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The Warsaw Voice » Business » March 12, 2008
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Business in brief
March 12, 2008   
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NBP Exchange Rates March 10, 2008

1 EUR = zl. 3.5700
1 USD = zl. 2.3213
1 CHF = zl. 2.2717
1 GBP = zl. 4.6869
100 JPY = zl. 2.2781

Economy Among EU's Fastest Growing

Poland is among the fastest growing economies in the European Union, according to economists at the European Commission. The country ranked fifth in the latest annual league table of the EU's 14 leading economies in terms of gross domestic product growth.

Slovak GDP Soars

Slovakia's GDP grew by a whopping 14.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2007, beating global powerhouses such as China, which reported 11.2 percent growth in the same period of last year, the Slovak statistical office said.

The Slovak data shows that Central Europe has remained resistant to financial turmoil on international markets, analysts say.

Russia Lifts Poultry Ban

Russia has lifted a temporary ban on Polish poultry imports. The ban was introduced Dec. 6 last year after cases of bird flu were reported in Poland.

8 Million Credit Cards in Circulation

Some 2 million new credit cards were issued in Poland last year, according to online financial service Bankier.pl. In all, there are over 8 million credit cards in circulation around the country at the moment. Lukas Bank has issued the largest number of credit cards in Poland, 1.18 million as of the end of last year.

Sobieski Invests in Ukraine

Polish vodka producer Sobieski has bought the Cherkassky LVZ distillery in Ukraine. The country is the world's second-biggest vodka market, following Russia. Sobieski will make vodka in Ukraine as part of its plan to become a major international player.

Bumar to Sell Arms to India

Polish arms group Bumar will export $1.2 billion worth of military equipment to India. The company will sell 270 WZT-3 technical support vehicles, 80 Kroton automatic minelayers, and mines manufactured by the Bydgoszcz-based Belma factory. In addition, the Indian army will begin testing a 1000 hp tank engine from Poland's PZL Wola factory in the middle of this year. The Indian military wants to buy 1,000 such engines in all. Bumar has also signed a contract for the supply of 110 Krab self-propelled howitzers manufactured by the Stalowa Wola steelworks.

Com40 Expands in U.S.

Polish upholstered furniture producer Com40 is preparing to build a $36-million factory in the United States. The plant, located in Danville, Virginia, will manufacture mattresses and sofas for the U.S. and Canadian markets. After seven years, it will employ a work force of 800.

Com40 also plans to build a new 41-million-euro factory in Skalmierzyce near Łódź, central Poland.

Taiwanese LCD Maker Eyes Poland

Taiwan-based AU Optronics Corp., the world's third-largest producer of liquid crystal displays (LCDs), plans to build its first plant outside Asia this year. The company is considering Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic as possible locations.

Zelmer in Russian Deal

Poland's biggest household appliance manufacturer Zelmer, based in the southern city of Rzeszów, has cut a deal to sell its products in Russia. Over two years, the company will deliver 33 million euros' worth of goods to Russia. By 2010, Zelmer plans to export 80 percent of its products to various Central and Eastern European countries.

Less Coal Mined

Polish mines extracted 87.4 million metric tons of coal last year, down from 94.4 million a year earlier. Domestic sales reached 74 million tons, and exports were 12 million. A few years ago the country sold some 20 million tons of coal annually. The country's unsold coal stocks shrank by 2.26 million tons.
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