Australia's Ansell increases offer for Poland's Unimil to 42.2 mln usd

Ansell Ltd, the world's largest manufacturer of protective gloves and a leading condom maker, said it has raised its offer for Polish company Unimil SA by around 11 pct to 42.2 mln usd.

Unimil is a condom manufacturer and marketer, with a leading retail condom market share in Poland and a presence in Germany through its Condomi unit.

Ansell chief executive Doug Tough said the revised offer should be viewed favourably by Unimil's

institutional and private shareholders following his company's initial bid made in July.

Ansell had offered a bid mid-August for Unimil, which it withdrew later, after the offer failed to reach the 80 pct acceptance condition.

Tough said the revised Unimil offer will remain open for 30 days.

He added that the acquisition, when it goes through, is expected to be earnings per share neutral in the fiscal year to June.


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European Commission brings Poland to court over imported used cars

The European Commission has decided to bring Poland before the European Court of Justice over discrimination against imported second-hand cars, said the commission on Thursday.

Poland requires technical tests prior to the registration of imported used cars. But the conditions are not applied on domestic cars already registered in Poland.

Second-hand cars imported into Poland must undergo roadworthiness tests which are more expensive than other types of technical tests in Poland. These controls are not required if identical cars of the same age, model or type, which are already registered in Poland, change hands.

The commission considers that the Polish measure can not be justified since it is neither necessary nor proportionate to the objectives claimed by the Polish authorities -- the protection of public order, public health and the environment, said the commission, the executive body of the European Union (EU).

Technical controls prior to the registration of cars imported from another EU country may constitute obstacles to the free circulation of cars, unless they are justified under the EU Treaty or on the basis of mandatory requirements established by the case- law of the Court of Justice, said the commission.

Moreover, member states have to prove that the measure is necessary and proportionate to the pursued objectives, it said.


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Poland forces Moldova out of Ukrainian apple market

Traditionally, Moldova has been the largest supplier of fresh dessert apples to Ukrainian market. Now the country loses its position after the introduction of low (5%) seasonal tariff rate for apple supplies to Ukrainian market.

According to analysts of the produce business periodical in Ukraine, "Agrooglyad: Vegetables and Fruits" journal, the share of Moldavian fresh apples supply has decreased from 75-90% in 2004-2005 down to 25% in 2006. The main thing is that Moldova as CIS country has almost lost its main advantage of apple supplies comparing to Poland. Since the time of introduction of low tariff rate the tax-free trade regime between CIS countries has not played a very important role. Also, the trade would rather choose Polish apple, but not Moldavian, because of higher quality of packing, calibration and uniform content of Polish apple shipments.

During the ten months of 2006 more than 82,000 tons of fresh apples worth to the total sum of around $ 21 mln. have been imported to Ukraine. This figure is four times as high comparing to the apple import data for the same period of time in 2005 (according to official statistics). To the opinion of market players, a considerable part of apples is still supplied contraband to Ukraine.

According to the forecasts of the analysts of the Agricultural Marketing Project, more than 100,000 tons of apples can be imported to Ukraine in 2006. In addition to Poland and Moldova, relatively large shipments of apples were supplied to Ukraine from Italy, France, Greece, Netherlands, Spain, Georgia, China, Chili and Turkey. Still, the total volume of supplies done by these countries was only around 5%. To the experts' opinion, we can expect the Chinese share of apple import to Ukraine to grow in the coming years.


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Iran, Poland call for expansion of bilateral ties

Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Euro- American Affairs Saeed Jalili and Polish National Security chief Wladyslaw Stasiak Wednesday in Warsaw reviewed issues of mutual interest and latest regional and international developments.

Weapons of mass destruction do not bring security and power to any country, Jalili said during the meeting.

"In today's world, powerful countries are those that have close ties with their nations," he pointed out.

Referring to the great potential for cooperation of the two countries, he called for the political will to further expand bilateral ties.

Commenting on Tehran-Warsaw friendly relations, the Iranian deputy foreign minister said Iran's valuable experiences in the field of energy can be a good starting point for establishment of closer relations between the two states.

Stasiak, for his part, called for resolution of global issues through peaceful means, saying his country favors negotiation as the best means of solving the Iran nuclear issue.

Underscoring the need to further diversify Iran-Poland ties, he called for a concerted battle against drug smuggling through Afghanistan's borders.


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Poland's unemployment continues to decrease in November

Poland's unemployment rate fell to 14.8 percent at the end of November from 14.9 percent in October 2006, according to the Polish Central Statistical Office (GUS).

The number of registered jobless totaled 2,287,300 at the end of November, down 14,500 people from the previous month, the PAP news agency reported on Thursday, citing GUS figures.

GUS deputy head Halina Dmochowska stressed that quick pace of economic growth in November positively influenced labor market trends with the dynamics of employment going up especially in the sector of firms.

At the end of November, 233 plants planned to layoff 14,400 workers. A year ago 433 plants reported such plans.

The unemployment rate in Poland has been consistently decreasing this year. It was 18 percent at the beginning of 2006.


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Spain: oranges in sea containers to Poland

With the intention of limiting expenses and maintaining the quality of fruit in an optimum condition, Spanish citrus exporters have started with the exports of oranges in sea containers to Poland from the port of Castelló in Spain. Because the prices of citrus compared to 2005 have decreased with approximately 20%, exporters see themselves obliged to explore all alternatives to reduce transport costs and improve the profitability. Therefore several exporters are negotiating with shipping companies about transportation of their fruit exports to Eastern Europe.

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Fruit consumption in Poland - the lowest in EU

The fruit consumption in Poland is the lowest in the EU-25. According to the Polish Central Statistical Office (GUS), Poles used to eat only 57 kg of fresh and processed fruits annually (more than 95 kg in France and almost 120 kg in Germany) in 2002. The most frequently eaten fruits in Poland were apples – 48% (there is no other country in EU with such a big volume of apples in fruit consumption). Tropical fruits shared 22% in overall consumption, berries (mostly strawberries eaten during season) – 12%, plums – 4% and pears – 3%.

78% of all fruits comes from domestic production. The most popular imported fruits are bananas and citrus fruits. Poles eat about 5,1 kg of bananas per year, while French and Germans – more than 10 kg. In case of citrus fruits consumption in Poland equals to 6,6 kg per year (including 3,8 kg of oranges and mandarins), comparing to 12,5 kg in Germany and almost 25 kg in France. The consumption of fruit juices and nectars (including carrot juice and tomato juice) in Poland is estimated at 22 l per year, and is almost the same as in Spain, France or United Kingdom.


