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invest in eastern Poland?

Friday 22 October, 2010

I had a Business Magnet Luncheon/Conference with the Poles @ on the 44th floor of the John Hancock building where they were encouraging investment in eastern Poland, dubbed “the biggest construction site in Europe.”  They were promoting Business Magnet:  Local Investor Services Centres (Lokalne Centra Obsługi Inwestrów) which is essentially a free business matchmaking “vortal” based in Kielce.  The purpose of the vortal is to attract foreign investment, while the means is by creating this online resource.  The trade departments of each governor’s office is involved & they claim to provide data with transparency & accountability.  It already includes 28 member countries with an additional 20 to be added in the future.  I registered & created my profile but was not able to post an offer for my consulting services yet.  Now there appear to be a handful of parcels of land up on offer.  A number of the sections on the website are still under construction, so it is not ready for prime-time just yet.  Check back on a regular basis to see when it’s fully ready to go.

This initiative received the largest subsidy in the European Union for infrastructure improvement & investor support as part of the Project of Development of Eastern Europe/Structural Funds, 3M euros/$4M to fund the 700-800 employees, (including offices in Chicago, Toronto, China, & Brussels) required for this project for the next few years, so it will be around for awhile.  Eastern Poland forms the eastern border of the EU, so it is a strategically important geographic area.

I spent 5 months in eastern Poland after the wall fell counseling all-sized businesses on how to improve their sales & marketing, so I’m generally familiar with it’s risks & opportunities.  I’ve traveled to many of the principal cities in each of the provinces that are being promoted, Lublin, Rzeszow, Bialystok, Kielce, & Olstyn at least once for a minimum of a few days in each.  At the time, Poland was conceptually broken down into Poland A, in the west which was more closely allied with Germany, & Poland B, in the east which was more closely allied with Russia.  Given this dichotomy, it’s not surprising that Poland A was considered to be better educated, technologically advanced, & more primed for economic opportunity than Poland B.  That’s why Poland B is now seeking investment capital to catch up with Poland A.  Please contact me if you have specific questions.  I wrote a few articles on my experiences which also might be of interest:

Polish icon Lech Walesa will be in town next week.  For information about how you can meet him, click here.

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