UAE: A pole position for trade growth
"Poland and the UAE both have something to give to each other. We in Dubai and the UAE offer buyers, sellers, talent pool and a perfect environment for business."
More and more Polish companies are looking to expand their footprint in the Middle East and use Dubai as a primary platform for growth. To that effect, more than 40 companies are in Dubai to take part in 'Gateway to Emirates - Polish Commercial Mission to the UAE', organised by IESE Business School that aims to explore potential local partners and scout for opportunities to establish a presence in the region.
"Poland and the UAE both have something to give to each other. We in Dubai and the UAE offer buyers, sellers, talent pool and a perfect environment for business. Once you establish a business and make a mark, you can easily penetrate other regional markets. Poland, on the other hand, is a highly developed nation in terms of research and development. They have the know-how, which we can use to build knowledge economy here. Moreover, since Poland still hasn't adopted the Euro, it is very competitive in terms of pricing," Dr Omar Khan, Director, International Offices, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), told Khaleej Times on the sidelines of the event.
Companies visiting Dubai represent varied sectors, namely food and agriculture, information technology, healthcare, finance, consulting, media, cosmetics, entertainment, law, aviation, education and heavy industries.
Poland is a major player within the European Union and the largest economy in Central Europe. Despite weak growth in the Eurozone at large, Poland has maintained robust economic growth and expanded by 3.4 per cent year-on-year in the first half of January, well above the EU average of 1.3 per cent.
Consumer spending in Poland was resilient during the downturn and expected to remain strong owing to a huge domestic market with over 38 million consumers. As per HSBC's Trade Forecast report, investors in Poland are increasingly looking at the Middle East for new opportunities.
The UAE remains Poland's top trade partner in the Gulf and the Middle East. In 2014, the trade turnover between the two countries increased to $1.3 billion, up 50 per cent in 2014 compared with $865 million in 2013. Polish exports to the UAE at $1.1 million widely out number its imports as per official figures.
Poland, which is widely known as a global producer of a number of agricultural and horticulture products as well as products of animal origin, has been steadily increasing its exports to the UAE as well. "Poland traditionally had close trade relations mostly with the US, Canada, Asia, China, and Russia, but for the last few years, our focus has shifted to the Middle East and Africa. This is why Dubai is a very important market for us. The next big event for us would be the Gulfood festival in February, where we have 400 square metres of space," said Dr Sebastian Tomasz Stepnicki, Counsellor, Head of Trade and Investment Promotion Section, Embassy of the Republic of Poland, Abu Dhabi. More than 20 Polish companies are expected to participate in the event.
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