Foreign expansion in practice – what do entrepreneurs expect?

During the second edition of the Corporate Finance and Banking Congress (27-28 October), Vice President of the Polish Cluster of Construction Exporters Andrzej Kozłowski took part in a plenary debate, “Foreign expansion in practice – what do entrepreneurs expect?”.

Sławomir Sikora, President of the Management Board of Bank Handlowy in Warsaw, gave an introduction speech to encourage discussion. He remarked that according to the largest percentage of surveyed respondents (57%) financial instruments are the most important tool for supporting exports. These are closely followed by appropriate promotion and assistance from public administration services. He also pointed out that the most important factors which play vital role for expansion are the innovativeness and quality of a product. It is thanks to them that market advantages develop.

Comment by Andrzej Kozłowski, Vice-President of PCOCE:

“However, innovation and quality are bound to matter mainly in markets where they are not yet widespread. It is on such markets that members of the Polish Cluster of Construction Exporters should act as General Contractor in order to thrive. This, however, requires finding such projects. These, on the other hand, usually seek financial support.  With regard to the question asked by President Sikora in the introduction about the support expected by entrepreneurs, I can say that what could act as a lever on the markets in countries such as Belarus, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Ukraine in the case of the industry represented by PCOCE are investment funds for the implementation of projects under the rules of “Project Finance”, or “Bank to Bank” special purpose credits, as well as effective support and involvement of diplomatic missions in these countries, government agencies and the Ministry of Development. Not exclusively for those several dozen construction companies which intend to diversify their activities is the task of rebuilding the position Polish construction exports used to have in the past in the making up of the Polish GDP. This is a major objective for many governmental and non-governmental organisations to make every effort to help in this process. This should include promotion, then searching for selected projects and supporting main contractors (GW) in obtaining them, together with finding all financial instruments enabling them to undertake such projects. If we take this challenge as our common objective, we can, similarly to large European construction companies, participate in the implementation of major construction projects all over the world. We just need to bear in mind that this process takes time and, primarily, persistence in the implementation of the agreed tasks.

Other panelists contributing to the debate moderated by Marek Tejchman, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, included Paweł Hajduk, Member of the Board of Solaris Bus & Coach SA, Michael Jensen, President of the Board of Zakłady Mięsne Nove Sp. z o.o., Krzysztof Koszela, Member of the Board and Foreign Market Development Director at Colian, Marcin Szewczykowski, Member of the Board and Financial Director at Orbis SA, Piotr Tokarski, Vice-President of the Board for Trade at Paradyż Group, and Andrzej Wierzba, President of the Board at eTravel SA.

About the Congress

The Corporate Finance and Banking Congress is an initiative activity of the European Financial Congress focused on the discussion regarding financing and supporting enterprises by private and public financial and development institutions, with particular emphasis on the needs and expectations set for the financial market by entrepreneurs. This year’s Congress was held on 27-28 October 2016 in the seat of the Warsaw Stock Exchange. The main theme of the Congress was “Foreign expansion in business – opportunities, expectations, support”.

The aim of the Congress is to create a permanent venue for international debate and propose constructive solutions to challenges in the area of business development financing both on the domestic and international markets. As a result of discussions held during the Congress, some recommendations will be drafted, the most important of which will be included in the collection of Recommendations of the European Financial Congress.