The annual business forum organised by Poland’s trade and investment agency, PAIH, is growing in stature and attendance with each edition. This year’s event included a panel discussion on trade and investment with the UK, with a strong representation from the BPCC and its membership.
Rafał Owczarek, head of PAIH’s London office, moderated the panel, which included BPCC members Piotr Kubałka, CEO of the J. Dauman Group, and Natalia Tomkiewicz, Poland Global Hub lead at GlaxoSmithKline, and the BPCC’s chief advisor, Michael Dembinski. They were joined by Bartosz Koziński, director for foreign direct investment at the British Embassy, Warsaw, and Aleksander Siemaszko, deputy director of the Trade and International Cooperation Department at the Ministry of Development & Technology.
The discussion focused on:
- UK-Polish economic relations
- Brexit and its effects on trade and investment
- British investment in Poland
- Polish investment in the UK, including businesses run by Poles in the UK
- The future of Polish-UK trade and investment
Natalia Tomkiewicz pointed out that GSK’s Poland business now included six hubs, including R&D (clinical trials), IT, and HR. She said that GSK employs people from 40 nations in Poland, and that over 300 clinical trials are currently being run from the Polish hub. GSK is delighted with its investment in Poland and looks to keep expanding here.
Piotr Kubałka said that more and more Polish companies are expanding into the UK market through acquisitions of UK businesses, together with their staff, customers, brand and goodwill. He added that Brexit has created many opportunities for expansive Polish businesses, as new niches arise, vacated by less-determined EU rivals.
Michael Dembinski told Polish exporters that the UK remains the world’s sixth-largest economy yet doesn’t manufacture enough, condemning it to a deep balance of trade deficit in goods. Polish exporters who can overcome post-Brexit red tape and logistics issues should focus on marketing if they want to build their position in the UK – and that means engaging the skills of native speakers.
From left to right: Aleksander Siemaszko, Natalia Tomkiewicz, Bartosz Koziński, Michael Dembinski, Piotr Kubalka, Rafał Owczarek
From left to right: Bartosz Koziński, Natalia Tomkiewicz, Michael Dembinski, Piotr Kubalka