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The Warsaw Voice » Law » April 28, 2011
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Hindrances for Investors
April 28, 2011   
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Olga Kożuszko-Pawełas, a partner with the Kunert, Kożuszko, Sanak Kancelaria Prawna KKS Legal Sp.k. law firm, talks to Magdalena Łasak about regulations governing foreign investment in Poland.

What image do foreign investors have of Poland when it comes to the current regulations?
Poland is still an attractive country for foreign investors, which shows in such economic results as the positive balance in both foreign direct investment and portfolio investment. It is particularly worth noting that in the first quarter of this year, the Warsaw Stock Exchange retained its position as European leader in terms of the number of debuts. However, the value of foreign capital flowing to Poland is significantly lower than the value of investment before the crisis began. It is thus vital for Poland to foster the kind of legal framework that encourages foreign investors to locate their projects in Poland. The process to remove barriers such as excessive red tape began when the Economy Ministry adopted a “Package for Enterprise,” which provides for changes to 20 laws. The changes are designed to eliminate formalities which appear to ensure the security of business dealings but in reality constitute an obstacle to launching and running a businesses.

What legislation needs to be improved?
The reduction of the administrative burden associated with various laws is an ongoing process. The key areas which I believe formally obstruct the investment process include regulations on special economic zones, unclear procedures pertaining to privatization, complicated tax rules, which change all too frequently, and protracted procedures in courts of law. Another important thing is to maintain tangible incentives for investors, such as various kinds of state aid, and the option of combining different types of grants. This year marks the start of the new government program to support investment of key importance to the Polish economy from 2011 to 2020.

Which legal changes expected this year do you believe can radically stimulate the flow of investment and in which sectors of the economy?
In my opinion, these are the comprehensive changes in the energy law which deal with renewable energy. The changes have been necessitated by the need to implement what is known as the third EU energy package and the directive on promoting the use of renewable energy. The changes can help Poland draw in investors who operate in this sector. I also think that simplified administration procedures in the construction process will also help make the Polish real estate market more interesting for foreign developers.
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