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43
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43 (138) 2020

Chairman’s and CEO’s note

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Chairman’s and CEO’s note

by Antoni F. Reczek, chairman of the board, and Paweł Siwecki, CEO, BPCC

 

Dear Members and Readers,

Since our last edition of Contact Magazine Online published on 13 March, global economic reality has been turned upside down – our business plans no longer valid, scheduled meetings and trips abruptly cancelled, and employees are working from home. A return to some form of a ‘new normal’ is slowly happening; will things ever get back to how they were? At least we are - all of us - in this together. We would like to inform you that the chamber's staff are all well and have been working from home since 14 March.

Editorial note

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Editorial Note

by Michael Dembinski, chief advisor and Dorota Kierbiedź, membership director, BPCC

 

Welcome to the issue of Contact Magazine Online that no one wished for! It's almost entirely dedicated to Covid-19 – how our members are dealing with it, how they expect to see the economy and the Polish market after it. There's plenty of advice for coping with the fallout, as well as coverage of the main legal and business headaches facing business leaders – along with practical solutions.

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Interviews

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A Great Realignment awaits us all

Prof Witold Orłowski, chief economic advisor to PwC, talks to Michael Dembinski about the Covid-19 crisis and its effects on the Polish economy – and its long-term implications for global development

 

What are the prospects for Poland?

Interviews

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From crisis to ‘new normal’ and beyond

Bogdan Kucharski, CEO of BP Polska, talks to Michael Dembinski about how one of Poland’s largest fuel retailers is dealing with the crisis – and how he sees its aftermath

 

The price of crude oil has fallen significantly. There are worries about storage capacity as production overtakes demand locally. How will this feed into the market for automotive fuel in the short, medium and long term?

Interviews

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Resilience and standards – an answer to business continuity at a time of crisis

Marcin Szopa, commercial branch manager of BSI Group in Poland, talks to Michael Dembinski about how well prepared business really when it came to confronting such unprecedented interruption

 

The Covid-19 pandemic came as a shock to many CEOs, who suddenly realised that their business continuity plans were either insufficient, out of date – or non-existent. How would you assess the state of readiness of Polish companies to cope with the effects of lockdown?

Coping with Covid-19 - the Business Response

Covid-19 industry specific insights – latest data

By Mungo Keulemans, CEO at PMR Ltd

 

Four months into the Covid-19 global pandemic, scientists around the world are beginning to find methods to understand, diagnose and work on treatments for this deadly virus. From a business perspective, due to the momentum of the global economy, we are only becoming aware of the impact on necessary contingency plans for taking day-to-day business decisions.

Coping with Covid-19 - the Business Response

Government business-support measures – what they are, how to claim them

By Wojciech Majkowski, director in the Corporate Tax Advisory Team and Dariusz Wójtowicz, manager in the Corporate Tax Advisory Team at KPMG in Poland

 

Epidemics and economic slowdown have brought along great challenges. Long-term planning seems particularly difficult, therefore most businesses focus on securing short- and medium-term financial liquidity.

Coping with Covid-19 - the Business Response

Polish and UK state aid for business in the face of Covid-19 – a comparative take

By Konrad Kąkol, president of the supervisory board of Dauman Bros. EEIG, advocate

 

Even though it’s far too early to class the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the global economy, these will obviously be staggering, as consumption rates fell sharply and certain economic sectors came to a grinding halt. Public aid will be indispensable in ensuring that many businesses, especially micro-entrepreneurs and SMEs, are able to stay afloat. The Polish government is still working on ironing out the creases in new versions of its so-called ‘anti-crisis shield’.

Coping with Covid-19 - the Business Response

Poland’s Financial Shield still not for everyone despite evolution of the mechanism

By Tomasz Mróz, associate partner, Compliance Partners International

 

The worldwide SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has severely affected economic systems across all countries. Governments, including Poland’s, are providing financial support solutions to companies which have suffered drop of income as a result of Covid-19.

Coping with Covid-19 - the Business Response

Covid-19: lay off employees, or apply for state aid?

by Paula Koczara, associate, Employment Law practice and Karolina Terech, junior associate, Employment Law practice, Bird & Bird

 

State aid – is it worth applying for?

Coping with Covid-19 - the Business Response

Property tax relief in the context of the Covid-19 Shield Act and tax law

By Katarzyna Klimczyk, tax advisor, manager at Accreo Sp. z o.o.

