The economic cooperation between Poland and China was the subject of the second meeting of the cycle “China – new power”. Amongst the debaters were representatives of the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency, the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Casimir Pulaski Foundation.
The second meeting of the cycle “China – new power!” was held at the public library on Koszykowa street in Warsaw on the 27th of February 2014. The debate concerned the question “Does Poland make use of the opportunities arising from the economic cooperation with China?”. Among the participants of the debate were Wojciech Piwowarski from the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency, Stanisław Leśniewski from the Ministry of Economy, and Ambassador Jerzy Więcław from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Daniel Zbytek, the expert of Casimir Pulaski Foundation acted as the moderator of the meeting.
The Polish Ambassador to China, His Excellency Jerzy Więcław, opened the debate by briefly sketching the cooperation between the Polish Republic and the People’s Republic of China, which celebrated its 65th anniversary this year. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs representative noted important changes in these relations. Indicators of these changes were to be seen in the visits
of top-leaders from China, which bore a strong economic component.
In the opinion of His Excellency Mr. Więcław, Poland is trying hard to use Chinese potential, as the country which impresses the whole world with its economic growth. On China’s side we can see the appreciation for Poland’s economic achievements and its key role in Central Europe and the European Union. The Ambassador’s also emphasised that a significant growth is taking place in investors’ interests with regards to Chinese investments in Poland, as well as an intensification of the cooperation between Polish and Chinese regions.
Mr. Stanisław Leśniewski, high-level representative of the Ministry of Economy, demonstrated the state of bilateral trade with China, noting that the commercial exchange amounted to € 16 billion in 2013. Today, China ranks third place on the list of import countries operating on the Polish market, whereas Polish export to China doubles every six years. Moreover, Stanisław Leśniewski revealed that Polish investments in China equalled € 130 billion in 2012. In his opinion, the investment opportunities in China are much larger. It is one of the biggest markets in the world and home to a rapidly growing middle class. According to Mr. Leśniewski, the Polish government facilitates exports and investments in China by offering support to domestic businesses which seek to enter the Chinese market. Furthermore, the Polish administration strives to popularise goods in China with the “Made in Poland” label and endeavours to overcome tariff barriers which often pose obstacles regarding goods flows to China. The Polish embassy in China assists Polish companies with finding business partners and checking their credibility. Stanisław Leśniewski remarked that it is still much easier to import from China than to enter the Chinese market, unfortunately. Though in his perspective Poland does make use of the opportunities China offers, its national capital remains quite modest. China, on the other hand, does not utilise the opportunity; Chinese capital in Poland is a fraction of the entirety of foreign investments in Poland.
Wojciech Piwowarski representative of the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency, focussed on the Polish success on the Chinese market. He noted the 2010 Expo in Shanghai as the start of a period of close mutual cooperation with China – which in his opinion has constituted a noteworthy success for Poland. The Polish pavilion at the Expo drew major interest and was visited by many Chinese entrepreneurs. Another momentous event concerned the visit of the Polish President Mr. Komorowski to China and the visit of China’s Prime Minister to Poland. Mr. Piwowarski emphasised the significance of the China-Poland Economic Cooperation Centre, which also has an office in Shanghai. The Centre is promoting Poland as a viable investment hub, coordinates Polish projects in China, and welcomes political and entrepreneurial delegations of both states. In addition to this, the Centre organises trainings, seminars and economic forums. A representative of the China-Poland Economic Cooperation Centre mentioned the portal Go China, which promotes information about the People’s Republic and presents information on new initiatives on the Chinese market. There is also a portal Go Poland created for Chinese entrepreneurs.