Page 1

PiS has once again demanded the infrastructure minister’s head

A z∏.926 million deal between two FMCG giants has turned sour

Deputy Defense Minister Zbigniew W∏osowicz says Poland is as secure as ever 5




VOLUME 17, NUMBER 33-34 • AUG 22 – SEP 4, 2011 . z∏.12.50 (VAT 8% included) . ISSN 1233 7889 INDEX-RUCH-332-127


Poland’s next frontier


Lokale Immobilia

Poland is on the verge of finally developing its own space industry. WBJ met the people behind this celestial enterprise

• Renovation, redesign and risks • Ronson in Warsaw • Investing in Szczecin 13-19

A guide to Polish business and industry

Since 1994 . Poland’s only business weekly in English


Przewodnik po polskim biznesie i gospodarce

Leasing companies


In this issue


News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2-4 Industry News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Interview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-7 Tax . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Finance & Economics . . . . . . . . . . .9 Cover Story . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10-11 Opinion & Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Lokale Immobilia . . . . . . . . . . .13-19 Markets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 The List . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21 Arts & Culture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 Last Word . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23

Safe from the storm?

Costly disclosure

While Franco-German rescue plans failed to calm investors, Prime Minister Tusk says Poland is safe from the global economic storm 3, 9

Two Polish prosecutors lost their jobs after giving the Lukashenko regime information that led to the arrest of a Belarusian democracy activist 4


iPad takes Poland by storm Despite its hefty price tag, Apple’s tablet computer, the iPad, is making waves in Poland. It is now the most widely used device for mobile browsing. The iPad trumps the iPhone and the Nokia C3 in terms of the total number of mobile browser users, according to new data from GemiusRanking, as cited by Rzeczpospolita. The data suggests 18.4% of all mobile internet users in Poland are iPad users, with 15.3% using the iPhone.

PiS destroys PO brochure During a press conference in Warsaw in mid-August, Law and Justice party (PiS) spokesperson Adam Hofman and election campaign head Tomasz Por´ba took turns ripping out pages from the promotional brochure “Poland under construction” that was recently published by the ruling Civic Platform (PO). As each page was ripped out it was accompanied by comments suggesting that PO was taking the credit for the success of others.

Polish vodka having good year Vodka producer Belvedere’s share of the Polish market stood at 21% at the end of May, compared to 16.3% in the same period of last year, with improved figures related to increased sales of the Krupnik brand, reported Rzeczpospolita. At the same time, Poland’s Sobieski vodka has continued to gain popularity abroad. ●

Numbers in the News


Cezary Grabarczyk

was how much the WSE’s blue chip WIG20 index had dropped at closing on August 18, after plunging almost 9% earlier in the day

z∏.23.9 billion was the amount Polish banks lent for the construction and purchase of real estate in H1, 49% less than the same period in 2010

4.3% was the total share of Poland’s exports going to Russia during H1 2011, rising from 3.6% for the same period of last year


As WBJ went to press, Poland’s lower house of parliament, the Sejm, was due to vote at the end of August on whether Infrastructure Minister Cezary Grabarczyk would keep his job. A debate on the tenability of Mr Grabarczyk’s position was expected to precede the vote, which was prompted by a motion of no confidence brought against the minister by the country’s main opposition party, Law and Justice (PiS). Party leader Jaros∏aw Kaczyƒski cited the deplorable state of Polish road and railway infrastructure as PiS’s reason for presenting the motion, before calling Mr Grabarczyk an “exceptional loser.” The opposition Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) and Poland Comes First (PJN) parties were expected to vote in favor of the motion, while the ruling coali-

tion of Civic Platform (PO) and the Polish People’s Party (PSL) declared it would vote against it. The motion against Mr Grabarczyk was precipitated by the recent accumulation of negative news concerning the Polish rail network. On August 12, a train derailment in central Poland left one dead and some 30 injured. A few days later, unionized employees of regional railway operator PKP Przewozy Regionalne went on general strike demanding higher wages. It is not the first time that opposition parties have tried to remove Mr Grabarczyk from office. In January this year, the ruling coalition was successful in defending the minister after SLD filed a no-confidence motion motivated by the chaos that gripped Polish railways fol-

lowing the introduction of new, faulty timetables towards the end of 2010. For its part, PiS tried to bring about the removal of Mr Grabarczyk in July 2009. The criticism that the party then directed at the minister mainly concerned constant changes in road construction plans, as well as the signing of allegedly unfavorable concession deals regarding, among other projects, the A2 motorway. Born in 1960 in ¸ódê, Mr Grabarczyk first became a member of the Polish parliament in 2001. In that same year, he joined the PO party and five years later became its head in ¸ódzkie voivodship. A lawyer by profession, Mr Grabarczyk has been serving as Poland’s infrastructure minister since November 2007. Adam Zdrodowski

was the rise in year-on-year employment figures for the private sector in July; predictions had been for a 3.5% increase

Quote of the Week “Unfortunately, Donald Tusk has … appointed an exceptional loser, Cezary Grabarczyk, the infrastructure minister.” PiS leader Jaros∏aw Kaczyƒski didn’t pull any punches in his evaluation of Infrastructure Minister Grabarczyk

Figures in focus Golden growth Average private sector gross wage in z∏oty, July 2010-July 2011 4,000 3,875 3,750 3,625 3,500 3,375 3,250


3,125 zł.

Poland less corrupt Great efforts have been made in recent years to counter Poland’s still-lingering reputation for corruption. But last year, Transparency International raised Poland’s ranking in its annual Corruption Perceptions Index. And while some residual effects remain, the country is moving in the right direction. Log on to find out the current rating and much more.

Jul y2 01 gu 0 Se st 20 pte mb 10 er 20 1 Oc tob 0 er 20 No vem 10 be De r 201 cem 0 be r2 010 Jan ua ry Feb 2011 rua ry 20 Ma 11 rch 20 11 Ap ril 20 11 Ma y2 011 Jun e2 011 Jul y2 011

Poland’s ruling Civic Platform (PO) party launched its own internet television channel in midAugust. That’s despite technical problems that kept the station from working at a pre-launch press conference the day before, Rzeczpospolita reported. The channel will feature news updates from PO’s campaign trail, general party information and interviews with PO politicians.



PO launches TV channel




Source: GUS

Company index Arche ............................................5 Empik ........................................22 PGE ..............................................5 Archer Daniels Midland ..............5 Eurocash ......................................5 PGNiG ..........................................5 Artdesign ....................................17 European Space Agency ............10 Police............................................5



ASTARIS Property Solutions......14 FSO ............................................13 Polish Space Agency ................11 Atrium European Real Estate ..13 Gant ............................................16 Raiffeisen Evolution Auchan ......................................13 Ghelamco Poland ......................17 Bank Polskiej Spó∏dzielczosci ..14 ........................20




Bank Zachodni WBK....................3 Green Development ..................17




Bawe∏nianka ..............................14 Grupa Unibep ............................14


The conference will be a great place to exchange experiences related to the functioning of all of the attributes of a building. Location: Centrum Bankowo-Finansowe “Nowy Âwiat,” Warsaw.

The most important meeting of the shopping center industry in Poland. Location: Hilton Hotel, Warsaw.


SEPTEMBER 7-9 Event:

21st ECONOMIC FORUM The euro-zone crisis, activities of ratings agencies, and the relative resistance of European banks to potential economic turmoil will be some of the main topics of discussion during this year’s Economic Forum in Krynica-Zdroj. Location: Krynica-Zdrój.

This presentation and lecture program will provide information about the latest treatments and trends in cosmetics. Location: ul.Wystawowa 1, hall IASE, Wroc∏aw.

Biuro Projektowania

HOLA Design..............................17

Architektonicznego Pallado i

Honda Wyszomirski ....................5


A debate about legal, technological and organizational solutions to the most difficult challenges faced by the public safety and security industry today. Location: Hilton Hotel, Warsaw.

Realkapital ................................18 Red5 ..........................................23 Robyg..........................................16 Ronson ......................................13 Saturn ........................................22

Skupin ........................................14 Ipopema Securities......................9 St. Martin Arabians......................5 Budimex ....................................14 Jarvis Insurance ..........................5 STRATFOR ..................................12 Budimex NieruchomoÊci ..........14 Jones Lang LaSalle ..................18 SwedeCenter..............................18 BZ WBK ........................................9 JW Construction ........................13 CB Richard Ellis Poland ............18 JW Construction Holding ..........18 Colliers International Polska ....13 KHS Krosno..................................5 Danske Bank................................9 Koncepta ....................................18


Project Development ................18

Dexia BIL Private Banking

Livescribe ..................................23

Luxembourg ................................5 Mamdom ....................................16

Taxplan Sp. z.o.o. ........................8 Tradis............................................5 Unidevelopment ........................14 Visconti ........................................5 vision research ..........................23

Dom Development ....................13 Mayland ......................................18 Warsaw Stock Exchange 3, 13, 16 Echo Investment ..................13, 18 Media Markt ..............................22 Westmark Polska ......................13 Elbfonds ....................................14 Monday Development ................14 X-Trade Brokers ......................3, 9 Elstar Oils ....................................5 Neinver ......................................18 X-Trade Brokers Emperia........................................5 On/off architekci ........................17 Dom Maklerski SA ....................20




Global economy

Markets in turmoil over European debt crisis

After weeks of uncertainty caused by unsustainable levels of debt in Europe and the lack of a unified European response, French President Nicholas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for “a real economic government” for the euro zone. At a Franco-German summit on August 16, the leaders of Europe’s two biggest economies argued for the appointment of a euro-zone president, proposing European Council President Herman Van Rompuy for the job. They also suggested the group of 17 eurozone countries hold summits at least twice a year. Many investors were hoping the meeting would launch a swift resolution to the growing euro-zone debt crisis. But as WBJ went to press, the proposals did not seem enough to reverse the downward trend that plagued stocks around the world in August.

On the edge Global indices, including in Poland, fell sharply in the days following the Franco-German proposals. Former European Commission President Jacques

WIG* (Warsaw)

WIG20* (Warsaw)

DAX (Frankfurt)

CAC40 (Paris)

DJIA (New York)
























15.08 16.08 17.08 18.08 15.08 *The Warsaw Stock Exchange was closed on August 15

Delors declared that “the euro and Europe are on the edge of the precipice,” and that the Franco-German summit had been “useless.” Gloomy growth forecasts contributed to the grim mood on global markets. Morgan Stanley revised its euro-area GDP growth forecast down from 2 percent to 1.7 percent in 2011 and from 1.2 to 0.5 percent in 2012. “Germany and France will lead further discussions and any changes towards greater integration [of the euro zone] are welcome,” said Maciej Reluga, chief economist at Bank Zachodni WBK. “But markets are concerned about how the sovereign debt crisis will be resolved, and it is difficult to lower public debt when there is slower growth.”

Euro bonds the answer? One of the main disappointments for investors was that Ms Merkel and Mr Sarkozy reject-






ed the idea of creating euro bonds any time in the near future. By issuing its own debt in the form of euro bonds, the








important point for investors. “[Euro bonds] would have had a positive impact in the short term in providing financial aid






economies. And Ms Merkel made it clear that enshrining fiscal discipline in the constitutions of the 17 euro-zone countries – another element of the Franco-German proposal – would come before any discussion on euro bonds.

Poland silent, but worried


Investors remained nervous after the heads of France and Germany proposed stronger economic governance in the euro zone

A Franco-German proposal failed to reassure investors euro zone would be able to ensure affordable financing for its poorest economies. This was, explained Marcin Kiepas, an analyst at X-Trade Brokers in Warsaw, the most

to debt-saddled countries such as Italy and Spain,” he said. But euro bonds would also bind strong economies like Germany more tightly than they might like to weaker

Although it is legally bound by its EU accession treaty to one day join the common currency, Poland doesn’t have an adoption date for the euro and can still expect to be partially shielded from turbulence in the euro zone by its free-floating currency. When it does join the euro however, one of the FrancoGerman proposals could be especially painful. That is, payments from structural and cohesion funds could be suspended for euro-zone countries whose public deficit exceeds 3 percent of GDP and whose debt reaches over 60 of

GDP. Poland, currently the largest recipient of structural funds, recorded a public deficit of 7.9 percent of GDP in 2010. Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, in his capacity as head of the country holding the EU’s rotating presidency, urged euro-zone countries to act rapidly to resolve the debt crisis. But as a non-euro zone country, there is little Poland can do. Mr Tusk admitted as much in a speech on August 19. Poland had expected stronger provisions to come out of the Merkel-Sarkozy meeting, and the country would support rules to strengthen the euro area, he said. But, he added, “We can not do it too forcefully, because we are not members of the monetary union.” Mr Tusk was expected to meet with Mr Van Rompuy and EC President José Manuel Barroso to discuss legislation aimed at strengthening economic governance in the euro area on August 30. On the domestic front, recent economic turmoil has shaken Poles’ confidence in the global recovery. An August poll commissioned by Puls Biznesu found that 58 percent of those surveyed believed that the recent instability would lead to a second wave of economic crisis at least as serious as the global crisis that was brought on by the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008. Alice Trudelle, Ella Pa∏ka

Poland and the crisis

There is no indication that Poland is threatened and Poles remain confident, according to the prime minister The government is doing everything it can to ensure Poland sails unscathed through the current economic turbulence, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk told politicians in the Sejm on August 19. “The task of every responsible political formation is to protect their homeland from the threat of chaos, the threat of nervous impulses … because

they can have a very serious impact on the global and the local economy,” he said. He added that although life in a crisis can never be easy, Poland remains a stable and responsible country, and is prepared for the eventuality of a second wave of global financial crisis. There is no indication that Poland is threatened with recession, he said. On the day before Mr Tusk’s speech in parliament, the Warsaw Stock Exchange had seen the WIG20 plunge by almost 9 percent, before closing the day 5.8 percent down. The markets, nervous about the sovereign debt crisis plagu-

ing the euro zone and a slowdown in economic growth around the globe, hadn’t seen such drastic falls since the last crisis, in the autumn of 2008. Earlier in August, rating agency S&P downgraded the US’s credit rating by a notch, triggering panic on global markets.

