Valeant sells plant in Poland

Drug maker Valeant Pharmaceuticals International said Thursday it sold a manufacturing facility in Warsaw, Poland, to Strides Polska Sp. for an undisclosed amount. The company said in a statement the sale is part of the company's goal to reduce costs of goods sold by 20 percent to 25 percent by 2008.
Source:The Associated Press

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U.S. Senate includes Poland in Visa Waiver programme

Under the current Visa Waiver programme, the United States doesnot require visas from citizens of 15 of the 25 countries in the EU, but the scheme does not apply to Greece or the 10 new member states, except Slovenia.

Poland has not been named in the amendment to the Immigration Act but it is the only new EU member country meeting the updated requirements.

The amendments speak of such countries which are EU members, have provided military aid to the U.S. in Iraq (at least 300 soldiers) and do not pose a terrorist threat.

Responding to the amendment, Poland's ambassador Janusz Reiter welcomed the changes but said there was more work to be done in ensuring Polish people could visit America without a visa.

"This is a completely new situation. This does not mean that the question of visas for Poles has been settled but we are closerto reaching this goal than ever before," he said.

The bill still faces very tough negotiations in the U.S. House of Representatives.

If passed, the amendment will allow Polish citizens to travel to the United States for tourism or business for up to 60 days without needing to stand in line to get a visa. Enditem

Source: By Wang Nan
Xinhua News Agency

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CEZ CEO: Dual Listing In Poland On Hold

Czech 67% state-owned utility CEZ AS (BAACEZ.PR) is halting its planned dual listing on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, Chief Executive Martin Roman told reporters Thursday in Prague."We are for now putting on hold the planned dual listing in Poland due to market volatility caused by carbon credit trading," Roman said.

The prices of carbon credits halved earlier this month as results of a European Commission audit showed that states have issued too many permits. The permits effectively make the right to pollute a tradable commodity - giving companies the ability to buy and sell permission to emit extra carbon dioxide. Prices on the credits have since recovered but the market remains volatile.

CEZ, which has a surplus of these credits, has seen this asset drop in value and stands to lose from a carbon selloff.

While the dual listing is officially on hold, CEZ still expects to complete the planned dual listing as soon as the carbon credit market volatily subsides.

"We still believe that the market should stabilize in late autumn or early winter of this year," Roman said.

He added that the nervousness on the carbon credit market should wane when the European Commission decides later this year on national carbon credit allocations for the second phase of the national allocation plan, which will be enacted in 2008.

After acquiring two power companies in Poland in late 2005, the company was to launch a dual listing in Warsaw prior to further acquisitions -a move analysts saw as a public relations effort.

They also said the dual listing was an attempt to further CEZ's operations in Poland and to access Poland's carbon credit surplus.

The intended dual listing should be have been completed by June this year.

CEZ is listed on the Prague Stock Exchange.

Company Web site: http://www.cez.cz
Source: -By Sean Carney and Leos Rousek,
Dow Jones Newswires

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Kamal Nath to visit Poland to boost bilateral eco ties

London, May 17: Aiming to boost bilateral economic cooperation, Union Minister for Commerce Kamal Nath will pay an official visit to Poland from today, the first visit by an Indian Cabinet Minister since 2000.

During his four-day visit, Kamal Nath will meet with Polish dignitaries including the Economy Minister and the Prime Minister.

He will attend a luncheon meeting with the Polish and Indian CEOs and deliver a lecture on "India - An Emerging Economic Power" at the Warsaw School of Economics.

Trade and economic relations between India and Poland have been expanding at a rapid pace.

In the last five years, bilateral trade more than doubled from 251.20 million US dollars in 2001 to 564.83 million US dollars in 2005, an Indian Embassy release from Warsaw said.

There has been an increasing presence of Indian investors in Poland in fields as diverse as steel, tractors, pharmaceuticals, information technology, electronics, food processing and health services.

During the course of 2005 itself, major Indian companies signed several agreements on investments which are expected to create more than 3,500 new jobs in Poland.