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Poland as a European Service Paradise? - Comments on the Outsourcing Forum

In recent years we have witnessed a new trend in the globalising economy: the process of moving non-production operations to new locations, something which is called Business Process Offshoring (BPO). In this situation, it comes as no surprise that outsourcing has been increasingly seen in Poland as a chance for accelerated economic growth. But does BPO really offer unlimited opportunities? And for how long, if any, will Poland be playing the role of a service paradise?

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No Russian ban on EU meat, but what about Poland?

Russia will NOT introduce a general embargo on meat products from the EU as of January 1st. The good news has come after a meeting of Union health commissioner Markos Kyprianu with Russian agriculture minister Alexei Gordiyev in Moscow. However, Poland does not share the joy of Brussels.

The Russian side has accepted Union guarantees that the imported meat will comply with strict EU sanitary regulations. In practice, this means eliminating chances for re-exporting meat of Romanian and Bulgarian origin, which has been causing the greatest concern of Russian authorities. It also means that Moscow will continue evaluating trade with EU partners on bilateral principles with individual countries.

This, in turn, clearly indicates the year-long ban on meat imports from Poland will continue as well, despite strong Union support for solving the Polish trade conflict with its eastern neighbor, including a European Parliament resolution on the matter.

Polish deputy premier and agriculture minister Andrzej Lepper has returned from Brussels where he discussed the problem with EU officials. He said Poland would be expecting a defined Russian stand on trade relations with the Union by the end of the year, including a decision to lift the embargo on Polish food products, especially meat.

'We should be presented with a Russian stand by January 1st. We want to know whether the Polish proposed 50 day period for re-opening the Russian market to Polish animal products is realistic, or some other date to be specified.'

However, MEP Wojciech Roszkowski is worried by the absence of the "Polish case" in commissioner Kyprianu's discussions in Moscow.

'The commissioner's visit has been slightly disappointing. Of course, it is the Russians who are stalling, but the EU's pledged determination to display more solidarity has not increased either.'

On the other hand, Krzysztof Bobinski, editor of the 'Union & Poland' magazine sees the position of Brussels stemming from equal treatment of all members and its insistence on setting trade relations on the basis of general EU-Russia agreements. He also points to the advantage of such tactics for Poland.

'It means the Commission has come to the conclusion that for the moment the Polish case cannot be resolved. They hope to set aside the Polish problem in order not to get a straight NO. They leave the issue to more discrete diplomacy. I think it's better, if you know things aren't going to go well, not to push them in order not to get a refusal, which is then difficult to turn around. They'd rather leave it aside to quiet diplomacy and see what can be done.'

Meanwhile, equally discrete diplomacy is needed to solve problems with Polish meat exports to Ukraine, which has also been upholding its ban for more than a year. Since several relevant agreements to drop the embargo have not been implemented, the latest date set being end November, Poland is considering a counter measure. The first to be listed for import ban will probably be Ukrainian honey.
Source: By Slawek Szefs, polskieradio.pl

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Poland’s "Rock Love" city shines in world EXPO 2012 quest

The cities Wroclaw of Poland and South Korea’s Yeosu have risen as the favorites for the staging of EXPO 2012, revelation which leads many Poles to ask if it’s even conceivable that one of their quaintest and fastest developing cities can host the entire globe in 2012.

After Wroclaw's presentation for the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE) in the Congress Palace in Paris jurors were entirely charmed. It was unbeatable among the other performances by Poland's city competitors, Morocco’s Tangiers and Yeosu.

An audience’s acclaim came in the forma of a standing ovation, with 98 of the commissioners from the BIE's member states being treated to the themes of the official candidates.

Yeosu presented "The Living Ocean and Coast: Diversity of Resources and Sustainable Activities," whereas Tangiers touted its "Routes of the world, cultures connecting. For a more united world," but Wroclaw stole the show with "The culture of Leisure in World Economies."

The 3 countries have 2 more opportunities to “strut their stuff,” in June and December next year, before the world gets its winner to host the 2012 International Exhibition.

Wroclaw is Poland’s 4th largest city (pop. 640,000), 310 km from the capital Warsaw. It is an important industrial, transportation and communications center for the country’s southern regions. It was partially destroyed at the end of World War II, but since rebuilt and some of the damaged historical buildings restored, and from its splendor considered one of Eastern Europe’s most beautiful cities.

Wroclaw, pronounced ROCK-LOVE in Polish has an official website for its EXPO 2012 candidacy (www.expo2012.pl/ln/en).


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Foriegn investments in Poland on the rise

Foreign investments in Poland amounted to 10 billion USD this year. According to the initial data of the Polish Investment Agency and Foreign Information these investments have created 20 thousand new workplaces. Deputy economy minister Piotr Wozniak expects 2007 to bring similar results. Minister Wozniak said that several huge investments are planned for next year mostly in the car and electronic industries. Advertisements urging foreign investors to choose Poland have been appearing on the BBC World and will also be printed in the Financial Times.
Source: polskieradio.pl

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Poland is Europe's largest cabbage country

Poland is an important player in the European production of vegetables. With regard to cabbage – 4,11 million MT in 2006 - Poland occupies the first place in Europe, and the sixth in the world, after China, India, Japan, North Korea and Russia. Cabbage also occupies the first position in the Polish vegetables acreage – estimated at 30%. The profitability of this production in recent years is yet lower than before due to a few reasons. First of all, Poles eat less and less cabbage because they have greater choice of other vegetables.

The second reason is the low export of Polish cabbage, especially because of a Russian embargo. White cabbage remains the most important for Polish growers, less popular are red and savoy cabbages. The average wholesale price of fresh white cabbage in December was as low as 0,06-0,08 €/kg. More expensive was sauerkraut with an average price of 0,29-0,31 €/kg. Sauerkraut is pretty popular in Polish cuisine and according to various sources, the yearly production is estimated at 70-80 k MT.


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Poland to take revenge on Ukraine for meat

From January 2007 Poland intends to impose ban on import of certain Ukrainian goods, first of all Ukrainian honey.

Such step is a reaction for continual ban on export of Polish meat in Ukraine. Polish enterprises cannot sell their meat products on Ukrainian market more than a year.

Ukrainian veterinary services promised several times to lift the ban. The latest agreement between the Ukrainian and Polish sides should have guaranteed lifting of the ban on November 30, but it has not happened yet.

The Ukrainian side insists on that Polish meat products do not meet Ukrainian veterinary standards, and that Poland cannot exclude illegal import of meat products on the territory of Ukraine.

At the same time, regular inspection of Polish enterprises by Ukrainian veterinary services did not reveal any violation. But Ukraine has not lifted the ban.

