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German-Polish Chamber Top Source of Information on Poland’s Business Climate
The German-Polish Chamber of Commerce, founded in 1995 and now the biggest Chamber of Commerce in Poland, supports bilateral business ties and provides a range of services for German companies. Michael Kern, Managing Director, discusses the chamber’s activities.
European Times: What are the chamber’s main objectives?
Michael Kern: our first task is to foster business partnerships between polish and German companies. We inform potential German investors about opportunities here by making around 50 presentations a year, publishing key facts, attending trade fairs, organising around 200 networking events annually, and accompanying German investors on visits to Poland. our second goal is to provide a range of services for our member companies to help them do business here. the chamber’s third priority is to promote the interests of German companies. We are currently focusing on German companies looking to export to poland.
European Times: How do your German member companies rank Poland as a business base?
Michael Kern: We conducted a survey of German companies in poland concerning poland’s business climate. the positive factors they cite are poland’s eu membership, its political stability, the availability of reliable local suppliers, and the high-quality workforce. they also note that some things could be better, particularly infrastructure, but they point out that this is improving; for example, the poznan-Berlin motorway has been completed. poland comes off well in the survey regarding the transparency of the tender process. Companies mention that legal procedures take too long, the tax system is rather infl exible and poland needs to ensure a supply of blue-collar workers in the future.
European Times: What is the chamber doing to address these challenges?
Michael Kern: We have good contacts with the ministry of education and the ministry of economy concerning labour issues, which we believe can be solved through co-operation with technical schools. the tax system will improve. Basically, the problems found in poland are problems found anywhere.
European Times: Are most of your member companies happy they invested in Poland?
Michael Kern: Yes. in our survey, 90% of German companies said they were satisfied they had invested in poland, and 40% said they planned additional investments here. the chamber is very optimistic about poland’s future. We believe the influx of EU funding will greatly improve poland’s infrastructure, which will in turn lead to another major step forward for the economy. poland is underestimated. investors should be more aware of its great potential.