Over one hundred representatives of local governments and businesses, business support institution employees and journalists from Poland, Sweden and Finland took part in the “Open to Scandinavia” conference which took place on April 21 in Elbląg.
The conference participants discussed the idea of the Warmia and Mazury region cooperating more closely with Scandinavian countries. 'The warmińsko-mazurskie province is a good example of domestic and foreign investments, especially in our strongest industry branches which are also relevant for Scandinavian countries, sectors such as wood and furniture, tourism, yacht and high quality food production,' said Marshal Gustaw Marek Brzezin during the conference. 'I am confident that today's meeting will bring existing contacts closer together and create new ones. The role of the local government is to facilitate the communication between business representatives from the Nordic countries and those from Warmia and Mazury, which is why we are so committed to the economic promotion of our region – both internal and external.'
Participants of the conference talked about the potential and public image of the warmińsko-mazurskie province in the eyes of the representatives of Scandinavian companies, about the possibility of relocating businesses to Warmia and Mazury and about the legal framework of economic activity in Poland, Finland, Sweden and Norway. 'Investors in every country need and expect support – they expect to receive complete information about legal requirements and where one can find various kinds of help,' said Antti Pohjonen, CEO of Sand Valley Company from Pasłęk. 'The Warmia and Mazury region is a fantastic investment location,' he added.
As we have mentioned previously, this year's conference is part of an incoming business mission of entrepreneurs from Sweden and Finland. 24 companies interested in co-operation with Polish entrepreneurs and investing in the Warmia and Mazury region are participating in the mission. The mission began on Monday, April 20 and will last three days. It presents an opportunity to explore the offer of companies from leading industry branches in the region, such as furniture and food production. Entrepreneurs are planning to visit such places as Elbląg Technology Park, the Wójcik furniture factory and the Sand Valley Golf&Country Club golf course in Pasłęk.
The “Open to Scandinavia” event is being held for the third time and constitutes the next step of the intensive promotion of the warmińsko-mazurskie province local government, aimed at business from Scandinavian countries. Other activities so far include incoming and outgoing missions, direct meetings and contact, promotional campaigns and the Warmia & Mazury Cup golf tournament organized for Scandinavian and Polish business.
The interest in countries in the North is not a coincidence, since Scandinavia is the most appealing market for Polish companies. According to data from the Ministry of Economy, Poland placed 11th among the recipients of Swedish wares and among the countries exporting their wares to the Swedish market in 2014. In Finland, Poland is placed 13th both in export and import. According to the National Bank of Poland, before the end of 2013 Finland has invested 1.56 billion Euro in Poland in the form of direct investments.