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The Warsaw Voice » Other » May 28, 2008
ITALY IN POLAND
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Italians Happy to Invest
May 28, 2008   
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Louis Jacob talks to Emilio Lolli, head of the economic
and commercial division at the Italian embassy in Warsaw, who believes that conditions for Italian investment in Poland are improving all the time.


How big is Italian investment in Poland?
Italy is among the top investors here in Poland. According to statistical data, we are in sixth position, behind the United States and ahead of Britain, so I think that this is a formidable position to be in. It is proof of our fantastic cooperation with Poland. At the end of 2006, the total of our investments in Poland amounted to 4.8 billion euros. Our investments in Poland are important. We have high-profile companies like Fiat who are big players in the automotive industry, and Ferrero, a leading producer of chocolate. These are among the most famous. However, there are a lot of other Italian companies investing here in Poland. There is also of course, Unicredito, which is a big player in the Polish financial sector. The list of Italian companies of all sizes, investing in Poland is quite long. But a point that I would like to underline is that all of them are serious about their business in Poland and that the quality of the investments is high. All of the companies are on long term strategies.

What are the most important areas of business between Poland and Italy, and which sector is the most attractive for Italians?
The automotive industry is important, but there are other areas that are attractive to Italy. There is also a huge interest in the area of home appliances. But the main thing is that these industries are important in the development of spin-off industries. For example, Indesit has been investing heavily in the special economic zone of £ód¼ and thanks to this investment, other Italian companies which produce goods for Indesit are following, and they are going to invest in the same area. It's a sort of positive chain reaction. And this is only one example of such growth.

Can you give an example of a big success story?
I think you have to say that Fiat is the most spectacular example of an Italian success story in Poland. I think that Fiat is a real example of a historical investor in Poland. When you consider that Fiat's investment here dates back to the 1930s which is almost 80 years, it really is something special. And now you have the situation where Italian cars like the new Fiat 500 are being produced in Poland and exported to the market in Italy. It shows that it is worth investing in Poland, as a place that can produce high quality goods for every type of market. I think that the levels of confidence that Fiat has placed in this country is the main reason that it has become such a special success story.

What are the barriers facing Italian investors in Poland?
I have to say that also thanks to Poland's entry into the European Union, I don't see any major problems for Italian investors in Poland. Maybe if you have to choose something, the language can be a minor difficulty, because for Italian people, Polish can be difficult but this is something that is being addressed. The universities here have fantastic Italian departments.

You have been here for a year. What strikes you about Poland?
I am interested in culture and I am most satisfied with what Warsaw has to offer in this area. There are many theatres, operas and museums and there is also some beautiful architecture. My experience so far has been wonderful.
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