On Wednesday, December 20, an official note from Poland concerning ban on import of certain Ukrainian goods must be delivered to Kyiv.


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Poland's Adolescent Behavior

A lawsuit by a group representing former German refugees from Eastern Europe has incensed the Polish government. The outrage is apparently so intense that Poland's foreign minister has said her country may seek to renegotiate the treaty that sets the final borders between the two countries.
Poland has threatened to renegotiate the treaty that fixes the border between Germany and Poland in response to a compensation claim filed with the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg by a relatively obscure group representing Germans expelled from Poland after World War II and their families.

Polish Foreign Minister Anna Fotyga said Poland would show a "very clear reaction" to the lawsuit filed last week by the Prussian Trust (Preussische Treuhand). Asked if she was referring to a possible renegotiation of the 1990 German-Polish border agreement, she told Polish radio: "Yes, precisely that."

The treaty confirms earlier pacts identifying the rivers Oder and Neisse as the final border between the two countries. Fotyga pointed out that for the agreement to be changed, both sides would have to take a decision to that effect.

The row over the claims by the Prussian Trust and the Polish government's harsh reaction to the suit have put further strain on Polish-German relations, which have deteriorated since the nationalist conservative government led by the twin brothers Jaroslaw and Lech Kaczynski -- who are prime minister and president respectively -- came to power last year.

German editorialists were clearly irritated by the developments Wednesday. Berlin's center-left daily Der Tagesspiegel asks:

"Can a lawsuit instigated by private citizens of a country against another state seriously disrupt the relations between these two nations? The answer is 'No.' Otherwise there could no longer be any normal diplomatic relations.

"The double absurdity of this situation is that the German government has harshly criticized the actions of the Prussian Trust, but it is not allowed to prohibit its own citizens from filing claims in Strasbourg. Nor has Poland taken any steps to create legal certainty over how the country should deal with the expropriations undertaken by the communists. And instead of making its own judicial position airtight, the government reacts not rationally like an enlightened democracy of the 21st century, but more in the style of a nation-state of the late 19th century.

"The two German-Polish treaties are the basis for the national cooperation of both countries, and not some second-rate accords that should simply be made disposable. To just go ahead and do so anyway is -- let us put it cautiously -- adolescent."

Calling the new developments "dangerous," the business daily Handelsblatt writes:

"The Polish government and the Prussian Trust are playing with fire. Those who, like them, attempt to shake up the German-Polish treaties negotiated in 1990 and 1991 threaten a decisive basis for reconciliation between both peoples and states. Without these treaties, the intensive neighborly relations -- which recently manifested themselves in the so-called German-Polish Year -- would not be possible.

"Fortunately, the demand to renegotiate the treaties is nothing more than the motions of a threat, and is of no consequence under international law. After all, such documents must be formulated bilaterally, something which is not the intention of the German government."

source:By Alex Bakst, spiegel.de

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Poland: Rapid rail link between Bydgodszcz and Torun?

The self government finally decided to launch with the project of BiT City - rapid rail connection linking two major cities of kujawsko-pomorskie region: Bydgoszcz and Torun.
The first feasibility study will be performed by Cejrowski i Krych engineering bureau. The investment is scheduled to begin in 2008.

The investemn will cost pln 400m PLN (EUR 104,8M). It will be cofinanced by the EU.

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My talent for Poland

My talent for Poland was the motto of a meeting between President Lech Kaczynski and young internationally successful Poles.

19 year-ld Michał Filipczuk is a first-year student at Warsaw University. His interest in maths and computers started in primary school. Over the past two years he won the gold medal at the International Mathematics Olympiad and the silver medal at the International Informatics Olympiad. These successes were extremely important at the threshold of his scientific career.

‘Being trained by the best people in Poland to achieve such successes as medals at international olympiads made my skills much better’.

Many foreign observers of the Polish scene note that highly-skilled graduates and specialists in many fields is one of the main assets of present-day Poland.
According to Ewa Junczyk-Ziomecka, the minister of state in the Presidential Chancellary responsible for social affairs, it is extremely important to give up-and-coming researchers, scientists and artists, possibilities to develop their talents.

‘We have so many talented kids and students and we know nothing about them but we are all responsible for their talents to be developed. That’s why the Polish president invited a group of eighty people, including the 10 year-old pianist, winners of gold medals at international olympiads in high-tech, chemistry and mathematics, young doctors and movie directors. They are all here in Poland. The question is do we offer them enough possibilities to develop their talents, not only for Poland but for the whole world.’

The motto of the meeting at the Presidential Palace – My talent for Poland – is very topical at a time when tens of thousands of young people, including very bright university graduates, leave Poland to seek better study and career opportunities abroad. Ewa Junczyk-Ziomecka describes this as a big challenge for Poland.

‘It’s very good if young, talented people are offered scholarships at the best universities such as Stanford, Yale, Princeton and Harvard, for this serves the development of their talent. We’d like them to return to Poland, to work here, to work with others so that they can also develop their talents here but of course we are aware that some academic centres abroad are better than here. It is our concern to give them opportunities to return to Poland and work at the same level that is offered to them abroad.’

Michal Filipczuk is among those who are determined, in the long-run, to pursue a career in Poland.

‘I plan to go abroad to work during the holidays or for a year and then come back and be here because this is my home.’

The President congratulated Michal Filipczuk and the other invited guests on their successes. He also gave them much-needed words of encouragement and assurance that their efforts will be appreciated in their homeland.
Source:By Michal Kubicki, polskieradio.pl

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Poland decides to extend Iraq mission

he Polish government decided on Tuesday to prolong the mission in Iraq by a year until the end of 2007.

The decision will be submitted to President Lech Kaczynski for approval, Polish Presidential Chancellery head Aleksander Szczyglo told the PAP news agency.

He added that most probably the president's final say would be positive in line with the president's earlier announcements.

Polish Deputy Education Minister and head of the co-ruling party League of Polish Families (LPR) caucus Miroslaw Orzechowski said the decision on prolonging the mission could hardly be accepted by the LPR.

Deputy chairman of the Sejm committee for foreign affairs Pawel Spiewak of the polish biggest opposite party Civic Platform (PO) believes that the government "made a very bad decision" directing the said motion to the president.

"The government failed to consult the motion, which may cost Poland a number of lives, with the public opinion and the opposition," the PAP news agency quoted Spiewak as saying.

He stressed that the PO believes Polish soldiers should leave Iraq as soon as possible.

Poland has some 900 soldiers in Iraq who mainly train Iraqi soldiers. The current mission was originally set to last until Dec. 31, 2006.


