MCCI organised an Interactive Session with H.E. Mr. Adam Burakowski, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland in India on the theme “Doing Business with Poland” at the Chamber today. Mr. Mohan Goenka, Hony. Consul of Poland in Kolkata was present and spoke on the occasion. Mr. Arun Kumar Garodia, Regional Chairman, Eastern Region, EEPC India was also present and addressed the gathering.
H. E. Mr. Burakowski said that Poland’s GDP grew by 4.2 p.c. in 2017 which was considerably higher than the EU average growth of 2.4 p.c. Other EU countries account for 75 p.c. of Poland’s total exports. However, Poland has growing trade links with non European countries. Poland has been steadily improving its position in World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Rank and it has climbed from 74th position in 2012 to 24th position in 2017. With regard to the labour force, 43 p.c. of Poles attain a tertiary education degree and 90 p.c. of adults attain at least upper secondary education. The unemployment rate is low in Poland.
H. E. Mr. Burakowski stated that Poland is an attractive investment destination on account of its strategic location and economic stability, attractive labour market with increasing labour productivity, mature business environment [variety of manufacturing sectors, dense network of suppliers, thriving services sector and presence of industrial clusters] and investment support ecosystem comprising of 14 Special Economic Zones and local tax relief. The 14 SEZs in Poland had received investments of USD 27 billion by 2016 and 287,000 jobs had been created.
H. E. Mr. Burakowski added that about 121 Indian companies operate in Poland. Indian investments in Poland amount to USD 3 billion and include, among others, Videocon, TCS, Infosys, HCL Technologies and Wipro. Six reasons to be present in Poland include its successful economy, place of choice for FDIs, intellectual capital, quality and cost effective labour, stable financial sector and incentives for investment.
India is one of the five priority countries in Responsible Development Strategy of Poland. Possible areas for India – Polish JV include energy including clean technologies, mining, food & food processing, defence and R&D. India and Poland have common goals in the energy sector as both countries rely on coal as their main source of energy. A possible platform for India – Polish cooperation includes clean coal technologies and low emission technologies. Poland can also contribute to the agriculture sector of India as it is a leading producer of apples, potato seeds, poultry, dairy products and processed foods. India – Polish cooperation may extend to the environmental protection sector in the form of waste water treatment, hazardous waste treatment and renewable energy sources. Poland has expertise in smart buildings, smart transportation, smart energy, smart communications and smart environment.
Mr. Burakowski said that Poland selected West Bengal as a top priority and a high level Polish delegation attended BGBS 2018. Poland’s Deputy Foreign Minister met Ms. Mamata Banerjee, Hon’ble Chief Minister and an agreement was signed between the Governments of Upper Silesia and West Bengal. In April 2018, the West Bengal Project came into existence which is an inter-ministerial project in the Polish Government that will deal exclusively with West Bengal. The Economic Summit to be held in May 2018 will have a presence from West Bengal.
Mr. Goenka mentioned that with its highly advanced technology, Poland has a lot to offer to India.
Mr. Garodia stated that Polish firms have invested USD 600 million in India whereas Indian firms have invested USD 3 billion in Poland. The engineering sector in India is upgrading fast and Make in India provides a good opportunity for Polish firms in India.
Earlier Mr. Vishal Jhajharia, Senior Vice President, MCCI in his welcome address said that Poland is India’s largest trade partner and export destination in the Central European region, with bilateral trade growing almost seven-fold over the last ten years. In 2016, bilateral trade was USD 2.76 billion [Indian exports – USD 2.1 billion; Indian imports – USD 0.66 billion]. Both countries had, in June 2015, set a target to double their bilateral trade by the year 2018.
Mr. Jhajharia added that it is heartening to note that Poland is currently actively exploring the expansion of trade ties with India and this was emphasized by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland Mr. Marek Magierowski during his visit to India in January 2018, when he led a high level Polish delegation to the Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS) 2018 in Kolkata.