The BPCC and its members continued with their mission to bring the UK closer to Polish business around the regions. On 13 December, Doing Business with the UK was held at the Kraków Technology Park, aimed at local businesses who trade with or are looking for investment relations with the UK.

After a welcome from the host, Krystyna Sadowska, the director of the investment service department, two presentations followed to outline the tools offered by Małopolska to attract investors and provide them with numerous benefits. First was Łukasz Bala from Krakowski Park Technologiczny and second Agnieszka Pala from Business in Małopolska. After that, the BPCC’s chief advisor, Michael Dembinski gave an overview of the latest situation regarding trade and investment with the UK after Brexit. He pointed out the asymmetry of border checks, and the delayed implementation of British border controls and UKCA certification. This is a good time for Polish exporters to consolidate their position in the UK market, something that calls for determination – and some investment in marketing Polish brands, and ‘brand Poland’, he said.

The critical issue of logistics between the two countries was discussed by Grzegorz Kowal from Raben Group, one of the largest hauliers in the CEE region, who focused on specific problems of delivering to UK clients and how to solve them. Jakub Makurat, the country manager for CEE for Ebury discussed the main economic and financial challenges that will face all Polish exporters next year, showing in particular the critical role of foreign exchange when trading outside the EU’s borders. Covering the Małopolska real-estate market, and putting province’s trends into a national and regional perspective, was Michał Kulig from CBRE.

British offset print group Walstead has a major plant in Kraków. Vice-president and board member, Katarzyna Rybicka gave an inspirational presentation about the firm’s massive modernisation project, driven by R&D and technology, that has enabled the firm to stay competitive despite negative market trends. Successfully reaching for EU funds had been an important part of that process, she said.

Extremely important news for all Polish exporters to the UK was given by Aneta Sporysiak from the Łódź Special Economic Zone, which coordinates the Re_Open UK programme for all of Poland. Re_Open UK is the Polish part of the EU’s Brexit Adjustment Reserve – a €116m fund to compensate Polish businesses that have lost out because of Brexit. Ms Sporysiak explained how the programme works, who can apply, and what the criteria are.

Grzegorz Kowal, Krystyna Sadowska, Jakub Makurat and Krystyna Rybicka took the stage for a panel discussion moderated by Michael Dembinski, focusing on the prospects for 2023, HR challenges facing employers in the region, and the use of EU funds to grow your business.

There was plenty of time for networking, allowing for new contacts to be made over lunch. The BPCC is grateful to the Kraków Technology Park for hosting the event as well as the sponsors; Ebury and Raben for help to make it happen.