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Looking for dentist? Come to Poland

French daily Le Figaro describes Poland as the place of booming medical tourism. Poland and Hungary are especially popular as the place of dentist services which are 40 to 70% cheaper than in France. Medical tourism can be an important part of a country’s economy. Every year up 150 thousand foreigners arrive in India to recover their health, in 2003 they left over 300 million euro, by 2012 the amount is expected to grow to 2 billion. The French most often decide to go abroad in search of cheap medical services which are not covered by insurance such as dental implants.
Source: polskieradio.pl

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Poland: largest EU producer of soft fruits

Poland is the largest producer of soft fruit in the European Union. Around 1 million farms deal with the production of soft fruit in Poland, an activity that provides livelihood to 1,5 million Poles. The total annual acreage of strawberry plantations was estimated at around 52.000 hectares the last few years and the crop at about 200.000 MT (196.000 MT in 2006). Most of the Polish strawberry farms are very small (the average acreage is less than 0,2 ha), but there also large and very modern enterprises, like Sadpol Company from Wierzbica which grows strawberries on more than 400 hectares, including production under cover.

In the European countries, strawberries are produced mostly for the fresh market, and only fruits of lower quality are processed. In Poland the situation is different because 70-75% of strawberries is processed (compared with only 15% in Spain). During the strawberry season, Poles usually buy fruits at street stands, and strawberries sold in supermarkets are not popular yet.

The Polish export of fresh strawberries to the EU – around 5000 MT annually - is relatively low and doesn’t change. On the other hand, Poland is the main exporter of frozen strawberries, but in the last few years prices decreased with nearly one-third, due to the increased import of frozen strawberries from China and Morocco. Export is becoming unprofitable – in 2005 one ton of Chinese strawberries was offered for 500 euros, compared to 700-800 euros for Polish produce. Low prices of frozen strawberries affect Polish growers. For example in 2004, strawberry prices were so low that they covered only 30% of production costs. This situation can change next year, as the European Commission decided to impose a 34,2% anti-dumping duty on EU imports of frozen strawberries from China from October 19 for the next 6 months.

Strawberries at street stand in Poland


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EU to buy art from Poland

The European Parliament will purchase art from new member states. The pieces to be acquired from 10 countries for the sum of 157.000 euros are to be permanently exhibited on the premises of the European Union institutions.

READER: Up till now the only possibility of displaying Polish art on the premises of the European Union institutions was during usually short lasting art events; while the only permanent piece coming from Poland to be exhibited in the European Parliament was a sculpture called "United Earth" displayed in Strasbourg.

The glass bowl representing the globe was a gift from the western city of Wroclaw. Now this is about to change in accordance with the official policy of the European Parliament ibegan after the 1st enlargement in 1973 stating that every member state should be represented by its art as well. Peder Kyst, the head of the secretariat responsible for questions in the European Parliament explains.

"The policy of the European Parliament has always been that each of the member states should be represented on its premises by one or more pieces of art to be selected in various procedures. This time we wanted to do it by following the procedure that gives more possibility to the information offices or parliament to be involved in the selection. We wanted to end the procedure by the end of this parliamentary term. We are following the same practice as we have done in the past - more money is set aside for buying works of art from Poland than from Cyprus - it is in accordance with the size of the country".

Genowefa Grabowska is a member of the Socialist Group in the European Parliament. She was among the quaestors of the European Parliament who decided that it was time to introduce art from the new member states.

"We start now the whole procedure - purchases will be carried during almost seven years. We start with the Czech Republic and countries in alphabetic order. Poland is at the end of this stake unfortunately but procedure is very long. We have to choose proper art, the most representative from each country. We will have to cooperate with art galleriers, painters, maybe with people who know what is the most representative and what should be bought. I think that the most important is to get knowledge and to inform our artists that t here is such a possibility".

According to Grabowska, due to budgetary constraints the European Parliament is interested in purchasing mainly contemporary art. But even those can reach sky-high prices. A painting by Wilhelm Sasnal was recently sold at an auction in New York for 216 thousand dollars while works of New York-based artist Piotr Uklanski can cost even 85 thousand dollars a piece. Still, parliamentarians from new member states, including Grabowska, are excited at the idea saying that it is the best way to promote their countries in the European Union.
source:By Danusia Szafraniec, polskieradio.pl

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Poland: PKP Regional Services to spend PLN 70m on locomotives modernisations

PKP Regional Services, Polish national passenger services provider, opened a big tender for general overhaul and modernisations of 74 electric locomotives.
The tender is worth PLN 73.6m (EUR 19.2m). This is the second attempt of finalize this tender. The last one, with participation of Newag, ZNTK Poznan, ZNTK Olesnica, ZNTK Minsk Mazzowieci and ZNTK Gliwice, was ended without choosing a winner.

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TPV buys LCD TV plant in Poland

Hong Kong-listed TPV Technology, the world's largest LCD monitor manufacturer, has bought a local TV assembly plant in Poland, according to today's Chinese-language Commercial Times. The site will be the LCD TV base for TPV in Europe, said the paper.

Volume production at the plant is set to commence in the beginning of next year, the paper noted, adding that the Hong Kong-listed company has begun pilot runs at the plant this month.

Europe is the third largest region for TPV in terms of sales breakdown during the third quarter of 2006, according to a filing TPV posted with the Hong Kong Exchange (HKE). Europe accounted for 25.1% of TPV's third-quarter-revenues this year, noted the filing.

TPV shipped 11.1 million PC monitors and 700,000 flat panel TVs in the third quarter of 2006. The company reported quarterly sales of US$1.95 billion, up 13.6% on quarter and 49.2% on year, stated the filing.

Although shipments of LCD TVs soared in the third quarter, the overall gross margin of TPV dropped to 5% during the period, compared to 5.4% in the first half of 2006 due to a falling ASP (average selling price) and the slow growth of LCD monitors, the company said in the filing.

To avoid additional tariff fees in Europe, Toshiba earlier announced it would build a new LCD TV base in Poland. In September, LG Electronics (LGE) said the company's third line of LCD TV production in Wroclaw kicked off.

Quanta Computer recently also said Poland would be an ideal spot as an LCD TV production base for the company, according to company president Michael Wang.

Sharp announced in April of this year that it would set up a new LCD module (LCM) plant in Poland.

