Economic Forum in Toruń
March 27, 2014
More than 1,000 businessmen, academics and local government officials from Poland and abroad descended on the northern city of Toruń for the 21st Economic Forum March 3-4.
The Forum is one of the largest conferences of its kind in Poland, giving politicians and businessmen an opportunity to discuss the state of the Polish economy in the globalized world of today. Every year, the event is attended by over 1,000 people.
The two-day conference included a string of panel discussions, business meetings and banquets, in addition to accompanying cultural events.
This year’s forum, whose theme was “Integration and Cooperation,” examined the role of small, medium-sized and micro enterprises and looked at the main challenges facing the Polish, European and global economies.
Key topics at this year’s forum included the economy, banking and finance, energy, environment, infrastructure and transportation, international cooperation, agriculture, food processing, trade, social affairs and health.
Individual sessions focused on Poland’s business ties with the United States, renewable energy, cooperation between Poland, Ukraine and Turkey, the role of women in business, public-private partnerships, and innovation in managing the medical sector. Participants also discussed the role of micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises in boosting the competitiveness and growth of the European economy.
There were also references to recent events beyond Poland’s eastern border and their impact on Poland and Europe as a whole.
Michał Boni, former minister of administration and digitization and ex- labor minister, said, “I do not want to send out any political signals, but since we’re talking about 25 years of Poland’s transition [from communism to a market economy], let’s send out a strong signal to our brothers the Ukrainians that we are with them. We must stimulate international institutions to show more determination.”
Those taking the floor during the “Business and Administration in Poland” panel discussion appealed for greater stability and predictability in the law-making process as well as uniform interpretations of legal regulations and an appropriate selection of staff for the public administration sector.
Tomasz Suchański, general manager of Jeronimo Martins Polska, said businesses in Poland are hampered by factors including the lack of stable tax regulations, especially when it comes to how the taxman interprets Value Added Tax rules. He also mentioned a “lack of dialogue” between the authorities and businesses.
Those taking part in this year’s forum included guests from abroad looking for business partners. Domingos Culolo, Angola’s ambassador to Poland, said, “I want to tell you that our country is waiting for Polish businesspeople. Angola has emerged from a civil war, and we are reconstructing the country.”