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The Warsaw Voice » Business » December 1, 2014
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Help for Polish Firms to Expand Abroad
December 1, 2014   
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Polish small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) expanding abroad will now be able to receive financial support from Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego (BGK).

Companies from the SME sector that want to invest on foreign markets will be able to receive assistance from a new Foreign Expansion Fund being set up by BGK. The fund is linked with the government’s Polish Investment program and will finance projects with a value of under 20 million zlotys.

Almost 40 percent of small and medium-sized businesses in Poland plan to expand their operations abroad in the next two years, according to Treasury Minister Włodzimierz Karpiński. For now, 90 percent of the companies that have already started expanding abroad have been doing so on the basis of their own funds. “We hope that the new fund will spur the development of small and medium-sized businesses, causing them to attain higher profits and thus leading to the overall growth of the Polish economy,” said Karpiński.

The fund’s initial endowment will be zl.100 million with an option to rise to zl.1.5 billion over the next seven years. The Foreign Expansion Fund will not only lend money to investors, but also financially support Polish companies set up abroad. The idea is based on similar projects already in operation in countries such as Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden.

The fund is expected to begin operating in the first quarter of next year. The first entrepreneurs interested in receiving support from the Foreign Expansion Fund have already contacted BGK.

So far few Polish SMEs have decided to invest abroad; mostly large corporations have done so. The biggest obstacles to foreign expansion by small and medium-sized enterprises include a shortage of their own funds and problems with obtaining external financing.
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