TPV display shipments in 3Q 2006 (million units)



Q/Q change

Y/Y Change

LCD monitor




CRT monitor




LCD TV (units)

Nearly 700,000


Nearly 100%

Source: Company filing with the HKE, compiled by DigiTimes, December 2006

LCD TV and LCM plants in Poland




Total investment






Kobierzyce, near Wroclaw

6 billion yen (US$51 million)

August 2007








The third production line of LGE in Poland




Initially, €44 million (approximately US$53.2 million)

January 2007


LG.Philips LCD




In the first half of 2007


Source: Companies, compiled by DigiTimes, December 2006

Source:By Emily Chuang, DigiTimes.com, Taipei, www.digitimes.com

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Poland: increased fruit import after EU entrance

Since 2004, after joining the EU, Poland noticed an increased import of fresh and processed fruits, both from the EU-25, and from the third countries. In 2003, the value of Polish fruit imports from the EU-15 and 10 new member states was estimated at 54% of the total import value (50% in 2004; 46% in 2005). For this year, the figure is estimated at only 43-44%. The importance of the import of citrus, frozen and canned fruits (mostly peaches and citrus) from the EU-15 has decreased, but the import of concentrated juices, fresh apples and pears has increased.

In 2005 about 62% of apples and pears imported to Poland came from the EU-15, compared with 33% in 2003. Just like before the EU entrance, about 90% of other fruits produced in a temperate climate (including processed products) comes from the EU-15. The most important exporters from third countries to Poland are China (concentrated apple juice), Russia and former Russian republics (frozen fruits), Brazil (concentrated orange juice), Ecuador and Venezuela (bananas) and Turkey (citrus fruits).


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Poland Joins Methane to Markets Partnership

Poland has become the 19th country to join the Methane to Markets Partnership, an international initiative that promotes the recovery and use of methane as a source of clean energy.

The partnership extended membership to Poland during its steering committee meeting December 15 in Rome, according to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) press release.

"Voluntary programs like the Methane to Markets Partnership are delivering environmental and economic results by turning methane waste into wealth," said EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson.

The Methane to Markets Partnership, launched by President Bush in 2004, is a public-private partnership that brings together the technical and market expertise, financing and technology needed to advance cost-effective methane recovery and use projects at landfills, agricultural operations and coal mines, and in oil and gas systems. (See related article.)

"By working with Poland to promote advances in clean energy technology,” Johnson said, “we are transforming important economic partners into good global neighbors."

Poland joins 18 other countries and a growing project network of nearly 500 public- and private-sector organizations in efforts to reduce emissions of methane – a powerful greenhouse gas – and deliver clean energy to markets around the world. (See related article.)

Other members are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, the Republic of Korea, Russia, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States.

"The Republic of Poland is proud to be the newest member of the Methane to Markets Partnership," said Piotr Wozniak, Poland's minister of economy. "This partnership will advance the beneficial use of methane in Poland, and we look forward to contributing our expertise in all sectors – especially in coal mining – to expand international investment and enhance methane-capture technologies."

President Bush has committed up to $53 million to Methane to Markets over the next five years. In 2005, the United States contributed more than $5 million and leveraged more than $235 million in public- and private-sector contributions toward project development.

Once these methane projects are fully implemented, they are expected to garner annual greenhouse gas reductions of nearly 5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.

Methane to Markets is planning a partnership exposition in 2007; China has agreed to co-sponsor the event, scheduled for October 2007 in Beijing.


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EU-25 backs Poland in beef row with Russia

Russia has threatened to extend a year-old Russian ban on Polish beef to the entire EU-25 from January amid concerns over health standards of Bulgarian and Romanian beef. The ban led Poland to veto the signing of a wide-ranging EU-Russia partnership and co-operation agreement (PCA) on 24 November (EurActiv 27 November).

A Russian ban on imports of EU meat, dairy and fish products would cost an estimated €1.7 billion in lost trade.

EU states have so-far refrained from signing any bilateral deals that would bypass the European Commission, which has responsibility for negotiating EU trade agreements.

At the EU summit on 14 December in Brussels, Polish President Lech Kaczynski raised hopes that an agreement was imminent: "There was even thinking that the agreement could be reached today but now it's turning out it will take a few more days," he said.

Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen, chairing the Brussels summit, emphasised the importance of a united stance: "I think that in this kind of question we have to act like a group," he said. "I am expecting member states to support each other."

Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern added: "This is a European matter. The Commission will carry out the negotiations and deal directly with the Russians."

The head of Russia's animal and plant health watchdog said that his agency had sent proposals to eight EU major meat exporter countries on bilateral trade agreements but confirmed that no deals had been signed. However, he warned: "If there are delays on meat imports from 1 January, it won't be our fault."

Meanwhile, the Commission said that it would view any bilateral agreement with Russia as illegal: "This is something that goes to the heart of our commercial policy and there will be a single European approach to it," said Peter Power, a spokesman for Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson.


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Volvo Truck Centers in Poland to start distribution of Nissan trucks

The Central-East European Region of Volvo Truck Corporation and Nissan Sales Central & Eastern Europe have agreed on conditions to enable the distribution of three of Nissan’s light commercial vehicles in Poland. The distribution is to be conducted through the Volvo Truck Center network, which is the wholly owned dealer network of Volvo Truck Corporation. The cooperation will include sales and after sales activities.

The Nissan line up of vehicles to be offered by Volvo Truck Center network on the Polish market will include one van model, the Interstar, and two rigid models, the Cabstar and the Atleon.

“This will strenghten the business of our dealer network since we will be able to offer our customers the complete range of vehicles from the same dealer” says Tom Jörning, Managing Director of Region Central-East at Volvo Trucks. “The modern product line of Nissan will be a perfect complement to our completely renewed range of FH16, FH, FM, FE and FL trucks”.

Volvo Truck Center and Volvo Financial Services will also offer a sales financing package for the new Nissan products.

December 18, 2006

For further information, pls contact:
Ulf Arensberg, tel. +46 31 66 66 50, e-mail ulf.arensberg@volvo.com
or Marie Vassiliadis, tel. +46 31 322 41 27, e-mail marie.vassiliadis@volvo.com

Volvo Trucks sells trucks and transport solutions, specialized in heavy trucks with total weights above 16 tons. The company’s products are marketed in more than 130 countries. Volvo Trucks is part of the Volvo Group, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of trucks, buses and construction equipment, drive systems for marine and industrial applications, aerospace components and services. The Group also provides complete solutions for financing and service.

Source: newsdesk.se

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The France-Poland Fair – French lifestyles

“French Lifestyles” was the motto of this year’s 4th France-Poland Fair on November 17 in Warsaw’s Blue City Exhibition Centre. Present at the opening was French Ambassador in Poland Pierre Menat, who reminded that France has been Poland’s biggest foreign investor in recent years. The fair’s organizer, the French Industrial and Commercial Chamber in Poland, affiliates over 300 French and Polish firms.

