas transcendence” can be found. The book contains two short stories by Magdalena Adamska (also available in English).

“Świątecznie” – Stanisława Celińska – Musicom – CD Following the spectacular success of the “Atramentowa” album (Double Platinum!), Stanisława Celińska, an outstanding Polish film and theatre actress, together with Maciej Muraszko, a composer, drummer and music producer, released a Christmas record. The album contains not just traditional carols such as "Przybieżeli do Betlejem", "Lulajże Jezuniu", "Oj maluśki, maluśki" or "Mości gospodarzu", but also Ernest Bryll’s beautiful pastorale entitled "Kiedyż to wzejdziesz gwiazdo niebieska", as well as two new Christmas songs written and composed especially for this release by the Celińska&Muraszko duo. Celińska, for a second time in recent years, has performed her another wonderful role – that of a singer who knows what she is singing about and how to attract listeners, using a whole palette of hues and emotions. Sometimes called “Poland’s Cesaria Evora”, she can enchant the audience with her charismatic voice so that there is no doubt that she loves life, and here "life with Christmas”... This is much more than just another performance of well-known carols by famous musicians. Besides, apart from purely musical skills, naturaleness has become Celińska’s hallmark. Some time ago she said: “You have to be yourself to get to the centre of your emotions”.

“Małe Wu Wu” – Warner – CD& LP A re-edition of the first, cult "Małe Wu Wu” album from 1988. The record contains an innovative take on children’s songs performed by children accompanied by the band Voo Voo. Why was this approach innovative? Because children were treated completely seriously, giving them truly rock songs to perform -some of them even containing elements of rap (!) and folk music from various cultures – particularly from Africa and Asia. The band was enlarged by the addition of the Bulgarian Fiolka Naydenowich (vocalisations) and Józef Gawrych (keyboard instruments). The singing children included Karolina Poznakowska, Marysia Stokłosa and Kuba Sojka. The author of the lyrics is the theatre director Jerzy Bielunas. Apart from compositions by Wojtek Waglewski, there were also music-writing debuts of all other band members (in the 1980s the group comprised: Mateusz and Jan Pospieszalski and Andrzej Ryszka). This first “Małe Wu Wu” (so far, the band has signed three releases this way) are adventures which for a large section of the audience -sometimes not well versed in the main and varied main current of Voo Voo’s music- still bring a smile to their faces. They are a memory of something that prior to "all these masterful kids” had never occurred in the infantile world of songs for children. 1-2/2017  polish market

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Culture

A DOCUMENTARY IS ONLY GOOD WHEN IT TELLS THE TRUTH. EWA EWART, a well-known Polish documentary filmmaker and a winner of “Polish Market’s” Honorary Pearl Award 2016 for promoting social values, talks to Maciej Proliński. You have now worked in television for over 20 years. When you look at the terribly divided Polish TV market, do you think that it fulfils its role to explain the world around to us, or it tries to manipulate? A nature of TV has changed hugely, generally and globally, especially in the course of the last couple of decades. My adventure with the TV news business started in 1990. I moved to Moscow, where I got a job with CBS News, one of the biggest American TV networks. It was a fascinating time to be in the news. Among many great stories, I had a chance to cover the collapse of the Soviet Union. But towards the end of my time in Russia, I grew tired of producing two-minute reports. They tell you what happened and there is never enough time to explain, in a proper context, why something happened. I was lucky to get a job with the BBC Current Affairs Programme. I moved to London, where for 20 years I had a unique chance to learn and polish my skills as a documentary filmmaker. I was a part of the most reputable News organization in the word, and I could observe the way it played its role as a public service broadcaster. BBC is not immune to criticism either, and I witnessed it sometimes when the Corporation had to face accusations of bias. However, it was rather an exception than a rule, and BBC still holds a status as a standard bearer in objective reporting. As of 2008 I started spending more time in Poland and I was very encouraged by what I saw on the Polish media market, especially in TV. Media here have made a gigantic leap from what I remembered when I had left the PM

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country, in the mid-80s. And it was all going in a good, promising direction. All has changed because of the last elections and a new political reality here. Poland doesn’t have any longer a public TV service. There is a new national TV, which has become a propaganda tool for the current government and one political party only. Objective reporting and informing its audiences are the last things on its agenda. The good news, however, is that today Poles are much better educated and more discerning in their choices of what they watch, listen and read. Fortunately, there are other media outlets than the government-controlled public TV channels, radio and press. We have the Internet and a vast array of social media. It makes it more difficult for the propaganda machine to manipulate people’s minds. The current division of the TV in Poland exposed, in my view, two different worlds that never meet. It is evident pretty much in everything; from their strategy of how to explain the world to their audiences to their editorial choices. It is not exclusively a problem of Polish TV. But I have been observing how in Poland personal views, opinions, and judgments are driving forces behind media. As a result, we can see a lot of emotional journalism, which is more noticeable here than elsewhere in the world. As I have already said, public TV in Poland serves the interests of one political option, currently in power, and it doesn’t even bother to hide it. Such mission determines its agenda and its editorial choices. As a result, we have a national TV that has little to do with informing and PM

