By Saifur Rahman
Dubai: Bilateral trade between Poland and the UAE has exceeded US$1 billion in recent years, making the UAE the top trading partner of Poland in the Middle East, according to a top government official.
“Our total trade with the GCC countries exceeded US$4 billion in recent years (US$4.9 billion In 2019 and US$4.1 billion in 2020), making it the largest trading partner of Poland among Arab countries,” Grzegorz Piechowiak, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Economic Development, Labour and Technology of Poland, told the Arabian Post at the INDEX Exhibition that is currently undergoing at Dubai World Trade Centre.
“We are celebrating more than 30-years of friendship with the Gulf countries, especially the UAE which is the regional economic hub for our companies in the Middle East. I would like to welcome the UAE investors to invest in Poland which has further liberalized foreign investment rules.
“We are now expanding Special Economic Zones to attract foreign investment. Businesses in the UAE and the GCC countries could benefit from our growing economy that also serves a growing population of Europe and Central Asian region.”
Poland has emerged as a dynamic economy over the past 25 years and has become a major actor within Europe, being the tenth-largest economy in the EU. The country performed well during the 2014-19 period, with the real GDP growth rate generally exceeding 3 percent, driven by private consumption, according to a recent report.
In the second quarter of 2020, however, the spread of COVID-19 and the restrictions that followed caused a real GDP contraction of 8.9 percent quarter-on-quarter. Nevertheless, the country reacted well in Q3, with increases in industrial production, exports and household consumption, thus resulting in an overall GDP loss of 2.7 percent for the year 2020, a smaller decline compared to the EU average. As foreign demand should increase, the Polish economy is expected to turn to growth this year (+3.5%) and in 2022 (+4.5% – IMF’s April 2021 forecast), though much will depend on the global economic and sanitary recovery.
A large number of Polish exporters are currently showcasing their products and services at the World Trade Centre. Poland is the partner country of Index and the Hotel Show – the twin exhibitions that took off at Hall No. 1-4 at the Dubai World Trade Centre on May 31, 2021.
Mr Grzegorz Piechowiak said more than 100 Polish companies are active in the UAE through their agents and partners while more than 5,000 Polish businessmen and professionals live in the UAE.
“Their numbers are growing as we are deepening our engagement with the UAE and the GCC countries,” he said. “We are now focusing on the Middle East region to increase our exports and strengthen our trade and economic relationship. That’s why, we are going to participate in most of the incoming exhibitions in Dubai and the Middle East aggressively to boost our exports.
“We are going to promote our economy, culture and tourism through the Dubai World Expo 2020 – which provides us the largest branding opportunity to showcase Poland in the Middle East and we really appreciate the support of the UAE Government and the leadership of the country.”
Poland is participating at the Expo 2020 with a pavilion built on an 1,876 square metre plot of land at the Mobility area of the Expo 2020 site.
Poland will showcase its scientific development to offer the world sustainable and eco-friendly technologies inspired by nature. The objectives of Poland’s presence at EXPO 2020 in Dubai include both the strengthening of Poland’s image around the world and economic promotion. It plans to create a multidimensional presentation of technologies and companies representing sectors of strategic importance from the perspective of exports to Middle Eastern markets and, consequently, real growth in business transactions.
“We are going to showcase innovation and scientific development achieved by our country at the Expo 2020 pavilion. We will organise more than 30 missions and delegations from Poland visiting the pavilion and more than 800 events to promote our culture, heritage, nature, economic and scientific development in Poland,” Mr Piechowiak said.
Both the location – at the intersection of several main communication routes – and the interesting shape of the plot make it possible to prepare an attractive exhibition and thus catch the attention of a large number of visitors.
The Pavilion’s architecture refers clearly to the theme of mobility. It creates an open, upwards growing modular structure that invites visitors to relax in the shadow of a large roofing and to contemplate the installation floating above the guests’ heads – a kinetic sculpture depicting a flock of flying birds.
The wealth of nature, diversity of the landscape and strategic location in the centre of Europe make Poland the most important habitat for European migratory birds. Inviting the visitors to take part in this journey and look at the abundance of Polish avifauna is an opportunity to develop an intriguing multithreaded story not only about the beauty of Polish nature, but primarily about international exchange, mobility, the export of ideas and technological thought.
Poland will be represented as a strong centre of cooperation that uses scientific development to offer the world sustainable and eco-friendly technologies inspired by nature. What distinguishes it from other pavilions is an extended children’s zone, divided into a zone for toddlers and a workshop zone for older children. Having regard for the main theme of EXPO 2020 – “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” – it addresses to younger generations, who will create the future of our world.