Targi Kielce, 15-16 November 2023

Held for the second year in a row, the 2023 the Congress of Expansive Exporters was held in Targi Kielce, which gave Polish exporters to exhibit their products on the premises of the international trade fair. The event brought together experts, industry leaders and exporters to delve into the intricacies of international trade and explore opportunities for Polish businesses on the global stage.

Representatives of BPCC members, J.Dauman Group and Ebury were on hand as was the BPCC’s chief advisor, Michael Dembinski, to provide focused advice on the UK market – and indeed on the UK’s important role as a springboard to wider global markets, following well-worn trade routes long established by British business to North and South America, the Middle East and Africa, and Asia.

Michael Dembinski took part in a the first panel of the opening day alongside former deputy prime minister Janusz Piechociński, president of the Polish-Asian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and representative of trade bodies from Hong Kong, China and Georgia. Mr Dembinski noted that because of Brexit, the UK is no longer seen as a ‘home market’, but rather as an exotic and complicated market to enter. And yet, he said, the UK remains the world’s sixth-largest economy, a rich and absorbent market that is condemned to a huge trade deficit in goods because it doesn’t manufacture enough.

The specific opportunities of the UK – and how to profitably tap into them – was covered on the second day in a panel focus on the British market. In this, Mr Dembinski, along with Grażyna Jaworska, managing director of J.Dauman Logistcs, Kamila Sanders, corporate relations manager of J.Dauman Group, and Jakub Makurat, country manager Central Europe for Ebury. The panel looked at the three main problems facing Polish exporters to the UK right now – vastly increased paperwork (including VAT, customs duties and border controls), logistics (drivers unwilling to deliver across the English Channel and customs agencies), and above all marketing (creating awareness of Brand Poland among British consumers and businesses).

Mr Makurat earlier gave a presentation about currency risk, which in the case of Poland and the UK, sitting on either side of the Eurozone, is far greater than when trading in currencies such as the dollar or euro. He explained how fluctuations in the relative values of the zloty and pound can eat into profit margins, and how FinTech solutions can provide better outcomes for exporters than traditional forms of trade finance.

Grzegorz Rykaczewski, an expert from the Department of Macroeconomic Analysis at Bank Pekao S.A. gave a presentation on Poland’s food sector exports, which highlighted the importance of the UK market from the Polish perspective. In 2022, Poland exported €2.6 billion worth of food products to the UK, giving it an 8% share of all EU exports to that market. The total value of Polish food exports last year was €48 billion.

The event was organised by Ewa-Bis Sp. z o.o.; the choice of Targi Kielce as a location for the event ensured not only access to first-rate exhibition space but also geographical proximity to many Polish exporters who are interested in growing their sales in new markets – and here the BPCC and its members, such as J. Dauman, Ebury and Bank Pekao S.A. have much to offer to help with entering the UK market profitably.