educating in an objective way about the complexities of a global world. I would like to believe that it is just a short –term, reversible trend. Once the audiences got to know a different way of presenting newsand they did in Poland- an attempt to domesticate viewers and to impose a narrow, onesided propaganda will be less and less possible. I can see it happening in the world, and I very much hope that Polish audiences won’t buy into a recent onslaught of manipulation by national TV either. What is, in your view, the condition of a documentary film today? Was it harder to make documentaries in the past than it is at present? I was lucky to start my career as a documentary filmmaker within the BBC TV in the early 90s, when Current Affairs documentaries had their so-called five-minutes. The world was our oyster; we travelled all over and had a chance to produce films from some of the most far away corners of the planet. Our productions were well funded and budgets were generous. Then it all started gradually changing; there was less and less money; the editorial priorities also kept shifting, and rumours of an imminent death of such films appeared. They all proved to be unfounded. Yes, it is more difficult today to raise funds for the production of such films, especially if you operate in the harsh world of a freelancer and do not have an instant, financial support of a media outlet. On the other hand, technological advances manage to mitigate a bit this hardship. I think that the role of a documentary is becoming even more relevant today than PM


Culture ever before. Our reality becomes more and more complicated and every day it is more of a challenge to make sense of current shifts we witness. The safe, predictable world we have known so far is fast becoming history, and we are entering a new, uncharted chapter. A solid, well crafted, and credible documentary will always be an important tool which will help to navigate this transition. What makes a good documentary? A documentary is good when it tells the truth. Everything else becomes secondary. I often get the question: what is more important to make a successful film a good character or a good subject matter. Ever since I started working in this field, my view hasn’t changed. An interesting protagonist, with which a viewer can develop an emotional rapport and whom they will remember long after the end credits roll, is fundamental for a documentary to be successful. I have seen countless times how a good character saved a film, even when its subject matter wasn’t particularly riveting, but it was, nevertheless, important to bring it up to public awareness. It works exactly another way round. A dull character, with a personality of a street lamppost, badly developed by the director, will kill even the most exciting subject. I am not a big fun of a big, visual presence of a director in a film. A documentary does not serve to promote its author. I see my role as the director to be of service to my viewers and to make sure that they get a good understanding of a film’s subject. Of course, there are exceptions, for example, an investigative documentary, where a strongly marked author’s presence often ensures the credibility of its message. PM

In your film, “ In Silence,” you made to mark the first anniversary of the April 10, 2010 plane crash in Smolensk, which took the lives of over 90 people, the theme of pain and suffering of the families of the victims is the most predominant. Your documentary “ Reclaim the City,“ on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising, talks, among others, about a high price to pay for fighting for independence. “ The Cocaine War,” a film about the civil war in Colombia, features Carlos Castano, a leader of the bloody paramilitaries units. In the “ Children of Beslan” you recount, with the voices of young protagonists, a drama of a terrorist attack on a school in Beslan, North Ossetia. Subject matters of your films are always cumbersome and challenging. How far can you go in your efforts to tell such stories? Such a decision always belongs to the protagonist. He or she is the one who sets the PM

boundaries. My role as a director is to be able to sense it out how far I can push them when they sit in front of a camera and how far they are prepared to go to release their trauma. It is quite an elaborate process that involves mastering some skills of a good psychologist! And it is non-negotiable for the director if the person, for some reason, refuses to go along with the expectation. You always have to show respect for such a decision. My duty is to talk to everybody, regardless of personal views, judgments or prejudices. I owe it to my audiences. I am always curious about the person, regardless of his or her official biography. In the case of Carlos Castano, I worked with someone who had walked to the dark side, and I wanted to find out what drove him to start killing. I took me a year to make “Children of Beslan.” I spent many weeks in Beslan, and I interviewed over 140 children. It allowed me to develop personal relations with them, gain their trust, and, most critically, their support for that project. I chose 12 characters for the final version of the film. The children created a deeply moving narrative by talking about their experience. In the case of “ In Silence” and “Reclaim the City”- both films were commissioned by TVN and TVN24 - I decided to opt for a narrative made by the voices of protagonists with strong personal stories who had a right, more than anybody else, to voice their opinions on both tragedies. What about your plans for the New Year 2017? I am currently working on an interesting proposal to make a film about the Yasuni failed initiative to save one of the most critical ecosystems in the world and its consequences. Yasuni is a famous National Park in Ecuador, regarded as the lungs of our planet. Yasuni also has oil. The latest discoveries found a significant amount of oil underneath Yasuni territory. Extraction of such reserves could bring some real disasters far beyond Ecuador's borders. The film will present Yasuni predicament far from being a local problem of Ecuador. It will place it in a broad context of global politics and far-reaching environmental consequences for the fate of our planet. PM

You are also the host of the documentary strand “Ewa Ewart Recommends” presented on TVN24 and TVN24BIS, where the audiences have a chance to see some of the most exciting and moving productions from around the world. I am grateful for this opportunity. TVN24 decided to keep the momentum after PM

a

EWA EWART – journalist, documentary filmmaker. A winner of many prestigious documentary awards, including three-time winner of the British Oscar – “Royal Television Society” award; She was nominated twice for the American “Emmy” Award and received the US Peabody Award for her film “Children of Beslan”, considered to be the TV equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize. In October 2009, Ewa Ewart received Andrzej Wojciechowski Prize. She is also a twotime winner of Wiktor prize in the Best TV Show category for her documentary strand (“Ewa Ewart Recommends”).

