It gave BPCC members the chance to show their know-how and to meet potential clients – medium-sized exporters who are interested in entering the UK market. The meeting took place at the Regional Science and Technology Centre in Chęciny, near Kielce, on 12 January 2016.
Paweł Siwecki, the BPCC’s CEO, and Marek Szczepanik, a member of the provincial government’s management board, opened the event. Cezary Tkaczyk, CEO of the Starachowice Special Economic Zone, who helped organise the event, set out the incentives offered to business.
The Świętokrzyskie province specialises in the industrial manufacturing and agri-food sectors, and the audience included representatives of over 60 local businesses. Many had innovative solutions in areas such as recycling laminated packaging materials, smart meters for marinas, caravans and holiday homes, or self-heating meals for outdoor consumption.
Practical presentations from the BPCC’s Michael Dembinski and Marta Smolarek, showed the potential of the UK market for Polish firms, and explained step by step how to research the market and find business partners. David Kennedy from Lacrosse Polska explained the importance of getting marketing materials right in good English, after which issues surrounding foreign exchange and hedging against currency fluctuation in trade were explained by Jakub Makurat of Ebury Polska. Tomasz Rodak from Bibby Financial Services explained how factoring works, and how it can reduce risk when trading with a new partner in another country.
The logistical issues involved in getting goods cross the English Channel were explained by Maciej Winiarski from KMC Services. Legal issues – in particular to do with concluding agreements in two different legal systems – were covered by Zbigniew Labocha from law firm L&D. The presentations were followed by a panel discussion, during which there were many questions from participants regarding ‘brand Poland’ – whether it is better to say ‘we are a European company’, rather than ‘we are a Polish company’. Both opinions were represented – the discussion, interesting as it was, proved inconclusive.
A networking lunch followed, there was much exchange of business cards.