Don’t panic Mr Tusk had been called upon by the main opposition party Law and Justice (PiS) to explain what actions his government was taking to protect Poles against the current crisis. After his speech, PiS politician Beata Szyd∏o accused the PM of being surprised by

recent events, and of giving no response as prices rose and the stock market fell. “The whole narrative of Mr Tusk, the ‘excellent’ results of his policy ... is, to put it mildly, detached from reality,” said PiS leader Jaros∏aw Kaczyƒski. He added that the PM’s speech had once again increased the chaos and confusion in the country. Mr Tusk responded by urging the opposition not to undermine Poles’ confidence. “Poles trust their country, the government, and banks, unlike in many European countries,” he said. David Ingham


PM Tusk: Poland ready for a second crisis

Mr Tusk responds to panic on the markets





Jersey murder

Heads roll following Polish officials’ Belarus blunder

Pole accused in UK killing spree

Following revelations that Poland’s General Prosecutor’s Office mistakenly aided Belarusian authorities in their attempts to convict human rights activist Ales Belyatsky, key figures in the office lost their jobs. Krzysztof Karsznicki, the head of the office’s department of international cooperation, resigned and his deputy, Anna WiÊniewska, was dismissed. Mr Belyatsky, who is head of the Viasna Human Rights Center, was arrested by Belarusian authorities earlier in August over alleged tax evasion offenses. The charges were based in part on information disclosed by officials from Poland’s General Prosecutor’s Office relating to a bank account held by Mr Belyatsky. The activist used the account to finance the activi-


Polish prosecutors provided information to Belarusian authorities that led to the arrest of a democracy activist

Foreign Minister Sikorski apologized for the mistake ties of Viasna, which supports opposition to the regime. Attorney General Andrzej Seremet told a press conference in mid-August that an investigation into the incident concluded that there had been irregularities in the procedures used by prosecutors related to the release of financial information connected to Mr Belyatsky. The news was particularly embarrassing for Poland given that the country’s government

has consistently criticized the regime of Belarus’ President Alexander Lukashenko, who is currently carrying out a crackdown on political dissenters. Reacting to the disclosure, Poland’s Foreign Minister Rados∏aw Sikorski issued an apology on his Twitter account. “I apologize on behalf on the Republic of Poland,” Mr Sikorski wrote. “A reprehensible mistake despite the Foreign Ministry’s

warnings. We will redouble efforts to support democracy in Belarus.” Viasna is one of the few organizations in Belarus to have provided independent information about abuses of power and arrests ordered by Mr Lukashenko, while Mr Belyatsky has actively lobbied European officials to impose strict economic sanctions on Belarus as a result of the government’s abuses of power. After his arrest, a statement posted on the Viasna website said, “We unequivocally consider the criminal case against Ales Belyatsky as lynching and revenge for his longstanding human rights activity, and also as an attempt to destroy the Human Rights Center Viasna and intimidate the whole human rights movement of Belarus.” On August 15 Mr Belyatsky’s detention period was extended for a further two months after he was officially charged with the concealment of profits. If convicted, he faces up to seven years in prison. David Ingham

The man had allegedly lost his family’s life savings on a failed property deal A 30-year-old Polish man has been arrested for the murder of six people, including his wife and two children, on the British island of Jersey. Damian Rzeszowski, from Nowy Sàcz in southern Poland, is the prime suspect in the case, after his wife Izabela, their sixyear-old daughter and 18month-old son were stabbed to death. Also among the victims was the suspect’s father-in-law, along with a friend and her fiveyear-old daughter. All of the victims were Polish. Mr Rzeszowski had reportedly lost his family’s life savings on a property deal in Poland, after failing to retrieve money from business partners whose investment never materialized. Weeks before the murders Mr Rzeszowski had attempted to take his own life, the Jersey Evening Post reported. “We still do not believe what has happened,” the brother of Mr Rzeszowski’s wife told the same newspaper. The family had recently returned from a trip to Poland.

“My mother is in a really poor condition and is seeing a psychiatrist. The situation is beyond her. My sister did not say there was anything wrong when they visited us in Poland in the last few days. They did not even show that there was something wrong between them,” the brother of Mr Rzeszowski’s wife said. A witness, quoted by the UK’s Guardian newspaper, said he saw a man stabbing a woman in the street with a knife. The man then reportedly turned the weapon on himself, causing multiple injuries. Local police subsequently said that two of the victims were found outside, with the other four discovered inside the property in which the suspect and his wife lived. As WBJ went to press, Mr Rzeszowski was under guard at a Jersey hospital, following surgery for the wounds he had inflicted on himself. The killings occurred while a three-day festival celebrating Jersey’s Polish links was underway in the island’s capital, St Helier. The island, located in the English Channel, is home to some 3,000 Poles. David Ingham

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Archer Daniels set to buy Elstar Oils for z∏.265 million American firm Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), the largest processor of grain in the world, has reached an agreement to buy 100 percent of all shares in Elstar Oils, a Polish vegetable oils processing company. ADM made a call for shares in the company before agreeing with the current shareholders to buy their shares for z∏.5.5 apiece. This values Elstar Oils at z∏.265.166 million. Elstar, which produces edi-

ble oils and biofuels in Elblàg, northern Poland, released the news in a statement over the weekend of August 13-14. On its next opening Elstar’s share price rose by 52 percent from its Friday closing price. As WBJ went to press the firm’s share price stood at z∏.5.25, a rise of 0.38 percent on the week. “Poland is an important origination and consumer market for ADM,” Brent Fenton, president of ADM

Krzysztof Ja∏osiƒski said the plant would be built on a site the firm owns in the Zachodnipomorskie voivodship. The chemical producer is coming off a good first half of 2011, after it saw a H1 net profit of z∏.115.3 million due to increased fertilizer sales. A


FMCG takeover

Europe, said in a statement. “Elstar’s location in the heart of a rapeseed growing region, with easy access to the ports of Gdaƒsk and Gdynia, complements our existing presence in the region and will enable ADM to further strengthen its position in Eastern Europe,” he added. The purchase is now subject to approval by antitrust authorities in Austria, Germany, Poland, Slovakia and David Ingham Ukraine.

PGE and Police mulling multi-billion z∏oty power plant investment Poland’s largest utility, PGE, is weighing a plan to construct a 600-megawatt gas-fired heat and power plant in cooperation with chemical producer Police. The project would cost between z∏.1.5 billion and z∏.2 billion, Reuters reported. Police board president

year earlier Police had made a net profit of z∏.22.4 million. The firm’s sales rose 40 percent year-on-year in H1 to z∏.1.29 billion, which Mr Ja∏osiƒski said he partly attributes to the success of a recently implemented restructuring GP program.

Media patronage

Pride of Poland Arabian horse auction raises nearly €2 million in sales

Retail firms in deadlock over z∏.926 million deal Emperia wants out of the agreement, while Eurocash says it is still binding A deal which would see one of the biggest takeovers in the history of Poland’s FMCG market is hanging in the balance. FMCG group Emperia Holding says it wants to withdraw from an agreement with Eurocash, Poland’s largest company in the sector, that would see the latter purchase Tradis, Emperia’s distribution arm. After Eurocash failed to make payment for the agreed price tag of z∏.926 million by the July 15 deadline, Emperia said it was going to seek z∏.200 million in damages. For its part, Eurocash said it was unable to complete the transaction on time because it had not received approval from UOKiK, Poland’s antimonopoly authority. Eurocash disputes Emperia’s demand for compensation and said the investment agreement is still binding and valid. “Once we receive approval from the regulators we will complete payment in accor-



Eurocash says the deal is still on dance with the terms of the agreement … and if problems arise, we will resolve them in court,” stated Jan Domaƒski, a spokesperson for Eurocash. Emperia, however, claims payment was required with or without the regulator’s approval. “The parties had agreed that if Eurocash did not make payment within the alotted time, then Emperia had a right to withdraw from the agreement and a right to claim damages of z∏.200 million. This clause was found in the investment agreement of which both parties were informed, in reports dated January 3, 2011,” stated Artur Kawa, President

of Emperia in a press release on August 18. Ernest Makowski from UOKiK’s Press Office, meanwhile, said that thus far, no decision regarding Eurocash’s takeover application has been made. He declined to comment on the status of the application and on when a decision could be expected, saying only that proceedings relating to mergers and acquisitions may last up to two months. They can take longer if additional information is needed or if, for example, the situation requires further assessment, Mr Makowski added. Barbara G´dek, Ella Pa∏ka



Investing in Poland 2012 • the latest edition of Warsaw Business Journal Group's popular series of busines guides • a handbook to all of the essential information investors need to make a decision about why, where and how to invest in Poland • a perfect vehicle for businesses, regions, and cities to promote themselves to foreign investors

Poland’s President Bronis∏aw Komorowski opened the 33rd Polish National Arabian Horse Show, in Janów, Podlaski, as buyers from all over the world flocked to the region for the main event, the 42nd Pride of Poland Auction Sale on August 7. In total 43 horses were sold at the auction for the sum of €1.994 million, with members of the Saudi and United Arab Emirates royal families in attendance among other high-profile names. The most expensive horse sold at the three-day event was Piacenza, a two-year-old filly from Micha∏ów Stud, which went to the United States for €475,000. Other expensive acquisitions included Palabra, a four-year-old mare from Janów Podlaski Stud which was sold for €400,000, and eight-year-old Fabrysz-

ka, which went to Saudi Arabia for €150,000. The average price offered for a mare was €80,000, twice as much as last year’s average offer. That bodes well for the Arabian horse-breeding market across the globe. The event also saw the award of numerous prizes in various categories. The Micha∏ów Stud took home two big wins, with filly Wie˝a Mocy winning the Junior Female Championships and Kabsztad, a gray stallion, winning the Senior Male Championships. This year the awards for horses and the people dedicated to them were sponsored by: PGNiG, Arche, Dexia BIL Private Banking Luxembourg, Visconti, Honda Wyszomirski, KHS Krosno, St. Martin Arabians, and Jarvis Insurance. David Ingham

The publication will include a special supplement: Trendbook Poland • a comprehensive view of the business trends shaping Poland's market • looks forward, predicting how the market will change • crucial insight and analysis for investors and businesspeople Distribution (24, 500 copies) • in bookstores and kiosks around Poland • to Warsaw Business Journal subsribers • through embassies and chambers of commerce • at Polish commercial end economic centers abroad • at conferences and trade fairs (e.g. The Econimic Forum in Krynica, Expo Real, Real Vienna, Imex) The launch of the publication will be accompanied by conferences and seminars on investment in Poland and the Polish economy.

For advertising and promotion opportunities contact: Ms Agnieszka Brejwo (+48) 504 201 007



Defense policy

Exports to Russia rise

Strategy for security

The proportion of Polish exports that went to Russia rose to 4.3% during H1 2011, from 3.6% a year earlier, according to Central Statistical Office data. Russia’s economy has continued to expand, growing 3.7% y/y in H1 2011, helping Polish exporters to increase their (z∏oty-denominated) sales to Russia by 33.7% percent year-on-year. Engineering industry products dominate among Polish exports to Russia, making up 37% of the total.

defense and adds momentum to the development of NATO’s missile-defense system. The alliance has also begun the process of gradually withdrawing troops from Afghanistan and the transfer of responsibility for the country’s security to the Afghan people. The plan also sets the goal of developing a strategic partnership between NATO and Russia.

Grain woes This year’s grain harvest in Poland could be weaker than it was last season due to the recent heavy rains, reports Rzeczpospolita. According to the country’s Central Statistical Office, this year’s final production figure could be as much as 5% lower than it was in 2010. ●


Concern over Tymoshenko arrest The four members of the Visegrad Group are worried about the state of the rule of law in Ukraine in relation to the arrest of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. In an official statement, the group, which comprises Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia, wrote that Ms Tymoshenko’s arrest was disproportionate to the charges she faces. The former prime minister was arrested recently for contempt of court. Ms Tymoshenko stands accused of abusing power.