successful presentation of my films. In 2008, the network chose several documentaries I had made for the BBC and showed them on its channel. The audiences loved them and the idea to carry on with presenting similar films from other authors was born. Poland has some great documentary filmmakers but lacks a tradition of producing Current Affairs films with an international context. I guess, my documentaries filled that gap. The Polish audiences have discovered that they could learn about the problems and relevant issues of our world through films made in an innovative, interesting way, which engages their hearts and minds. I very much hope that our strand will keep our viewers happy. • 1-2/2017  polish market

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Culture

TVP POLONIA

IS THE SHOWPIECE OF POLAND AND TVP PUBLIC TELEVISION

MAGDALENA TADEUSIAK-MIKOŁAJCZAK, Director, Chief Editor of TVP Polonia, talks to Maciej Proliński. The nature of TVP Polonia is strongly reflected in the title (TVP for the Polish Diaspora). This Diaspora which is approximately 20 million strong is scattered all over the globe. One half lives in the USA. However, it is still quite obvious that there are no clear goals, strong institutions setting those goals and organising joint activities. TV Polonia may play an important role here... Your question contains the answer. Yes. The Polish Diaspora is a huge force and TVP Polonia was created for it 23 years ago. The idea was to allow people, often forced to leave Poland, who for decades could not return, to see how their motherland was changing, to receive a Polish television channel. Over that period changes have taken place in television, the Polish Diaspora and among Poles living abroad. Why do I distinguish between these two groups? We use the term “Polish Diaspora” to describe all those who admit to their Polish origins and ties to Polishness, but who were born outside Poland. These people retain traditions and links to the national PM

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culture in a second and further generations and still identify with the “old country” and its affairs. And Poles living abroad are those who, as a result of the stormy history of the 20th century found themselves outside our current borders, in Lithuania, Belarus or Ukraine. They are quite vociferous in stating that “We are no Polish Diaspora!” To make a long story short, the mission of TVP Polonia is to connect and unite Poles living in other countries, to popularise the Polish language, education, to inform of the problems faced by Poles living abroad, but also of their successes. On the other hand, TVP Polonia also wants to inform about events taking place in Poland. We attach great importance to promoting a very good, modern image of our country and to informing our audience of Poland’s current affairs. PM

Nearly a quarter of a century of TVP Polonia means different decades. I even remember that in the last decade the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, obligated to finance programmes addressed to the

Polish Diaspora, considered withdrawing its funding for TVP Polonia due to a low quality of its programmes. What is the current situation? What is the condition of our TVP Polonia? We are a channel of TVP S.A. and consequently we are financed from the budget of Polish Television. We also continue to be funded by the Ministry of Finance, for which we are very grateful because this money is a significant help in building our programme format. I cannot imagine closing down TVP Polonia. On the contrary, we want TVP Polonia to be the showpiece of TVP. In 2016, I was appointed director of TVP Polonia and took a close look at the situation of the station and concluded that the image projected to the rest of the world was unsatisfactory. Polish organisations abroad and viewers complained about the low quality of programmes, constant repeats, too many archival programmes. Last year, we received many positive comments from our viewers who notice changes, congratulate us and await more new productions.


Culture Is creating the schedule of TVP Polonia easy? On the one hand, this channel has a clearly defined, albeit diverse, group of viewers, but on the other hand it is based mostly on the best TVP has to offer... We are aware that this is a huge challenge, that the viewers of TVP Polonia include Poles living in the West and in the East. And these are two completely different worlds... It is also hard to please everybody at the same time. Today, we put most of our efforts into helping our compatriots in the East, into overcoming long neglect in this area. What we offer to these viewers includes programmes such as “Wilnoteka” (“the Vilnus File”) – an information and journalistic programme showing the social, cultural, political and economic life of Poles in Lithuania, we have “Nad Niemnem” (“By the Niemen River”) – a programme addressed to the Polish minority in Belarus (its guide and narrator is Stanisław Poczobut), or “Studio Wschód” (“The East Studio”) which discusses current events in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus and in the Baltic Sea basin, as well as in Asia and the Caucasus. The programme presents different viewpoints. Politicians and experts are invited to our Warsaw studio or appear via a video link from Moscow, Baku or Washington. The authors of the programme are Maria Przełomiec, Bartosz Skiba and Wojciech Tymiński. Besides, every day we produce and broadcast a unique evening news programme focused on the life of Polish communities all over the world entitled “Polonia 24”, and “Halo! Polonia!” – reports covering the most important events in Poland and the world. Soon we are going to broadcast new programmes, this time addressed to the Polish Diaspora in America – which runs into 9 million people – and Poles in Great Britain, the most dynamic Polish expatriate community. We have recently added special shows for children. A novelty in the evening block is the daily “Rozmowa Polonii” (“Polonia Talks”), a live interview with the most important politicians in Poland, summarising the day’s events. PM

