Polish-Chinese political relations
Nowadays, political relations between People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Poland are close. In 2011, the Polish-Chinese cooperation has gained the status of a “strategic cooperation”, signifying its importance to both countries. One of the most important events in the modern history of Polish-Chinese relations has been the founding of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, commonly known as AIIB. The initiative to establish the AIIB was launched in 2014 and Poland became one of its founding members on 15th April 2015. One year 36 later, Poland has ratified the Agreement on joining AIIB. Polish authorities hope that by participating in this project Poland will improve its balance of trade and gain financial security, as many infrastructural projects will be co-sponsored by the AIIB, while Polish companies hope they will gain easier access to Chinese market.
In November 2015 Polish president Andrzej Duda visited People’s Republic of China. The purpose of the visit was to establish both political and economic cooperation between the new Polish government and the government of China. In order to achieve this goal, president Duda met with the Chinese president Xi Jinping, as well as with the Prime Minister Li Keqiang. Moreover, President Duda has also participated in the Polish-Chinese Economic Forum, where many Polish entrepreneurs had a chance to establish trade cooperation with their Chinese counterparts. During his visit President Duda took part in 20 the “16+1” initiative summit that took place in Suzhou.
Polish-Chinese trade relations
Poland is China’s biggest trade partner in Central and Eastern Europe and China is Poland’s most important trade partner in Asia. Moreover, it is second-biggest exporter to Poland overall, accounting for 11,6% of all imports to Poland. Trade exchange between Poland and China is characterized by a significant imbalance. According to data of Poland’s Central Statistical Office, in 2015 the value of exports from Poland to China stood at 1% of total Polish exports, which places China as 21th biggest export destination for Poland. In comparison, for China Poland is the 25th export destination in the world (accounting for 0,92% of total export value). Even though from 2004 to 2013 the total value of Polish exports to China has more than doubled, this increase has not matched the pace of growth of Chinese imports to Poland. According to the data of National Bank of Poland Polish Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in China accounted for 77,6 mln USD. Most of Polish companies that are conducting various production activities do so through joint venture companies with a Chinese partner.
Noteworthy Polish companies operating in China include KGHM (mining), Bioton (medical equipment and medicine), Polfa Łódź (pharmaceutics), PZL Świdnik (civil helicopters), Selena (construction chemicals), Kopex (mining equipment), Fakro (roof windows, loft ladders) and Rafako (cranes, energy equipment).
According to Deloitte experts, branches of economy that have good prospects on the Chinese market and that can receive financial support from Chinese government are high- tech, environment protection, agriculture, forestry, zootechnics, fishing, infrastructure, manufacturing that saves water and energy and venture capital undertakings. Furthermore, food sector, which is one of the Polish specialties, has many opportunities to develop in China. The EU SME report points out that after overtaking the US in 2011 China is the biggest market in the world for food and drinks. For Polish enterprises this is a great opportunity, especially considering the changes in behaviour of Chinese consumers. Experts of EU SME Helpdesk consider wine, dairy, pasta and pasta sauces, tomato products, olive oil, beer, chocolate, snacks and cookies, breakfast cereals, coffee, meat, baby food and baby milk to be very prospective on that market. It is worth noting that many of those products traditionally were not a part of Chinese cuisine. Basing on advice given in the report Polish food producers could try their hand at niche markets for high-class food intended as gifts, organic and natural products, organic baby milk, variety food baskets and gourmet foods.
EU: The Food & Beverage Market in China 2015