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The Warsaw Voice » National Voice » June 17, 2010
Portugal in Poland
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Pluses of Portugal
June 17, 2010   
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Pedro Pereira da Silva, President of the Polish-Portuguese Chamber of Commerce, talks to Jolanta Wolska.

Why is Poland an important economic partner for Portugal in the CEE region and which Portuguese industries are most active in Poland?
Poland has proved its leadership among new European economies and a big, future-oriented market is a natural destination for our investment. That is why Poland is the most important country in Central and Eastern Europe for Portuguese foreign direct investment (FDI). Currently in Poland there are about 100 Polish companies with Portuguese capital. Due to the significant investment that Portuguese companies have been making for the past 10 years, Poland has naturally became one of the strategic markets for the Portuguese economy and it is perceived by the Portuguese entrepreneurs as one of the most attractive destinations for investing. It is worth emphasizing that Portuguese companies are active in many areas, such as retail, banking, industry, construction, real estate, renewable energy, IT, medical care and legal services. Innovative solutions are an integral element of what Portuguese companies offer.

Why are Portuguese wines less popular in Poland than those from your neighbor Spain or from New World countries?
The wine market is very competitive in Poland and is changing very fast. It has huge potential and we expect big growth in wine consumption in the coming years. Portuguese brands started to be introduced on the Polish market a couple of years ago and the distribution is still under development. Portuguese wine producers are still establishing new partnerships with Polish import companies. Awareness and customer acceptance of Portuguese wine in Poland is growing rapidly, as can be seen through increased sales. Restaurant wine lists in Polish restaurants already include, for example, the famous Porto wine, the great strong Douro red wine, the fruity white wine from Alentejo and the unique and special green wine from Minho.

You held a successful “Flavors of Portugal” gastronomic week at the InterContinental Warsaw hotel at the end of May. How hard is it to change Poles’ taste in food, which tends to be conservative?
This is yet another stereotype that needs to be changed. All the Poles I know are very open to a varied culinary experience. Many of them are already in love with Portuguese food. Seafood, fish, meat, appetizers combined with some of the best wines in the world is something that no one can resist. We treat the Flavors of Portugal gastronomic week as a platform to do more than just promote great Portuguese cuisine. Our aim is to strengthen bilateral relations between Poland and Portugal. During the week the Polish-Portuguese Chamber of Commerce focused on promoting the best of Portuguese cuisine, as well as Portuguese culture, history and tourism. The event was a big success, fully booked every evening.

What type of companies are members of the PPCC, which was established two years ago? Which of your services are most in demand?
PPCC activities focus on three main areas: contacts and events, communication and consultancy. The Chamber of Commerce organizes and promotes events and meetings, which are important in the process of facilitating and developing business activity, for example, seminars, conferences, business mixers and business breakfasts.

Communication is also one of the most important areas of our activities. Through our website, newsletter, publications, annual membership directory and events, the PPCC plans to deliver top-quality information to its members and strengthen ties between Polish and Portuguese business organizations.

We always try to develop our range of services. Currently, we can assist not only our members, but also other interested companies in market research, preparation of potential business partner lists, translation and interpreter services, organization of trade missions and various kinds of promotion. We also give access to our CV database and can help companies in finding employees.

The PPCC has 65 members. Sixty percent of our membership is formed by Portuguese companies, and the remaining ones are Polish and multinational companies. Our target is to have 100 members by the end of the year.
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