It is often said that the schedule of a channel like this one should include good Polish language teaching programmes allowing children in the Polish Diaspora to learn the language in a modern way. Are you going to provide such programmes? There are plans for a special new programme supporting Polish language learning. We should remember that over 70% of what we offer is made up of TVP productions. We show the most important news programmes of TVP1 – “Wiadomości” (“The News”), “Teleexpress,” which are re-broadcast half an PM

hour later than on TVP1. We make few programmes ourselves because of our modest budget. We use the extensive archives of TVP. We screen Polish movies, film series, documentaries and cartoons. There also comes the question whether we communicate sufficiently effectively to the rest of the world what Poland is? It would be hard to expect somebody else to be able to talk about our country, its economy or culture better than us… We should all be aware that Poland is not well known in the world. It is a huge challenge for us. It is worth talking about Poland. We are a thriving country that is doing quite well in the era of global crises. Although not all of our actions end in complete success, but there have been no spectacular failures either. We should remember our starting point and the road travelled over more than a quarter of a century. How are others to believe in the prestige of brand Poland, if we ourselves question its credibility? I am delighted when travelling through Poland I see how much our country is changing. Earlier, working for a decade as TVP correspondent, first in Paris and then in Brussels, and returning to Poland, I saw this huge success of Poland as a country. Meanwhile, the French or Belgians still have the image of Poland from many years ago, from the times of the martial law: "Poland is covered in snow; it is cold, dark, sad and poor…" Hearing such opinions I regretted that so little was being said about the great things achieved by Poland. This huge subject is still largely neglected. PM

Every week you show in your “Kulturalni.PL” (“Cultural.PL”) programme that Polish culture is the best brand-building vehicle. The idea of perceiving art as Poland’s best showcase has for years determined the activity of "Polish Market". This makes us allies, and the matter is also worthy... Yes. “Kulturalni.pl” is our regular programme where the main role is played by Polish art and culture. It presents conversations with “ambassadors” of Polish culture, book reviews, invites to cultural and entertainment events, tells viewers what they should not miss. And it pays to visit Poland! Our culture is the best showpiece of Poland in the world. We have huge successes in this area and for this reason culture in all its various forms occupies a priority position in our schedule. Poland hosts cultural events which not only compete on equal terms with such events in other European capitals, but are even better. PM

WE SHOULD ALL BE AWARE THAT POLAND IS NOT WELL KNOWN IN THE WORLD. IT IS A HUGE CHALLENGE FOR US. IT IS WORTH TALKING ABOUT POLAND. WE ARE A THRIVING COUNTRY THAT IS DOING QUITE WELL IN THE ERA OF GLOBAL CRISES.

As already mentioned, you have been with TVP for a long time. When you look at our divided television market, do you think that it explains the world to us or manipulates us? Commercial media are a business. Public media are something else. We must look after education, propagation of culture, literature, cinematography, history, tradition, teaching Polish, maintaining Polish identity among Poles living abroad. Using pathos we may even say that we must be the guardians of values. We want to build and not destroy. I want to be the director of a programme which unites us Poles and the Polish Diaspora regardless of our convictions. The “Poles to Poles” campaign organised by us and the Freedom and Democracy Foundation is an example of an initiative “above divisions”. Together, we appealed to our compatriots abroad to collect money to help children attending the Polish school in Nova Borowa in Ukraine. This school, set up on the initiative of the Juliusz Słowacki Polish Cultural and Educational Society is located in a private flat. Lessons are taught by Anna Bielak, a contemporary “strong woman”. She teaches the Polish language, Polish culture and history. The response to the appeal exceeded our wildest dreams. Poles from all corners of the world, regardless of their views, made donations into a special bank account and sent gifts for the pupils in Nova Borova. Thanks to their generosity we were able to create a computer room, buy laptops and install the Internet. This has brought Nova Borova closer to Poland. We plan further actions to help those who live in difficult circumstances. Our compatriots abroad want to help and are generous. This campaign shows that despite living apart, Poles are able to unite around a worthy goal • and our station has a share in this. PM

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Culture

THE MEMORY OF VICTORIA...

The Victoria Jankowska Foundation was established a year ago with an aim to preserve the memory of the young Polish harpist by supporting all types of initiatives of the young generation artists. Maciej Proliński

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ictoria Jankowska from Warsaw had her entire career before her. She was the final year student at the Frederic Chopin University of Music in Warsaw where she studied in the class of Professor Urszula Mazurek. She was also a holder of a degree in Polish Studies from the University of Warsaw. She wanted to continue her studies and be an ambassador of Polish culture. She gave many concerts with orchestras, including Sinfonia Iuventus or the Toruń Symphonic Orchestra. Her great passion was the harp and work in an orchestra. She also wrote poetry. In March 2013, she came to Jelenia Góra to play during a concert at the Lower Silesian Philharmonic. She never left the building alive. She was brutally murdered there. The Victoria Jankowska Foundation’s aim is to preserve the memory of this young Polish harpist by supporting all types of initiatives of the young generation artists. It was established in November 2015. The Foundation is chaired by Victoria’s mother, Barbara Kubielas. The aims of the Foundation include organising a nation-wide

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harp competition, non-profit publishing including releasing recordings of young talented musicians, financing master courses for musicians, funding scholarships for talented musicians, organising concerts for hospice and hospital patients. The forthcoming, very important event in the life of the Foundation is the Master Harp Course co-organised with the Grażyna and Kiejstut Bacewicz Academy of Music in Łódź. It will be held on February 9-12, 2017 at the Academy of Music in Łódź. It will be led by Professor Adelheid Blovsky-Miller, a former harpist at the Vienna Opera House and former lecturer at the Universität fűr Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Vienna, artistic director of the Jozef Reinl Foundation’s international harp competition and artistic curator of the European Union Youth Orchestra. The course will be taught in English. It is open to students and graduates of higher schools of music. Unenrolled students may also participate. At the request of Professor Blovsky-Miller the number of students who can actively participate in the classes has been limited to

