AU Optronics Eyeing New LCD Plant in Poland

According to a report on DigiTimes, AU Optronics (AUO) is currently scouting for a location in Europe to open a new LCD manufacturing facility. The report suggested that Poland was a likely candidate location for AUO, which already has branches in Amsterdam. AUO already sent employees over to Poland to investigate the area. The company announced its plans earlier this month but mentioned that it was always evaluating other European locations. A final decision on Poland has not been made. AUO announced in April that it agreed to merge with Quanta Display Inc.

In June, DailyTech reported that LG.Philips made plans to build a major LCD facility in Poland as well. Heavy competition from South Korean companies such as Samsung and from Taiwanese companies such as AUO provoked an expansion by LG.Philips. According to several studies, Europe is the world's largest market for LCD panels, but North America is quickly growing. LG.Philips filed for bankruptcy protection in January of this year, closing down its dwindling CRT business.

AUO also entered into an agreement with Samsung to jointly develop LCD and OLED based panels. The two companies agreed to cross-license each other's technologies, which aimed to help compete against LG.Philips and others. Competition in the LCD market is growing rapidly. Earlier this year, NEC and SVA also agreed on a partnership to invest $4 billion USD into a 7th generation LCD-TV plant in Shanghai. The plant is scheduled to be up and operational in 2007.

Sharp also announced plans earlier this year to build a new LCD facility in Poland. The new facility is scheduled to be operational in January 2007. Sharp invested roughly $56 million USD into the new location. Sharp also sources displays from AUO/Quanta.

Source: DailyTech

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Poland Central Bank Leaves Rates Unchanged

Poland's central bank held interest rates steady Wednesday, in a widely expected move.

The Bank's Monetary Council said it was keeping the bank's benchmark seven-day intervention rate at 4 percent, an all-time low.

Analysts predicted Poland's central bank would keep rates on hold not only for this month, but most likely until early 2007, due to the absence of any short-term threats to price stability, Dow Jones Newswires reported.

The bank gave no immediate reason for its decision.


Associated Press

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Simpler Procedures in Freight Transport Ukraine - Poland- Germany

Starting from 1 September 2006 in rail freight transport between Ukraine, Poland and Germany an unified freight bill will be in use. It will also serve as a customs document. It will enable to shorten the customs procedures. The first train using an unified freight bill (CIM/SMGS) from Ukraine to Germany via Poland took of on Tuesday.

For more tyhan 55 years there have been two different legal regimes in Europe, which made East-West transports highly comlicated. The two regimes formulated different rights for the shipper and the reciver, also the scope of responibility for the passenger or the load was different. The carrier was forces to change between CIM and SMGS freight bills.

Source: Railway Market magazine

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Railway in Poland: Railways will Get EUR 4.5bn

Polish minister responsible for transport and infrastructure Jerzy Polaczek announced that by 2013 Poland will get EUR 4.5bn from the EU Funds for modernizing the rolling stock fleet and the railway network. Mr Polaczek said that of the total sum EUR 1bn will be invested in the Silesia region. He also said that the government will work on increasing the efficiency of absorbing the EU money. This year EUR 185m is supposed to be spent o rail projects. Last year it was EUR 400 thousand.

Source: Parkiet

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Poland's TPSA H1 revenue up 1.8 pct, hits forecast

Poland's dominant telecoms operator TPSA said on Wednesday its first-half revenue rose 1.8 percent to 9.205 billion zlotys ($2.97 billion), coming in line with market expectations.

The median forecast in a Reuters poll of nine analysts called for the group to post revenue of 9.186 billion zlotys.

Telekomunikacja Polska (TPSA), 47.5 percent-owned by France Telecom, said its net profit stood at 1.021 billion zlotys against market expectations at 1.015 billion.


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IMF warns Poland over financial agency

he International Monetary Fund has warned Poland that plans for a unified financial services supervisory agency could expose the system to political interference.

