Asseco Poland spends over €16m on Romanian acquisitions

Asseco Poland, a listed IT company, has announced that it has acquired two firms in Romania, FIBa Software and Net Consulting, by buying a 70% stake in each of them. The Polish company paid more than €5.8m for the shares of the former and around €9.8m for those of the latter.
Katarzyna Drewnowska, a spokesperson for Asseco Poland, told ICT Update Poland: We want to achieve a strong position in Central and Eastern Europe by establishing a presence in the countries of the region and to gain experience which would allow us to expand successfully on the Western markets. She added that the level of IT development in the region is relatively limited, providing an opportunity for IT companies. Asseco Poland expects robust growth on the Romanian market.

Ms Drewnowska emphasised that the foreign subsidiaries of the company will offer products and services to those areas which are already the focus of the parent company, i.e. banking and finance, along with entrepreneurship. The company is, however, going to spread its net further, for example, to include contracts with public bodies.

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Georgia president to visit Poland May 10-12

Georgia's President Mikheil Saakashvili will make a working visit to Poland May 10-12 and attend an energy summit, the presidential press service said Wednesday.

Georgian Foreign Minister Gela Bezhuashvili said the summit will address diversification of the European energy market, adding the energy dialogue will continue later this fall, in Lithuania.

The energy summit in Warsaw is expected to bring together the presidents of Poland, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Ukraine.

Polish President Lech Kaczynski said last month "these are countries that are interested in an oil project to extend the Odessa-Brody oil pipeline to Plock and Gdansk."

The pipeline was originally designed to pump oil from the Caspian, or Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, to Europe.

Ukraine's Odessa-Brody section was completed in 2002 but suspended for lack of customers or suppliers until Yushchenko came to power in 2004. Talks are now under way on extending the pipeline to Poland's Plock and Gdansk on the Baltic.


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Poland celebrates third anniversary as EU member

KUWAIT: Poland's economic growth and most current macroeconomic indicators serve as an example of the European Union's successful model of integration and development. At a press conference held on the occasion of the country's third anniversary since joining the European Union, and also marking 50 years of the Treaties of Rome, the Charge d'Affairs of the Polish embassy in Kuwait made a brief summary of the country's economic performance. Robert Dziedzic, Charge d'Affairs of the Polish embassy in Kuwait and Tomasz Sadzinski, Third Secretary of the Polish embassy in Kuwait, hosted the press event in the Polish embassy in Jabriya yesterday.

Polish exports last year grew over 22 percent last year, which as Dziedzic pointed out "is an enormous number in one year". Unemployment dropped down from almost 19 percent to 14 percent. "It is still one of the highest in the European Union but this is a huge change on a positive side," elaborated Dziedzic. Dwelling on the GDP growth, he explained that the expectations for the GDP growth were 5.8 percent while the latest data shows that last year the GDP grew 6.1 percent. He added that the budget deficit, which was expected to be $10 billion, was some $8 billion.

Poland, a country of 40 million people, joined the European Union family in 2004. The sixth most populated country in the EU, according to Tomasz, Poland is an important EU border country, neighbouring Belarus, Ukraine and Russia (Kaliningrad enclave). Poland is expected to join the EU Schengen area with a unified visa system this year and is obliged to adopt the Euro (the EU's common currency) with plans to do it by 2011.

Assessing the positive influence from Poland's EU membership Tomasz introduced some figures. In 2006, Polish exports rose by 22 percent and reached the record level of $118.5 billion. In 2006 the GDP of Poland rose by 6.1 percent. In 2000 Poland had a trade deficit with EU countries of over $11 billion in 2006, it had a trade surplus of $6.5 billion.

In the period from 2004 to 2006 the unemployment rate in Poland dropped almost four percent. In 2006, foreign investors allocated $14.7 billion in Poland for green field investments. An important economy within the EU, with its GDP of over $300 billion, Poland is the 23rd economy in the world according to the World Bank (2006), Tomasz said.