12. The course will end with a gala concert on February 12. There are six places reserved for students from the Academy of Music in Łódź and six for other students. The participants may prepare the following repertoire: a solo piece, a chamber music piece, fragments of opera, ballet and symphonic repertoire. “One of the aims of our Foundation is finding sponsors, ad hoc and permanent ones, for our numerous musical projects. We continue to seek generous patrons. In this respect a lot depends on the people running particular institutions and whether they understand the importance of music. It is a basic element needed by the young generation in their general education. Music is what makes one want to be better. We only must be aware of this. I would like to thank all our donors from the bottom of my heart,” said Barbara Kubielas. Detailed information about the Foundation, the life and art of Victoria, the harp course and current concerts is available at: www.facebook.com/ Fundacjaim.Victorii Jankowskiej and www.victorii-jankowskiej.pl •


Culture

15TH EQUESTRIAN GALA AT KLICZKÓW CASTLE

The elite of the equestrian world has gathered for the fifteenth time at Kliczków Castle to honour those who last year made the biggest contribution to the development of horse-riding and to pay homage to the equestrian tradition.

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nother edition of the Equestrian Gala has taken place at Kliczków Castle in the form of a carnival ball. On January 7, 2017 aficionados of horse-riding arrived for the fifteenth time at the Castle to honour those who last year made the biggest contribution to the development of horseriding in Poland in various categories. This year’s Gala was even more exceptional due to its anniversary. The Equestrian Gala at Kliczków Castle is one of the most prestigious events in the equestrian world. The opulent interiors of the Castle add a sense of occasion to the event. Early in January of every year it attracts breeders, riders and people connected with horse racing. The aim of the ball is to integrate the community and allow it to share new ideas of how to develop horse-riding in Poland. This year, guests were greeted at the Castle by Jerzy Pokój, member of the Chapter, while Magdalena Piasecka-Ludwin officially opened the 2017 Equestrian Gala. Prior to the presentation of the statuettes, last year’s winners were mentioned. On that occasion the chapter presented awards to Marek Trela, Joanna Kluzik-Rostkowska, Mountain Horse-Riding Tourism Commission of the Main Board of the PTTK and the Polish Horseback Archery Association. This year, the statuette has gone to Marek Szewczyk for “journalism of the highest quality" on the “Hipologika” blog. Thus, Szewczyk received the 2016 Hipologika title. Another recipient was Jerzy Skrzyczyński, an outstanding jumper. The Promoter of Polish Full Bloods 2016 title went to Joanna Zalewska for “bold participation and wins scored on foreign race tracks by full blood English horses bred and owned by her”. Joanna Zalewska and her husband run the Konar stables of English full blood horses. The final statuette and the Organiser of the Year 2016 title was

Traditional toast for the horse’s health. received by Władysław Osadkowski for “organising competitions at the highest level and exceptional respect and goodwill shown to equestrian teams”. A nice touch during the ceremony was the invitation to the stage extended to Ida Wasilik – winner of the “Lower Silesian Forests Champion” title and the Kliczków Castle Award. The Silver Steed statuettes presented to the laureates of the Gala are made by Mariusz Łabiński, lecturer at the Wrocław Academy of Art and Design. The media patrons of the 2017 Gala were "Polish Market" and "Świat Koni". Just like every year, tradition had to be observed. A toast was raised at midnight for the horse’s health. Drinkers placed their left leg on the table and sung the famous "Guard’s Vision" song. Then, the guests were invited to the castle’s courtyard for a fireworks display. Chef Łukasz Grzesik, in charge of the kitchen at the Castle, looked after the palates of Gala participants. They were served such delicacies as beef with fluffy pumpkin puree with delicate horseradish sauce, fondant potatoes

and roasted watercress. This dish was inspired by the cuisine of Frederik III zu Solms-Baruth – another acknowledgment of tradition. Guests could also enjoy fresh sea food prepared in front of them. The culinary part of the event culminated with a roast boar ham with grits and baked beets served personally by the chef. The venue of the Equestrian Gala was not chosen without a reason. Kliczków is famous for its equestrian traditions. Between the end of the 19th century and the 1920s it boasted a stables with a full-size racetrack! The harness-racing events held there were highly respected in the riding community. One of the most valuable memorabilia which reminds us that the love of horses is part and parcel of Kliczków Castle is the horse cemetery. Although the cemetery was seriously damaged during World War 2, it is still possible to admire its surviving part. The Equestrian Gala at Kliczków Castle is also a lot of fun. Returning to the grey reality, we await the next Gala at the Castle. • 1-2/2017  polish market

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Culture

AUTHORITIES HONOURED FOR THE TWENTY-FIFTH TIME! Laureates of the 25th edition of the Laurels of Skill and Competence

Success is not a question of innate talent, a brilliant intelligence or luck. Successful people are convinced that they can still learn a lot – these words of Carol Dweck guided this year’s jubilee 25th Gala organised by the Regional Chamber of Commerce in Katowice during which the Laurence of Skill and Competence were presented. The event was held on January 5th at the seat of the National Symphonic Orchestra of Polish Radio in Katowice.