"I think this is very weak legislation," Christoph Rosenberg, senior regional representative for the IMF, told the FT. "One fundamental objective of any law setting up such an agency is to ensure that its activity is independent of any government's political agenda. Without such assurances, undue interference could weaken banks, hurt investor confidence in the zloty and even result in financial crises."

The new agency will consolidate supervision of the securities market, banking, and the pensions and insurance industries.

Mr Rosenberg expressed concern about the ability of the new organisation to retain high-calibre staff currently employed by the national bank.

Legislation creating the new supervisory authority was passed by the lower house of the Polish parliament last week. It is now before the senate and is expected to be approved in early August.

Cezary Mech, a former deputy finance minister who helped draft the legislation, is seen as the likeliest candidate to head the agency.

Mr Mech said recently that the new agency was needed to save costs and because "various segments of the financial market are more and more intertwined".

Banks are currently supervised by the National Bank of Poland, headed by Leszek Balcerowicz, architect of Poland's 1989 economic reforms. Mr Balcerowicz has been criticised by the government and its populist coalition partners for pushing through reforms they say beggared many Poles, and for selling off key state assets. He had a spectacular falling out with Mr Mech this spring during the battle over whether to allow the merger of two Polish banks owned by UniCredit, the Italian financial group.

The new Financial Supervisory Commission would take away much of Mr Balcerowicz's power.

Six of the agency's seven members would be directly chosen by the government or the president, with only the president of the central bank remaining independent.

Mr Rosenberg called such a structure "quite unusual", noting that similar unified supervisory agencies, such as Britain's Financial Services Authority, were much more independent of government control. "It does not meet best practices," he said.

Poland's banking system is currently grappling with a rapid expansion of consumer lending, much of it denominated in Swiss francs, and with meeting Basel II capital standards. "There is a case to take time now to examine the legislation more closely and make the changes necessary to bring it in line with best practices," said Mr Rosenberg, adding that a unified supervisory agency was neither essential nor urgent in Poland.

The legislation has been criticised by Poland's central bank, by independent economists and by business groups. Polish bankers are afraid to comment publicly, worried about being called before a special parliamentary commission investigating the banking sector, but one banker called the legislation "extremely dangerous. It concentrates enormous power in the hands of one person the prime minister".

The European Central Bank commented on the proposed legislation in March and came to similar conclusions to the IMF.

Source: Financial Times Financial Times

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ProLogis Signs Three to Poland Industrial Leases

ProLogis has singed three companies to leases totaling more than 641,000 square feet in its new industrial park in Chorzow, Poland. In addition, the company signed UK retailer Tesco to a 133,000-square-foot lease in its Teresin, Poland industrial facility (pictured).

The leases represent the latest activity in Central Europe for ProLogis, which has been quite active in the region since entering the market in 1998. Since that time, the company has acquired more than 12 million square feet of industrial distribution space in Central European nations, including more than 8.5 million square feet in Poland alone. As previously reported by CPN, ProLogis is currently developing a 1.7-million-square-foot distribution facility in Bucharest, Romania, scheduled to open over the next two to three years.

The leasing activity at ProLogis Park Chorzow, a seven-building, 1.6-million-square foot industrial facility located northwest of Katowice, includes deals with subsidiaries of European third-party logistics provider the Raben Group, FM Logistic and Reporter, a Polish clothing company. The Raben Group leased 309,000 square feet, while FM Logistic will occupy 188,000 square feet. Reporter will use its 144,000-square-foot space for storage and distribution to Central and Eastern Europe.

Maciej Madejak, ProLogis vice president & market officer for Poland, said in a statement that the firm's activity in Poland is expected to continue as both domestic and international companies look to establish distribution facilities in the nation, which benefits from its location at the gateway between Western and Eastern Europe. Madejak added that ProLogis has nine new facilities currently under development across Poland, and expects a high rate of interest in the new Chorzow facility, which is more than 70 percent pre-leased.

Tesco's lease at the ProLogis Park Teresin (pictured), a 1.7-million-square-foot complex outside Warsaw, comes three years after the company acquired a 409,000-square-foot building from ProLogis at the same location.

