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The Warsaw Voice » Business » December 19, 2007
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Time for Awards
December 19, 2007 By A.R.    
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In a ceremony in Warsaw Dec. 12, the government-run Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency (PAIiIZ) handed out awards to leading foreign investors in Poland in 2007.

The Investment Project of the Year 2007 award for the country's largest investment project went to Toyota Motor Manufacturing Poland, which invested 145 million euros to make car transmissions and gasoline engines in the southern city of Wa³brzych. Toyota Motor Manufacturing Poland is one of the Japanese corporation's five companies in Poland. The Wa³brzych project shows that Poland is attracting a growing number of investors from outside the European Union, including the Far East and the United States, officials said.

Indesit Company Polska received an award for the largest number of new jobs. The company has created more than 1,300 new jobs in £ód¼ province where it is one of the largest employers. The company's two factories in £ód¼ that make refrigerators and kitchen ovens have a combined work force of 2,500. Indesit also plans to open a new production facility in Radomsko, central Poland.

Reuters Europe claimed an award in the category of modern services. The company has been in Poland since 1992. Last year it decided to open a new data center in Gdańsk that will gather economic and financial data for Reuters from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The project will rely on state-of-the-art information technology.

The award ceremony became an opportunity for government officials to meet with foreign investors. Waldemar Pawlak, the deputy prime minister and minister of the economy, told the businessmen that, contrary to pessimistic forecasts, the Polish economy has largely remained unaffected by adverse developments on global markets. "The country's GDP grew 6.4 percent in the third quarter of the year, promising a good economic result for the whole of 2007," Pawlak said. He added that the government will continue its efforts to make Poland increasingly friendly to investors, "especially when it comes to investment in advanced technology." Pawlak said the government will "persevere in removing any obstacles that hinder business in Poland." Specifically, the government will work to draft better laws for businesspeople, Pawlak said. "We want to focus on removing regulations that generate excessive administrative costs," he added.

Other government officials in attendance included Labor and Social Policy Minister Jolanta Fedan and Science and Higher Education Minister Barbara Kudrycka, in addition to PAIiIZ President Pawe³ Wojciechowski.

Last year foreign direct investment (FDI) in Poland totaled 15.1 billion euros and this year's figure looks equally promising. According to the National Bank of Poland, in the first nine months of this year, FDI in Poland came to 9.7 billion euros, 2.4 billion euros more than in the same period last year.

Economists say the high volume of FDI is largely due to Poland's good standing in international league tables in terms of investment appeal, but the key factor is the country's robust economic growth.
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