Foreign investors in Poland and Polish businesses boldly investing abroad were winners of honorary distinctions in the awards on the first day of the European Economic Congress.
“Poland needs quality foreign investments and these are now coming our way”, said Jerzy Kwieciński, minister of investments and development at the ceremonial gala. “It is also important that Polish companies have started looking abroad, which is supported by Poland's government.
The distinctions awarded for the second time by the organisers of the European Economic Congress were presented to eight investors: four foreign companies in Poland and four Polish companies pursuing their foreign expansion strategies.
“The core idea of the “Investors without Borders” project is to promote model relations between investors, the market and administration”, said Wojciech Kuśpik, CEO of the PTWP Group. “Among others, the following factors were considered: scale of investments, their impact on the Polish economy's potential, innovative nature, importance of investments for the Polish labour market and for building the brand of Poland in the world.
The candidates were nominated by representatives of business, economic institutions, government agencies and institutions, involved in acquiring investors and supporting Polish expansion abroad.
Winners were identified among the group of foreign investors in Poland.
“What we had in mind was noticeable scale investments and – even more important – those that gave a development impulse to Poland's economy at large, that would develop a network of cooperation”, said Wojciech Kuśpik.
The other side of the project covered Polish investors pursuing bold and effective strategies of foreign expansion. The assessment covered, inter alia, their impact on Poland's export potential, successes of their activities on foreign, often distant, markets and their effectiveness in opening various doors for other Polish companies.
Minister Jerzy Kwieciński reminded us that in 2017 the amount of foreign direct investments (FDI) was EUR 14.8 billion, which was much more than in previous years.
“Investments keep coming but it is not only the value and number that count but also the quality”, stressed the minister. “For Poland, FDIs are important that rely on high technologies that we need and that require adequate staff and that generate high value added”.
The funds, apart from EU financing, stimulate economic growth. To a large extent, the growth is generated by industry. Last year, 2/3 of all jobs in EU industry were created in Poland.
"It is also important that expansion of Polish companies has begun – it is not yet on a large scale but has entered various markets”, said minister Kwieciński. “I stress again that we will support expansion – both domestic and abroad”.
Winning foreign investors
Pharmaceutical company MSD
It started business in Poland over a quarter of a century ago. In Poland it is involved in large R&D projects, including clinical studies, and it cooperates with over 200 research centres.
In 2010 the company opened the only European Data Management Centre (DMC) from MSD Clinical Studies in Warsaw, which employs over 270 specialists in medicine, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, biology and IT.
“In Poland we have a trading office but we are also involved in clinical drug trials and we collect pharmacological data as the only outlet of that kind in Europe”, said Denis Vujicic, managing director of MSD Polska. “The award only gives us further stimulus for cooperation in Poland”. ABB
It has been operating in Poland for over 25 years. It has been generating revenues in excess of PLN 3.2 billion and has been investing about PLN 110 million annually. One third of the amount is earmarked for R&D work. Last year, ABB opened a Shared Service Centre in Kraków to employ two thousand people as a target and the Regional Centre of Robotised Applications in Warsaw.
The company operates 11 factories all over Poland and employs 5,200 staff. One half of the output of Polish ABB factories is exported to almost all the countries of the world.
“We see major potential not only in exports but also on the domestic market”, said Paweł Łojszczyk, CEO of ABB. “We are an innovative company and the fact that government has been investing in innovation supports the development of companies like ours”. Tatry Mountain Resort
At a cost of PLN 120 million, the Slovak investor has transformed the Ski Centre in Szczyrk in Beskid Żywiecki into a modern skiing station – and this is just the first stage. The investment has had a positive impact on the economy and labour market.
The company also owns the Silesian amusement park in the centre of the Katowice agglomeration.
“The Group has been investing in leisure as it has in many centres in the Czech Republic”, said Paweł Cebula, director of Legendia Silesian Amusement Park. “We hope the time in Poland will be as effective as in the Czech Republic”. Mondelēz International
A world foodstuff giant, present in Poland for over a quarter century, is a leader in branded chocolate and cakes in Poland.
The company has developed a network of seven production facilities, including a chocolate factory in Skarbimierz for almost PLN 100 million. In 2017, it opened its global Research, Development and Quality Centre close to Wrocław, employing 250 people.
“Investments are crucial for our organisation”, said Katarzyna Jung, Manager for Communication and External Relations for Poland and Baltic States. “The centre is evidence of the important role played by Poland in Europe”.
Winning Polish investors abroad
The company is the largest software producer in Poland. For over 25 years it has been developing technologically advanced software. This is the largest software house with Polish capital and the sixth largest software provider in Europe.
The Asseco Poland capital group operates in 54 countries. The member companies employ jointly 24 thousand staff. Asseco has been active in acquisitions aimed at geographical expansion and increase of competences.
The model and scale of activity by Asseco and its business and image-related effects meet the criteria to be defined as a national champion.
“This is a major distinction for us; we are particularly happy with the event where we are presented with the award since we can get in touch with start-ups”, said Artur Wiza, Deputy CEO of Asseco. “Our company began 25 years ago as a start-up in Rzeszów and now we are present in 54 countries. I hope that many of today's start-ups will follow suit”. Polpharma
The company is one of the 20 largest producers of generic drugs in the world. In its seven production facilities in Poland, Russia and Kazakhstan it employs over 7,500 people. In each country it runs its own R&D centre.
The portfolio of Polpharma covers about 600 products and 200 more are being developed. Almost one half of its revenues is generated from exports.
In Gdańsk, the company opened a biotechnological centre to support its global expansion. In 2020 its first biological product will be launched on the US market.
“I accept the award in the name of our employees, whose contribution to our success has been great”, said Markus Walter Sieger, CEO of Polpharma. “It is clear that our leadership strategy in pharmacy has been fruitful and that we will accomplish our objectives. Soon our recent products will be available in Poland and all over the world”. LPP
From a local company starting with imports of clothing from Asia in the 1990s, within just over a dozen years the company from Gdańsk has become a major Polish exporter and one of the most dynamically growing international clothing companies in the world.
LPP salons, covering altogether 1 million square metres, can be found on three continents. Last year, the group’s revenues were over PLN 7 billion, of which PLN 3 billion came from exports.
In 2017, the company made its début on the British market, which set new standards in its business and is another step towards developing an international brand.
“From the very beginning, foreign expansion has been an important element of developing the group's development strategy”, Bartosz Bielak, Deputy CEO of Famur told WNP.pl. “We have been trying to diversify our revenues geographically, become immune to the changing economic situation in Poland and look more closely at the world to identify places where our products would be attractive. Last year, as a result of that strategy, we increased the share of exports in the group’s revenues to 40 percent”.Famur
Producer and supplier of solutions for mining, transport/handling and power generation, recognised on five continents. The Group's expanded industrial structure supports a comprehensive offer – from machines and equipment for mining raw materials to logistics and IT.
The Group puts major emphasis on research activities as well as diagnostics and analysis. These objectives are pursued, inter alia, by the Famur Institute, which has the status of an R&D centre. Over the last 16 years, Famur has successfully carried out 16 acquisitions, combining the experience and potential of Poland's major brands in the mining industry.
“From the very beginning, foreign expansion has been an important element in developing the Group's development strategy”, Bartosz Bielak, Deputy CEO of Famur told WNP.pl. “We have been trying to diversify our revenues geographically, become immune to the changing economic situation in Poland and look more closely at the world to identify places where our products would be attractive. Last year, as a result of this strategy, we increased the share of exports in the Group’s revenues by 40 percent”.