“The fair’s formula has evolved together with the market and its main trends. In view of Poland’s fast-rising housing market and the rapidly developing furniture and wood trade between Poland and France, we decided to show this segment of our market. We hope the fair will serve as a contact forum for Polish and French producers. Such ties will have to be based on exchange as our chamber’s main aim is promoting cooperation among our member companies, including newcomers”, Chamber President Jean-Marc Vignolles said at the opening.

Displaying their ware at the fair were French and Polish companies, including Auchan, Bouygues Immobilier, RD-Bud, Leroy Merlin, Castorama, Bank BISE SA, DREWNOSTYL, T-Milanówek, Citroen, Peugeot and Orbis.


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Tetra Pak brings BPO to Poland and China

Food packaging company Tetra Pak has signed a seven-year business process outsourcing (BPO) deal with IT services company Capgemini to move a range of financial and accounting services to China and Poland.

A team made up of employees from both companies will move some finance and accounting transaction processes from up to 60 countries into Capgemini's BPO centres in Krakow, Poland and Guangzhou, China.

Of the team, 300 will be from Capgemini. They will work on financial transactions including purchase-to-pay and order-to-cash.

Capgemini boosted its presence in India earlier this year after buying IT services company Kanbay International for $1.25bn.


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Jarosław Kaczyński, Prime Minister: Poland will be developing fast

Prime Minister Jarosław Kaczyński’s address, authorised for publication in “Polish Market”, delivered at a meeting with representatives of bilateral chambers of industry and trade, the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency and investors operating in Poland (Nov. 8, 2006)

Prime ministers and other representatives of public authorities have to take the floor in different circumstances: when the situation is good and when it is bad. I am lucky here. I will be discussing issues which are going on favourably now and one can already say that the situation regarding foreign investment is very good in Poland. It is good because the investment volume is increasingly high. On the other hand, one cannot say that the investment level is satisfactory because we would always want more and more investments. However, the PLN10 billion, or perhaps slightly more, which will flow into Poland this year is not a small sum. The situation is good because Poland has been rated third in Europe in terms of attractiveness for foreign investors. And finally, the situation is good because all this is taking place in a context created by decent economic growth, a growth which additionally does not face any major threats. In the 1990s Poland experienced several years of fast economic growth but it was accompanied by a considerably high inflation, a very large foreign trade imbalance (i.e. a very high trade deficit) and an excessive increase in consumption in relation to the economic potential. That growth was to a large extent on credit. At a certain moment the economy slowed down and Poland went through several much more difficult years. Now we have a GDP growth rate of over 5 per cent, and have recorded a huge increase in exports: over the years 2005 and 2006 the growth is expected to exceed 50 per cent. There are no signs indicating that this rate of growth could decline soon. Shortly speaking, the Polish economy has been excellently exploiting the country’s accession to the European Union.


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Lukoil to enter Poland

The Russian oil giant Lukoil is set to buy 82 of ConocoPhilips' Jet petrol stations in Poland, gaining a toehold in the local market.

In 2002, Lukoil tried to take over the Gdańsk oil refinery, only to have the transaction blocked by the Polish government due to "political risk." It seems, however, that the situation is different now. "It is not a refinery but a chain of petrol stations, it is not a threat to our energy safety," said Deputy Economy Minister Piotr Naimski.


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Visiting a changing Poland

When I first arrived in Warsaw in the summer of 1990, the Poles on board the Lot Polish Airlines clapped as the aircraft touched down near the warehouse-like structure that was the Polish capital's international airport.

The Poles on the Lot flight I took to Warsaw in October also clapped when we landed, a sign to me that in some ways, despite major political and economic shifts in recent years, Poland might not be such a different place after all.
But as soon as I stepped into Warsaw's much modernized Port Lotniczy im. F. Chopina -- named for Polish composer Frederic Chopin, whose heart is entombed in a downtown church -- I knew that Poland had indeed changed.

Inside the terminal, well-heeled Poles mixed with business-suited foreigners from Holland, France and Japan, a stark contrast to my first visit when, as a 22-year-old college graduate with a contract to teach English to high school students, I was greeted by surly baggage clerks and cab drivers who jockeyed for passengers with American dollars.

I discovered more changes when, after a second, shorter flight, I arrived in Poznan, the city where I spent two years explaining American concepts such as shopping malls to teenagers who were wild about Levis and MTV.

As my friends Magda and Kazik drove me away from the airport, I discovered that Poznan now not only had several malls, but numerous KFCs, McDonald's drive-throughs and automatic car washes. There were also new high-rise office buildings, and many of the older Soviet-era apartment blocks had been renovated and repainted. Funds from the European Union, which Poland joined in 2004, had been used to clean pollution off historic churches and Town Hall.

"I can't believe how much things have changed," I exclaimed to my friends.

That was day one. Later, a more complex image of Poland emerged.

Despite evidence of prosperity -- new houses, designer labels and a plethora of satellite dishes -- there were also signs of social strain. Friends told me of a growing shortage of doctors and nurses -- Polish medical salaries are low, so many doctors go to Western Europe -- as well as increased drug abuse among young people and adults. Alcoholism was still a problem, friends told me, but now there were fewer safety nets.

One of my Polish friends, Luba, told me that she had volunteered with a group that helps people who have lost their jobs, are homeless, and are battling alcoholism or drug addiction. The Barka Foundation for Mutual Help had had success in recent years, Luba said, and was looking for new ways to serve Poles in need.

Luba, knowing that I was a journalist who sometimes covered social issues, suggested that we visit Barka, which means "lifeboat" in Polish. The nonprofit was founded in 1989 by Tomasz and Barbara Sadowski. The couple noticed that a growing number of Poles were being left behind as their nation's economy took off, and they decided to help. I told Luba that I'd like to see the place and meet some of the clients.

The Barka center in Poznan is in an old warehouse compound that nonprofit employees and clients themselves have turned into a thriving learning community. Luba and I toured the center with a nun named Brygida who introduced us to social workers, instructors and clients. We watched as clients, who number about 200, learned to use cash registers and credit-card machines, formed a business plan to launch a lawn-care service and used PCs to create resumes.

It was a scene that Americans, more accustomed to the competitiveness of a capitalistic economy and an entrenched drug culture, would find somewhat familiar. But for many in Poland, the concept of disenfranchised people banding together to chart a new future for themselves is still a new concept.

It is an idea that is quickly catching on. Barka is working with non-profits across Europe to expand its services and is reaching out to jobless Poles in London who are too embarrassed to return home or ask for help from family and friends. In Poland, where the unemployment rate is 20 percent in some regions, there are many in need of retraining.