 

The Covid-19 crisis has been a huge shock for global economy. Globally, a great many businesses have been closed or are working at a much slower pace. In the worst situation are owners of commercial spaces who are no longer receiving the income from their lessees. Nonetheless, the tax burdens must be still regulated – in particular, the property tax, which is a considerable income for municipalities. Let see whether any opportunities are proposed for Polish businesses in this regard.

Coping with Covid-19 - the Business Response

Retailing at a time of pandemic

By Daria Kulińska, head of communications, Tesco Poland, president of the Tesco Foundation and BPCC board member

 

Over the past weeks we have all found ourselves in a completely new and difficult reality. Businesses are doing everything to cope with this situation, and accept that it is our new everyday life. We still have many challenges ahead of us.

Coping with Covid-19 - the Business Response

Making remote intellectual property firm work. How to smoothly transform your firm into a remote setup

Natalia Korek, director, intellectual property strategist, Basck

 

COVID-19 is changing the way we live, work and communicate. For many firms this is the first time when their entire team has had to work from multiple locations. Those who already have ‘working from home’ policies in place might have hoped it will be a walk in the park. It is not.

Coping with Covid-19 - the Business Response

Mission: remote! How to be successful at work (and help to save the world at the same time)

By Joanna Bilińska, PR & marketing assistant, and Bartosz Mordaka CoE deputy director, Digital Platforms, Cognifide

 

Remote work is the new reality for some of us, as an answer to the imposition of new restrictions connected with the global pandemic.

Coping with Covid-19 - the Business Response

Effective disease prevention in manufacturing

By Hubert Kowalski, consultant at Déhora Consultancy Group

 

The current epidemic affects manufacturing industry more than most sectors of business; mass production is not work that can be carried out from home!

Coping with Covid-19 - the Business Response

Selling through disruption

By Bartlomiej Kowalczyk

 

According to HubSpot data, customers are interacting with businesses more now than a a month ago. When people stay at home, they spend more time researching online shops.

Coping with Covid-19 - the Business Response

How quickly can you rewrite your business continuity plans?

By Monika Ciesielska-Mróz of PM Group

 

Should multinational companies rewrite their corporate business continuity plans (BCPs) to incorporate global pandemics?  This is a case study of the experiences of PM Group – an international provider of specialist engineering, construction, and project management services.

Coping with Covid-19 - the Business Response

Managing the Covid-19 outbreak from a company perspective

By Adam Zohry, senior associate, Financial Advisory Department, Mazars in Poland

 

Officially recognised by the World Health Organization as a pandemic on 11 March 2020, Covid-19 has led to major socioeconomic disruptions throughout the world caused by the sanitary measures introduced by governments to check its spread.

 

Coping with Covid-19 - the Business Response

Courts: the new normal

By Dr Michał Jabłoński, advocate, counsel in Litigation & Dispute Resolution Department, Dentons

 

Many of us, lawyers and clients alike, are wondering what life will look like after the lockdown is lifted. It is the biggest spanner in the works for the business world in our generation. Poland, in common with many countries across Europe, Asia and North America, has brought in special legislative and administrative measures to cope with the crisis. Many state activities have been frozen and this has impacted the judiciary too.

Coping with Covid-19 - the Business Response

Covid-19 and international trade

By Natalia Jodłowska, attorney at law, Gessel Attorneys at Law

 

Although international trade may seem to be only one of numerous sectors affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, disturbances at the initial stage of a trade chain may cause a domino effect on various business activities, with implications for individual lives and for public health.

Coping with Covid-19 - the Business Response

Covid-19 national restrictions vs. international protection of UK investments

by Natalia Jodłowska, attorney at law and Łukasz Ostas, trainee attorney at law, Gessel Attorneys at Law

 

Both the Polish and the UK governments have imposed numerous restrictions due to the Covid-19 outbreak that affect businesses and result in losses to domestic and foreign investors. Some solutions implemented by the Polish authorities are being questioned by economists and lawyers as to, respectively, their economic rationale and their basic lawfulness.

Coping with Covid-19 - the Business Response

The electronic signature – validating documents at a time of social distancing

By Barbara Tomczyk, advocate trainee, Gessel Attorneys at Law

 

As social-distancing measures are implemented to reduce the spread of Covid-19, businesses are doing their utmost to continue normal operations, leaving them more dependent than ever on remote technology and virtual meetings.

