Partner Country 2017: Poland at its innovative and dynamic best
Innovation and growth – two key areas in which Poland is set to shine as the official Partner Country at HANNOVER MESSE 2017. This April at the world's leading trade for industrial technology, Poland will be stepping out on stage in front of an international audience to make its case as an attractive partner in a large and diverse range of industries.9 Feb 2017
Apart from domestic reindustrialization, the country's main economic focus is on opening up foreign markets and supporting innovative Polish companies. Around 150 of these companies will feature at this year's HANNOVER MESSE. Together, they will mount a Partner Country showcase that will center on the themes of energy and IT.
"Being next-door neighbors, Poland and Germany are already strong partners," remarked Jochen Köckler, a member of the Managing Board of Deutsche Messe, the trade show's organizer. "At HANNOVER MESSE 2017, Poland's industrial sector will demonstrate its innovative spirit and its dynamic uptake of digitalization – factors that make it a key player on the global stage," he said.
Polish Economic Development Ministry Undersecretary Tadeusz Kościński explains his country's objectives heading into HANNOVER MESSE 2017: "As the Partner Country at this year's show, Poland wants to demonstrate that it is not interested in rapid economic development for its own sake. Our country's development must be sustainable and it must be driven by an innovative industrial base. Among the core components of this base I would name industrial automation and industrial IT, energy, alternative powertrain solutions, and compressed- and vacuum-air technologies. Many Polish companies are already developing Industry 4.0 technologies and are thus highly attractive partners for foreign companies. Poland is also an extremely desirable destination for foreign direct investment. Another objective of our Partner Country showcase is to send a clear signal to the European Union that reindustrialization is the way forward for us all. The Polish government sees reindustrialization as one of its most important objectives."
Poland's government has in fact clearly set out its economic policy direction in what has come to be known as the Morawiecki Plan. Apart from reindustrialization, the plan gives priority to support for innovative companies, to digitalization, and to greater development of foreign markets. Under the plan, Poland also wants to remain an attractive destination for foreign direct investment, while at the same time encouraging private domestic investment.
Digitalization of Poland's manufacturing processes is certainly proceeding rapidly, with digital manufacturing technology accounting for 4.1 percent of the nation's GDP in 2015. Moreover, the Polish government is actively supporting the process of economic digitization with an extensive program of financing options for the R&D sector. Another core focus of Poland's overall economic strategy is energy. The renewable portion of the country's total energy mix currently sits at just 7 percent but is prioritized for expansion. The Polish government is also very committed to supporting startups, and in June last year launched a "Startup Poland" program. The program, which has a total budget of 3 billion Polish Zloty (PLN), will provide funding and development support for around 1,000 startups over the next few years.
All of these aspects of Poland and its commercial and industrial landscape will feature in Poland's Partner Country showcase in Hannover this April. All up, around 150 Polish companies will exhibit on about 4,000 square meters (43,000 sq. ft.) of display space spread across all of HANNOVER MESSE's seven constituent trade shows. This compares with about 80 companies in 2016. The lineup will include a sizable contingent from Poland's energy technology and industrial subcontracting sectors.
Overall organization and coordination of this year's Partner Country showcase rests with PARP, the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development. Among much else, the showcase will comprise theme-specific group pavilions in many of HANNOVER MESSE's exhibition halls. For instance, NCBR, the National Center for Research and Development, will be running a pavilion at the Research & Technology show in Hall 2. Meanwhile, the Polish government's central pavilion will be in Hall 3. This is the heart of the showcase and will feature group presentations by ten of the country's provinces. Poland's Ministry of Science and Higher Education will also be using pavilion to profile a number of stand-out innovations from the country's industrial sector. There will also be Polish group pavilions dedicated to industrial subcontracting (Hall 4), the foundry industry (Hall 5/6), electrical engineering (Hall 13), heating and cooling supply technology (Hall 27) and electric transportation (open-air site).
Poland a dynamic economic nation
Poland has been enjoying rapid and stable economic growth for many years and is one of the five most dynamic economies in the European Union. The country's ongoing program of infrastructure modernization has brought significant redevelopment to its national road network, airports, railroads and public buildings and is a major magnet for investors from all around the world. Moreover, Poland also receives extensive EU funding, which is invested in infrastructure projects, research and development, business development initiatives, eco-friendly transportation options and digitalization.
According to Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI), this mix of strong gross fixed capital formation and EU funding are a boon to the mechanical and plant engineering industry, with Poland's machinery imports increasing by 12 percent in 2015 alone. Sales of metalworking machinery also grew by a double-digit figure over the same period. Demand for new technology is booming in Poland's energy sector. In 2015, the sector's import-to-GDP ratio increased by 16% on the back of sustained investment in electric generation and distribution infrastructure.
Poland's biggest bilateral trading partner is its immediate neighbor, Germany. Its other key foreign markets are the UK, France, Italy and the Czech Republic, although it is increasingly also focusing on markets in Asia and Africa.
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