Source: CPN online

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QXL Ricardo says shareholders voted in favour of QXL Poland settlement at AGM

XL Ricardo PLC said that shareholders have voted at the AGM to implement the proposed settlement agreement relating its disputed Polish operation QXL Poland.

The company said it will be 'devoting significant management time and resources to the reintegration of QXL Poland into the Group.'

It said the first step in this process is to take over management control of QXL Poland from the court-appointed administrator, with a court hearing scheduled for Aug 2.

Internet auctioneers QXL regained control of its former subsidiary QXL Poland last month after reaching a conditional agreement with Wouwer Investeringen BV and Tomasz Dudziak.

Source: AFX

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The charismatic tourist town of Gizycko at the heart of Poland’s stunning lakeland region will host the hard-fought Miss World Sportswoman Event, when more than one hundred girls from around the globe will travel to Poland in September to take part in the World’s largest and most prestigious festival to celebrate the achievements of young women.

One of the first events in the four-week schedule will be a trip north to Gizycko, where the contestants will compete in the Miss World Sportswoman Event. As a Fast Track event, the winner of the Miss World Sportswoman Event will earn a valuable golden ticket through to the Miss World Final in Warsaw on September 30th.

Among others, the plucky sportswomen will tackle running, swimming and long jump activities to prove their athletic prowess and take the coveted trophy of Miss World 2006 Sportswoman.

Gizycko is the perfect location for this event, with many sites to marvel. Situated in the lake district of north-eastern Poland, it is a sub-region of outstanding natural beauty. Here, nature impresses with its richness and the clean water and unpolluted air invite everyone to spend free time in Gizycko.

Thanks to its picturesque location with vast areas of water, forests, meadows and hills, Gi?ycko is one of the biggest recreational centers in Poland and a centre of water tourism. Vast areas of water, forests, meadows and hills provide great scenery for leisure activities.

Gi?ycko and the whole of north-eastern Poland is a paradise for active tourists such as canoeists, cyclists and walkers. Nature lovers will also find several interesting reserves near the town.

When the Miss World contestants arrive in the autumn, the forests will be at their most colourful and packed with mushrooms, providing a perfect backdrop to the crystal blue lakes which abound with pike, eel, European whitefish, laveret, pike-perch, roach and other fish species.

With 30 thousand inhabitants, Gi?ycko is situated between two large lakes: Niegocin and Kisajno. The vast lake Niegocin, the seventh largest lake in Poland, is a real attraction for sailors, and Lake Kisajno abounds in small charming islands, most of which are nature reserves

Source: www.missworld.com

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Poland may get Ulster consulate

POLAND is considering opening a consulate in Northern Ireland to serve the increasing numbers of its citizens living and working here.

The Polish consul general in London, Janusz Wach, was in Belfast's Botanic Gardens yesterday for a Polish cultural event and to discuss trade links and political representation of Poles resident in the Province.
Belfast Lord Mayor Pat McCarthy said: "There are a growing number of Polish people living and working in Belfast, and with the Titanic Quarter and Olympic Games approaching there will be a big demand for construction workers."
He said Mr Wach visited Newry on Friday and Londonderry on Saturday and had confirmed in discussions that Poland was seriously thinking of opening a consulate.
"There are several thousand Poles in Belfast and hundreds of them are in Botanic Gardens today, all very well behaved," he said.
"Mr Wach said his preferred location for a consulate would be Belfast, but I said it was the only location, to which he just laughed.
"I know Newry and Londonderry are also pushing for it, but I wouldn't concede an inch to them – Belfast is the regional capital, after all."
Newry Mayor Michael Carr said there were 3,500 Poles in his area, which was second only to Belfast, although the Government has no official figures.
"They are great workers and have played an invaluable part in the Newry economy at all levels of local businesses," he said.
"But they can have problems accessing health and other services and can be exploited with poor housing at exorbitant prices.
"Their nearest consulates are either in Scotland or Dublin so there is definitely a demand here."