In 2005, Poland sold around $70 billion worth of exports to EU countries, which represented 77.2 percent of Polish exports in total. Moreover, in 2006 exports of foodstuff, mainly to EU, were at record levels of $11.5 billion with 20 percent growth, Tomasz added.

According to him, Poland's main trade partners for exports in 2005 were Germany, France, Italy, Great Britain and the Czech Republic. Only between 2004 and 2006 did Poland receive $15.4 billion from the EU structural funds, Tomasz observed, and in the period 2007 to 2013 Poland is expected to receive over $90 billion from EU structural funds.

The people of Poland have embarked on the country's EU integration path voting in a referendum held prior to the country's accession. Some 64 percent of the Poles are convinced that EU membership has more advantages than disadvantages, Tomasz said. In his words, almost 75 percent of Poles voted they were convinced that EU membership was supportive of the Polish economy. Some 58 percent of Poles believe that the EU membership increased Poland's security and 58 voted they are convinced the membership enhanced the Polish role in Europe.

Source: By Velina Nacheva, .kuwaittimes.net

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Aviva to sell car insurance in Poland

Aviva, Britain's biggest insurer, is to enter the direct motor insurance market in Poland to take advantage of the rising number of drivers as the country becomes more affluent.

Tidjane Thiam, Aviva's group executive director responsible for the European business, predicts that the Polish car insurance market will double to almost £4bn in annual premiums in the next 10 years. "The economy is growing very strongly, disposable income is growing fast and people own more cars," he said.

Aviva already offers life and home insurance in Poland, where it is number two in the life and pensions market, Mr Thiam said. The company plans to sell car insurance over the internet and telephone, although the market currently operates mainly via third parties such as brokers. "It is a bet on the future," Mr Thiam said.

"Direct business takes a while to develop but when it takes off it's very sudden and strong. We believe it will happen in Poland."

A higher percentage of the Polish population owns cars than in the UK, says Aviva, with penetration at 43pc of the population in Poland compared to 32pc in the UK. Currently about 26pc of Polish drivers have fully comprehensive car insurance but this figure is increasing as sales of new cars rise, the company said.

Aviva has about 3.5 million customers in Poland already and employs 3,000 agents to distribute promotional material.

Mr Thiam said the group was considering rebranding its Polish business, known as Commercial Union Poland, under the Aviva banner.

Source:By Caroline Muspratt, telegraph.co.uk

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Poland's current-account deficit seen rising to 3% of GDP in 2007 - European Commission

Poland's current-account deficit is seen widening to 3.00% of GDP in 2007 and 4.25% next year, as rapid growth of domestic demand fuels import gains, the European Commission wrote in a report out Monday.

"After reaching 2.1% in 2006, the current account deficit is expected to widen to about 3% in 2007 and 4?% in 2008," the commission wrote in the report titled Spring 2007 Economic Forecast. "This deficit will continue to be largely financed by a stable inflow of foreign direct investments which in 2006 amounted to about PLN 43 bn (over 4% of GDP)."

Poland's economy continues to grow at a healthy clip with investments expected to rise 18% in 2007 and 14% next year. That will fuel imports of capital goods, with soaring wages contributing to increased purchases of imported consumer goods.
"Growing imports in line with strengthening domestic demand are projected to lead to an increase in the trade and current account deficits this year and next," the commission wrote. "The deficit in goods trade in 2007 is expected to almost double to 2.75% of GDP and deepen further to about 4% of GDP in 2008."

The rising imports of goods will be partly offset by a surplus in services, seen at 0.75% of GDP, and by rising handouts from Brussels coffers.

"[H]igher transfers from the EU will have a moderating impact on both the current and capital accounts," the commission wrote.

