Polish-Chinese economic cooperation – gradual development of mutual relationsPublished: 18.09.2014
China plays an important role in Poland's foreign trade relations. In the last years,the trade between the two countries has been growing fast, albeit the imports-exports imbalance remains extreme – Polish exports to China are equal to as little as 10% of Chinese exports to Poland. The Polish government and institutions supporting Polish businesses are currently running a campaign addressed to entrepreneurs in Poland,aimed at increasing exports to China and bridging the gap in the trade balance.
Polish-Chinese economic relations in past years
According to the data of stats office GUS, Poland's imports from China amounted to PLN 60.9 bln in 2013, which represented 9.4% of the total. In nominal terms, their value has grown more than fourfold since 2004. Poland imports from China above all machines, electronic and mechanical equipment, especially telecom equipment, parts and accessories as well as computers, radios and TV equipment.
Other key product groups in imports from China are textiles, apparel and footwear, metals and metal products. Poland also imports household decoration products, toys and sports accessories, chemical products, rubbers and plastics, precision and optical appliances as well as transportation equipment.
Polish exports to China constitute but a fraction of the value of the imports, despite a significant increase in the past few years. Since 2004, the value of Polish exports to China has surged by over 200% to hit USD 7.1 bln in 2013. Still, exports to China accounted for as little as 1% of Poland's total exports last year.
Metals and metal products constitute the key element of Polish exports to China, especially copper and its derivatives. Other important categories include machinery and electronic equipment, car parts, chemical products as well as rubber and plastics.
In H1 this year, imports from China grew by 4.6% y/y to PLN 32.6 bln, according to GUS data. Polish exports to China were not even included in the statistical summary.
Still much to learn about each other
After ten years since the beginning of the trade exchange between Poland and China, imports from China are ten times bigger than exports to China. Polish state administration is concerned about these developments and tries to actively encourage Polish entrepreneurs to sign business agreements with Chinese partners, in order to increase Polish exports to the country with the highest population in the world.
“Go China” scheme (www.gochina.gov.pl), launched two years ago, is a pilot program of the Polish government with the goal of strengthening Polish presence on the Chinese market. The results are already apparent in a way – Poland hosted over 120 Chinese delegations over more than a year and September will see more Chinese business events. Between ten and twenty Polish business missions are planned in China by the end of the year.
“The [“Go China” - PAP] scheme is supported by the Ministries of Economy and Foreign Affairs, by the Polish agency for foreign investments PAIiIZ. It aims to provide a closer view on China to Polish entrepreneurs and encourage them to expand there. There is a – growing – group of Polish enterprises who have begun to feel sufficiently well in the midst of European, global crisis to look beyond the European cocoon,” PAIiIZ head Slawomir Majman told PAP.
Majman expects Polish exports to China to rise – mostly thanks to the exports of foods such as milk, dairy products and meat. Polish business promotion activities in China focus on Polish foods segment, he notes.
“We are the biggest net exporter in the EU. . . . We attend countless food fairs in China, we send there foods producers' missions. Even a 2-3% share in a Chinese market is a great opportunity for the Polish foods industry,” Majman said.
One of the obstacles is the embargo on Polish pork set by China in early February after the African Swine Fever was discovered in two dead boars in Poland, he added.
Also, Polish businesses are still somewhat reluctant to invest in China, according to Majman.
“We are persuading Polish investors, we help them to seek their opportunities in China in such areas as mining equipment and safety equipment for mining, environment protection, especially in big cities, municipal services in big cities. And, of course, foods industry,” he said.
Source - Polish Press Agency, Economic Service