Deputy Minister of Defense Zbigniew W∏osowicz speaks to WBJ about Poland’s defense policy priorities, the development of NATO’s missiledefense program, Polish efforts to strengthen the EU’s defense capabilities and Poland’s military cooperation with the United States Ewa Boniecka: What do you regard as the foundations of Polish defense policy and how do you asses Poland’s efforts to ensure maximum security? Zbigniew W∏osowicz: Poland’s security system rests on three main pillars: our membership in NATO, in the European Union and our strategic partnership with the United States. This is complemented in other bilateral and multilateral frameworks such as the Weimar Triangle and the Visegrad Group. We have been building our security system since 1989 and we have been doing it very con-

sistently and effectively to ensure maximum security for our country. NATO is changing, and Poland must re-position itself in the alliance in view of these changes. How does NATO’s new strategic concept relate to Polish security? It is true that NATO is changing, because the whole world is changing – at a surprisingly fast rate. So there is a need for the alliance to react to some of these unpredictable changes, and to respond to new developments such as the Arab Spring, for example.

This poses new challenges for NATO members, including Poland. We all have to respond to global threats such as terrorism, cyber-attacks, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, and other dangers affecting international security. NATO’s new strategic concept, which was approved at the summit in Lisbon last November and which is currently in the implementation phase, is such a response. It is very important that the present strategy provides effective instruments to conduct NATO’s task of collective

Poland, due to negative historical experiences, is showing certain reserve towards developing closer cooperation between NATO and Russia. How do you see the situation? It is quite natural that we are vitally interested in the improvement of relations between NATO and Russia and therefore monitor them closely. These relations are of crucial importance for Poland as one of the alliance’s eastern members and a neighbor of Russia. Therefore, when the new NATO Strategic Concept was being shaped, we actively supported the goal of taking the relations with Russia to a strategic level. We are ready to explore every opportunity leading to improvement in NATORussia relations, because we understand that this is in the interest of Poland and the alliance. After the reset in RussianAmerican relations initiated by President Obama and the expansion of NATO-Russia cooperation in some important international issues, such as Afghanistan and counter-terrorism, the Russian attitude towards NATO has become more pragmatic. The NATO-Russia Council, or NRC, is a good forum for dialogue. Currently one of the important issues being discussed within the NRC is cooperation on missile defense. This cooperation should develop in conjunction with an improvement of NATO-Russia relations in general. The meeting of the NRC in Sochi last July did not yield tangible results, but the important thing is that the talks will continue. We have to remember how complex and burdened by history these security issues are. Nobody should expect quick, spectacular results. But we are listening to each side’s arguments, which means that we are on a better path to communication. During that meeting in Sochi, Russia declared that it would develop its own missile-defense system, and that the NATO and Russian systems should be linked, with a division of

responsibility for protecting various areas and Russia’s system covering the Baltic States and parts of Poland. This proposal was rejected off hand by Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. What is your view of this proposal? It is obvious that such an option is not and never will be considered by NATO. The alliance is fully responsible for the defense of its members’ territory, and Russia for its territory. Nevertheless, gradually expanded cooperation between both systems is desired. To start with, NATO is proposing mutual monitoring and data exchange, and has assured Moscow that its missiledefense system is not directed against Russia. A permanent base for NATO’s missile shield will be built in Poland, putting such military installations in Central Europe for the first time. How could this affect NATO-Russia relations? NATO decided at the Lisbon summit that it would build a missile-defense system. As part of this system, the US will construct a base in Redzikowo, near S∏upsk, which will become fully operational by 2018. Until then, discussions between NATO and Russia will continue and I hope we will be able to convince Moscow that NATO’s missile-defense system, being of no danger for Russia, will increase security for Europe, including Russia. It is essential to underline that creation of consistent communication between the NATO and Russian systems would be mutually beneficial. Poland has concluded an agreement with the United States on military cooperation and we will soon see American airplanes and troops on our territory. What effect will this have on Poland’s security and its position in NATO? The agreement has two aspects: political and military. The political part of the agreement underlines the close ties between Poland and the United States, dating back to the US’s very beginnings, all the way through the 1980s, when the US supported Solidarity and Poland’s struggle for freedom and democracy. The strategic partnership with the US has important implications for our security, while Poland is seen by the US as an important partner. The very friendly character of our relations creates the foundations for our cooperation in defense. In strictly military terms, the agreement establishes that



NATO members

1949 (founding members) Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, United Kingdom, United States 1952 Greece, Turkey

there will be a permanent US Air Force detachment in Poland starting in 2013, as well as continuous rotations of American F-16s and C-130 Hercules transport planes with American troops. The development of cooperation between the Polish and US air forces will bring our defense relationship to a higher level. It will also have significant military value for Poland, deepening the interoperability of the Polish Air Force with US and NATO units. Moreover, it will enable Polish pilots and ground personnel to improve their skills through exercises and training with crews who are the most experienced in the use of F-16 and C130 aircraft. Consequently, cooperation with the US will increase the combat capabilities of the Polish Air Force and will add to its capabilities for receiving NATO reinforcement forces in Poland. All of this will have a positive effect on Polish security. At the same time, it will stimulate the more balanced distribution of US and NATO military installations in Europe. This initiative should also contribute to the implementation of NATO’s strategic concept, especially with regard to strengthening the alliance’s collective defense capabilities and deepening the interoperability

1955 Germany 1982 Spain

2004 Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia

1999 Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland

2009 Albania, Croatia

of NATO forces. Poland favors the establishment of the European Union’s own defense forces. Does this mean building a European army? A European army is a very farreaching concept. What we are trying to do now is to develop some civilian-military capabilities to help the EU to react better in crises. In practical terms this means improving

“Poland has not been as secure as it is now for a long time” the effectiveness of already existing forces such as the EU Battle Groups. In 2010, Poland was the lead nation of the Battle Group composed of Polish, German, Lithuanian and Slovak soldiers. Recently we signed an agreement to form a Battle Group in 2013 within the framework of the Weimar Triangle, where Poland will be the lead nation again. There is also a plan to form a Battle Group for 2015 within the framework of the Visegrad Group.

The current international financial situation does not make such initiatives easy. But the idea of building various forms of military cooperation between EU members and partners is regarded as important and a good example of this [is the cooperation between] France and the UK. Those countries are already cooperating closely in the field of defense. One of Poland’s priorities during our presidency of the EU is to strengthen the Common Security and Defence Policy. Some opinion polls show that there are still a number of Poles who are afraid of some unspecified dangers, regardless of our membership in NATO and other assurances of Polish security. Should Poles feel 100 percent secure? Such a feeling of 100-percent security is unattainable. It is hard to comment on the polls, but it is difficult to accept the opinion that Poles do not feel their country is secure. Poland has not been as secure as it is now for a long time. As a member of NATO and the European Union we are not only a security “consumer” but also a “provider.” I am convinced that Polish citizens have every reason in the world to be sure that our country is secure. ●




Poland’s e-invoicing regulations too vague While regulations regarding e-invoicing have been liberalized, problems still exist for many business owners. E-documents do not require signatures, but there is little certainty as to which ones will be accepted by the tax office. Tax authorities suggest that the authenticity of e-invoices can only be confirmed by way of an audit. Therefore, businesses have little certainty that their documents will be accepted until they are already embroiled in a tax proceeding. According to Polish tax law, e-invoices that originate from a secure source where content has not been altered will be acceptable. However, the Ministry of Finance has yet to define a set protocols for businesses to prove compliance with both conditions. EU law states that companies can define their own procedures to regulate this issue, but some analysts suggest that the laws governing e-invoicing in Poland are too general and have yet to satisfy the majority of business owners. MO


Tax Eye

Last chance for corporate tax optimization – tax free step-up to market value Matthew O’Shaughnessy, partner and Polish tax advisor, Taxplan Sp. z.o.o. The train is about to leave the station for those who are still interested in optimizing corporate taxes. The tried and tested step-up to market value structure, which has been implemented effectively by many corporate taxpayers, will shortly become defunct. In fact, the tax law was changed to block this planning opportunity at the end of 2010. However, transitional rules still allow companies to utilize the planning opportunity according to the old regime up until the end of 2011 – in certain cases. Companies, however, need to decide to avail themselves of this opportunity at latest by the first half of September 2011. What do we mean by a tax free step-up? The process involves crystallizing “hidden values” of fixed and intangible assets, which are not currently recorded on the balance sheet of a company, up

to current market prices. This new value is then recorded in the company’s books and provides a basis for tax depreciation deductions. For intangibles assets the depreciation period is typically five years. In order to obtain the tax benefit we do need to put in a little work. The procedure involves acquiring a new company with a so-called “long tax year“ (to which the old tax rules still apply) and contributing an existing business into this entity in return for shares. Following this in-kind contribution, the new company is allowed to record the contributed assets at current market value and depreciate them. This provides the new company a tax shield which reduces corporate tax in future years. Let us take the example of a business which was started 10 years ago. Sales have grown and the business has

built a niche for itself in the marketplace. It has become recognized for its own trademark and for brands which it has developed itself. Although the trademark and brands have real market value, in most cases they are not recorded in the compa-

“For those able to act nimbly during the coming month or so, there is still an opportunity” ny’s balance sheet and cannot be depreciated. This is good, cautious accounting practice. However, it is a waste in an economic sense, since the strength of the company’s balance sheet may be undervalued. Our business decides that it wants to reduce it corporate

tax bill and at the same time to strengthen its balance sheet, allowing it possibly to borrow more in the future. For management purposes the company is already split into two divisions – sales & marketing and production. These two divisions are, to some extent, independently run and undertake divisional financial reporting. The sales & marketing division, containing the brand name and other intangible assets, is carved out and contributed into a new company in return for shares. The new company records the intangible assets at market value and licenses them back to the old company under a license agreement. For tax purposes we now have the right to deduct the depreciation on the intangibles in the new company and the license fees paid by the old company. All of this is made better by the

fact that to get to this point we generally do not incur transactional taxes, which would potentially make the optimization process itself expensive. The tax rules generally allow us to effect this operation without paying VAT or tax on civil law transactions or corporate income tax at the time of the contribution (for any of the parties). It is no wonder that the Ministry of Finance took the view last year that it was too good to be true and blocked the opportunity. Nonetheless, for those able to act nimbly during the coming month or so, there is still an opportunity to take advantage of. To equip yourself you will need the following basic toolkit: (a) one-shelf company with a long tax year (b) a current market valuation, preferably (c) a positive tax ruling (d) a good tax lawyer. Then, you are all set. ●





Is now the time to invest in the z∏oty? 4.25

*August average through 17.08


Au gu st 20 11*

y2 01 1 Jul

Jun e2 01 1


y2 01 1 Ma

20 1 ril Ap

rch Ma

bru a


20 11

20 11

20 11


Source: National Bank of Poland

is cheap compared with fundamentals,” the bank’s chief analyst Lars Christensen said in the statement. The z∏oty stood at 4.19

against the euro as WBJ went to press. So, is now a good time to invest in the z∏oty? Experts that spoke with

WBJ were cautious. “It is very difficult for us to predict whether now is the correct time to look for other currencies such as the z∏oty,” said Tomasz Bursa, an analyst at Ipopema Securities in Warsaw, who mooted the possibility of further weakening. “There could definitely be a depreciation of the z∏oty.” Pawe∏ Kordala of X-Trade Brokers echoed this opinion, saying investors should wait to assess the position of the currency, as its current weakness could hold. “The volatility of the markets is quite large at the current time and it’s not easy to predict the future,” he said. “That the Polish currency will decline is quite proba-

to buy z∏oty, I would wait a few weeks before investing,” he added.

ble. The [negative] sentiment on the financial markets could lead to the sell-off of risky assets such as the z∏oty. And if I were planning

David Ingham, Alice Trudelle


EUR/PLN exchange rate, average at the end of each month*


The roller-coaster ride that the markets have been on of late has sent investors scurrying from currencies that are perceived as “risky” such as the z∏oty. Although it has pulled back from some of the lows it hit in mid-August, the z∏oty is still far weaker than it was earlier in the year. The situation came to a head on August 11, when the z∏oty-euro exchange rate reached as high as z∏.4.20. At that point Danske Bank issued a statement saying that the rate was unjustified, explaining that it was an “overreaction” by the markets. “We argue that the z∏oty

Steep climb

Jan ua ry

WBJ asked analysts whether the Polish currency is a good buy

Is it time for investors to take a closer look at the z∏oty?


Interest rates likely to remain stable, RPP says The National Bank of Poland's main interest rate, July 2010-July 2011 5


01 1 r. 2 01 1 Ma y2 01 1 Jun .2 01 1 Jul .2 01 1




r. 2


Feb .2


20 11

Jan .


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Although economists were worried just a few weeks ago about Poland’s rocketing inflation rate and theorizing that central bankers would continue to raise interest rates to head it off, global economic factors have changed the longer term outlook significantly. A jittery global economy along with slowing GDP growth rates in Europe now look to be taking a bite out of inflation growth.

Steady climb

20 10

Signs of a slowdown

Poland’s largest trading partner, Germany, saw a particularly sharp second-quarter slowdown, with its economy growing just 0.1 percent q/q. Indeed, factors had changed so dramatically that Danske Bank, which had previously predicted at least one more interest-rate hike this year, changed its prediction and now believes that the RPP will cut interest rates by a total of 50 basis points within the next 12 months. “Given the sharp deterioration in the global financial situation and downward pressure on commodity prices we no longer see major upside


the same time inflation will remain above the central bank’s target of 2.5 percent.