The new Indo-Polish agreement on economic cooperation will lead to setting up of a revamped joint commission on trade, economic, scientific and technological cooperation.

The first meeting of this commission is expected to take place in the second half of this year during the visit of the Polish Economy Minister Piotr Wozniak to India.

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Railway in Poland: Regular Freight Connection With The Netherlands

Polish Railways saw another chance for launching cooperation with the Netherlands Railways NS concerning freight trains. The agreement is now being discussed between the representatives of the countries' transport ministries. Poland hopes that the Polish freight companies could operate a shuttle train on the route between Poland and the Rotterdam port. Private operators, hope for high revenues from international operations.

This is the second time Poland and the Netherlands try to launch cooperation. In 2003 NS hoped to operate passenger services in Poland in West Pomerania region. PKP and NS created a joint venture Nedkoleje (Nedrail). NS promised to modernise PKP's trains.
Source:Railway Market magazine

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TRW: New plant for airbags and steering wheels in Poland

Automotive supplier TRW Automotive (Michigan / USA; www.trw.com) intends to invest the equivalent of EUR 80m in the further expansion of its production capacity in Poland, according to Polish media reports. A new plant is to be built in Czechowice-Dziedzice in Silesia for the manufacture of steering systems, including steering wheels. There are also plans to expand the existing production facility in Czestochowa (airbags and safety belts). In total, the company is likely to create 1,400 new jobs in the country. TRW currently has five plants in Poland as well as a development centre.


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Poland plans euro entry in 2011

Prime minister Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz told foreign journalists earlier this week that Warsaw should be able to meet the budget criteria by next year, adding that it already recorded a budget deficit below 3 percent of GDP in 2005 and this year, according to fresh official data.
Poland is the only country of the ten new member states which joined the EU in 2004 that has not officially announced to the European Commission when it plans to join the eurozone, with all the newcomers legally obliged to enter at some point.

According to Polish media reports, the country's leading politicians and economists have differing opinions on the issue.

Leszek Balcerowicz, the central bank governor, promotes the earliest possible entry to eurozone, arguing it would boost Poland's economic growth by 0.2 percent a year.

On the other hand, president Lech Kaczyński, from the ruling Law and Justice party, is much less favourable toward the idea.

Last year, he said Polish citizens should decide in a referendum whether to join the euro, pointing out that "Getting rid of one's own currency is a very serious limitation of one's own sovereignty."

Government coalition partner, the League of Polish Families party, is even more hostile saying the move should be put off until 2030, Rzeczpospolita writes.

Analysts view this week's announcement by Mr Marcinkiewicz as a possible sign of concerns by Polish leaders over the worsening image of the country in the EU.

The euro statement follows up Poland's decision to send soldiers to the EU Congo peacekeeping mission and moves toward joining a new EU arms purchasing code, presented as tokens of "European solidarity" by Warsaw earlier this week.

Poland is currently subject to the EU's excessive budget procedure, along with five other new member states that are planning to join the eurozone - Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Malta, Hungary and Slovakia.

Mr Marcinkiewicz argues he will try to put an end to the procedure, despite previous disputes with Brussels over whether Poland can include private pension funds when calculating deficits.

In the country's freshly updated convergence programme, the budget deficit for 2007 is predicted to be 2.2 per cent of GDP, but if pension funds are excluded then the deficit rises to 4.1 per cent, according to the Financial Times.

Poland looks likely to become one of the last new member states to join the eurozone.

The new round of the monetary union's enlargement will be kicked off with Slovenia in 2007, and possibly followed by Lithuania and Estonia which were also originally planning to join next year, but had to delay their plans due to high inflation.
Cyprus, Malta, Latvia and Slovakia may enter between 2008 and 2009, while the Czech Republic and Hungary could follow between 2009 and 2010.

Source: By Lucia Kubosova, http://euobserver.com

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Poland, Kazakhstan vow to develop ties

Poland attaches great importance to relations with Kazakhstan, Polish Senate Speaker Bogdan Borusewicz

said during his meeting with Kazakh Senate delegation on Tuesday.

Borusewicz expressed satisfaction with the development of economic contacts between the two countries, the Polish news agency PAP reported.

