19:29 Nov. 29, 2016
Kyiv hosted an international forum "Polish Business Day" to cover practical steps of doing business in Poland and the state of Ukraine-Poland economic cooperation
UT visited the forum "Polish Business Day" which is a communication platform for Polish and Ukrainian business to exchange experience, look for new opportunities for investments and find common ground among the governmental offices, financial institutions and businesses.
This is the 5th event with over 300 participants gathered, they started the session discussing the current state of mutual trade between the countries. For the past 2 years after the Association Agreement was signed, the potential for mutual investment and trade hasn't been fully applied yet. 2016 has proved to be the first year a 10% trade growth as compaired to the previous years were unproductive for both sides.
Ukrainian businessmen who want to switch their vision from the east to the west, Poland must be an attractive place for expanding business activities as it is the doorway to the rich EU market. Yaroslav Romanchuk, President of the Ukrainian Business Association in Poland discussed the advantages of investing in Poland.
"There are three main reasons for Ukrainian businessmen to invest in Poland: to diversify risks which are in Ukraine, to be closer to their consumers and suppliers and one of the most important, to gain access to financial resources. In Poland, a refinancing rate of the Polish National Bank is 1.5 percent. Bank loans start from 1.75 percent. So, they have cheap credit resources. Poland received EUR 73 billion EU funding for a 2014-2020 period designed for the national economy and EUR 28 billion for the agricultural field. With this money the Polish government compensates businesses for creating new jobs and investing into the country", Yaroslav Romanchuk says.
On the other hand, Polish businessmen are very interested in the Ukrainian market but they are distracted by the lack of stability and predictability of cooperation. Ukraine Investment Promotion Office was established a month ago to eliminate the obstacles which Polish representatives speak about. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian government should be more active in creating a business-friendly environment in the country.
"There has always been the interest of Polish business in Ukraine. But the situation in the light of the Russian aggression is not demonstrating lines of Polish investors ready to bring their money to Ukraine. Except for the war in the country, there are signs including those of international organizations that a level of corruption is not in favor of foreign investors. So, they are interested but for the past 2-3 years, they haven't invested very much. It is more like an expectant policy towards Ukraine", Ireneusz Derek, Council member of the International Society of Polish Entrepreneurs in Ukraine, explains.
Grzegorz Wilkosz, a representative of an international recruiting group, says one million Ukrainians work in Poland. It's at the time when Polish workforce leaves for better future to Western Europe.
"Right now in Poland, we have the situation when many Polish people go to Western Europe, the United States, or the EU in general. And we have many labor capital that come to Poland. We need very good workers, qualified workers. That's why we'll start to employ people from Ukraine to give them opportunities", Grzegorz Wilkosz, Board Chairman of Global Job Gate recruiting group, says.
The forum's organizers say the next Ukraine-Poland business forum is expected in May 2017. Polish Warsaw will welcome participants next time.