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The Warsaw Voice » National Voice » February 25, 2011
Ireland in Poland
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It’s All About Relationships
February 25, 2011   
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Kenneth Morgan, Director of Trinity Corporate Services and Chairman of the Irish Chamber of Commerce in Warsaw, talks to Hilary Heuler.

What does Trinity Corporate Services do in Poland?
We have been on the market for almost seven years and we’ve advised thousands of companies here. The services we provide are market entry services, mainly for new companies arriving in Poland. Our clients are mostly international investors coming to Poland for the first time with an idea, a product or a service, but they don’t know the Polish environment so we help them get set up. We provide shelf companies – it can take some months to set up a company yourself, so we can provide them with companies that we have already set up. We also provide directorships, so if they want to have a locally-based director for their company we can provide that as well. We can also help with registered offices, opening bank accounts, changing directors and anything involving corporate secretarial.

Another part of the business is accounting and outsourcing, because once a company is set up you have to file VAT returns every month, you have to prepare the accounts on a monthly basis and if there’s a tax liability you have to pay it monthly. We also provide payroll outsourcing. So when a company comes in they first want a shelf company, then once they get set up they want a registered office, as they get bigger they need accounting and when they hire people they need payroll. We like to continue our relationship with them for as long as possible.

We have 140 people in Poland – with offices in Warsaw, Cracow and Wrocław – and we also have offices in Romania and Bulgaria. We’re a little bit of a regional player. We also work with a range of industries – a few years ago property was a high-growth sector, for instance, but now we have a lot of Irish companies involved in road construction, in addition to IT services, oil and gas services, HR and a range of other different sectors.

What is the Eco Trinity project?
That’s Trinity trying to be a little greener than other companies. For instance, we’ve sponsored four chimpanzees in the Warsaw Zoo – their names are Mandy, Judy, Liza and Zarno. For our summer staff party, we went to a forest outside Radom and everyone planted a tree to reduce our carbon footprint. In the office we print as little as possible, not printing e-mails unless it’s necessary and printing everything double-sided. We also issue e-invoices to our clients unless they require paper invoices. It’s a whole range of activities to make us a greener company, and to make everyone more aware of being green.

You have recently been elected Chairman of the Irish Chamber of Commerce. Can you tell us a little bit about what the chamber does for the Irish community in Poland?
We try to promote and foster relationships within the Polish-Irish business community in Poland. We also like to help people network – I think Irish people are quite good at networking, they share contacts quite easily and like meeting people, so it is a good forum for getting useful information very quickly. We were established six years ago, and at the moment we have about 35 corporate members and a number of individual members. Last week we had an event called “Flavours of Ireland”, which was a celebration of Irish food and drink, and we had 180 people attend. The guests of honour were the Ambassador of Ireland, Eugene Hutchinson, and celebrity chef Robert Makłowicz. Robert did a food tour of Ireland last year, cooking there and sampling Irish food. The event was a great success.

There are a lot of Irish companies working in Poland, and some are quite well-established. But any company can be a member of our chamber. We also have Polish companies who might have some clients who are Irish, and have joined for that reason, but any company from any country can join if they want to be part of our community and share contacts. We have business mixers most months, breakfasts, sessions on economics and an economic forum coming up in March around St. Patrick’s Day – that’s a very important time for Irish companies, of course!

There’s been a lot of bad press recently about the Irish economy. A response to the crisis is that Ireland is now exporting capital. In the 1980s, when I was at university in Ireland, everyone was leaving the country after graduating. But back then it was individuals leaving; now it’s not just labour that we’re exporting, but also a lot of large and mid-sized companies who are coming to Poland to invest and to look for opportunities. There are so many Polish people living in Ireland now that for Irish companies, it’s not such a culture shock coming to Poland. They are more familiar with Polish people and the Polish mindset. I think it makes it easier to come over here and invest, because at the end of the day it’s all about relationships with people.
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