For me, the trip to Barka helped to put the new Poland I was experiencing into perspective. While many of the friends I had met more than a decade ago were successful entrepreneurs and business executives, I realized that their stories were not the norm. It also saddened me to think that for some, the switch from communism had not necessarily meant a better future. As a young volunteer, I had hoped, perhaps naively so, for a better outcome.
By Lynn Anderson,Sun Reporter, baltimoresun.com

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Jobless in a flat world

Public support for economic globalisation is rising on both sides of the Atlantic but US and French voters are worried that freer trade costs jobs, according to a survey released last week.

The survey, by the German Marshall Fund of the US, a transatlantic think-tank, shows that public opinion across a range of European countries and the US has become more confident over the past year about economic growth and the positive effects of existing international trade.

But there is much less support for further liberalisation of trade, with 59 per cent of Americans and 58 per cent of French thinking that freer trade will cost them more jobs than it creates.

The caution over further cuts in tariffs and other trade protection underlines the difficulties faced by both US and European politicians in pushing ahead with the so-called Doha round of global trade talks, which were suspended over the summer amid transatlantic finger-pointing over who was blocking progress.

Despite the apparent free-market consensus in US politics, worries about stagnant real earnings across most of the workforce have raised fears that trade, particularly with China is holding down pay and eliminating jobs.

The cost of losing a job is far higher in the US than in the European Union because of a less generous public welfare system and the paucity of publicly provided healthcare.


The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the Paris-based intergovernmental policy institute, calculates that the income of a single-earner household in the US drops to 41 per cent of its former level if the breadwinner's job is lost, compared with 68 per cent in Germany, 70 per cent in France and 73 per cent in the UK.

Jack Thurston, transatlantic fellow of the GMF, said: "In both France and the US there is a strain of economic nationalism where any particular proposition is judged on whether it is good for the country or a vocal minority within it, rather than supported on principle."

Max Baucus, the Democratic senator from Montana who will take over as chairman of the Senate finance committee in January, has called for a big expansion in a little-used US government assistance programme for workers who lose their jobs as a result of trade.

But Baucus may face an uphill struggle persuading voters.

The GMF survey showed that just a quarter of US respondents thought the government should be primarily responsible for helping workers affected by trade, with 38 per cent saying the company making the layoffs should take the lead and 17 per cent putting the onus on the workers themselves. The survey also covered the UK, Germany, Italy, Slovakia and Poland.

As the only country where a majority of respondents thought that China represented more of an opportunity than a threat, the UK emerged as one of the countries most in favour of globalisation.

Slovakia and Poland also showed relatively strong support for further cuts in trade barriers from present levels. Eastern European countries have often traditionally been regarded as more free-market in economics and Atlanticist in politics than the so-called old Europe nations such as France, Germany and Italy.

In practice, though, because of its large numbers of farmers, Poland has frequently opposed radical agricultural liberalisation in the Doha round.

Source:By Alan Beattie, Financial Times, gulfnews.com

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Poland earns EU's ire

Poland is facing a wave of EU court cases unless it gets its telecom, energy and environmental houses in order.

The EU is threatening a number of court cases against Poland, as part of a wider regulatory crackdown across Europe.

Energy is one of the most pressing issues. The European Commission last week threatened 16 countries, including Poland, with court action for failing to implement EU energy rules that are designed to open the market to greater competition.

Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Estonia, Spain, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Sweden, Slovakia and the UK were sent final warnings, known as "reasoned opinions," the EU executive said.

If a member state fails to comply with a reasoned opinion by the required deadline - typically two months - the Commission may bring the case before the European Court of Justice, the EU's top court.

The EC also criticized Poland's telecom regulator for a lack of partiality. "Independence of national regulatory authorities is crucial to ensure that the EU's regulatory framework for electronic communications is correctly and efficiently applied at a national level," the Commissioner for Information Society and Media, Viviane Reding, said in a statement.

The Commission was particularly critical of a law that gives the government unlimited discretion to dismiss the head of the regulatory authority. The EC said it would also take Poland to court for incorrectly introducing EU rules on access to the network. Poland also received a warning for not making available caller-location information for mobile calls to the pan-European emergency number 112.

Poland has also failed to provide reports to the EU on its progress in limiting or cutting greenhouse gas emissions.


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Polish daily tips euro sceptic for central bank

A eurosceptic adviser to Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski has emerged as a leading candidate to be next governor of the country's central bank, a newspaper reported on Saturday.

Heavyweight daily Rzeczpospolita said the government was seriously considering Edmund Pietrzak, professor of economics at Gdansk University, to replace Leszek Balcerowicz, whose term as bank chief ends on January 10.

The paper said Pietrzak confirmed he was a possible candidate: "I do not rule out such a possibility," it quoted Pietrzak as saying.

Pietrzak was not available for immediate comment.

Polish President Lech Kaczynski said on Friday he was considering two possible candidates for the post of central bank governor after his first nominee withdrew.

The president's office stunned financial markets on Thursday by announcing that 61-year-old economics professor Jan Sulmicki, who had been a surprise nominee earlier in the week, had withdrawn for personal reasons.

The head of the president's office, Aleksander Szczyglo, has said new candidates will be chosen "at the latest by Christmas".

Polish media have produced a series of possible names for Sulmicki's replacement but to date there has been no clear front-runner.

The zloty currency has been gradually strengthening against the euro and was just below a nine-month high on Friday afternoon at around 3.79 to the single currency, apparently untroubled by the withdrawal of Sulmicki.


One possible central bank candidate touted earlier this month was Warsaw School of Economics professor Urszula Grzelonska. But Rzeczpospolita quoted her on Saturday as saying she was not a candidate.

Finance Minister Zyta Gilowska also appears to have ruled herself out. On Friday, she told reporters she knew nothing about a proposal to move her to the central bank.

"I have not received an offer and I am not particularly interested," she said.

Rzeczpospolita said Pietrzak was favoured as a candidate by President Lech Kaczynski, the prime minister's twin brother, because he had expressed scepticism over the merits of early entry to the euro zone.

"On balance, for (Polish) companies the most advantageous would be the latest possible euro-zone entry," it quoted him as saying in a recent interview.

The ruling Law and Justice party has criticised Balcerowicz and his focus on monetary discipline in fighting inflation.

Both Kaczynskis promised in their campaigns last year to replace Balcerowicz with someone who would do more to boost growth and create jobs. Pietrzak would fit the bill, it said.

"He fulfils the criteria, which according to our information the president is being guided by in his search for a candidate."

Before Sulmicki's nomination, media had touted Warsaw University professor Zbigniew Hockuba and the chief executive of state-owned Bank BGK Wojciech Kurylek.