Indications from Poland’s rate-setting Monetary Policy Council (RPP) suggest it will keep interest rates stable in the near future, despite signs economic and inflationary growth rates are decelerating. RPP member Andrzej Kaêmierczak said recently that inflation was still too high, and that current interest rates were likely to be maintained in the near future. The RPP raised the headline interest rate by a total of one percentage point, to 4.5

percent, between January and June this year. “Inflation would have to fall clearly below 4 percent yearon-year to make interest rate cuts possible,” Mr Kaêmierczak said in late August. Poland’s inflation rate slowed in July on lower food prices, growing 4.1 percent y/y, from 4.2 percent in June and 5 percent in May. According to analysts at BZ WBK, inflation will stay above 4 percent for the reminder of the year, which would put the RPP in a rather uncomfortable position – the outlook for economic growth will likely deteriorate and at

Jul .

That’s despite evidence inflationary pressures are easing

Source: National Bank of Poland

inflationary risks in Poland and hence, we have decided to change our forecast,” Danske Bank’s chief analyst

Lars Christensen wrote in a report. Gareth Price, Andrew Kureth




Poland’s space industry

A business in lift-off

An overdue launch

The global space business is booming. According to The Space Report 2010, the global space economy for 2009 reached $261.61 billion in government budgets and commercial revenue, a growth of nearly 40 percent in five years. ●

The global space economy Commercial satellite systems ($90.58 bln)

8% Commercial infrastructure ($83.63 bln)

35% US public expenditures ($64.42 bln)


Wojciech Brzeziƒski

Public expenditures outside the US ($21.75 bln) Other ($1.5 bln)


Commercial launch systems ($0.08 bln)

Total: $261.61 billion The Space Report 2010, the Space Foundation, USA; Polish Ministry of Economy

place. And here’s the problem: while Poles have proven themselves to be very competent at producing instrumentation, they have yet to learn to create complete satellites or probes. Things like spacecraft communications, satellite integration and launch procedures are missing from the CVs of most Polish space engineers. And without them they have long been restricted to playing a supporting role in the global space business. That is changing though, thanks to some Canadians and their bright ideas.


Building an industry

A model of the BRITE-PL1, the first wholly Polish-built satellite

The construction of the first entirely Polishbuilt satellite could finally mark the beginning of a fully fledged Polish space industry A metal cupboard in a basement laboratory in Warsaw’s Mokotów district contains a vital piece of Polish history. Only a select handful have laid eyes on the artifact though, and few have ever even heard of it – because the history in question simply hasn’t happened yet. The cupboard does not contain lost treasures, in fact its contents look more like common PC parts. But put together, they will form the first satellite ever built in Poland, the BRITE-PL 1, known to everyone outside the development team as the Lem – named after the grand master of Polish Science Fiction, Stanis∏aw Lem. A golden cube, roughly the size of a mailbox, the satellite will be an invaluable tool for Polish astronomers. But if its creators have their way, the device could prove to be far more significant than that – it could mark the beginning of a real Polish space industry. Now, the 30-man team of scientists and engineers of the Polish Academy of Sciences’

Space Research Centre just need to finish it.

Poland’s space odyssey While Poland’s space program to date has rarely been frontpage material, Poles do have plenty of experience building space instruments. The 1978 Soyuz 30 flight might be bestremembered as the one and only time that a Pole, Miros∏aw Hermaszewski, travelled to space. The capsule itself was 100 percent Soviet technology, but many of the devices for the experiments on board were built in Poland, marking the first time that an item with a “Made in Poland” tag was launched into orbit. Since then, Polish scientists have built bits and pieces – often important ones – of various spacecraft. The Soviet Fobos 2 probe, launched in 1988, was supposed to carry Polish scientific instruments all the way to Phobos, a potatoshaped moon of Mars. It was to be a triumph of Polish science, a symbol of the friendship

between Poland and the Soviet Union, and a boon to the Polish communist government’s propaganda efforts. A year later, just as the communist government was being dismantled at the Round Table Talks, the spacecraft suffered the same fate that had befallen the communist alliance that launched it. Its system crashed. But at other times, the Poles had more luck. Polish optical instruments flew on the Mars Express and Venus Express orbiters. The The Space Research Centre supplied key components for the infrared spectrometer of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) €1 billion Herschel space observatory. The Wroc∏aw University of Technology’s logo made it all the way to the International Space Station, along with a pair of antennae built for the Columbus module. And the Andrzej So∏tan Institute for Nuclear Studies in Âwierk will supply detectors for the planned Chinese space station if, and when, that launches. And then there’s the space hamster. Built by a small team from Warsaw for this year’s Russian Fobos-Grunt space

probe, the CHOMIK (“HAMSTER”) geological penetrator will attempt to take a sample of the surface of Phobos and bring it back home. If that happens, the device, basically a tiny space-age jackhammer, will earn redemption for the failure of the 1988 mission. The CHOMIK is only the latest in a line of Polish-built space power tools. Another one, chosen by ESA over a competing American design, is currently flying on the European Rosetta mission to the ChuryumovGerasimenko comet. The latest in the series, nicknamed KRET, or “MOLE”, will soon hammer away on the surface of the moon. “Devices like the CHOMIK might one day be used in deepsea exploration” said Karol Seweryn, the manager of the instrument’s development team. “The conditions down there are in fact very similar – pressure extremes and buoyancy, which, just like zero-gravity, makes digging difficult.” But before the Polish space industry corners the market in deep-sea drilling, there is the slight challenge of actually building an industry in the first

Tomasz Zawistowski, the head of the BRITE-PL project, was clearly excited as he gave WBJ a tour of the lab. The tall, graying scientist could talk for hours about the orientation gyros, the challenges of fitting the instrumentation into the custommade housing and the arduous testing process. It’s plain that he’s proud of his baby. “This project is the brainchild of proffesor S∏awek Rucinski, who left for Canada 30 years ago and teaches astronomy at the University of Toronto,” he explained. “A couple of years ago he suggested that Poland join the BRITE consortium, which at that point included the Canadians and the Austrians. The idea was picked up by his Polish coworker, professor Aleksander Schwarzenberg-Czerny, who went to the Ministry of Science and convinced it to finance the project.” It must have taken a lot of negotiating, but finally the ministry granted the Polish Academy of Sciences a z∏.13 million grant, enough to build two of the satellites. They will form part of a mini-armada, along with two Canadian and two Austrian spacecraft. Together they will monitor fast-changing stars, whose dynamic evolution has not yet been accurately modeled. Hopefully, the satellites will help create a new theoretical model of stellar dynamics. The constellation will be

monitored by three tracking stations, one in each of the participating countries. The overall design and most of the parts are Canadian-made, but the Poles are learning fast. And they are already coming up with their own improvements. “The knowledge we’re gathering here will be passed on,” Mr Zawistowski explained. “The know-how we gain now will be used on the second BRITE satellite, since we’re going to alter its design a bit. And we’re hoping there’s more to follow. We’ve just filed our paperwork for the financing of a new technology satellite and we’re hoping we’ll get to work on it soon.” The BRITE-PL 2, or Hevelius, will be assembled once the team finishes work on the Lem. Once the first device is assembled, it will undergo vibration testing that simulates launch conditions. Then it will go into a vacuum chamber, where it will be alternately heated and frozen, to simulate orbital operations. After this shake-and-bake is over, likely by the end of November, it will be considered flight-ready and will await its launch on top of a former Soviet ICBM – currently slated for September, 2012.

2012: a breakthrough year Indeed, 2012 is shaping up to be a breakthrough year for the nascent Polish space industry. It will likely be the year when Poland finally becomes a full member of the European Space Agency – a move that Polish governments have been reluctant to make, perhaps fearing that the very mention of the word “space” on the evening news would make them targets for ridicule. But for Jakub Ryzenko, a space-policy specialist at the Space Research Centre, Poland’s application to join ESA is great news, even if it is overdue. “The truth of the matter is we’re already paying a lot of money for joint European space projects,” he said. “Trouble is, our companies and scientists aren’t getting any money in



return.” Poland’s share of the common European space budget comes to just over €17 million, paid through its contribution to the EU budget. But ESA’s rules state that the agency’s budget is divided between its member states. Each country gets 90 percent of its contribution back, as contracts to both scientific institutions and companies. Once Poland joins the ESA, it will have to pay a yearly contribution of about €20 million on top of what it already spends. But it would get nearly €40 million back. And Polish scientists would love to get their hands on that kind of money. “The space industry is worth around $260 billion per year,” Mr Ryzenko pointed out. That includes launches, satellite construction, space applications such as navigation, communications and imaging, as well as the manufacture of devices like GPS systems and satellite dishes. Unfortunately, Poles have trouble competing on the international markets because they face competitors who for years have been using public funds and public research to develop their own technologies.

A change in attitude So far, Poland doesn’t even have a space agency that could ensure that what money there is would be spent on high-return projects. The Economy Ministry currently has just one person handling everything connected to the space business. But the government’s attitude might be changing. A preliminary space strategy has been drafted – although the document is yet to be officially adopted by the government. It proposes a three-step strategy for developing the Polish space sector. The first move is already being made – that’s joining ESA. Polish scientists and businesses would then be able to gain experience, contacts and money that would help them compete. Step two would finally see the creation of a Polish Space Agency that would coordinate the country’s space strategy and spending. Step three would see a separate Polish national space program with its own goals, and its own budget, dedicated to filling in the gaps in the European projects and helping to cover specifically Polish interests by, say, launching and operating satellites that would help the government respond to emergencies such as last year’s devastating floods. If those plans seem farfetched, it’s worth pointing out that over 20 countries already own and operate their own imaging satellites. Quick access to satellite intelligencegathering is no longer a luxury – it has become a standard for modern societies. And Poles have lots of experience creating complex computer and

robotic systems, as has been demonstrated by the victory a team of young Polish scientists won earlier this year at the University Mars Rover Challenge in Utah. The Polish team beat out US academic teams with NASA backing.

The final countdown “We’re in the final countdown phase, as far as the Polish space industry is concerned,” said Tomasz Zawistowski, looking at the full-scale mockup of the BRITE-PL 1. “As soon as we join ESA we’ll be getting a steady

stream of financing for a number of projects, and to use that well, we’ll need an industry. We have plenty of skilled people, lots of ideas. If you turn on the television you’ll see how well our scientists, engineers and students are doing. So it’s just a matter of time. Maybe two years, before the first large satellite projects start rolling.” And he intends to be there when the revolution finally launches.● Wojciech Brzeziƒski is a reporter for Polsat News

Miros∏aw Hermaszewski The only Pole to go to space Miros∏aw Hermaszewski is the first, and so far only, Pole to have ever visited space. Born September 15, 1941 in an area of Poland that is now part of Ukraine, Mr Hermaszewski knew hardship at an early age. His father was one of 19 members of his family that were murdered during the Volhynian massacres of World War II, in which Ukrainian nationalists killed Poles in an effort to ethnically cleanse the region. After the war he and his family moved to Wo∏ów, near Wroc∏aw. He graduated in 1965 from the Polish Air Force Academy in D´blin. In 1976 he was chosen from several hundred Polish pilots to join the Intercosmos Group of future cosmonauts and in 1978 was selected to fly into space. Mr Hermaszewski joined Belarusian-born Pyotr Klimuk on the Soyuz 30 mission to the Salyut 6 space station. The mission lasted from 15:27 on June 27 to 13:30 on July 5, 1978. During their mission, Mr Hermaszsewski and Mr Klimuk visited the resident crew of the Salyut 6, and performed various experiments, including medical experiments (one, called “Smak” tested why some food was less palatable in weightlessness) and crystallization experiments (one of which produced a significant yield of cadmium tellurium mercury). The crew was also tasked with taking photos of the Earth – including Poland – with special photography equipment. On October 12, 1988, Mr Hermaszewski was promoted to the rank of brigadier general. In 1991-1992 he was deputy commander of the Polish Air Force and Air Defense. In 2001, he ran unsuccessfully for election to the Senate from the Democratic Left Alliance – Labour Union grouping, and in 2005 he also ran unsuccessfully for the Sejm on the Democratic Left Alliance list. He is also member of the Committee on Space and Satellite Research at the Polish Academy of Sciences and of the Association of Space Explorers. In 2003 he was awarded the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta, one of Poland’s highest honors. ●

The Soyuz 30 mission Mission statistics: Mission name Spacecraft mass Crew size Call sign Launch site Launch date Landing Mission duration Number of orbits Apogee Perigee Orbital period Orbital inclination

Soyuz 30 6,800 kg (15,000 lb) 2 Kavkaz - "Caucasus" Baikonur Cosmodrome June 27 1978 15:27:21 UTC July 5 1978 13:30:20 UTC, 300 km (190 mi) W of Tselinograd 7d/22:02:59 125 261.3 km (162.4 mi) 197.6 km (122.8 mi) 88.83 minutes 51.66°





Poland, Lithuania suffer strategic setback in Belarus


olish Foreign Minister Rados∏aw Sikorski issued a formal apology on August 12 for the release of sensitive information, including financial data, about several Belarusian opposition figures and groups operating in Poland to authorities in Minsk. This follows Lithuania’s revelation on August 5 that it had released information on Belarusian opposition groups to the Belarusian government.

