Ladies and Gentleman,
October 13th, we marked the very special occasion of the thirtieth anniversary of the British Polish Chamber of Commerce.
The Chamber united British business when Poland had only started its journey towards a democratic, free-market, modern society. Throughout those years Poland recorded the fastest growth in Europe; it was the only European economy to avoid the recession following the 2008 economic crisis. It has outperformed all other post-communist countries to become the first to reach developed status. And over that time the economic relationship with Great Britain has been constantly growing, as our countries have become closer to each other with every British national coming for business and to live in Poland and every Polish citizen coming to the UK to find their place to work and live.
Throughout this time, the Chamber has been growing, to become today a representative organisation uniting almost 300 entrepreneurs and businesses. It would not have happened but for the leadership of my great predecessors, most recently through the extraordinary engagement of retire chairman Tony Reczek as well as the Chamber team led by Paweł Siwecki with Dorota Kierbiedź, Ilona Chodorowska, Michał Dembinski, Urszula Kwaśniewska, Jakub Piegat and Paulina Sierańska.
But our history does not stop here; it only begins, or I should say, moves on to the next chapter! These days may seem much more challenging to all of us: with the British, Polish and European economies struggling, rapidly rising energy prices and inflation rates at new highs, while countries slipping into recession before they have had a chance to recover from the pandemic…. And most importantly – with war on the EU’s doorstep…
Shall we then give up…? Shall we wait for better times to come…?
No! We shall never surrender; we shall never give up! Our power is in unity, we are stronger together and greater together!
And this is my great aspiration for this Chamber, the next chapter of which I have the honour to open. Partnerships, alliances, real impact and strong representation for our businesses – these will be most important for the Chamber for the upcoming years. We will continue to provide you with a platform to engage with the public sector with the goal of improving the business environment in Poland as well as to support trade and investment opportunities between Poland and the UK. Yet we will also work on strategic directions for the future to increase the impact of the Chamber and to ensure that we will become one of the best business organisations in this country!
I shall wish for you all to think positively about the future and looking forward to hearing from you on how we can build a bright future together!