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IQ MEDICA-the biggest medical tourism organiser in Poland

IQ MEDICA is a Polish company specialized in “medical tourism”, especially serving patients who come to Poland from abroad. Foreign patients are attracted not only by prices, but also by top-quality medical treatment, highly skilled Polish doctors and use of modern technologies. Within 3 years of our activity we have already helped about a thousand of patients who mostly came from Great Britain. The most popular medical procedures are dentistry, breast enlargement and liposuction.

Services provided by IQ MEDICA in Poland are novel to patients in the EU. Poland’s accession to the EU and rapid development of low – cost airlines have stimulated services of IQ MEDICA and medical tourism. Many patients from the western Europe cannot afford high costs neither accept long queues in medical sector in their home countries. That is why a trip for a treatment to Poland is a very attractive offer.

IQ MEDICA helps patients to find the best Polish doctors of different specializations. The company contacts with their patients before they come to Warsaw, prepares a preliminary diagnosis and estimates approximate treatment costs. What is more, IQ MEDICA advices patients of how much time they will spend in the hospital, what materials and anaesthesia will be involved. The patient is informed about the expected duration of their stay in Poland and the time of necessary physiotherapy. The company helps to prepare it all by planning entire schedule, hour after hour.

Throughout their stay in Poland, patients are taken care of by representatives of IQ MEDICA – personal assistants. The personal assistant who speaks a patient’s language picks them up from the airport. The patient is accompanied to the clinic, assisted in registration formalities and then after the surgery. If the patient has any unexpected health problems, the hotel staff can call the personal assistant who will provide the patient with medical aid. Individual assistants, IQ MEDICA consulting and transportation from the airport to hotels and clinics are free of charge, as is the preliminary interview. The patient pays only for the treatment and hotel.

IQ MEDICA searched for the best experts in each branch and -after a rigorous selection- found prominent doctors working at state-of-the-art clinics. Thanks to regular contacts with medical associations and communities IQ MEDICA’s knowledge about the latest progress and new techniques in plastic surgery is always most up to date. The advisers from Company talk both to patients and doctors to know exactly patient’s problems and needs. They also check if any patient has a complain and why. IQ MEDICA cooperates with doctors who speak foreign languages fluently so that patients can communicate in their mother tongue. The company has also verified the clinics and hospitals which perform procedures, checking the standard of medical equipment and international certificates that testify to the quality of management and service in a given hospital.

The price of a medical procedure performed in Poland, including the travel and accommodation cost, is 50-60 % lower than the same procedure in Western Europe and USA. IQ MEDICA has a few dozen customers a month.

Further information: www.iqmedica.com

Source: pr-gb.com

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Gas flow to Poland unaffected by gas pipeline blast

Natural gas deliveries to Poland from Russia via Ukraine have not been affected by Monday's explosion in a Ukrainian gas pipeline, Polish Economy Minister Piotr Wozniak said Tuesday.

"The flow of gas is normal. Other gas receivers of the European Union have not signaled any abnormalities. Apparently the situation is under control," Polish PAP news agency quoted Wozniak as saying.

The explosion Monday destroyed a 30-metre section of a trunk gas pipeline carrying Russian gas across Ukraine to Europe.


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oland Fruit Crop Destroyed, Polish Farmers Commit Suicide

n estimated 90% of Poland's fruit crop has been destroyed by late season frosts prompting some Polish farmers to commit suicide. Temperatures dropped to as low as minus 7 Degrees Centigrade in Poland on Tuesday and Wednesday of last week. The frost killed the budding fruits on trees all over Poland. Only some fruits on high ground survived. It is estimated that 90% of Poland's fruit crop has been destroyed.

Oak and nut trees that were budding out were also affected with the new leaves being killed by the frost. Strawberry crops have been severely damaged. Some farmers were so distraught at being wiped out that they committed suicide.

The impact on Poland's economy is likely to be huge first from the point of the loss of over 300 million tons of fruit sales this year and secondly from the point of the financial aid that will have to be provided to the farmers. Poland's loss will also affect the prices of fruit in Western Europe as Poland is a major exporter of fruits.

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