The Polish-Kazakh trade grew to 700 million U.S. dollars from 150 million dollars in 1990. Borusewicz said Poland was interestedin further development of economic relations with Kazakhstan and expressed his hope that such cooperation will help Poland diversify its sourcesof energy supplies.

Akhan Bizanov, chairman of the Senate committee for international affairs, defence and security, said "relations with Poland are extremely vital for Kazakhstan."

He stressed that his country was interested in cooperation withPoland in all fields.
Source:By Wang Nan, www.xinhuanet.com,

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DJ Telekomunikacja Kolejowa Wins Poland's GSM1800 New Tender

Telekomunikacja Kolejowa will pay a total of 510 million zlotys ($1=PLN3.0615) for the frequencies.

Bids for the country's fourth GSM 1800 license were also submitted by PTK Centertel, a mobile unit of Telekomunikacja Polska SA (TPS.WA), and Telefonia Dialog, a unit of KGHM Polska Miedz SA (KGH.WA).

The license could open the way for a fourth mobile telephone operator on the domestic market, to compete with carriers Centertel, Polska Telefonia Cyfrowa SA (PTC.YY) and Polkomtel SA (PKT.YY).

Poland's market regulator opened the new tender for additional GSM frequencies late last year, after a similar tender failed mid-2005. Last week, the UKE said the process might need to be rerun, due to irregularities.

Telekomunikacja Kolejowa is owned by Poland's Treasury, which holds 62.3%, and Polish State Railways, with 37.7%.
Source:Dow Jones Newswires,

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21 countries expected to adopt EU defense code

At least 21 European Union countries are expected to agree this week to a voluntary code designed to open the bloc's €30 billion arms industry to increased cross-border competition, the head of the European armaments agency said Monday.
EU countries have until Friday to opt out of the plan, which will relax national protection of tightly guarded defense industries worth $39 billion.
Denmark decided in the early 1990s not to participate in the EU's defense policy, and so would not be governed by the new code. Poland, Spain and Hungary are considering opting out, officials said.
"I'm pretty confident that the maximum number of letters that could arrive this week signaling an opt out is three," Nick Witney, the chief executive of the European Defense Agency, said.
After meeting with EU defense ministers, Witney said that he still hoped Poland, Spain and Hungary would decide to participate in the "code of conduct" on defense purchases, scheduled to come into force on July 1.
Poland's defense minister, Radek Sikorski, said that his government was in the middle of "intensive consultations" with the defense industry and trade unions regarding the EU procurement code. He said that the cabinet would likely decide on Tuesday whether to join.
"If we can launch a package to help our industry meet the challenge" of foreign competition, "I would agree for Poland to accede," Sikorski said, adding that Poland's defense industry needed help because it had insufficient financing and did not have the advantage of economies of scale.
Javier Solana, the European Union's principal foreign affairs envoy, praised the Polish government's "constructive thinking" on the issue.
"It will be good for Poland," Solana said, "and it will be good for Europe."
Governments have been able to protect their national defense industry champions because military contracts have been largely excluded from EU legislation that has torn down barriers to trade within Europe in other sectors. The new rules will not apply to companies from outside Europe.
EU officials say that more than half the annual spending on new military equipment in Europe currently lies outside EU free market rules. Ministers hope that increased competition will drive down prices for new weapons.
By allowing companies to compete more in each others' markets, the EU hopes to encourage a restructuring of a fractured industry so that it is better placed to take on international rivals.
The rules will apply to defense contracts of more than €1 million, but exemptions will be allowed if ongoing operations dictate that nations need especially quick supply.
Witney urged governments to increase spending on research and technology, which currently accounts for just 1.5 percent of the €180 billion the 25 EU countries spend on defense every year.
"We need to see a significant increase in the amount spent" on research and technology," Witney said.
Diplomats said that Solana suggested they should aim to raise research and development spending to 2 percent by 2010. Michèle Alliot-Marie, the French defense minister, warned that failure to increase research spending could see European defense industries slipping behind emerging Asian competitors.
Source:The Associated Press
The International Herald Tribune

