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The Warsaw Voice » National Voice » June 29, 2012
America in Poland
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Excellent Opportunities
June 29, 2012   
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Joseph Wancer, Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Poland, talks to Andrzej Ratajczyk.

How do you rate Polish-U.S. cooperation to date?
Cooperation between the U.S. and Poland has a deep and wide reach and has been particularly intensive in the last 20 plus years. We cannot forget the huge impact the U.S. played in launching Poland strongly into a free-market economy. In the early 1990s it was American companies, NGOs and government agencies that pioneered the shift from a controlled economy to capitalism. Groups such as USAID, the MBACorps, the Peace Corps, Ford Foundation, and many others, helped Poland greatly in its time of need. In terms of business, it was American corporations that came early with capital and know-how and set the standards for international business that help make Poland so successful today. Today, American companies are among the largest investor groups in Poland and relations are on the rise again with a need for American know-how in the energy sector, in particular.

Poland is in a great position of growth and development and naturally this development will reach out further globally. Polish companies are already quite successful on other markets and making a stronger reach to the U.S. is the next step. Much more can be done; we will discuss specific ideas during the U.S.-Poland Business Summit.

What do you expect from the U.S.-Poland Business Summit?
I expect an exciting series of meetings where both governments and both Polish and American business will collaborate on ideas of how the government can support the aims of business for the benefit of both national economies. We have a lot of key, high-level business representatives coming from the U.S. and from Polish firms so I expect an extraordinary event with real outcomes.

What are the chances for enlivening mutual relations?
The opportunities for growing mutual relations are excellent. Proof of what can be done is the forthcoming Business Summit, which will enhance relations at different levels: government to government and business to business. The commitment of both governments and the private sector is there so it is just a matter of time to see greater effects.

Our White Paper written in preparation for the summit focuses exactly on some of the sectors with greatest potential. Besides the obvious areas of energy and outsourcing, I would mention the opportunities in mutual research and development initiatives as Poland has a great scientific base that could benefit from U.S. methods and experience in commercialization. Innovation and the internet economy are catch phrases of the day, but we cannot forget traditional industry and Poland’s strong industrial base in the automotive, aviation, defense, and biotechnology sectors, to name a few.
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