Rzeczpospolita said three other names had been canvassed: Andrzej Slawinski and Andrzej Wojtyna, both members of the central bank's monetary policy committee, and Zbigniew Polanski, professor of monetary policy at the Warsaw School of Economics.


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TRANSEARCH Opens Office in Poland

TRANSEARCH International (www.transearch.com) recently opened an office in Warsaw, Poland.

Beata Zytka, who has a more than 16 years' experience in the executive search industry, manages the office. Previously from Spencer Stuart, Heidrick & Struggles and Russell Reynolds, Beata has conducted senior level searches for clients in Poland, Central and Eastern Europe. She says: “This is an exciting time for Eastern Europe as we find ourselves with a robust economy and continued foreign investment. I am confident that my team will work well with the other TRANSEARCH offices to provide a seamless executive search service for our clients.”

Alain Tanugi, Chairman TRANSEARCH International, agrees: “Poland is drawing billions of dollars in new investment every year as foreign firms seek to take advantage of Poland's large population and location in the heart of Europe. I am thrilled to welcome Beata and her team on board as I am convinced she will be able to strengthen our presence in the region.”

TRANSEARCH International has representation in most of the major economic centres of the world with 52 offices in 33 countries and is currently rated as the 10th largest global executive search firm by Executive Recruiter News (ERN). TRANSEARCH International was founded in 1982. For more information contact the TRANSEARCH Central Office: contact@transearch.com

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Kaczynski: 'Too early' to announce candidates to head Poland's central bank

Polish President Lech Kaczynski said Friday it was "too early" to name a new candidate to head Poland's central bank to replace an economics professor who has withdrawn his candidacy.

Speaking on the sidelines of a summit of EU leaders, Kaczynski said that more than one person was in the running and he would first give their names to the parliament.

Previous candidate Jan Sulmicki has withdrawn for what he said were family reasons.


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Poland Joins Methane to Markets

The partnership extended membership to Poland during its steering committee meeting today in Rome.

"The Bush Administration is meeting unparalleled financial, international and domestic commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Voluntary programs, like the Methane to Markets Partnership, are delivering environmental and economic results by turning methane waste into wealth," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. "By working with Poland to promote advances in clean energy technology, we are transforming important economic partners into good global neighbors."

The Methane to Markets Partnership, launched by President Bush in November 2004, is a public-private partnership that brings together the technical and market expertise, financing, and technology necessary to advance cost-effective methane recovery and use projects at landfills, agricultural operations, coal mines and oil and gas systems. Poland joins 18 other countries and a growing project network of nearly 500 public and private sector organizations in efforts to reduce emissions of methane - a powerful greenhouse gas - while delivering clean energy to markets around the world.

"The Republic of Poland is proud to be the newest member of the Methane to Markets partnership," said Poland's Minister of Economy, Piotr Wozniak. "This partnership will advance the beneficial use of methane in Poland, and we look forward to contributing our expertise in all sectors - especially in coal mining - to expand international investment and enhance methane-capture technologies."

President Bush has committed up to $53 million to Methane to Markets over the next five years. Last year, the United States contributed more than $5 million and was successful in leveraging over $235 million in public and private sector contributions toward project development. Once these methane projects are fully implemented, they are expected to garner annual greenhouse gas reductions of nearly 5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, while providing enough electricity to power the equivalent of 800,000 U.S. homes.

Methane to Markets is planning a partnership expo in 2007; China has agreed to be a co-sponsor of the event, scheduled for October 2007 in Beijing.


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Poland to build liquid gas terminal in Swinoujscie port

Poland's oil and gas monopoly said Friday that a liquid gas terminal will be built in the Baltic Sea port of Swinoujscie to diversify the nation's sources of energy, now chiefly coming from Russia.

The construction of the gas port is to begin in 2011 and the cost is estimated at some €350 million ($462 million), said Tadeusz Zwierzynski, deputy head of the monopoly, Polskie Gornictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo, according to PAP news agency.

Zwierzynski said Swinoujscie, near Poland's border with Germany, was chosen because land for construction was easily available there and the region is significantly dependent on gas energy.

Poland's socially-conservative government of Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski decided earlier this year to build a liquid gas port as a step toward cutting Poland's dependence on Russian supplies.

Poland was affected when Russia briefly cut gas supplies to neighboring Ukraine in a price dispute in January.


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Poland to build liquid gas terminal in Swinoujscie port

Poland's oil and gas monopoly said Friday that a liquid gas terminal will be built in the Baltic Sea port of Swinoujscie to diversify the nation's sources of energy, now chiefly coming from Russia.

The construction of the gas port is to begin in 2011 and the cost is estimated at some €350 million ($462 million), said Tadeusz Zwierzynski, deputy head of the monopoly, Polskie Gornictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo, according to PAP news agency.

Zwierzynski said Swinoujscie, near Poland's border with Germany, was chosen because land for construction was easily available there and the region is significantly dependent on gas energy.

Poland's socially-conservative government of Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski decided earlier this year to build a liquid gas port as a step toward cutting Poland's dependence on Russian supplies.

Poland was affected when Russia briefly cut gas supplies to neighboring Ukraine in a price dispute in January.


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Poland's parliament approves 2007 budget

Poland's parliament voted Friday to approve the 2007 state budget that pegs the deficit at 30 billion zlotys (US$10 billion; €8 billion) with spending at the level of 257.8 billion zlotys (US$88.8 billion; €67.8 billion).

The bill slightly curbs the deficit, to 2.7 percent of GDP, down from 2.8 percent planned for this year, as Poland takes steps to meet European Union requirements for adoption of the euro, which would likely not come until sometime in the next decade.

President Lech Kaczynski, the prime minister's twin brother, recently said he favored 2010 as a date for a referendum on euro adoption.

Countries joining the euro must get their deficits under 3 percent of GDP to avoid undermining the common currency.

The lower house voted 234-192 with no abstentions to approve the plan as prepared by the socially conservative government of Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski with subsequent amendments.


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Poland's PKN Orlen gets controlling stake in major Lithuanian refinery

Poland’s PKN Orlen has acquired a controlling stake in the Lithuanian-based Mazaikiu Nafta oil complex.

The 53.7% stake in the Mazeikiu oil 15.12.2006
complex, bought yesterday from Yukos international, cost Orlen 1 billion 125 million Euro, which made it the biggest ever manual block trade in the history of the Vilnius stock exchange.

In addition to that, today PKN Orlen has finalized the purchase of a further 30.66% share from the Lithuanian government. Both transactions boosted PKN Orlen's holding in the refinery to nearly 85%. The take-over of the Mazaikiai complex is Poland’s biggest foreign investment.

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