Polish president pushes trade deals and closer ties during Beijing visit

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 22 December, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 22 December, 2011, 12:00am
 

Chinese investment in Poland has been rapidly growing and the visit of President Bronislaw Komorowski to Beijing this week is bringing new deals.

One major Chinese investment in Poland scheduled to be signed during the Polish leader's visit is Liugong Machinery's acquisition of a Polish heavy machinery company.

Liugong plans to acquire HSW Construction Equipment, a state-owned machinery maker.

'Last year was a breakthrough in Chinese investment in Poland,' said Marek Sosna, KPMG's head of transaction services in Poland.

KPMG, a Big Four accounting firm, has so far worked on several potential deals with Chinese companies in Poland.

One of the deals was worth about US$300 million, Sosna added, though he did not give details.

So far, Chinese investments in Poland have focused mainly on heavy machinery, pharmaceutics, electronics and energy.

KPMG's China desk in Poland was set up last December 'to recognise we have opportunities for Chinese investment', Sosna said. 'It's a recent phenomenon for us to serve Chinese companies.'

Andre Schuurman, KPMG's head of Strategic & Commercial Intelligence in Central and Eastern Europe, said: 'This year we are seeing a boom in Chinese interest in investing in Poland.

'We are seeing large numbers of Chinese delegates attending investment conferences in Poland. Chinese companies are looking at infrastructure projects in Poland.

'Only in the past 18 months did Chinese investment in Poland become significant. It's coming from a small base but it's moving upward. The share of Chinese investment in Poland's foreign direct investment is less than 0.25 per cent.'

In 2007, Chinese direct investment in Poland was only US$93 million, but Chinese and Hong Kong direct investment in Poland totalled US$375 million at the end of 2009, with 392 Chinese firms in the eastern European country, according to a KPMG report.

Last year, China exported Euro12.4 billion (HK$150 billion) of goods into Poland but imported Euro1.2 billion worth, Sosna said. 'So it was unbalanced.'

On Tuesday, President Hu Jintao and Komorowski signed a joint statement extending relations to the level of strategic partnership.

The statement said Poland hoped the European Union would acknowledge China's market economy status soon and would try to persuade the EU to remove its ban on military sales.

Beijing expects to increase imports from Poland and will encourage Chinese firms to participate in Polish infrastructure construction and its privatisation programme.

Poland also has vowed to make it easier for Chinese companies to enter the Polish and European markets, the Chinese government website said.

Komorowski yesterday met Premier Wen Jiabao.

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