“These developments have damaged both Lithuania’s and Poland’s reputations” It remains unclear exactly why this information was released to Belarusian authorities, who have used the data to arrest prominent rights activists and opposition figures. Whatever the cause, these developments have damaged both Lithuania’s and Poland’s reputations as havens for the Belarusian opposition and will hamper Vilnius and Warsaw

in their geopolitical competition with Moscow over Belarus.

Investigations underway Investigations into the release of information are being held in both Lithuania and Poland. The Lithuanian Justice Ministry, which released the information to its Belarusian counterpart, has said the data release occurred under legal and technical norms. Lithuanian Justice Minister Remigijus Simasius said Minsk’s request for information was treated as a “routine question” and that the ministry was not aware of the political status of the people involved. He added that if the ministry had known Minsk would use the information to crack down on opposition figures, it would have acted differently. Meanwhile, the Polish Foreign Ministry issued an official statement that Belarus obtained the information from the Polish Prosecutor General’s Office by “taking advantage of a system of international procedures designed to counter terrorist and criminal threats.” Two officials in the Prosecutor General’s Office lost their jobs over the affair (see article, p.4). However, several groups – includ-

ing many within the Belarusian opposition – are disputing these explanations. Ales Michalevic, a former Belarusian presidential candidate who resides in Warsaw, called the actions of the Polish Prosecutor General’s Office a “betrayal.” Some within Lithuania and Poland are questioning the reason for the information release.

Bringing Belarus closer These developments are controversial because EU members Lithuania and Poland are two of the most fervent supporters of the opposition in Belarus. Lithuania and Poland have long served as places for Belarusian opposition figures and groups to live and operate and have helped these groups in terms of funding and organization. But there is also a geopolitical context to this opposition activity: Lithuania and Poland want to counter Russia’s resurgence into its former Soviet periphery, which has been particularly strong in Belarus. Warsaw and Vilnius both have cultural and historical links to Belarus, and it is in their interest to counter Russia’s growing influence over Minsk and at

the very least keep Belarus neutral. Thus, Lithuania and Poland have been supporting the Belarusian opposition and trying to bring the country closer to Europe. This support has grown considerably this past year since Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko rebuffed the Europeans and has been forced to further accede to Russia’s demands as a result of growing financial and economic problems in Belarus. Poland hosted a Belarusian opposition conference in February 2010 and has made Belarus’ closer integration with the European Union one of the main priorities of its EU presidency. Lithuania spearheaded the sanctions regime against Lukashenko and has vocally opposed Russian and Belarusian energy plans in the Baltic region.

Further complications Given Lithuania and Poland’s interest in wooing Belarus, it is strange that both countries would release sensitive information regarding opposition groups to Belarusian authorities. The investigations launched in both countries will tell whether there were in fact technical and legal causes for the

information release or whether there were more political aspects to Vilnius and Warsaw’s actions. What is clear is that these recent developments will complicate Lithuania and Poland’s efforts to strengthen the opposition in Belarus. Regardless of the reason for the release of information to Belarus, Lithuania and Poland’s reputations as effective supporters of the Belarusian opposition have been called into question. This does not mean they will not continue supporting the opposition – they will – but now Belarusian opposition groups and nongovernmental organizations operating in Lithuania and Poland will be concerned that they are less safe. This means that the efforts of the two countries that have been most active in bringing Belarus closer to Europe and away from Russia’s influence are facing a major setback – to the delight of Moscow. ● This edited version of “Poland, Lithuania suffer strategic setback in Belarus” is republished with permission of STRATFOR

The Baltic States: a story of successful transformation Kinga Dudziƒska

The ‘Singing Revolution’ and Baltic unity The Baltic States regained their independence at the culmination of the so-called “Singing Revolution,” a series of protests in the years 19871991 which were partly the result of the slow collapse of the Soviet Union. During these demonstrations patriotic songs, often derived from folklore, were sung. The singing unified the people of the Baltic States in their revolution, helping them to persevere through the long process towards independence. This unity was in full view on August 23, 1989, the 50th anniversary of the signing of the MolotovRibbentrop Pact in which Germany and Russia agreed to divide Europe amongst themselves, with Russia receiving the Baltic States. On that day, approximately two million people stood in a row, holding hands to

create a human chain alongside the road from Vilnius via Riga to Tallinn. The “Baltic Chain” was perhaps the most iconic moment of the Singing Revolution. On March 11, 1990, Lithuania declared independence. Latvia and Estonia soon followed suit. This met with fierce opposition from Moscow. Only in September 1991 were the Baltic States recognized as independent by the USSR.

ence show that post-independence Baltic unity is often more of a myth than a reality.

Success despite differences

The road to NATO and the EU – together or separate? The Baltic States passed that test, but other challenges came along in the form of European integration and accession to NATO structures. These challenges would ultimately prove harder to overcome with such unity. The years after 1991 brought variation in the process of democratization in the region. This resulted in divergent directions in foreign policy, among other things. Estonia opted for strong cooperation with the Nordic countries, especially with Finland, while Lithuania focused on relations with Poland and the other countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Although Russia remained an The Baltic Chain - August 23, 1989 important economic partner for all three countries, especially concerning Estonia became the most liberal and So though they had geopolitics in the energy sector, they carried out Lithuania the most protectionist, with common, the different paths each of very different economic policies. Latvia opting for a moderate variant. the countries took after independ-



eptember will mark 20 years since the Baltic States regained their independence from Soviet Russia. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have come a long way since then, but their transition to democratization and Western institutions has been uneven. Nevertheless, while the process has laid bare some stark differences between these countries, each has transitioned successfully.

The Baltic States have succeeded in becoming members of the EU and NATO. Estonia has led the Baltics in their transition, and has consistently built up a positive image. The Estonian authorities have been determined and have maintained a restrictive financial policy, allowing the country to meet the Maastricht criteria despite the global economic crisis. It entered the euro zone in January 2011. Although the crisis forced Latvia to postpone plans to adopt the euro, it nevertheless efficiently and effectively coped with the crisis after an EC and IMF-led bailout. Over the last two decades, it is difficult to identify a loser among the Baltic States, especially when compared to other former Soviet republics, which are faced with serious problems on the road to democratization. The Baltic States, despite their divergence after independence, have transformed successfully. ● Kinga Dudziƒska is an analyst at The Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM).

Editorials are the opinions of WBJ’s editorial board. Other opinions are those of the authors alone. Comments, opinions and letters should be sent to Please include a name and contact information and clearly indicate if they are to be considered for publication.







































Foreigners renovating or redesigning properties need to understand Polish preferences

Commercial investments in Szczecin are on the rise




W a r s a w B u s i n e s s J o u r n a l ’s w e e k ly s u p p l e m e n t o n re a l e s t a t e , c o n s t r u c t i o n a n d d e v e l o p m e n t

Atrium European Real Estate will build a 20,000sqm hypermarket for Auchan as part of its under-construction 74,000-sqm Felicity shopping center project in Lublin, in southeastern Poland. According to an agreement signed by the two companies, Atrium will first develop the facility and subsequently sell the completed hypermarket to Auchan.

High demand for Ventana Developer Westmark Polska announced recently that it has sold all the houses completed so far in the second phase of its Ventana investment, a housing estate located in Walendów, 18 km south-west of Warsaw. In this phase 18 buildings have already been built, while 26 are still under construction. The second phase of Ventana is scheduled to be completed at the turn of October and November 2011. The beginning of work on the third phase of the investment is planned for 2012. ●

In this issue Ronson launches new projects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 Investment in land doubles . .13 Budimex launches Gocławska scheme . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 Elbfonds builds shopping center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 Developers team up in Poznań . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 Property-related stocks . . . . . .16 Design & innovation . . . . . .16-17 Szczecin attracts interest . . . .18

AUG 22 – SEP 4, 2011, LI 16/33-34

Residential developers

Ronson steps up Warsaw activity The company is set to launch new projects and purchase land for further developments in the city Warsaw Stock Exchange-listed residential developer Ronson will later this year launch construction on Espresso, the company’s latest housing project in the Polish capital. Located in the city’s Wola district, the investment will comprise a total of 688 apartments when completed. Pre-sales of units in the first phase of the investment, which is scheduled for delivery at the end of 2013, have already started. Ronson is currently waiting for a building permit for the project and is in the process of selecting a general contractor. The developer is also due to commence work on the second phase of Sakura, a residential scheme located in the vicinity of Warsaw’s S∏u˝ewiec horse rac-


Auchan in Lublin’s Felicity mall

Espresso will comprise a total of 688 apartments when completed ing track. The new phase will comprise 136 apartments due for completion in late 2013. A host of other projects are also in the pipeline. At the beginning of 2012, Ronson could launch a project called

Magellan which will be built close to the capital’s Galeria Mokotów mall. Schemes on ul. Tamka, in Warsaw’s central district, and in Mokotów’s Siekierki neighborhood are also in the offing.

Meanwhile, the developer is negotiating the purchase of land in locations including Warsaw’s Bia∏o∏´ka, Bemowo, Praga Po∏udnie and Ursynów districts, where it plans to build popular-segment apart-

ments. Talks concerning the acquisition of some of the plots are at an advanced stage and Ronson hopes to close two or three deals before the end of this year, Tomasz ¸apiƒski, the company’s financial director, said at a recent press conference. According to Mr ¸apiƒski, Ronson’s increasing development activity will improve the firm’s financial results next year. In the first half of 2011, the company saw revenues of z∏.39.9 million, down from z∏.49.5 million in the same period of last year. This resulted from the fact that Ronson did not deliver any major investments in the period and thus did not have new units it could turn over to buyers, Mr ¸apiƒski explained. “The bulk of the ongoing schemes are scheduled for completion in Q2, Q3 and Q4 2012,” he said. Adam Zdrodowski

Property purchase

Investment in land to double this year Investors are snapping up land in Poland By the end of 2011, real estate investors and developers will have bought plots in Poland worth a total of z∏.1.2-1.5 billion, more than double the value of land purchased last year, when the figure amounted to about z∏.500 million, according to a recent forecast by Colliers

International Polska. Since the beginning of this year, plots worth a combined z∏.600 million have been sold. Major transactions involved JW Construction and Dom Development, which paid almost z∏.174 million and z∏.168 million respectively for plots in Warsaw, as well as Echo Investment, which purchased two pieces of land in the capital for z∏.63 million and €31 million.

“Today, developers and investors buy very cautiously. Negotiations last eight to 12 months and close towards the end of the year. In terms of purchases, the first half of the year was not impressive, but one has to remember that in the same period of last year, not a single major transaction was closed,” Daniel Puchalski, head of the investment land department at Colliers Internation-

al, said in a statement. He added that at present, advanced negotiations, including those with preliminary agreements already signed, are underway on the sale of plots valued at a total of approximately z∏.520 million. “By the end of the year, land worth a further several hundred million z∏oty will have found its way onto the market,” Mr Puchalski said.

Colliers itself is now working on a number of projects involving major investment plots currently available in the Polish market. Those include a portfolio of land of Warsawbased automotive company FSO and, located in direct proximity of Warsaw’s international airport and a major plot located in the upmarket Konstancin-Jeziorna suburb of the Polish capital. Adam Zdrodowski

Be∏chatów’s Bawe∏nianka gets financing Bawe∏nianka, the investor of an eponymous shopping and entertainment center being built in Be∏chatów, has secured financing from Bank Polskiej Spó∏dzielczosci for the z∏.105 million development. Work on the mall launched in May this year and is scheduled to finish in the second half of 2012. Bawe∏nianka is to be the first project of its kind in Be∏chatów.

Rolfe Judd expands Architecture firm Rolfe Judd is expanding its presence in the Polish market. In early August, the company opened its second Polish office, located in Warsaw. Its first office is in Katowice.The opening of the Warsaw office was the result of an increased demand for architectural services throughout Poland, the company said.The firm is currently involved in projects in Warsaw, Katowice, Kraków, ¸ódê, the Tri-city area and on the Baltic coast. ●



Elbfonds to build shopping Budimex center in Siedlce Real estate investor Elbfonds Development, part of the German Elbfonds Group, is working on a shopping center project in Siedlce, Mazowieckie voivodship. The development will be built on a 22-hectare plot located approximately 3 kilometers from Siedlce’s downtown and will include a hypermarket with a shopping gallery, as well as a standalone DIY market and a retail park. “We see Poland as a very

attractive market for the investors of our fund. Low density of modern retail space in Siedlce and the city’s good purchasing power per capita attracted us to this particular investment,” Kurt-Georg Herzog, managing director of Elbfonds Group Germany, said in a statement. The retail scheme in Siedlce, which is being commercialized by ASTARIS Property Solutions and is scheduled to open towards the end of 2013, is only part

of Elbfonds’ investment plans in Poland. The company wants to become one of the leading retail developers in the country by the end of 2012, by which point it hopes to have a development volume of €150 million. The planned development in Siedlce will be the company’s largest investment in the country to date, although its value has not been disclosed.

