1 February 2021
Artur Michalski (Member of the Audit Committee) gave an interview to Han Baohua (president of GD Poland and President of the Chinese-Polish Chamber of Commerce)
Tell us about the Polish-Chinese Chamber of Commerce. What services can you offer to Polish and Chinese companies?
The Chinese-Polish Chamber of Commerce was established in January 2018, on the initiative of Chinese and Polish entrepreneurs. It is a response to the intensifying cooperation between Poland and China, particularly the needs arising from increased trade in goods and services every year. At present, the Chamber connects over 100 enterprises, it advises and provides legal and business assistance to develop Polish companies in China and Chinese companies in Poland. The Belt and Road initiative resulted in Poland attracting more and more foreign investors, so the Chamber supports foreign investors who are unfamiliar with Poland’s law and business environment to take their first steps on the Polish market. Moreover, CIGPL willingly engages in cultural projects to promote and bring closer the customs and legal culture of both countries.
How has the cooperation between Poland and China been affected by the coronavirus pandemic?
Despite the global slowdown, we recorded a double-digit increase in imports of Polish goods to China. More and more Chinese consumers know and appreciate the quality of Polish products, especially food. The Polish fuel giant, PKN Orlen, has announced that it will enter the Chinese market with Orlen China. At the same time, China was the first world economy to recover from the pandemic. China was one of only few countries to record an increase in foreign investment, against a global backdrop of general reductions. The pandemic has encouraged Chinese companies to expand into the European market, which can also be seen in Poland.
What do you think 2021 will look like?
In Chinese, the word “crisis” consists of two characters – “danger” and “opportunity”. Each challenge we face also creates new development opportunities. So, we have not lost optimism. China has managed to combat the epidemic and we are entering the new year with the hope that this will be repeated around the world. Economic and social changes will certainly affect where, in what and how businesses will choose to invest. In my opinion, we can soon expect a flood of new initiatives and enterprises to fill the newly-created niches.
The most famous project linking Poland and China is the Belt and Road Initiative. What do you think the future of this project looks like?
The pandemic has shown the need to diversify transport methods. The Belt and Road initiative, which includes developing rail connections between China and Europe, has only gained momentum. Most cargo on the China-European Union route reaches the EU via a border crossing in Terespol. The development of logistics and transport infrastructure and services is of key importance for Poland, to help it cease to be merely a transit country and to also participate in distributing cargo throughout the European Union.
What should I wish you and Chamber for the Chinese Year of the Buffalo on February 12?
We have ambitious development plans and plan to establish cooperation with many new entities. However, the key concern is to combat the pandemic and return to normality – both in private life and in business. So I wish, first of all, health to myself, the members of the Chamber and to all of you!
1 February 2021
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