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US-Poland Business Forum

Wednesday 21 May, 2008

I attended this event last week, which took me back awhile US Poland Business Forum I spent 7 months in Poland in 1994-1995 on 3 tours when I traveled to 12 cities over 12 weeks on the 1st trip, & 10 cities over 10 weeks the 2nd time, putting on seminars, training sessions, & advising 65 individual businesses on how to improve their sales & marketing. I worked with local interpreters everywhere I went, so everything was translated from English into Polish & back. This event reminded me of that. It could have been held in Poland-there was more Polish spoken than English. (I also taught @ Bielsko Biala Business Academy on my 3rd trip-where class was conducted in English).

This event is the successor to earlier Trade Targi (trade shows) held on the northwest side of Chicago in the Spring of the last few years. The thought is to deepen the information exchange, & this event certainly did that.

Zbigniew Kubacki, Head of the Trade & Investment section of the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Washington, D.C., formerly posted in Chicago, kicked off with a presentation on Poland’s economy today. I’ve contacted him to post a copy of his presentation here.

A number of voivodeships (~counties) in Poland made presentations on investment opportunities in their regions. Here are the presentations from Swietokrzyskie-kielce, Silesian Region-katowice, & Lodz-lodz-sez-presentation-usa. I never made it to Lodz, passed through the Katowice rail station (& can verify it is a transportation hub), but did visit Kielce. When I was there, there was not much going on. They’re now doing a much better job of identifying their strengths & focusing on them.

Lucas Fuksa made a presentation to the Americans on doing business in Poland, which consisted essentially of different business structures which can be used in Poland. Here it is: businessinpolandchart

A couple of other things came out of the conversation:

-the economic freedom act of 2004 assured property rights & OK’ed merger & acquisition activities

-the management board manages day-to-day operations, while the supervisory board oversees the management board

-corporate income taxes have dropped from 40% to 27% & now 19% to stimulate investment

-foreigners need permission to own real estate in Poland

-part of the reason for higher capital requirements is there are different provisions for bankruptcy, which require higher capitalizations
The event was also covered extensively by Polvision, so check there for video of the event.

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