NieruchomoÊci launches new Warsaw project



Developers join forces in Poznaƒ NewConnect-listed developer Monday Development and Unidevelopment, a developer belonging to the Warsaw Stock Exchange-listed Grupa Unibep, have signed an investment agreement concerning the development in Poznaƒ’s Grunwald district of a residential project whose value is estimated at approximately z∏.65 million. “Our cooperation covers the

whole investment process, from the purchase of the plot to the selection of the architectural design and the general contractor and the sale of the units to their occupiers,” Kurt Montgomery, president of Monday Development’s management board, said in a statement. A special purpose vehicle called Monday Palacza has been established in order to develop the scheme, which will

be built on 12,500 sqm of land located at the intersection of Poznaƒ’s ul. Heweliusza and ul. Palacza. The project will comprise a complex of four- and five-storey buildings offering a total of some 200 apartments. Construction on the investment is expected to launch in the second quarter of 2012 and finish in Q2 2014. Adam Zdrodowski

Osiedle Goc∏awska will be finished in Q3 2013 Warsaw Stock Exchange-listed developer Budimex NieruchomoÊci has launched construction on its Osiedle Goc∏awska multi-family housing investment. The development, which will be located in Warsaw’s Praga Po∏udnie district, will comprise three buildings offering a total of 323 apartments. Osiedle Goc∏awska is scheduled for completion in Q3 2013. Construction compa-

ny Budimex is the general contractor of the project. Part of Budimex, Poland’s largest construction holding, Budimex NieruchomoÊci has to date delivered almost 6,000 apartments to the Polish market. The company is currently selling units in schemes including Apartamenty Murano, Osiedle Wólczyƒska and Osiedle Idzikowskiego, all of which are located in Warsaw. Adam Zdrodowski

Gant buys z∏.60 million Wroc∏aw plot Warsaw bourse-listed residential developer Gant Development has purchased more than 6.2 hectares of land located at the intersection of ul.Rac∏awicka and ul. Skarbowców in Wroc∏aw’s Krzyki district. The value of the transaction, which the company financed with its own funds, amounts to z∏.60 million. The acquisition will allow Gant to develop 16 multi-family buildings at the location.

Robyg expands Osiedle Zdrowa WSE-listed developer Robyg will launch construction on the third phase of its Osiedle Zdrowa development in Warsaw, in the fourth quarter of this year. The project, which will be located in the capital’s Wilanów district, will comprise 192 apartments sized from 38.5-91 sqm and priced from almost z∏.6,500 per sqm. ●



Design & innovation

Upgrade with care

Katarzyna Piasecka

Foreigners looking to renovate or redesign their investment properties need to be aware of some specificities of the Polish market The image of Poland as a land of crumbling tenement houses and hastily built residential tower blocks is hard to shake from the mind of the average Westerner. Nevertheless, there is plenty of architectural innovation going on in Poland, as developers, interior designers and architects respond to the demands of a burgeoning middle class and increasing numbers of foreign buyers, who are calling for higher standards of design. Polish architects and developers, moreover, have eagerly experimented with ways to deliver high-quality, sustainable residences. Many of ¸ódê’s disused industrial buildings, for example, have been transformed into new apartment blocks. In ˚yrardów, meanwhile, a developer has converted an old linen spin-

Mamdom, for example, is a company that offers to work with clients on from-scratch projects, in addition to offering ready-made designs. Among these, its “Lux Line” range is aimed at those who want to let property to corporate clients. Homes fitted out to this standard offer features such as laminate wood flooring, namebrand kitchen appliances and stainless steel finishes.

Dangers and pitfalls



Modern design is not as rare in Poland as some foreigners think ning-mill so that it now offers residential lofts and luxury penthouses (see box). A large numbers of foreigners, however, opt to buy newly built residences located in gleaming apartment buildings, often sited on the edge of large cities like Warsaw. When it comes to interior design,

most expect to have to do little with the properties they buy.

Turnkey standard Many foreigners stay in Poland only for the length of their (often short-term) work contracts, meaning long-term interior design investment is not a top priority.

Advertorial Houses and residences in Konstancja estate blend perfectly into the green landscape of Konstancin. The project is located in close proximity to Warsaw, near the entry road to Konstancin-Jeziorna – a charming enclave, traditionally inhabited by the representatives of the media, business, arts and the diplomatic world. Konstancja is also located in an immediate vicinity to the American School of Warsaw. Stylish architectural details, unique design and best materials – this is what characterized the local buildings over 100 years ago and still remains as an inherent feature of Konstancja. All new residents of Konstancja can also purchase a limited edition MINI Cooper car, at a price of 19 900 PLN. The investor of Konstancja estate is Globe Trade Centre S.A. (GTC S.A.) – one of the leading developers in the New Europe with over 15 years of experience, operating in 10 countries. GTC develops projects and manages completed properties in three key sectors of real estate: office buildings and parks, retail and entertainment centers and residential sector, realized more than 130 projects in Europe.

Experts say foreign buyers often chose to buy residences fully furnished and ready to live in. Those who do opt to renovate often go through agencies that offer to undertake a project in its entirety, from design to overseeing the building work.

The company has drawn-up a list of potential pitfalls investors could face in the Polish interior-design market. First and foremost, it warns about the practice of half-fitting. Builders who “half-fit” a property offer to do the same work as a rival firm but at a lower price. To make up for the lower income, they will often add half the usual number of tiles to a bathroom wall, for example, or give the walls just a single coat of paint. As ever, it is vital that a client checks the estimate carefully, to see exactly what the builder is offering to do.

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Sales office: tel: +48 22 716 01 77 +48 22 716 01 74 email:

























































































































The use of cheap materials and non-brand-name goods, Mamdom says on its website, will “reduce the marketability of your property in the short term and give you little guarantee of durability for the future.” To guard against this, it recommends that the client inquire about the brands a builder is using, and check that the materials being used are well-known in the Polish market. The firm also warns against being tempted by “cash-inhand” work, which although cheaper, is illegal in Poland and provides no paper trail if shoddy work is carried out. It also advises foreign clients to ask the fit-out company for photographs of completed projects.

Demanding clients Foreigners who choose to renovate interiors often bring a new perspective, and more money, to the table than the average Polish client. Jacek Niezgoda from Kraków-based interior architecture studio Artdesign said that foreign clients are more open to innovation and usually have larger budgets than domestic home buyers. “They are also more demanding when it comes to the quality of design,” he added. “We have worked with foreign clients and I can say that the majority of them choose a


modern, minimalistic style. What counts for them first and foremost is functionality and the use of new technologies,” added Aleksandra Karpiƒska from interior design studio On/off architekci.

Polish interiors A significant number of foreign buyers purchase residences in Poland as an investment, meaning they aim to sell or rent them later to Polish clients. Foreign buyers must therefore be in tune with the demands of their potential customers. As far as general trends in the Polish market go, experts contacted by Lokale Immobilia said that for Poles, the functionality of a property is more important than its having an original or innovative design. Foreigners that want to add value to a residence in Poland by renovating it should be aware that the target market is rather narrow, and perhaps more constricted even than it was prior to the global financial crisis. Artdesign’s Jacek Niezgoda said that the slowdown on the real estate market and recently introduced restrictions on mortgages have decreased Poles’ desire to splash out on flashy interiors. “If there is a possibility to save money, it’s usually by giving up on luxury,” he said. On the other hand, Monika Bronikowska and Adam

Bronikowski from architectural studio HOLA Design said that the demand for original interior design is increasing. “The need to live in an apartment or house which has a unique design characterizes an increased number of home buyers in Poland,” the couple said in a joint statement sent to Lokale Immobilia

A taste of Europe Partly in response to this demand, trends from abroad are also becoming increasingly important to Polish buyers. “The taste of Polish home buyers to a considerable degree follows European trends,” said the Bronikowskis. According to them, the two most popular color schemes in Poland at present are at opposite ends of the spectrum. On the one hand, many want bright, clear interiors, while on the other, a number want darker interiors, which employ black colors and elements rendered from darker wood. According to experts, new trends come and go much more quickly in Poland than in many foreign markets, which have more deeply entrenched traditions. With this in mind, foreigners looking to rent or sell renovated property in the Polish market will need to keep their fingers on the pulse of Polish design trends. Katarzyna Piasecka


Hard lofts vs soft lofts Hard lofts The Lofty de Girarda scheme, which has been developed in a former linen spinningmill in ˚yrardów, a previously significant textile-producing city 45 km west of Warsaw, offers modern apartments in a post-industrial building. Such apartments, built in a pre-existing building, are called hard lofts.



The 200-year-old building, named Nowa Prz´dzalnia, houses 178 lofts ranging from 35 sqm to 100 sqm, as well as 29 luxury penthouses and a shopping-services zone on the ground floor. Loft prices start from z∏.5,500 per sqm. The project was realized by Green Development, whose chairman Zygmunt St´piƒski said that the uniqueness of hard lofts developed in old factories ensures their popularity. Soft lofts

Which to choose? In the opinion of Zygmunt St´piƒski, the main difference between hard and soft lofts in terms of their attractiveness stems from their age.

Soft lofts, in contrast to hard lofts, are newly constructed dwellings. They are, however, built with similar materials, such as glass, metal and concrete, as those used in the construction of hard lofts.

“A hard loft is original and a soft loft imitates this originality a little bit,” he said. “However, this is not equally important for all clients. Some prefer to live in a newly built dwelling and for them soft lofts are the ideal choice.”

Woronicza Qbik Loft will be the first housing estate in Warsaw comprising soft lofts, its developer says. It is being built by Ghelamco Poland at the intersection of ul. Woronicza and ul. Racjonalizacji and will comprise four connected buildings with a total of 350 dwellings, including 183 twostorey lofts and 167 one-storey lofts. They will be sized from 32 sqm to 206 sqm, with prices starting from z∏.8,000 per sqm. Residences in the scheme will come on to the market in 2012.

Jeroen van der Toolen, Ghelamco’s managing director for CEE, said that one important factor with regard to soft lofts is that it is possible to freely adapt them to the personal needs of clients. He added that although the fashion for lofts in Poland has appeared relatively recently, the number of people attracted by the loftlifestyle is increasing, although he stressed that the number of old buildings that could be transformed into loft developments is limited. ●




Regional markets

A number of major projects have recently been launched in the city and more office and retail developments are planned The northwestern Polish city of Szczecin has seen the launch of a number of new commercial projects as of late, with property-market analysts claiming the urban center is bound to attract more office and retail investments in the future. For major developers, Szczecin was off the radar until recently. They had mainly focused on the larger markets of Warsaw, Kraków, Wroc∏aw, Tri-city, Poznaƒ, Katowice and ¸ódê. The situation changed in 2009 when Echo Investment launched construction on its Oxygen building in the city. JW Construction Holding has recently started Nowa Dana, while SwedeCenter has begun work on Brama Portowa, both of which are office schemes located in Szczecin. Other major ongoing office developments in the city include Koncepta’s Baltis Business Park and Realkapi-

tal’s Piastów Office Park. “Although Szczecin has only recently recorded strong interest on the part of international investors, the city is currently one of the most dynamically developing office markets in Poland,” said Konrad Heidinger, an analyst at CB Richard Ellis Poland. According to CBRE data, construction is now underway in Szczecin on more than 80,000 sqm of A- and B+-class office space, which is particularly sought after by companies from the business process outsourcing and shared-service center sectors. Apart from the schemes already underway, several other office investments are now in the pipeline. However, because of the considerable current supply, these will have to wait until the under-construction office space is commercialized, Mr Heidinger said.

Retail needs In terms of modern retail space, Szczecin still seems to have lots of catching up to do. The agglomeration features nine shopping centers totaling some 200,000 sqm of GLA, which makes for one of the lowest density ratios per 1,000

inhabitants among the largest Polish agglomerations. According to a recent report by Jones Lang LaSalle, Szczecin lacks modern developments with a wide and diversified offer, as a result of which a number of popular retail brands are not represented in the market at all. “The market situation will change considerably in autumn this year when Galeria Kaskada (42,000 sqm) opens in the city center. It will enable several brands, which up until now could not find suitable space, to enter the Szczecin retail market,” read the analysis from JLLS. Several other Szczecin investments are planned, including Raiffeisen Evolution Project Development’s Ferio Pogodno (31,500 sqm) and Mayland’s Aleja S∏oƒca (38,000 sqm). For their part, both Echo Investment and Neinver are planning outlet center developments in the city.

Investment appeal According to CBRE’s Heidinger, Szczecin is attractive for investors for reasons such as its proximity to the German border, good road links with Berlin and access to the

Szczenin Goleniów and Berlin Tegel airports. The city’s other assets include the high percentage of the population with a knowledge of a foreign language (German is particularly popular), relatively low labor costs and competitive rents, which are not expected to rise any time soon due to the large number of ongoing projects. Dariusz Wàs, deputy mayor of Szczecin, pointed out that the city had done much over the last few years to become more investor-friendly. More than 40 percent of the city’s area is now covered by a zoning plan and more zoning plans are expected to be enacted soon. He added that since 2010 investors in Szczecin have been able to benefit from special property-tax breaks. The city features a special economic zone which is part of Euro-Park Mielec and covers 72 hectares of land. There are still locations in the city which, due to their transportation and technical infrastructure, as well as existing local demand, have considerable development potential. “The city authorities’ activities are aimed at mak-


Szczecin attracts commercial investments

JW Construction has begun work on its Nowa Dana office scheme in Szczecin ing the number of attractive locations grow steadily,” Mr Wàs said.