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Poland to trim budget gap below 3% of GDP in 2007

Polish Premier Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz said his government will cut the budget deficit enough by next year to be ready for or talks about euro adoption in 2009. Poland's 2005 budget gap totaled 4.4 % of GDP, according to the European Union methodology. Marcinkiewicz said his estimates show the deficit was equal to 3 percent and will stay near that level this year. European Union rules state new member states can classify pension fund payments as revenue only until 2007. “We've taken efforts to ensure that Poland has a budget deficit of 3%'' of gross domestic product “or even below next year without classifying private pension fund payments as budget revenue,'' Marcinkiewicz told journalists on Monday in Warsaw.

Poland, the largest among 10 that joined the EU in May 2004, is the only one that has not yet submitted a date for introducing Europe's common currency.

Source:THE FINANCIAL EXPRESS www.financialexpress.com

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nflux sets Poles apart in migration stakes

THE hundreds of thousands of Poles who have arrived in Britain since the European Union opened its borders to the east is the largest single influx of migrants since the Huguenots fled France at the end of the 17th century, according to a leading academic.

In the past two years, about 350,000 Polish immigrants have arrived, many of them settling in Scotland. Large Polish communities exist in Glasgow and Inverness, and Edinburgh is now home to about 30,000 Poles, according to latest estimates.

David Coleman, professor of demography at Oxford University, said: "From one country, in a very short space of time, it must be the largest influx we have ever seen."

He suggested the only comparison was with the Huguenots who left France after their right to practise their Protestant faith was ended by the Edict of Nantes in 1685.

"For a single national origin group arriving in a very short space of time, the Poles are certainly the biggest in absolute terms," he said.

Unemployment in Poland stands at 20 per cent. For that reason, many Poles are happy to take on menial jobs in the UK below their level of education. They have also gained a reputation for being hard workers.

"Life in Great Britain is much better because of [the] money you can make," said Przemek Ocinski, 29, who works as a chef in an Edinburgh bar. He arrived in Scotland six weeks ago and found a job within a fortnight. "There are a lot of jobs going in every profession."

In the UK as a whole, 200,000 Poles have signed up for work, according to official figures. Experts say the actual number is likely to be much higher - probably about 350,000 - as registration is not required for many workers. In 2004, the Home Office estimated that only 13,000 people from all of Eastern Europe would arrive in the UK after the borders opened.

Many Poles admit they come to Scotland because they already have friends working here and because they want to escape the frenzied lifestyle of London. Scotland's ties with Poland date back to the 15th century when merchants set up trading links. Famously, Bonnie Prince Charlie's mother, Maria Sobieska, was Polish.

"Scots are very friendly and there are lots of opportunities for work," said Anna Frackiewicz, secretary of the Council of Polish Societies in Edinburgh.

Last year the bus company Stagecoach headhunted drivers from Poland to swell its ranks in Aberdeen. Transport between the two countries has also become easier with eight air routes being launched in the past year.

Grazyna Tega, 26, works as a spa attendant at the Sheraton Hotel in Edinburgh and is hoping to stay in Scotland long-term.

"People in Scotland are not as grumpy or jealous as they are in Poland," she said. "And no matter what you look like or what type of clothes you wear, people will still talk to you."


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Poland's 2006 revenue from privatization will drop

Treasury minister Wojciech Jasinski has estimated state revenue from privatization in 2006 to reach 3.1 billion zlotys.

This would run considerably short of the 5.5 billion envisaged in this year's national budget. Reporting to the House, minister Jasinski said the deficit could be covered by dividends from state owned companies.

He explained that the substantial fall in expected revenue has resulted mainly from a temporary withdrawal from the sale of several companies in the energy sector. Minister Jasinski asked MPs for supporting a new strategy of state ownership which his ministry is working on. It should secure state revenue from privatization to the tune of 3 to 4 billion zlotys annually over the next years, assured the Treasury minister.

