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Poland: German quality, smaller tag

Europe is in a crisis, but Poland is smiling. Almost. There has been a surge in demand for Polish goods during the euro zone crisis, says the Polish undersecretary of state, Jerzy Pomianowski, “which has allowed us to grow while Europe has gone down.”

business Updated: Jun 03, 2012 21:24 IST
Pramit Pal Chaudhuri

Europe is in a crisis, but Poland is smiling. Almost. There has been a surge in demand for Polish goods during the euro zone crisis, says the Polish undersecretary of state, Jerzy Pomianowski, “which has allowed us to grow while Europe has gone down.”

Besides being outside the euro zone, Poland’s strongest economic ties are with Germany. This has allowed it to imbibe its neighbour’s quality — without the accompanying high costs. “Our ability to match the UK or Germany in quality but do so at cheaper prices led to growing demand for Polish products from the rest of Europe,” he said.

Pomianowski sees small and medium enterprises, for example, benefiting from his country. BPOs of Wipro, Infosys and TCS have already set up shop here, cashing in on Poland’s mix of low wages and access to Europe.

It’s not all business for Pomianowski when it comes to India. It is doubtful any other diplomat whose charte includes India can play the tabla — an accomplishment the minister picked up as a young dissident in the communist regime, when he often found it useful to leave for other shores, especially India.

This is why he believes a real bilateral partnership will depend on “the people of the two countries getting to know each other.”

He lists mining technology, defence — “we specialise in modernising Soviet era equipment,” food processing and shale gas tech as areas where Poland has capabilities.

On the policy front, Warsaw is hoping to see some alignment with India on climate change. Still coal-fired and industrial, Poland is a stubborn resister to EU attempts to impose ever-higher carbon limits. “We could help India within the EU in return for India helping is at the G20,” say Polish officials.