Poland... a rising economic star?

Poland has a new Minister for Entrepreneurship and technology. Her name is Jadwiga Emilewicz. She’s looking to take inspiration from her experience of studying abroad and living in Poland. She says she knows partnerships with other countries are beneficial for Poland. She says Poland has changed tremendously, not just in its cities which boast shiny new sky-scrapers but what they offer. She says encouraging foreign investment is a must for Poland as these companies are helping to restructure the labour market. However, she continues there are still problems, as the economy looks more imitative than innovative. Emilewicz says Poland is famous for it’s IT and Biotech industries, so much so that global Biotech companies have relocated to Poland. In the world of I.T, Poland’s innovators (or ‘smart geeks’ as Emilewicz calls them) are creating new solutions in the banking sector amongst others. An example of an early foreign investor in Poland was the father of Nicolas Yapp. His father came from France to the northern port of Gdansk, where dockworkers had fought against Soviet-era communism. It was here, 35 years ago that his father decided to build luxury catamarans. Nicolas is the co-founder and the current head of construction of a company which is still going: Sunreef Yaughts. We spoke to Nicolas about why his father chose to set up his business here in the first place. He explained that Gdansk, as a shipping port, was full of people with the skill and expertise to make boats. This includes experts in stainless steel, in wood and for the sails or engineers who can design and build a better engine. Nicolas says the reaction in France to his father’s innovation was mixed. That there must have been a group of people who thought he was crazy. However, his father’s foresight paid off. He had a vision that Poland would develop as it has done, and that’s what years later his son is still continuing his work here. This foreign innovation is paving the way for local pioneers. One of these is Dr Irena Eris. Who created a cosmetics company named after the woman herself. From just being her and her husband the start-up has grown to include more than 1000 employees. What was once small tubes of face creams has turned into a network of spas and hotels. The firm has even become a member of Comite Colbert, the exclusive French club of luxury products. Dr Irena says looking back it’s a miracle that the company is where it is today. She says she matches the work of huge brands like L’Oreal by being more elastic and therefore better meeting the needs of their customers. Finally, she says she’s very excited for the future, she says the brand wants to double their production and expand into the world.