|Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao|
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
This week Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao will pay a keenly awaited official visit to Warsaw. Mr Wen’s arrival will mark the highest-level visit since 1987 – the last time a Chinese prime minister came to Poland – and reflects the desire of both countries to strengthen bilateral ties, especially economic ones. Mr Wen will be accompanied by some 300 businessmen from his country.
The Chinese PM’s visit comes after Polish President Bronisław Komorowski’s trip to China in December of last year during which the two countries signed a strategic partnership agreement. Including Poland, eight EU member states have now signed such agreements with the Asian superpower.
Poland has shown great interest in increasing its exports to China and in attracting significant Chinese investment. Last year, Polish exports to China amounted to an unimpressive €1.3 billion. Imports from China were roughly 10 times that.
As part of an effort to make China more accessible to Polish businesspeople, Poland’s na-tional flag-carrier LOT Polish Airlines will begin direct flights from Warsaw to Beijing in May this year. The government also recently announced a program called “Go China” to help Polish businesses enter the Chinese market. Among other things, the program seeks to provide entrepreneurs with information about Chinese law and business culture.
During Mr Wen’s visit, a special Poland-CEE-China forum will be organized, with 300 Polish firms taking part.
Delegations from 15 countries in the region will be present, including several prime ministers. Mr Wen is expected to announce a new Chinese investment strategy in the region during the forum.
The biggest investment made by a Chinese firm in Poland in recent years was LiuGong’s takeover of parts of Huta Stalowa Wola in a deal estimated to be worth some zł.250-300 million. Also this month The Bank of China, whose assets are estimated at $130 billion, is expected to open its first branch in Warsaw. Analysts believe the bank’s primary role will be to provide financing for Chinese investments in Poland.
From Warsaw Business Journal by Remi Adekoya
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