The attractiveness of the countries of the Arabian Peninsula for Polish exporters and investors is increasing rapidly. Areas particularly important in the context of economic cooperation will be in the coming years, among others, mining and construction, healthcare, education, manufacturing and food processing – was said during the debate that took place within the first Economic Forum Poland – countries of the Arabian Peninsula during the European Economic Congress 2015 in Katowice.
The First Economic Forum Poland – countries of the Arabian Peninsula during the European Economic Congress 2015
was one of the most attended panels. The panellists invited to share their knowledge and expertise on the subject of the forum represent Government and private business as well as business organisations.
Katarzyna Kacperczyk, Undersecretary of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Witold Smidowski, Polish Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Dr Wael Suleiman, Polish Business Group Chairman, Jerzy Drozdz, Director, Office of International Relations, National Chamber of Commerce were amongst the experts.
Dr Wael Suleiman, Chairman of the Polish Business Group in the UAE noted that economic cooperation with the countries of the Arabian Peninsula is inextricably linked with the deepening of political relations between the countries. A good examples for Poland in this regard may be Serbia or Bulgaria.
This first convinced the company Etihad to buy almost half of the shares in Air Serbia, as well as the acquisition of the largest Serbian agricultural company for $ 2 billion and make joint investments in the production of military equipment. Also, Bulgaria, fighting in the European Parliament for the abolition of visas for citizens of the United Arab Emirates (which will take place in June), won for himself a surge of investment capital.
Dr Suleiman noted that the capital of Arab countries after September 2001. is less eager to invest abroad, so you have to be able to attract it. Entities from the Arabian Peninsula are afraid of further investments in “green field” – new projects are rated as very risky. Chairman of the Polish Business Group said that while the financial capital from the Gulf to a small extent currently gets directly to the Poland, it probably gets there indirectly, through large financial centres like London.
PBG Chairman pointed out that there are many delegations from Poland coming to the Gulf countries, but lack of the so-called. follow-up is a big problem – Perhaps a greater role in terms of follow-ups should play the Embassy. We have to prove that Poland is a good political partner in Europe – said Dr Wael Suleiman.
In case of the large projects, the commitment on the side of government institutions is absolutely necessary. Witold Smidowski, Polish Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia agreed with this thesis. In his opinion, from year to year Polish government better supports the business, improvement in this area is visible.