29 (124) 2017
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Chairman & CEO note

Chairman's and CEO's note

by Antoni F. Reczek OBE, chairman of the board, and Paweł Siwecki, CEO
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On 29 March, a day tinged with great sadness for many of us, Theresa May’s government formally initiated the process of United Kingdom leaving the European Union, submitting the letter to the European Council of Ministers triggering Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon. The two-year count-down to Brexit has begun.

Since the day of the referendum – 24 June 2016 – the BPCC has kept its members informed (Brexit updates) about the lead-up to Brexit; we'll continue to do so until UK’s departure. We will also feed back your business concerns to the UK and Polish governments, doing what we can to ensure that Brexit does as little harm as possible to UK-Polish economic relations.

Our Jubilee Year is in full swing, with a host of events happening around Poland; please make sure you’re signed on to receive our newsletter. The Chamber is extremely active – don't miss out!

We're delighted to announce that Adam Zamoyski, the famous Polish-British historian and Kasia Madera, BBC World news presenter will be our special guests at our Silver Jubilee Gala Dinner on Thursday 19 October, to inspire and entertain you. So please put the date in your calendars and look out for new announcements. A live concert of a young Polish star will finish the celebrations on the dance floor.  

In terms of policy work we have never been busier. In the past two months, Agnieszka Garbacz, head of policy groups, organised no fewer than 12 meetings, supporting our members and involving government bodies – ministries and regulators – in the dialogue. The launch on 1 March of a major report commissioned by the BPCC along with 12 other bilateral chambers of commerce showed the importance of foreign direct investment to Poland's economy over the past quarter century.  

1 April is in the UK the beginning of another fiscal year; for the fourth year now, the BPCC Trade Team is supporting UK exporters on behalf of the British government. Certainly the chambers has part in export growth from the UK to Poland (statistics). Some of our successes are visible to Polish consumers. British lamb is now available in supermarket chains such as Biedronka and Auchan; LG Harris paintbrushes are to be found in the hands of Polish decorators, while Triumph motorcycles are dramatically increasing their share of the Polish big-bike market thanks to the BPCC. Last year, the value of British goods exported to Poland rose by 16.2% to £4.2 billion, helped by a weaker pound in the second half of the year, and by the work of our Trade Team, finding Polish distributors and importers for British products.

Please make sure to join us for our Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 25 April at the British Embassy (12.00 – 13.30). It is your chance to have a say as to the running of the BPCC, the election of its board members, and to hear how your chamber is performing.

The next edition of Contact magazine will be a special printed edition, celebrating 25 years of the BPCC’s work.

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