21(116) 2015
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Chairman & ceo note

Chairman & CEO note

by Antoni F. Reczek, OBE and Paweł Siwecki, BPCC CEO
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A very important visit to the Chamber’s took place on Friday (25 September) – the Rt Hon Lord Francis Maude, Britain’s trade minister was in Warsaw and met the Chamber team. The working meeting, also attended by Her Majesty’s Ambassador Robin Barnett and acting head of UKTI in Warsaw, Ewa van Veenendal-Rawicz, focused on the BPCC’s export support activities on behalf of British business. The BPCC has been contracted in 2013 by UKTI to help UK firms enter the Polish market.

We hope you've had have had a thoroughly relaxing summer break – we at the BPCC have been busy preparing membership activities for the second half of the year. It is a fact that in the Northern Hemisphere, 40% of the year's work takes place between the second week of September and mid-December. We've kicked off our late-summer/autumn events calendar traditionally with a series of social events, to ease members return into the world of work gently, before the heavyweight policy meetings begin.

Our 'back to work' events took place in Warsaw on 27 August at the Le Regina hotel, on 3 September in Kraków at the Holiday Inn, and - in spectacular fashion in Wrocław on 10 September. The 11th International Oktoberfest in Wrocław attracted nearly 1,000 guests from across all BPCC regions, along with members of Amcham and the German Chamber. This is by far the biggest business get-together organised by the BPCC and partner chambers. Alongside Martin Dulig, Saxony’s minister of economy, labour and transport, and Ilona Antoniszyn-Klik, under-secretary of state at the Ministry of the Economy, Antoni Reczek greeted the audience emphasising the BPCC's contribution to the 80 billion PLN of annual bilateral trade between Poland and the UK. Much of that credit goes to our export support teams in Warsaw, Kraków and Wrocław as well as our colleagues at the UK Trade and Investment and PAIiIZ.

The following Saturday, the Last Night of the Proms took place in London at the Royal Albert Hall and in Kraków - where, for the 20th time, the Filharmonia upheld this most British of musical traditions with a special concert organised by Kraków's Industrial Society.

Policy work has commenced with an event at the World Bank, looking at the relative ease of doing business across 18 Polish cities. An open discussion between private and public sector – including representatives of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Development and several local authorities concluded that sharing best practice between cities would be the best way of raising Poland’s overall standing. If each city were to perform as well as the best one, Poland’s place in the global ranking would rise from 32nd to 24th. We encourage all members to acquaint themselves with the full policy group meeting calendar, which is available here. It's worth reminding members about the 12th BPCC Policy Group, which was launched just before the summer break with a meeting at GKN Driveline's factory in Oleśnica. The event proved so successful, we had to turn away several disappointed members as space was limited. Manufacturing will be back on the agenda in the second half of this year with two more factory visits - one to Amec Foster Wheeler's Sosnowiec plant on 28 October and to Grupa Azoty's plant in Puławy - Poland's largest chemical factory on 18 November.

Last but certainly not least: everyone's probably noticed the new face of Contact Magazine. This is the hard work of Dorota Kierbiedź and Kuba Piegat who piloted the new layout and special features tirelessly for the past 12 months. New Contact is part of a greater BPCC media revamp including the all new www.bpcc.org.pl! The long-awaited re-launch finally happened on 1 September after five years of the expertise built up over five years running the previous site. At the 27 August meeting our Board members were unanimous in observing that with new features and enhanced content, we are well equipped to reach out to a much greater business audience across Poland and the UK. Apart from the close focus on all BPCC offerings and activities, we will beam to the world all that our members are best at: trade, investment, manufacturing or business advice. BPCC will continue to invest into its media channels to establish itself as a true hub of commercial information between our two great trading nations.

We look forward to seeing you at the BPCC events!

Best regards,

Antoni F. Reczek
Paweł Siwecki

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