Piotr Tarcholik (National Symphonic Orchestra of Polish Radio in Katowice) and Piotr Beczała

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Culture

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he 25th edition of the Laurels of Skill and Competence serves as the best evidence that in today’s world we not only still need authorities, but, more importantly, that there are still people among us who deserve this honourable name. Those attending the jubilee gala were greeted by Tadeusz Donocik, President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Katowice, as one of the initiators of this unique valediction showing that a quarter of a century of the Laurels’ history is a record of the changing world. Janusz Steinhoff, Deputy Prime Minister in the years 2000-2001, stressed in his address summarising 25 years of the Laurels that: "The Poles have won themselves a place in history, this place on the map of Europe and the world by their resistance to the totalitarian system, awareness and commitment to freedom." This year, Archbishop Wiktor Skworc, Katowice Metropolitan, joined the ranks of the Diamond Laureates of Skill and Competence. "Such was God’s will and we had to deal with the challenges posed by the Almighty, he said about his life after being presented with this top distinction. " I am also aware that the recipient is not a person, but rather the Church in Silesia, the Catholic Church, and also my predecessor, archbishop senior Damian Zimoń (the first Diamond Laureate – author’s note)." Andrzej Arendarski, President of the Polish Chamber of Commerce, received special thanks and the Silesian Piast Eagle Statuette. "On such occasions one must say two things which are trite, but also true," he said. "First, it is always possible to find someone more deserving of this accolade. And second – something that was repeated many times by today’s laureates – you won’t achieve anything on your own". Bishop Jan Szarek was awarded a Crystal Laurel with a Diamond for his activity stemming from the evangelic work ethos and deep Christian faith not limited to the Church. "My life’s maxim is one verse from a song: “I want to be useful to others” and I try to be useful," the churchman stressed. Another recipient of a Crystal Laurel with a Diamond was Piotr Beczała, a world-famous opera singer, star of Metropolitan Opera House in New York. The laureate was also the star of the concert closing the event, enchanting the audience with his voice. He received a standing ovation. "I am very moved and find it hard to speak. I prefer to sing," he admitted after collecting the award. When it comes to the Laurel of Skill and Competence, it is connected with my profession because it would be rather difficult to be an opera singer without skills and competence," the artist added. One of the laureates of a Crystal Laurel of Skill and Competence was Piotr Wojaczek, President of the Board of Katowice Special Economic Zone, who received this award on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Zone. We would like to remind the readers that Piotr Wojaczek also received an Honorary Pearl from "Polish Market" in the Economy category during the grand Gala of the Pearls of the Polish Economy held on October 28, 2016! The Laurels of Skill and Competence is an annual event during which statuettes in the field of economy, science and culture are presented as an expression of gratitude. The history of the laurels goes back to 1992 and is also the history of Silesia, Poland and Europe and all those who directly affect• ed their present shape.

The full list of laureates is available at: www.laury.rig.katowice.pl.

Archbishop Wiktor Skworc, Katowice Metropolitan, joined the ranks of the Diamond Laureates of Skill and Competence

Andrzej Arendarski, President of the Polish Chamber of Commerce, received the Silesian Piast Eagle Statuette

Bishop Jan Szarek was awarded a Crystal Laurel with a Diamond 1-2/2017  polish market

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Culture

THE LADIES’ COUNCIL AT THE POLISH RED CROSS – FINAL OF THE “GIVE POOR CHILDREN A VACATION” CAMPAIGN Anna Podniesińska, The Ladie's Council at the Polish Red Cross

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he final charity concert summarising the “Give Poor Children a Vacation” campaign organised by the Ladies’ Council at the Polish Red Cross was held on December 5, 2016 at the Royal Theatre in Łazienki Park. Polish First Lady Agata KornhauserDuda was the Honorary Patron of the campaign, with Telewizja Polska (TVP Info and Telewizja Regionalna) acting as the media patron for the third time. The campaign ended with an exceptional financial success and, what is most important, every year there are more and more people and businesses “opening their hearts” and donating large amounts and gifts for the auction. This humanitarian attitude gives us most satisfaction. It also confirms that our charitable activities achieve their goal. Artists appearing during the concert included Natalia Szroeder, known from the “Name That Tune” television show, Rafał Brzozowski and Robert Osam-Gyaabin. Also little Julia from Chiechanów, who went to one of the summer camps organised by the

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Ladies’ Council, gave a beautiful performance. The audience gave her a big hand for her rendition of “To be a Woman.” The event in Łazienki Park was also attended by representatives of the government, parliament, culture, science, sport and a large group of entrepreneurs. We also played host to a delegation of children from Silesia. The Director of the Polish Red Cross Branch in Katowice thanked the Ladies’ Council in a very moving way for organising vacations. The children received parcels funded by one of the sponsors. As is the tradition every year, during the concert the Ladies’ Council thanked the donors and the media by presenting statuettes created by Zofia Wolska and decorative “open hearts” made of glass and donated by Tadeusz Wrześniak, owner of Huta Szkła Gospodarczego (Household Glass-Making Plant). An auction of gifts is always an attraction during our concerts. This year gifts were really special – a beautiful fountain pen from the First Lady and an etching from President Andrzej Duda. They also included gloves donated by

