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10 September, 2013 - 09:31 By News Desk

Local businesses to visit growing Polish economy

Poznan

East of England international trade organisations Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) and UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) are organising a business visit to Poland for local companies interested in tapping into Poland’s growing economy.

The Central European country has experienced constant economic growth for the last two decades, expanding at twice the rate of Western Europe as an increasingly affluent middle class have driven domestic demand. Delegates are being encouraged to register for the trade mission in order to take advantage of pre – arranged business – to – business meetings with Polish companies in Poznan from October 7–9.

European trade adviser, Mark Hofman, who is coordinating the visit said: “Over the last decade I have seen the economic, social and political transformation in Poland with my own eyes. Poland is an open, accessible market and a lot easier to export to than what many people would assume. English is widely spoken and in some regions wages are now on a par with the UK.”

Local businesses will also have the opportunity to visit POLEKO International Trade Fair, attend an in – market briefing with the British Polish Chamber of Commerce, UKTI Poland and networking events with local companies.

One of Poland’s largest international trade fairs, Poznan’s POLEKO covers practically all areas of the construction industry, energy and renewables, municipal technology and services, control and measurement equipment, water and waste management sectors and flood protection systems.

Fasttrack economic growth is forecast to continue in Poland with Brussels awarding Europe’s 6th most populous country a further €105.8 bn for the next strategic period, 2014-2020, as well as €billions more in unspent structural funds to be carried over from the 2007-2013 period.

According to an HSBC forecast, the Polish economy will grow by an average 3.9 per cent a year every year until 2050. In 2012 UK exports to the democratic republic reached £3.4 billion.

A grant may be available to eligible East of England companies, towards the cost of travel and accommodation. Interested businesses should contact Mark Hofman by emailing  m.hofman [at] eeneast.org.uk  or call 01707 398069 for more information.

CASE STUDY: Solar firm’s sales looking bright

A Cambridgeshire solar panel manufacturer has secured a Polish distributor in the growing Central Eastern European (CEE) renewables market with the support of Enterprise Europe Network.

Viridian Solar had been trying to break into Poland after discovering Europe’s sixth largest government planned to invest heavily in the renewables market following pressure from Brussels.

The Papworth-based business says this is a significant overseas partner and hope the new deal will represent an important market for the solar thermal specialist as they look to diversify their sales.

Jonathan Mitchell, international sales manager at Viridian Solar, said: “Poland’s renewable and environmentally friendly sectors are growing year – on – year. In fact in 2012 Poland was the second fastest growing solar thermal market in Europe, behind only Germany in terms of newly installed capacity.

“Our research led us to join EEN’s trade mission to Poland last year, EEN pre – arranged a meeting for us with a potential Polish distributor in Warsaw. Although it took us a while to thrash out a deal I’m confident our arrangement will lead to substantial new business for Viridian.”

Mark Hofman, a European Trade Adviser at Enterprise Europe Network who specialises in the CEE markets was confident Viridian could break into Poland and encouraged Mitchell to register for the trade mission to Poland.

“Jon joined us on what was the first in our series of trade missions to the CEE markets and hasn’t looked back since” said Hofman. “Working through our network of over thirty Polish offices I was able to locate appropriate partners for Viridian and the market research needed to secure market access.”

Working with over 600 partner organisations in Europe and beyond, Enterprise Europe Network is the continent’s largest business support network.

Often partnering with UK Trade and Investment, EEN’s associates include Chambers of Commerce, trade associations, regional development agencies, growth clusters and universities.

With the Polish renewables sector recording 19 per cent growth in 2012, Viridian Solar is a regular visitor to Poland and Jon Mitchell maintains frequent face to face contact with his Polish partners.

“Trade missions are a great way to build your network of contacts,” he says. “I plan to visit Poznan with EEN and UKTI later this year as we expect Poland to be a key market for us for years to come.”

For more information on how Enterprise Europe Network can help your business call 0845 641 9955 (option 2) or email enterprise.europe [at] eeneast.org.uk

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