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The Warsaw Voice » National Voice » November 3, 2014
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Scandinavian-Polish Chamber of Commerce
November 3, 2014   
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The Scandinavian-Polish Chamber of Commerce (SPCC), one of the largest such organizations in Poland, is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

The Scandinavian-Polish Chamber of Commerce was formed in 2004 by four independent business organizations. They were the Danish-Polish Chamber of Commerce, the Finnish Trade Guild, the Swedish Business Club, and the Norwegian Business Forum. The new organization was established to represent the interests of Scandinavian enterprises in Poland, help them join forces to build business relations, promote Scandinavian business values and provide Polish companies with the information needed to make their mark on markets in Scandinavia.

The Scandinavian-Polish Chamber of Commerce now groups almost 360 companies, which makes it one of the largest chambers of commerce in Poland. Every year the chamber holds around 80 high-profile business events, including conferences, seminars and meetings with politicians and economists. The chamber is based in Warsaw with regional branches in Cracow, Poznań, Szczecin, the Gdańsk-Sopot-Gdynia area and Wrocław.

The Scandinavian-Polish Chamber of Commerce started as an association of enterprises from the four founding countries in addition to Polish companies seeking to enter markets in Scandinavia and those keen to work with Scandinavian businesses on other markets. Since 2011, the chamber has also been open to companies from Iceland and Estonia. Most chamber members are companies hailing from Denmark (36 percent) and Sweden (34 percent). The main sectors represented in the chamber are the power industry, construction, transportation, logistics, telecommunications, the chemical industry, the lumber industry and banking and finance. A total of 57 percent of the chamber’s members operate in the services sector, 29 percent in the retail sector, and the remaining 14 percent are producers. Sixty-six percent of Scandinavian companies in the chamber are based in Warsaw and the second most popular city among them is Szczecin in northwestern Poland, at 11 percent. Only 24 percent of the Scandinavian members are large companies with more than 100 employees, while medium-sized enterprises with up to 100 employees account for 37 percent. Small businesses with 10 employees or fewer constitute the largest group, at 39 percent. The number of large companies has grown over the past five years, but small and medium-sized service providers still constitute the majority among the chamber’s members.

In terms of the types of services provided by companies in the Scandinavian-Polish Chamber of Commerce, consulting services occupy the top spot, at 21 percent. Construction comes in second at 10 percent, followed by transportation and logistics at 8 percent and the tourism and hotel industry, also at 8 percent. Around 7 percent of the chamber’s members are in the power engineering sector, with a focus on technology designed to protect the environment.

The findings of an annual study by the chamber show that Scandinavia has for years had a positive image in the eyes of the Polish public. Scandinavian companies rank among the most valued employers in league tables. Officials from the Scandinavian-Polish Chamber of Commerce believe this is mainly the result of the values the Scandinavian business community is famous for, such as honest competition, transparency, business responsibility, respect for employees and a concern for the environment.

Meanwhile, surveys have shown that over 95 percent of Scandinavian companies are positive about the business environment in Poland and are satisfied with the way their firms are developing in this country.

The surveyed chamber members have named pluses such as access to qualified staff in Poland and the country’s improving transportation system, which is making life easier in terms of both business trips and deliveries of materials that enterprises need.

One of the most important aspects of the chamber’s work are events during which Scandinavian businessmen can meet with Polish central and local government officials. According to Carsten Nilsen, chairman of the Scandinavian-Polish Chamber of Commerce, one of the key objectives of the chamber is to strengthen dialogue between Scandinavian businesses and Polish authorities at different levels so as to foster good relations and ensure mutual understanding.

New projects undertaken by the chamber include a conference called Scandinavian SWOT. First held in 2013, the conference took place again this year, aiming to provide all interested parties with information about doing business in Scandinavia. The conference participants talked about investment and development opportunities in Scandinavia and branching out to Scandinavian markets. The chamber also provides its members with direct and indirect business matching.

Debate: 10 Years of Polish-Nordic Relations

The SPCC is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and to mark this milestone, the Chamber is organizing a special anniversary debate entitled Ten Years of Polish-Nordic Relations. Participants will discuss the changes that have taken place in Poland during the last decade and the role of Nordic countries and investors in that process.
The event will be held Dec. 4 in Warsaw.
For details, go to www.spcc.pl
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