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British-Polish Chamber: Two Decades of Supporting Business Links
Alan Jarman, President of the British-Polish Chamber of Commerce, discusses Poland’s appeal for European investors.
European Times: What are the main goals of the British-Polish Chamber of Commerce?
Alan Jarman: We are celebrating our 20th anniversary this year, one indication of the strong ties that have always existed between Poland and the UK. the chamber in 2012 is very different from what it waswhen it was founded. today, we focus on making potential British investors aware of opportunities in Poland and on serving British businesses operating here. one of our priorities is to suggest policy changes to the polish government. We have seven policy groups, including one on the food sector. another important activity for us is to support polish companies exporting to the UK, and we are involved in promoting British-polish trade in general.
European Times: How do you get your messages across?
Alan Jarman: We have a very informative web portal, BPCC.com, and we organise a number of major events throughout the year, including policy-group meetings, networking events and business breakfasts. We were very happy to have Deputy prime minister pawlak attend one of our breakfast meetings. We are committed to encouraging dialogue between the BPCC and the polish government.
European Times: What are some of the challenges the private sector faces in Poland?
Alan Jarman: poland has a much larger trade gap with the UK than with any other country. We also find bureaucracy a challenge, and we would like the government to move faster in making policy changes. the World Bank ranks poland eighth worldwide in the ease of obtaining credit, and the country is very well capitalised, but bureaucratic hurdles are slowing down growth. the legal environment also needs to be improved.
European Times: How about Poland’s investment climate?
Alan Jarman: the business climate is very strong and very positive. FDi totals are growing and the eu’s major investments in poland’s infrastructure continue to create more reasons for investors to target this country. there are more positive changes on the horizon.
European Times: What is your message to potential investors in Europe?
Alan Jarman: poland offers a robust economy ripe with significant potential. poland is a market that should excite anyone who is looking for new destinations for factories and production. as Poland further improves the ease of doing business here and continues to upgrade its infrastructure, it will be even more competitive as an investment target.