the boxer Marcin Najman, paintings and many cosmetics from the best manufacturers, beauty vouchers and offers of trips to the best hotels. The pen fetched the highest price: PLN 18,000. The evening ended with an official banquet organised by the well-known Belvedere Restaurant. The funds collected during the campaign are enough to organise educational vacations for at least 250-300 children and to purchase clothing, school aids and food parcels. We are aware that this is just a drop in the ocean of needs. This is why we still await donations and gifts for the auction in 2017. We also wait for new donors willing to join our efforts. We wish to extend special thanks to the Management of Łazienki Park which allowed our gala to be held yet again in the unique and historical Royal Theatre. We also want to thank our long-standing Partners: Media Corporation, LOTTO Milion Marzeń Foundation, Ignacy Łukasiewicz PGNiG Foundation, PZU Foundation, and the exceptionally generous Sponsors: Palomar Natural Resources and MetLife. In 2016, we also received considerable support from individuals and companies: Regent Warsaw Hotel, Royal Meat, Kebab King, Hotel Ossa Congress&SPA, Centrum Medyczne ENEL-MED, Dr Irena Eris, Sharley Medical Clinic&Day SPA Magda Bogulak, Shiseido Ginza Tokyo, Pełka 360, Lucyna Letki, Klinika Kobiet Medifem, Villa Nova Dental Clinic, Elektoralna Dental Clinic, MPawlak Esthetic Medicine, BSH Sprzęt Gospodarstwa Domowego, Fang Yuan, Elokon, Studio1, Grupa Nowy Styl, Tranquini, OTCF S.A., Interdom, Rekord, Anna Maria Podniesińska, Małgorzata Deszkiewicz, Monika Duval, New Media Concept, Lech Pilawski, Henryka Sutkowska, Bora, Roma El Abrashy, Anna Rączkowska-Cielemęcka, FK Olesiejuk, Capillus, Instytut Urody VaBene, Cukiernia Italia, Studio Kosmetologii Vena, Żywiec, United Beverages and Holmes Place. • Thank you very much.


Culture

BCC REWARDED FAIR ENTREPRENEURS The Grand Gala of Business Centre Club (BCC) ending the 26th edition of the Polish Business Leader competition was held at Teatr Wielki-Polish National Opera in Warsaw on January 21, 2017. The bosses of the best Polish companies were presented with the Polish Business Leader Golden Statuettes and the winners from previous years who maintained their market position received Diamonds for their statuettes. The Special Award of BCC was also presented. This year, its recipient was Chancellor Angela Merkel “for intensive development of Polish-German economic, trade and neighbourly relations and for creating a climate of goodwill on the part of the German government”. Maciej Proliński

Photo: BCC

From left: Krzysztof Pruszyński, Sister Małgorzata Chmielewska, Beata Drzazga and Marcin Stan

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arek Goliszewski, President of BCC, welcoming guests at the Gala, said “In a conversation with Italian industrialists, Pope Francis defined the concept of 'fair entrepreneurs'. They are people - he said - who invest and risk their ideas and money to pull others into action. In Poland, 2 million entrepreneurs every year invest more than PLN 130 involving 6 million people. Two times more than the public sector. (...) Crises - the Pope said - are an ordeal for entrepreneurs and their hopes. They cannot be abandoned in the hour of need. The hopes and needs of Polish entrepreneurs rest in the government enhancing their sense of security, commercial freedom and dignity. It is the value of the market system. The market system is filled with defects. But mankind has not invented anything better”. Since 1992 BCC has been awarding its Special Award to outstanding individuals outside the business community for contributing to the development of entrepreneurship and

the market economy in Poland. Among the previous winners of this award are Margaret Thatcher, José Manuel Barroso, Władysław Bartoszewski, Bronisław Komorowski and Tony Blair. This year, the award went to Chancellor Angela Merkel. A laudation in her honour was delivered by Professor Jerzy Buzek. The award was collected on her behalf by His Excellency Rolf Nikel, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Poland. In her message on the occasion of the award, Angela Merkel wrote: “I see this award also as a recognition for all those who in the past decades campaigned for the German-Polish accord, who cherish it, shape and fill it with life. Such a broad commitment at various levels deserves to be honoured. (...) The PolishGerman Treaty on Good-Neighbourly Relations and Friendly Co-operation of 1991 was a milestone in the relations between both our countries. The Treaty established a reliable basis for the successful development of close co-operation. Not only that, Poland and Germany have long been good friends. This

development in the face of our common history, marked by the terrible chapter of horrible wrongs inflicted on Poland and Poles by the Germans during World War II, is by no means a matter of course. Our friendship is a precious treasure that we must protect. A good prerequisite for this is a dense network of economic ties. Poland is the most important trading partner of Germany in Central and Eastern Europe. Germany takes first place among Poland's business and trade partners. The overall bilateral trade continues to increase. Also, when it comes to foreign direct investments in Poland German companies are in the lead”. Just like every year, the Social Solidarity Medals for social commitment and help for those in need, for propagating the idea of corporate social responsibility and for building social solidarity were also presented. This time their recipients were: Sister Małgorzata Chmielewska (Superior of the "Bread of Life", running shelters for the homeless, the sick, single mothers and night shelters for men and women), Beata Drzazga (President of BetaMed – one of Poland’s largest companies specialising in long-term care and providing nursing services at the homes of patients), Krzysztof Pruszyński (owner of Pruszyński Sp. z o.o. – leader of the Polish market of sheet-metal roofing and Michał Stan and Marcin Stan (Cityboard Media – outdoor advertising market leader in Poland – this year again offered their media to the Warsaw Children’s Hospice Foundation). Mateusz Krautwurst, a young Polish singer, gave a concert specially prepared for the guests of the Gala. Together with a big band made up of outstanding musicians of the young generation he took us on a journey through the most beautiful jazz compositions of Frank Sinatra. During the cocktail party an auction of works of art organised by BCC was held, along with a fashion show and a presentation of the finalists of the Miss Exotica contest. •