Source: Radio Polonia

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LOW-cost flights to Poland are the latest coup for Doncaster's Robin Hood Airport.
Wizz Air - the largest budget airline in central and eastern Europe - will operate three flights a week to Katowice, near Krakow, from September 19.
The new service was unveiled yesterday and has been welcomed by the region's business leaders and growing community of Polish workers.
Robin Hood's managing director David Ryall said owners Peel Airports already had an association with the airline which operates 12 flights a week from Liverpool John Lennon Airport.
He commented: "The region will be actively marketed in Poland and we look forward to welcoming many inbound visitors.
"We are sure that the people of Yorkshire and Humber, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire will want to explore the delights of Poland through Robin Hood Airport from when the flights start in September."
Neville Dearden, chief executive at Doncaster Chamber of Commerce, said research by the chambers had shown the importance of Polish skilled labour to many local firms.
"Around 30,000 Polish workers arrive in the UK each month and the development of this service between Katowice and Robin Hood Airport will make it easier for our businesses to benefit from this skilled labour resource.
"The excellent access between our regions and Poland will inevitably stimulate a sustainable inward tourism opportunity for us which our hotels and attractions will benefit."
Dr Graham White, Sheffield's Polish consul added: "As well as supporting the ever-growing Polish worker community in our region, this announcement carries with it the prospect of increased tourism, better access to higher education and increased trade links."
Meanwhile, Doncaster's first weekly long-haul flights to the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Florida began last Friday.
Holiday operator Thomson expects to carry over 17, 000 customers on the routes this summer as part of their 'Faraway Shores' programme.
Miles Morgan, sales and marketing director for Thomson, said: "We know people prefer to fly from their regional airport, it just makes the holiday much more convenient and hassle-free."
At the end of last month Robin Hood Doncaster Sheffield airport celebrated one year in operation, during which more than 840, 000 passengers have travelled through it. It now offers flights to more than 40 destinations across Europe and beyond.

Source: Doncaster Today

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EIB to grant credit for Poland's road modernization

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is to grant a 200-million euro (256 million U.S. dollars) credit for the modernization of roads in Poland, the Polish News Agency reported on Thursday.

An agreement on the loan was signed here by Poland's Transport Minister Jerzy Polaczek and the EIB representatives director Andreas Verykios.

"The signed agreement is very important for the development of road infrastructure in Poland since it helps finance the construction of 11 ring roads and four express roads," the transport minister said.

"This is the first step towards good cooperation in the future," EIB's Verykios added.

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Poland to strengthen bilateral economic cooperation with Pakistan

Poland Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Witold Waszczykowski called on Minister of State for Foreign Affairs here on Thursday and discussed issues of mutual interest.

The two sides discussed various bilateral and international issues including Pak-India relations, Afghanistan, Iran nuclear issue and India-US civil nuclear cooperation with a view to enhance bilateral cooperation.

Minister of state emphasized the need for increased bilateral exchanges and looked forward to the proposed visits of Polish Prime Minister, Defence Minister and Foreign Minister later this year.

Minister of state stressed that there was vast economic potential that could be tapped by Pakistan and Poland by establishing a joint Business Forum between the Chambers of Commerce and Industries of the two countries.

He also mentioned that two countries should have joint ventures in the fields of oil, gas and mining sectors and he appreciated the collaboration between the two countries on joint production of tractors.

Polish Deputy Foreign Minister appreciated Pakistan’s impressive economic development and expressed the desire to enhance bilateral economic cooperation. He added that many polish companies were already operating in Pakistan whereas many more polish companies were also interested to operate here.

Both sides agreed to build upon the institutional framework to expand cooperation while Minister of State proposed establishment of Joint Economic Cooperation in that regard.

Khusro Bakhtyar also highlighted the need to enhance cooperation in education and proposed signing of a MOU between Higher Education Pakistan and its Polish counterpart and that same kind of collaboration between Foreign Service Academies of two countries could also be realized.

The Deputy Foreign Minister of Poland appreciated Pakistan’s special role in the war against terrorism and he added that Poland would increase the strength of its troops in Afghanistan up to 700 after it would assume command of NATO Peacekeeping Mission in 2007.

Source: onlinenews.com.pk

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