So far, it seems that strategy is working. Adam Zdrodowski



Advertorial feature

Wille nad Zalewem

Approximately 20 kilometers from the First Warsaw Golf & Country Club, near the picturesque Zegrze Reservoir, in the village of Rajszewo, new luxury villas are being constructed. The location is ideal not only for nature lovers but for avid sailors and golfing enthusiasts alike. The planned luxury housing community will be 20 minutes from Warsaw by car and would make for an exquisite residence for those who work in the hectic capital during the day, and who want to experience comfort and silence in the area’s natural and soothing conditions. Whether one wishes to relax by the marina or enjoy a round of golf, residents can take advantage of all that the villa community has to offer. Could you ask for anything more?

The estates, named “Wille nad Zalewem,” include 39 comfortable single-family dwellings, and are located on a plot of forested area of over 1,000 sqm. Each building will be built in two stages, the first of which is to be completed later this year. The developer is currently working on four different design proposals which will vary in size from 215 sqm to 340 sqm. Prices will start at z∏.1.5 million. During the first phase of the project, the Tramontana villas are to be constructed, named after the cool winds that run through the west coast of Italy and Corsica. The architecture of the buildings draws clear inspiration from Mediterranean culture, while the large facades, taking advantage of ample window space, invite nature

right inside your home. The inner axis of the houses is lined with old trees. And for each villa, designers have incorporated the natural terrain in order to optimize sun exposure, garden size and to ensure optimal privacy. The estate will be a gated community fully protected by a security team. The area will be fenced all around and monitored, with a reception located right at the entrance. In addition, alarm systems will be introduced for each of the villas. Right near the entrance of the estates, located on ul. Wojska Polskiego (vis-a-vis the entry onto Port Pilawa) there will be a service building with an estimated area of 250 square meters, allowing each resident to have a parking lot near their home. Here, there

are also plans for a local shop, cafeteria and bakery. On the first floor of the premises there is potential for office space and alternatively, for two separate apartments. Wille nad Zalewem will be implemented by Plan Invest Group, through cooperation with Poland Dernet Enterprises Ltd. Currently, Invest Plan is a building group in Poland which specializes in residential and commercial real estate. In addition to the Wille nad Zalewem project, the company plans to complete preparatory work for a housing estate in the town of O˝arów Mazowiecki, as well as a project in Kraków. Gomez Studio which designed Wille nad Zalewem is an architectural studio operating under the leadership of Hernan Gomez. Several years ago the

39 exclusive homes from 215 to 451 sqm Quick and easy travel to and from Warsaw Big, forested plots Close to Zegrze Reservoir (across from Port Pilawa and Port Jachtowy Niepor´t)

Gomez Studio designed the award-winning family house of the year. Clearly, the two projects echo each other in their quality and style. The general contractor behind the construction is Visbauen, founded on the joint cooperation of Panorama EcoInvest and Eko-gips, which have worked in the construction market for several years. Together with the villa community, there will also be an entire infrastructure which will include sailing shops, a port tavern, and even a mini zoo. An area for sports, both for children and adolescents, is planned. And of course, the golf course can be reached within 20 minutes. In such a well-located community, sailing and golf can become an everyday pleasure. ●





Stocks report

world stock indices DJIA


10,990.58 (Aug 18 close)


2,380.43 (Aug 18 close)

-1.37% (for the week)


1,140.65 (Aug 18 close)

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5,092.20 (Aug 18 close)

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Market mayhem

NIKKEI225 5,602.80 (Aug 18 close)

8,943.76 (Aug 18 close)

-3.36% (for the week)

-0.43% (for the week)

CHANGE: -6.76%

CHANGE: -11.07%

CHANGE: -6.67%

CHANGE: -13.69%

CHANGE: -19.65%

CHANGE: -13.61%

(year to August 4)

(year to August 18)

(year to Aug 18)

(year to Aug 18)

(year to Aug 18)

(year to August 18)

52-week high: 12,928.50

52-week high: 2,887.75

52-week high: 1,370.58

52-week high: 6,105.80

52-week high: 7,600.41

52-week high: 10,891.60

52-week low: 9,915.73

52-week low: 2,099.29

52-week low: 1,039.70

52-week low: 4,791.00

52-week low: 5,487.82

52-week low: 8,227.63

Andrew Nawrocki, Market analyst & trader, The rollercoaster ride started on August 5, with rating agency Standard & Poor’s downgrade of US debt from its triple-A status to AA+, a first in the country’s history. Indices tanked after the weekend announcement, with the Polish blue-chip WIG20 falling 11 percent in the first three days of the week. It was not until Thursday, August 11 that the WIG20 finished higher for the first time in the month – the main impetus being lower-than-expected initial jobless claims from the US, as well as strong corporate quarterly earnings from some blue-chips, such as Cisco. Friday, August 12 brought further gains, with the WIG20 closing 1.65 percent higher, though for the week the index was down nearly 4.5 percent.

Major indices WIG

38,697.56 (August 18 close)


2,248.51 (August 18 close)



























2,240 02.08

39,200 01.08

















52-week low: 2,194.07


Change year to August 18: -16.75%


52-week low: 37,368.93


52-week high: 2,932.62

Change year to August 18: -18.29%


Change for the week: -1.96%


52-week high: 50,371.74


Change for the week: -0.61%


Closing 5.18 119.00 2.00 0.13 5.18

% change (week) 52-week high 61.88 6.88 35.07 157.00 33.33 5.78 30.00 0.43 27.59 9.22

52-week low 3.10 88.10 1.26 0.10 3.69


Closing 14.50 2.07 32.27 16.00 132.80

% change (week) 11.11 7.81 3.26 2.70 2.55

52-week high 17.35 4.65 49.42 19.01 154.10

52-week low 13.05 1.85 29.67 15.10 118.70


Closing 0.23 3.12 0.35 123.40 4.60

% change (week) -20.69 -17.89 -14.63 -13.1 -13.04

52-week low 0.23 3.12 0.16 123.40 2.07


Closing 123.40 90.95 155.00 255.10 12.12

% change (week) -13.10 -7.90 -4.26 -4.10 -3.81

52-week high 196.50 252.00 198.40 349.00 24.98

52-week low 123.40 90.95 102.40 237.10 12.12

52-week high 1.06 5.25 0.78 196.50 9.88

Currency report

A period of turbulence

Other indices sWIG80

9,110.42 (August 18 close)


5,376.11 (August 18 close)














































52-week low: 5,222.29


Change year to August 18: -19.48%


52-week low: 44.49


52-week high: 7,387.49

Change year to August 18: -29.25%


Change for the week: -4.10%


52-week high: 64.23


Change for the week: -0.45%


Adam Narczewski, X-Trade Brokers Dom Maklerski SA










52-week low: 8,670.88











44.66 (August 18 close)

52-week high: 12,932.00






























Change year to August 18: -27.76%


52-week low: 2,101.80


Change year to August 18: -22.62%


Change for the week: 2.95%


52-week high: 2,987.72


2,228.69 (August 18 close)

Change for the week: 2.58%



The following Monday saw bargain hunters step in on world markets. Indices across the globe closed higher, with the Polish exchange closed that day for a national holiday. The main WIG index and the WIG20 caught up the next day, closing 2.44 percent and 2.40 percent higher, respectively. Wednesday August 17 was an extremely volatile day for the Polish bourse, after Franco-German talks failed to lead to a conclusive agreement concerning the European debt crisis. The following day, markets went into a near free-fall, disappointed with the outcome of the Franco-German summit. Markets across the globe be closed deeply in the red, with the WIG down by 5.90 percent, and the WIG20 by 5.81 percent. ●

The last couple of weeks have reminded traders of the dark days of 2008 and have got everybody wondering if a second wave of the crisis is just around the corner. The hesitance of the US Congress, along with rating agency S&P’s decision to cut the US’s debt rating to AA+, led to fears that world leaders are not responsible enough to handle the present economic situation. The currency market has been turbulent in recently, to say the least. The EUR/USD reached a two-week low of $1.41, before rebounding to $1.45. The dollar is under pressure as US economic indicators have not been optimistic and growth has clearly slowed. Investors escaped to the “safe heaven” currencies, with most opting for the

Swiss franc. The CHF/PLN reached a historic high of z∏.4.12 at one point in August. The Swiss National Bank reacted to the situation by increasing the number of demand deposits available to commercial banks. This move helped the CHF/PLN decrease all the way to z∏.3.58 before risk aversion led it back up to z∏.3.68. The EUR/PLN kept climbing, reaching a yearly high of z∏.4.2290, before easing to z∏.4.17 at the end of the week finishing August 19. The USD/PLN, after advancing to z∏.2.99, dropped down all the way to z∏.2.89. The global situation is far from being under control and only strong decisions by central bankers and government leaders will calm investors. ●

currency rates 3.7647







3.8066 12.08


3.8129 11.08


0.1000 19.08






0.1002 17.08

0.1006 16.08


0.0992 0.08


3.6972 19.08







3.6734 17.08

3.7004 16.08


3.9562 11.08


4.8354 19.08






4.7179 17.08

4.7299 16.08


4.7241 11.08


2.9270 19.08






2.8785 17.08

2.8914 16.08


2.9186 12.08























Financial Services

Leasing Companies


Ranked by revenue from leasing in 2009

Company name Address Tel./Fax E-mail Web page

Revenue from leasing (z∏. mln)

Total revenue (z∏. mln)

Net profit (z∏. mln)

Net value of leased assets (z∏. mln)

Leasing contracts signed

Leasing: Operational/ Financial

Leased goods


Additional services

Number of employees/ Year founded

Ownership: Polish/ Foreign

Top local executive/ Title

1st half of 2010 / 2009 / 2008 / 2007

Europejski Fundusz Leasingowy SA Pl. Orlàt Lwowskich 1, 53-605 Wroc∏aw 1 71 377-7777/71 377-7778

225.0 468.0 532.0 359.0

315.0 610.0 650.0 470.0

86.0 121.0 110.0 111.0

1,268.2 2,619.8 3,762.0 3,728.0

16,398 34,521 49,018 49,077

✓ ✓

Cars, trucks, vans, machinery and equipment; agricultural equipment; IT equipment; medical equipment; real estate


Insurance; fuel cards

674 1991

None Andrzej Krzemiƒski Credit Agricole - 100% President

Raiffeisen-Leasing Polska SA ul. Prosta 51, 00-838 Warsaw 2 22 326-3600/22 325-3601

178.4 408.7 424.9 255.5

178.4 408.7 424.9 255.5

20.0 37.5 50.8 45.8

1,032.9 1,528.4 3,096.6 3,015.0

9,139 14,182 25,608 23,486

✓ ✓

Transport equipment, machinery and equipment; IT equipment; real estate; production lines


Insurance; fuel cards; registration; legal protection

640 1998

Raiffeisen Bank Polska - 50% Raiffeisen Leasing International - 50%

Masterlease Polska (Prime Car Management SA, Futura Leasing SA) ul. Polanki 4, 80-308 Gdaƒsk 3 58 340-4400/58 340-4499

182.7 376.9 332.4 246.7

230.5 427.2 337.1 255.1


202.4 371.2 590.5 889.9

3,238 5,976 9,495 8,323

✓ ✓

Cars; vans; trucks


Insurance; tires; fuel cards; claims coordination; replacement cars; mechanical service; assistance; vehicle registration

113 1995

Abris Capital Partners 100% None

Jerzy Kobyliƒski

VB Leasing Polska SA ul. Strzegomska 42B, 53-611 Wroc∏aw 4 71 334-4900/71 334-4901

WND 349.0 359.1 335.9



WND 1,263.0 1,271.7 1,590.6

WND 11,482 11,787 13,767

✓ ✓



VB Leasing Assistance; VB Leasing Adwokat; insurance

318 2000

None Volksbank - 50%; VR Leasing - 50%

Marek Bauer; Krzysztof Famulski

Volkswagen Leasing Polska Sp. z o.o. Rondo ONZ 1, 00-124 Warsaw 5 22 538-7000/22 538-7070

73.1 163.8 140.4 92.8

91.0 192.3 161.9 113.2

12.5 18.9 1.2 15.0

WND WND 860.8 710.6

2,820 6,828 11,874 10,096

✓ ✓

New and used passenger cars and trucks (Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda and Seat)

Vehicle registration and insurance; leasing payoff insurance; financial loss insurance

WND 1997

None Volkswagen Financial Services - 60%; Kulczyk Pon Investment - 40%

Joanna Wujcik-Lasocka; Rados∏aw Sa∏ek; Artur Zalewski

BNP Paribas Lease Group Sp. z o.o.(1) pl. Pi∏sudskiego 1, 00-078 Warsaw 6 22 566-9688/22 566-9659

WND 159.8 209.9 130.8

WND 192.5 226.7 142.0

WND 7.3 28.2 16.7

WND 521.7 1,453.1 1,653.9

WND 3,063 6,094 8,607

✓ ✓

Real estate; transport equipment; industrial machinery; computers and office equipment; other movables


Insurance; electronic shipping invoice images; summary billing; direct debit

104 1998

None BNP Paribas Lease Group - 100%

Rafa∏ Piskorski

Deutsche Leasing Polska SA ul. Wybrze˝e Gdyƒskie 6A, 01-531 Warsaw 7 22 504-9000/22 504-9100