The full list of laureates is available at: www.bcc.org.pl 1-2/2017  polish market

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Events

NEW FACTORY, NEW POSSIBILITIES A modern factory of Ceramika Tubądzin was opened in Sieradz on November, 29. It offers the company new possibilities to conquer the market. It is Poland’s first manufacturer of large-sized tiles. The opening ceremony was attended by, among others, Andrzej and Joanna Wodzyński, owners of the Tubądzin Group, President of the Board Mirosław Jędrzejczyk, deputy Minister of Economic Development Jerzy Kwieciński, and officials representing the local government.

Granulate silos - 24 units

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hanks to its modern production line, Tubądzin has added to its line largesized tiles (120 by 240 cm). The plant in Sieradz is capable of manufacturing in excess of 3 million square metres of tiles per year. The machines installed at the factory are also more efficient and environmentally friendly. The kiln makes it possible to save 10% of energy and reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by 30% compared to the traditional kilns. This is yet another investment project in the Łódź Special Economic Zone. The factory was built in record time of just 290 days. It provides approximately 150 new jobs. The opening was accompanied by an artistic event where a group of gymnasts used the plant’s space in their performance. During the opening ceremony Jerzy Kwieciński, deputy Minister of Economic Development said: “I am very pleased to be here today with you and participate in this auspicious moment which, I hope, will become part of the history of the Sieradz region. This is incredible that such an advanced facility could be completed over such a short period. This shows that a Pole can do it. That Mr Andrzej Wodzyński and President Mirosław Jędrzejczyk can do it.” Mirosław Jędrzejczyk, President of the Board of Ceramika Tubądzin, in a short conversation after the opening, told "Polis Market": PM

The factory opened today is yet another investment project of Ceramika Tubądzin

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EKO 295/147 furnace

in the Łódź Special Economic Zone. Some say that these zones attract mostly foreign investors. You break this stereotype. Why this particular zone? The Łódź Special Economic Zone offers certain opportunities, but they materialise only when the company begins to make a profit. We have built a plant, spent our money in order to take advantage of the privileges offered by the zone, and the factory must begin to earn its keep. We put our profits towards further investments and this means that we do not have to pay high taxes.

PM

Speaking about money – what was the cost of this factory? Approximately EUR 40 million.

When can you expect to recoup this investment? Everything depends on the market. We are unable to make any precise estimates, but of course I would like this to happen as quickly as possible. We may set certain standards, but in the end the market verifies everything. We are going to make a completely new product here, so any predictions are hard to make. • PM


Food Industry

IMPORTANT ANNIVERSARY OF THE “POLSKA EKOLOGIA” ASSOCIATION

10 YEARS OF HARD WORK ON BEHALF OF CONSUMERS

Paweł Krajmas, President of Polska Ekologia Association

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he tenth anniversary of the “Polska Ekologia” Association is a good occasion for presenting this auspicious jubilee of the organisation in the light of statements made by persons particularly deeply involved in this undertaking. Paweł Krajmas – president of the Association: “The organic food market in Poland, currently worth PLN 800 million, is growing and its prospects are also bright. I know that it offers a chance for improving the condition of smaller farms which are currently not yet interested in this type of activity. Switching to organic farming means abandoning agrochemicals, which is priceless from the point of view of the health of the farmer and his family. At the same time, just like in many other countries, the level of consumer awareness is increasing because people notice the dangers posed by industrial production. Meanwhile, organic producers and processors adhere to strict agro-technical and technological regimes, have at their disposal modern sorting, cold storage and packaging equipment. In recent years they have established trade contacts with countries in Europe, but also with Canada and the USA and Asia. We are catching up to Western Europe and our Association and its sister organisations are doing everything they can to close this gap. This is a huge effort because in Poland the share of the organic market in the entire food sector does not exceed 1%, with the corresponding figure in the West being 4-8%. I must stress that reducing this disproportion is the goal of our organisation for the coming years”. Jolanta Lyska – director general of the Association: “Organic food is not just a feast for the palate but also a good thing from the point of view of the consumer’s health. Organic products are not only of the highest quality, but also have prohealth properties. Organic farms and processing plants are inspected on a regular basis. They must apply (!) for an extension of their organic certificate. This certificate and the markings

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on the label create trust in good food. It is purchased by customers who are aware and who realise the effect food has on health and the overall condition of the body. We use all available methods to educate and raise the level of consumer awareness. We stimulate our members and help them attend various meetings, trade events and fairs. We could easily operate under a banner displaying our vitamin and anti-sclerosis crusade promoting the healthiest food”.

Jolanta Lyska, Maciej Bartoń, Paweł Krajmas and Władysław Ortyl, Marshal of Podkarpackie region Maciej Bartoń – director of the UE-Technologia laboratory: “The greatest achievement of the last 10 years is that the “Polska Ekologia” Association unites people who share a passion for organic farming. The last 10 years saw great successes, but also educational failures. The biggest success is the development of organic farming in Poland and the joint “EkoEuropa – quality and tradition” campaign. •


Events

70  polish market 



Polish Market No. 1-2 (253) /2016