It’s been over nine months since the BPCC last held a live event in Wrocław. Since last September, Poland has experienced two waves of Covid-19. Now, as the pandemic subsides and the numbers of fully-vaccinated people continue to rise, it’s time to meet face to face at last.
Held in the garden of the Radisson Blu hotel, the first of the BPCC’s Nice to Meet You Again! series of business mixers attracted the maximum number of participants allowed by current sanitary regulations. The event took place on the evening of 10 June 2021, the weather was suitably clement after some late-spring showers passed. There was a sense that everyone was keen to enjoy the chance to meet up finally, to chat, to swap business cards, and to return to some semblance of normal life.
The event was officially opened by Paweł Siwecki, our CEO, and Ilona Chodorowska, BPCC’s Western Poland Director. The two special guests – Jakub Mazur, deputy mayor of Wrocław, and Richlove Mensah from the Department for International Trade at the British Embassy, welcomed the guests with their short speeches.
Before the social part of the evening got under way, there was a panel discussion focused on the direction of growth of south-west Poland’s economy post Covid. The panellists were Marta Kozak. manager of the Manufacturing & Supply Chain Division at recruitment firm Michael Page, Edward Nieboj, managing partner of Grant Thornton’s outsourcing department, Tomasz Buras, CEO of Savills Polska, and Jacek Lewandowski, director of Coventry University Wrocław. They were joined by Richlove Mensah for a round of questions moderated by the BPCC’s chief advisor, Michael Dembinski.
Guests heard that recovery is going well, in particular driven by inbound shared-services and outsourcing activity, as well as by manufacturing and logistics. Potential limits to rapid growth include recruitment and retention of skilled staff, said Ms Kozak, while Mr Buras mentioned the growing demand for office space in Wrocław and across the region. Mr Nieboj said that a lack of predictability in legislation was a handicap for investors, saying that last year 15,000 pages of new laws were passed, all of which needed to be read and understood for the purposes of compliance. Dr Lewandowski described an answer to the region’s potential skills shortages – in a first for UK-Polish education ties, Coventry University has opened a campus in Wrocław offering UK degree courses to Polish students for a cost far lower than studying in the UK. Mr Mensah made the point that the UK remains an excellent place for innovative Polish start-ups to scale up and go global, tapping into a deep network of venture capital and international business links.
After the lively panel discussion, guests moved outside for a lavish barbecue grill with exclusive drinks provided by Pernod Ricard. Conversations carried on until late in the evening!
The BPCC would like to thank sponsors Grant Thornton, Savills Poland, Michael Page and Radisson Hotel for ensuring such an excellent return to face-to-face business networking.
The next mixers will be held in Poznań (17 June), Warsaw (24 June) and Kraków (9 September). Venue host: Lottery sponsor: