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The Warsaw Voice » Business » September 30, 2011
Business & Economy
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First European SME Congress
September 30, 2011   
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The first European SME Congress, one of the biggest business events in Central and Eastern Europe aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises, will take place Oct. 6-7.

The city of Katowice will host over 2,500 business executives, local government officials and academics from Poland and abroad. Twelve panel discussions will tackle the problems and challenges facing the largest business sector in Poland and Europe.

The congress will be opened by Polish President Bronisław Komorowski. Among the invited guests are Jerzy Buzek, President of the European Parliament, and Prime Minister Donald Tusk. The main organizer of the event is the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Katowice.

The congress aims to analyze the state of the SME market in Poland and Europe and point to new directions in which it can develop. Innovation, business clusters and new technologies, as well as cooperation between academics and business and local government, are among the most significant challenges facing small and medium-size entrepreneurs.

According to the president of the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development (PARP), Bożena Lublińska-Kasprzak, the main problems to be discussed during the congress include the poor use of new technologies by small and medium-sized enterprises in Poland, the under-use of external funds and a lack of strategic thinking.

The organizers of the congress will sum up ideas for boosting the Polish SME sector, which will be elaborated on by experts and delivered in the form of recommendations to the government.

Tadeusz Donocik, president of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Katowice, said the congress would attempt to unify the legislative approach of European countries, including Poland, towards small and medium-sized enterprises—something that no one has done so far in this part of the world.

“The significance of this sector is fundamental for the development of the economy,” Donocik said.

“SMEs constitute the largest group of enterprises in Poland and an important employer, hiring over 60 percent of all enterprises’ employees and generating nearly half of Poland’s GDP. In Europe, small and medium-sized enterprises account for about 60 percent of the bloc’s GDP and almost 70 percent of jobs.” Poland still has some way to go to bridge the gap with the European average, he added.

The congress will be accompanied by a Business Expo Fair of Services and Products for SMEs, where institutions will have an opportunity to present their products and services to small and medium-sized enterprises.

The congress will take place under the auspices of President Bronisław Komorowski as part of the official agenda of the Polish presidency of the Council of the European Union. Participation in the congress is free.

More information at www.kongresmsp.eu
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