Source: Belfasttoday

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Rexam expands personal care packaging manufacturing in Poland

K-based Rexam, one of the world’s leading consumer packaging manufacturers, has extended its presence in the central and eastern European region with the opening of a production facility for home and personal care packaging in Poland.

The plant, which will is a Greenfield site located in Lodz, west of Warsaw, is the company's first production facility dedicated to home and personal care packaging to be established in the region.

Originally the site was initiated by plastics manufacturer Precise Technology, but the company was bought up by the Rexam Group in December 2005 for £147m (€215m), giving Rexam the opportunity to develop the site according to the group's needs.

The site went into full production in mid-April and now Rexam has taken the decision to adapt it according to it home and personal care needs.

According to Rexam the 4,000-square-metre facility will house 14 molding machines with high-speed robotics and assembly, which will include activities such as plastic injection moulding, manual and automated assembly, ultrasonic welding and labelling.

Rexam says that the facility will also be run according to its Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma programmes, to ensure high production and efficiency standards as well as emission requirements.

Mike Farrell, managing director of the company's Home & Personal Care division, says that the new facility will help as part of the company's focus to become a global leader in the consumer packaging sector.

"The Lodz facility fits in with the company's strategic plans to serve its global customers better and increase its global presence in this growth region," said Farrell. "Rexam will now be able to offer new and existing clients in the home and personal care markets fast and reliable deliveries of plastic parts to all destinations in Europe."

Rexam's move follows a distinct move by beauty packaging businesses to shift their operations to central and eastern Europe in an effort to take advantage of lower production and employee costs as well as the opportunity to tap in to fast-growing economies.

Other big beauty packaging players to take advantage of these circumstances recently have included Polimoon, RPC and Crown Ridson.

Poland has proved to be a particularly attractive option because of its highly educated workforce, strong GDP growth and the fact that in 2004 it joined the European Union, unlocking crucial EU money to invest further in its infrastructure.

Rexam's Lodz facility is based in a city with one of the largest labour markets in the country, a strong infrastructure, and business-friendly local authorities.

Likewise, the company says that the plastic packaging market in Poland and in Europe at large is rapidly expanding, and major Fast Moving Consumer Goods corporations have recently launched new export-oriented manufacturing projects in the region, creating additional opportunities for plastic packaging players.

Currently Rexam has two facilities in Poland, in Gostyn and Wyszkow, which are part of the Glass Sector.


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Italy helps Poland solve its unemployment problem

Poland has had a high unemployment rate for a long time now. Under the new Polish government the unemployment rate has dropped from about 18% down to about 16%. And now that Italy has opened its labor market suddenly to Polish employees, Poland may see another reduction in its unemployment rate. New labour market opens for Poles

The Polish government is very quick to announce a reduction in the unemployment rate. But what is lacking is information about the number of jobs that are being filled by Polish people in Poland. Though unemployment is going down in Poland, employment is not growing as much as on employment is going down.

Poland is exporting its talented laborers to European Union countries and is experiencing a labor shortage in the country.Can Poland woo back its emigrants?

Poland has become the largest recipient of funds from the European Union. But many industries are complaining that they are on able to find people to fill job openings to do the work created by these funds coming into the country. Even the agricultural minister wants to be able to bring people in from Ukraine because Polish workers who used to do the jobs have gone to Spain to get much more money than they can earn in Poland.

The city of Wroclaw has created an incentive program to try and lure workers back to Poland. The Polish government is considering an incentive program to try to keep people in Poland.

The Polish Government, of course, is very happy that the labor market in Italy is open to Polish workers since this will make people in Poland happy and the Government will be able to show a further decrease in unemployment.

How long this will be able to go on before the brain drain has a serious impact on the economy, and it is serious enough to get the Polish government's attention to recognize that there is a problem, remains to be seen..

Source: The material without changes is copied from the Polish Outlook by Masterplan.

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