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The Warsaw Voice » National Voice » May 7, 2015
Japan in Poland
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May 7, 2015   
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Hidenori Yuguchi, First Secretary at the Economic Cooperation Section of the Japanese embassy in Warsaw, talks to Ewa Hancock

How big is Japanese investment in Poland?
The total value of Japanese investments from 2002 to 2012 was 1.81 billion euros, according to data compiled by the Polish Information and Investment Agency (PAIiIZ). This is more than any other country invested in Poland.

According to the National Bank of Poland, the amount of Japanese direct investment in Poland, which does not include sizable Japanese investment through third countries, was 1.04 billion euros in 2013, much more than other Asian investments.

As of October 2014, there were almost 300 Japanese-affiliated companies operating in Poland. Among these, manufacturing companies, which account for one third of the total, are contributing to the Polish economy in terms of job creation and technology transfer.

In what sectors of the Polish economy are Japanese businesses doing best?
The surge of Japanese investment in decade beginning in 2000 was first led by manufacturers linked to the automotive sector and later by electronics companies. Some of them have reinvested or enlarged their investment, which is a clear sign of their appreciation for the Polish business environment. The automotive and electronics sectors are now followed by new sectors such as energy, environment, services, and R&D. In 2003, there were around 110 Japanese companies in Poland, and now there are almost 300.

Furthermore, new Japanese investments are also being made in Poland aiming at its domestic market rather than export markets in Western Europe. Food and confectionery businesses are one example. Japanese business interest in M&As in Poland is also a new trend. Some M&As have been carried out recently in insurance and social media.

These are all welcome developments and they will broaden the horizon of our bilateral economic relations. Japan and Poland could work together in Asia. Japan can provide a reliable gateway for Polish companies to get into Asia to do profitable business. But bilateral cooperation should not be confined to Asia. Africa could be another promising area for our bilateral cooperation.

Can you give an example of a major Japanese success story in Poland?
There are a plenty of success stories involving Japanese companies in Poland. One company set up a joint venture with a state-owned company and started production in 1999. The Japanese managers were first worried about the performance of their workers and thus the quality of their products. Soon after that their products demonstrated the highest quality level in the company’s global operation. Indeed, “Made in Poland” gained a great reputation in their global business. They attribute this success mainly to the hardworking labor force and top-quality human resources in Poland.

Another company is very proud of its success in Poland and is extremely grateful to the local government and special economic zone for their commitment and help. They are instrumental in securing a good investment environment such as electricity, work force, infrastructure, public transport and administration procedures.

Both companies are typical examples of many successful Japanese companies in Poland. We are seeing a good synergy between Polish hosts and Japanese investors. The greater their success, the more new investment will be attracted to Poland.
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