WND 127.9 113.7 93.7

WND WND 116.7 144.7


WND 746.7 606.2 529.3

WND 708 701 794

✓ ✓

Machinery and equipment; transport equipment; real estate


Leased objects import; insurance

60 1997

None Deutsche Sparkassen Leasing - 100%

Kredyt Lease SA ul. Kasprzaka 2/8, 01-211 Warsaw 8 22 634-8100/22 634-8101

15.9 34.6 38.9 23.8

15.9 34.6 38.9 23.8

2.5 -10.8 3.8 2.2

100.7 182.1 353.5 262.3

818 1,406 2,101 1,789

✓ ✓

Movables; real estate

Athlon Car Lease Polska Sp. z o.o. Al. Jana Paw∏a II 29, 00-867 Warsaw 9 22 653-7885/22 653-7874

13.0 3.9 0.1 -

13.0 3.9 0.1 -

-5.2 -2.9 -2.1 -

38.6 22.9 2.1 -



ING Lease Polska Sp. z o.o. Pl. Trzech Krzy˝y 10/14, 00-499 Warsaw NR 22 820-5300/22 820-5400

WND WND 60.0 96.0

WND WND 60.0 96.0

WND WND 48.0 30.0

WND WND 1,562.0 1,733.0


NL-Leasing Polska Sp. z o.o. ul. Lubowidzka 33, 80-174 Gdaƒsk NR 58 300-0059/58 322-1795

WND WND 29.5 11.1

WND WND 32.2 17.9

WND WND -2.9 2.4

344.0 354.0 68.7 52.8

Siemens Finance Sp. z o.o. ul. ˚upnicza 11, 03-821 Warsaw NR 22 870-8681/22 870-8689




367.0 709.1 553.1 253.8

Notes: NR = Not Ranked, WND = Would Not Disclose. Research for The List was done in November/December 2010. Number of employees and ownership structure are as of October 2010 unless stated otherwise. All information pertains to the companies’ activities in Poland. Companies not responding to our survey are not listed. Footnotes: (1) Consolidated data of BNP Paribas Lease Group Sp. z o.o. and Fortis Lease Group Sp. z o.o.


Arkadiusz Etryk President


Board Members

Board Members

General Director

Krzysztof Brzeziƒski; Anna Krakowska Board Members


Insurance; registration

68 1991

Kredyt Bank - 99.9% WND

S∏awomir Reszke

Cars and vehicles up to 3.5 tons


Insurance: AC, OC, NW, DAS; tires; Athlon Assistance; replacement car; fuel card; Athlonline reports

17 2007

WND Athlon Beheer International - WND%

Eric van Vilet

✓ -




100 1996

None ING Lease Holding 100%

Mariusz Kurzac

WND WND 464 377

✓ -

Transport equipment



12 2004

DBK - 48% Nutzfahrzeuge Leasing - 52%

Arkadiusz Trojakowski

1,517 2,916 2,885 1,650

✓ ✓

Medical equipment, machinery and farming equipment; printing machines; metalworking and plastics machinery; construction vehicles

60 1999

None Siemens Finance & Leasing - 100%

Christian Foltyn








To the best of WBJ ’s knowledge, the information is accurate as of press time. While every effort is made to ensure accuracy and thoroughness, omissions and typographical errors may occur. Corrections or additions to The List should be sent, on official letterhead, to Warsaw Business Journal, attn. Joanna Raszka, ul. Elblàska 15/17, 01-747 Warsaw, via fax to (48-22) 639-8569, or via e-mail to Copyright 2011, Valkea Media SA. The List may not be reprinted or reproduced in whole or in part without prior written permission of the publisher. Reprints are available.




Jewish culture

A celebration of Jewish Warsaw 8th Festival of Jewish Culture – Singer’s Warsaw Multiple locations August 27 – September 9 Home to Europe’s largest Jewish population before the Second World War, Poland is now gradually rediscovering its Jewish heritage. The Singer’s Warsaw festival, held this year from August 27 to September 4, has a lot to offer those who

want to experience more of the capital’s Jewish culture. Organized by the Shalom Foundation, the festival is not as high-profile as the Jewish Culture Festival in Kraków. Nevertheless, it is earning a reputation as one of Warsaw’s most anticipated annual events. “I think in the last decade we have seen a huge revival of interest in Jewish culture in Poland,” said Hanna Pa∏uba, one of the festival’s organizers.

take in lectures, art exhibitions, theatrical performances and film screenings, as well as attend workshops (subjects include Jewish dance and cooking, and there are also workshops for children), or participate in walks to explore Warsaw’s Jewish landmarks.

From its offices on Pl. Grzybowski – once the heart of Warsaw’s Jewish quarter – the foundation organizes yearround activities aimed at promoting Jewish culture. “Right now, young people have a lot of opportunities to learn about Jewish culture, and we find people are very receptive and interested,” said Ms Pa∏uba. The Singer’s Warsaw festival is a great opportunity to

Old and new Music will be center-stage at the festival, with performances by Frank London’s Klezmer Brass All-Stars (USA), Anna Maria Jopek with Kroke (Poland), Sisters of Sheynville (Canada), Joseph Malovany (USA) and Ben Zimet (France), among others. Three major concerts will be free of charge, all at Pl. Grzybowski. The first of these is the festival’s official opening, which will take place at 8

pm on Sunday, August 28. It will feature Joseph Malovany, accompanied by the Choir of the White Stork Synagogue in Wroc∏aw. The second free concert features a traditional Klezmer performance at 8 pm on Saturday, September 3, while the final free concert will be held the very next night for the fesival’s close, and will feature over 20 artists. While major concerts will revolve around Pl. Grzybowski, recent renovation work on ul. Pró˝na has forced festival organizers to look for new locations in the city. One of the areas included in this year’s festival is the Praga district (located on the right bank of the Vistula River) which will host many additional concerts and activities.

“While Praga is not home to some of the better-known Jewish landmarks in the city, a large Jewish population once lived there before the Second World War, and there are a lot of buildings and places connected to Jewish history, culture and its people,” said Ms Pa∏uba. Some performances will be held in clubs on the district’s trendy ul. 11 Listopada, such as Sk∏ad Butelek and Hydrozagadka, giving festival-goers the added bonus of visiting one of Warsaw’s most vibrant neighborhoods. ● Tickets can be purchased at The Ester Rachel and Ida Kaminska Jewish Theater, (+48) 22 850 56 56, and through



A musical journey around Europe 7th Warsaw Cross Culture Festival Palace of Culture and Science Pl. Defilad 1 September 25 – October 1

Israel. The performances will be accompanied by music workshops with world-class masters, documentary screenings, exhibitions and a special offer for children – a Family Day (October 1) involving a children’s concert and concert by some of the masters being featured at the workshops. ● Tickets start at z∏.25 per concert, and cost z∏.30-70 for the Femi Kuti concert. A six-day pass costs z∏.100. For more information, visit


Over 130 groups and individual artists from over 50 countries have presented their art at this festival over the last seven years. Inspired by Poland’s presidency of the EU, organizers decided to dedicate this year’s edition mostly to European music, permeated with numerous influences from other cultures and regions of the world.

Of course, the festival won’t only feature acts from the Old Continent. Opening the festival on September 25 will be African group Femi Kuti in the Palace of Culture and Science’s Sala Kongresowa (Congress Hall). “After two years of continuous efforts to get these artists to come to our festival, we have finally succeeded,” said Maria Pomianowska, the festival’s art director. The festival will take attendees on a musical journey through Spain, Portugal, Scandinavia, Greece and Poland, as well as Turkey and

Swedish folk rockers Hoven Droven take the stage September 29

The “Warsaw Autumn” (Warszawska Jesieƒ) festival is exceptional for its historic nature and its durability. The festival has continued uninterrupted – with two exceptions – each year since 1956 and in its early days served as a place where contemporary musicians could perform essentially without restriction, despite communist rule. It remains the only festival of contemporary music in Poland that is international in both its scale and status. According to organizers, this year’s festival is set to feature music that “does not

Neue Vocalsolisten

focus exclusively on itself but opens to the surrounding world, commenting on it and attempting to change it.” It will also feature composers “who speak out on important social and political issues of the modern world,” organizers wrote on the festival’s website. Artists performing at the festival include soprano Pia Freund and the Plus Ensem-

ble, Neue Vocalsolisten, Zorka Wollny with Artur Zagajewski and many more. Music will be accompanied by installations and videos. This year’s edition will also include the premiere of “Little Warsaw Autumn” – a concert, workshop and installation for younger listeners. ● For more information, visit


An unforgettable voice Bryan Ferry in concert Sala Kongresowa Pl. Defilad 1 September 12, 8 pm Former Roxy Music frontman Bryan Ferry brings his unique vocal talents to Warsaw in September. Also a model and actor, Mr Ferry has spent the last 40 years writing hit songs such as “Love Is the Drug,” “Mother of Pearl,” “More Than This,” and “Slave to Love.” He has also produced several wellknown versions of songs by other artists including “Jealous Guy,” “The Price of Love,” “As Time Goes By,” “I Put a Spell on You” and Bob Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall.” His last album, 2010’s “Olimpia”

includes songs written in collaboration with Scissor Sisters and Groove Armada. Other artists, including David Gilmour, Jonny Greenwood, Nile Rodgers, Marcus Miller, Mani and Flea took part in recording the album. The track “You Can Dance,” which appeared as “U Can Dance” on an album released by DJ Hell and was remixed by Simian Mobile Disco, has conquered Europe’s dance music charts. ● Tickets start at z∏.100 and are available at Empik, Media Markt and Saturn stores, as well as on websites and


Warsaw’s ul. Pró˝na during last year’s Singer’s Warsaw festival

Warsaw Autumn 54th International Festival of Contemporary Music Filharmonia Narodowa ul. Jasna 5, Warsaw September 16-24 COURTESY OF WARSAW AUTUMN


Contemporary history




Tech Eye

Life lessons and toys to help you learn them


radish”? Just tap the pen on the sentence and listen. Livescribe’s smartpen comes in four- and eight-GB versions; the former costs about $116 on Amazon, while the latter costs $181. And both models can record hundreds of hours of audio. If our Grandfolks were still around the Echo would make a great gift, but we shudder to think what they’d use it for. For more mischievous pupils, the Wrongulator from

These cameras aren’t likely to be found in many kids’ backpacks this school year, not unless their father is Steven Spielberg. But Techeye can see plenty of reasons why every kid should have one. With its ability to capture up to one million frames per second, the camera is perfect for gathering evidence. Show everybody that the nasty girl at the back of the classroom really does eat her bogeys, or finally prove that the creepy biology teacher is as much a perv as everyone thinks – these are priceless school-day memories in the making. And priceless they’d have to be, because the V1610 itself has a very real, very daunting price tag: around $100,000 for the basic model. But, whether it’s in the hands of a pasty-faced shut-in, a ribald, calendardefacing grandpa or a kid headed back to school, we’re sure the V1610 could be put to some highly edifying uses. Like blackmail. ● COURTESY OF VISION RESEARCH

loween, Easter or Armistice Day. Judging by the pens, notebooks and other junk that was on sale last time we ordered, it’s probably almost back-to-school time. The start of a new school year is always a curious, emotionally distressing time, so Techeye got to thinking about the gear today’s kids need to get by. Near the top of the list, at least for older nerds, is Livescribe’s Echo Smartpen ( The Echo is basically a ballpoint pen with a computer inside which records sound and writing. Want to play back whatever was being recorded while you were busy writing “Mr Dickenson smells like manCOU RTE SY O FL IVE SCR IBE

Having rejected all semblance of a healthy lifestyle, Techeye doesn’t spend much time outside these days. Our reasons are purely aesthetic – in other words, we enjoy being rotund and blindingly pale. If it weren’t for the sun, the fresh air or, heaven forbid, the chance of some leghound being attracted by our natural porkchop-tinged musk, we might linger occasionally beneath the open sky instead of scurrying from house to hatchback and vice-versa. But no, we’ll not risk our pudgy, hard-won bioluminescence. A curious byproduct of this lifestyle is that it’s much harder to mark the passing of time. We stopped buying calendars years ago, you see, because Grandma and Grandpa Techeye used them to keep records of their nights of wild, wrinkled passion. Indeed, we can’t look at a calendar without imagining “Tupped her blind! Yaaar!” scribbled across half the month in Grandpa’s palsied scrawl. Anyway, we’re not wholly ignorant of the season – the supermarket which sells our favorite breakfast pizzas always has a special seasonal offer on its website, whether it’s Hal-

gadget hawker Red5 ( looks essential. The age of the single-function calculator is over, but this is no ordinary numbercruncher: multiply two by two and you get seven. Or maybe three. Whatever the answer, it will be wrong. Obviously you don’t want your own kid using this to do homework, but perhaps your clever offspring could slip the Wrongulator into the hands of a straight-A classmate? That might be worth £4.95, no? The last gadget this week is Vision Research’s V1610 super high-speed camera (

Ever had a teacher who stank like man-radish? Let us know:

WBJ #33-34 2011  
WBJ #33-34 2011  

Warsaw Business Journal vol. 17, no. 33-34, August 22 - September 5, 2011