Coping with Covid-19 - the Business Response

Covid-19’s impact on relationships between landlords and tenants – today and tomorrow

By Marcin Świerżewski, counsel, head of the Real Estate team and Michał Prochwicz, senior associate, Real Estate practice, Bird & Bird

 

The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, which was officially recognised in Poland in the second half of March, resulted in the lockdown of business activity, in particular in the retail, hotel, restaurants and entertainment sectors. This has caused tensions in relationships between landlords and tenants, especially where the tenant's business activity has been prohibited or limited. 

Coping with Covid-19 - the Business Response

English law contracts and Covid-19

By Rafal Zakrzewski, solicitor (England & Wales), partner at Baker McKenzie in Warsaw.

 

Those who are party to English law contracts may be wondering how the Covid-19 pandemic impacts on their rights and obligations under such contracts.

Coping with Covid-19 - the Business Response

Businesses’ contractual obligation in a time of pandemic

By Dr Kinga Ziemnicka, attorney-at-law, M&A and Corporate practice, Wardyński & Partners

 

Numerous sectors of the economy have been paralysed. The problem is not just closings or restricted access to a range of services, but also absence of staff due to illness, quarantine or childcare. Consequently, businesses cannot operate normally or perform their obligations on time.

Coping with Covid-19 - the Business Response

When Covid-19 hits your contract – five steps to deal with it

By Magdalena Wątroba, attorney-at-law, counsel in Litigation & Dispute Resolution Department, Dentons

 

Many businesses face practical difficulties in delivering seamless services and fulfilling their contractual obligations. What to do when you realise that your ability to discharge your contractual obligations is jeopardised by Covid-19? Here’s a five-step remedial plan:

Coping with Covid-19 - the Business Response

Competition law and Covid-19: A liberalised or stricter approach?

By Dr Dariusz Aziewicz, attorney-at-law, competition lawyer at Eversheds Sutherland Poland

 

The market challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic have made companies look for specific solutions to protect them against market disruptions.

Coping with Covid-19 - the Business Response

The world remade by Covid-19

by Deloitte

 

Planning scenarios for resilient leaders

Coping with Covid-19 - the Business Response

Will Covid-19 crisis boost M&A opportunities?

by Weronika Achramowicz radca prawny (legal counsel admitted in Poland), Partner at Baker McKenzie

 

It sounds odd, but many market experts suggest a steep increase in post-pandemic or pandemic-related acquisitions. The deal hunt is likely to be one of three types:

Coping with Covid-19 - the Business Response

The Coronavirus challenge for international education

by Tom McGrath, principal, British Primary School of Wilanow

 

From the rich international experiences in the staffroom, it is quite common to learn of colleagues who have been in schools, in far-flung destinations, that have taught through floods, earthquakes and tsunamis.

Coping with Covid-19 - the Business Response

Safeguarding business – the compliance landscape after Covid-19

by Katarzyna Saganowska, compliance director, TMF Poland

 

Major challenges await the compliance function in international organisations as a new business reality and economic circumstances emerge

Coping with Covid-19 - the Business Response

Short and sharp or long and painful?

ACCA’s chief economist, Michael Taylor, presents the latest of ACCA’s economic insights into the economic consequences of the Covid-19 epidemic

 

The global economy is heading into a recession, initially at least a pretty severe one.

Coping with Covid-19 - the Business Response

Covid-19 leaves businesses urgently looking for ways to weather the pandemic storm

By Aon

 

According to IMF figures published in Aon’s latest C-Suite Series report about credit solutions, the global economy grew by just 3% during 2019, the lowest rate of growth since the recession of 2009, with further slowdown expected in 2020.

Coping with Covid-19 - the Business Response

Do not overlook registering your UBO!

By Cezary Żelaźnicki, managing partner at PwC Legal Pawłowski, Żelaźnicki sp.k.

 

EU member states have been obliged by the Fourth Anti-Money-Laundering Directive to introduce registers of ultimate beneficial owners (UBO), disclosing information on the individuals ultimately owning or controlling selected businesses. One of the purposes has been to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing through a system of accurate data collection of UBOs, preventing perpetrators from hiding their identity in complex corporate structures.