Past event

Poland celebrates in London

The BPCC joined British and Polish governments in celebrating 10 years of Poland's EU membership in London with a British-Polish trade and investment forum. The two-day event, which started at the Guildhall on 21 May, with opening addresses from Fiona Woolf, the Lord Mayor of the City of London, and Poland's deputy foreign minister Katarzyna Kasperczyk.

After a keynote speech from Marek Belka, the president of the National Bank of Poland, there were three panel sessions focused of areas of shared economic interest between Poland and the UK – the single European market, British-Polish cooperation in third markets, and innovation as a driver for future development. Ken Clarke, minister without portfolio, took part in the second panel, discussing the potential for the transatlantic trade and investment partnership between the EU and US. BPCC board member John Rendall, CEO of HSBC Polska also spoke in that panel discussion. The event closed with a networking lunch reception.

In total six BPCC board members, including chairman Antoni F. Reczek took part in the event, as did representatives of several chamber patrons and member firms.

That evening a splendid dinner was held at the Institution of Civil Engineers in Westminster. After opening speeches by the British ambassador to Warsaw, Robin Barnett, the Polish ambassador in London, Witold Sobkow and Ms Kasperczyk, the noted historian Adam Zamoyski talked about Poland's relationship with Europe over the centuries, citing several Polish projects to create a European union.

The following morning, the Polish-British Trade and Investment Forum commenced at the Institution of Civil Engineers. After an introduction from the two ambassadors and Ms Kasperczyk, joined by John Rendall, HSBC Polska's CEO, there were three break-out sessions, focused on the energy sector, financial services and business innovation. BPCC chairman Antoni F. Reczek took part in the financial services panel, as did John Rendall and OneMoneyMail CEO, Paweł Mes. Taking part in the business innovation panel were Tesco's Simon Burton, Łukasz Sas Topolnicki from Kingfisher Group, and Ela Pełka from EP Creatives. Leszek Borkowski from DAGAS spoke in the energy sector panel.

British delegates were impressed by the high quality of the Polish companies taking part in the event – one said that Polish companies were becoming world-class, something that had passed almost unnoticed by corporate Britain.

Encouraging Polish entrepreneurs to invest in the UK was the theme of the next part of the proceedings – at a lunch hosted by AT Kearney. Martin Oxley, BPCC vice-chairman and head of the UKTI in Poland, set out the advantages that the UK has to offer as a base for Polish companies looking for a springboard to global markets.