Poland’s Lotos Quarterly Profit Doubles

EMFIS.COM - Warsaw 02-28-08
Grupa Lotos, Poland’s second-largest oil company, announced Q4 net profits rose to 231.2 million zlotys (US$98.3 million) from 99.5 million zlotys a year earlier.

Full-year net profit hit 763.5 million zlotys, beating analyst estimates of 758 million zlotys by 7 percent.

Lotos plans to invest 5.6 billion zlotys into boosting annual production by 75 percent to 10.5 million tones by 2001, in order to better compete with domestic competitor PKN Orlen.
Source: finanzen.net

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J.Martins cuts planned store openings in Portugal, Poland due to Plus deal

LISBON (Thomson Financial) - Jeronimo Martins SGPS said that it will open less stores in Portugal and Poland due to the integration of the recently acquired Plus discount chain in both countries.

Speaking at a press conference following full-year results yesterday after the close, J.Martins CEO Luis Palha da Silva said that the Plus integration is the reason why the company now expects to open about 70-100 new stores in Poland in 2008, down from earlier estimates indicating about 130 new openings in Poland per year to 2010.

In Portugal, the company now expects to open about 10 new Pingo Doce stores in 2008, down from previous estimates of about 20 per year by 2010.

'We are not going to be able to see in Poland and in Portugal the same expansion drive due to the integration of the Plus stores,' said Palha da Silva.

Palha da Silva added that he expects regulators in Portugal and Poland to approve the Plus acquisition in the second quarter of 2008.

He also said that the likelihood of J.Martins expanding to new geographies in 2008 was now also reduced due to the effort of integrating the Plus stores.

The retail group acquired the Plus discount chain in Portugal and Poland from Tengelmann in December 2007 for about 320 mln eur.

The Plus chain comprises 75 stores in Portugal and 210 stores in Poland.

The group owns about 1,045 Biedronka stores in Poland and about 225 Pingo Doce stores in Portugal.

Source: forbes.com

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Poland may enter ERM2 at turn of '09/10-c.bank head

Adds analyst quote, details, background)
By Katarzyna Pieniadz
WARSAW, Feb 28 (Reuters) -
Poland may enter into the ERM-2 exchange rate mechanism at the turn of 2009 and 2010, when inflation will be lowered to 2.5 percent in a sustainable way, central bank governor Slawomir Skrzypek said on Thursday.
"I can uphold what was said earlier. Inflation will return to the target in a sustainable way at the turn of 2009 and 2010. It may be the time when we will be entering the ERM-2," Skrzypek told reporters.
The governor and the bank's Monetary Policy Council met the Finance Minister Jacek Rostowski earlier in February to discuss Poland's path to the single currency zone.
"Entering the ERM-2 mechanism at the turn of 2009 and 2010 means Poland could join the single currency zone in 2012 or 2013," said Rafal Benecki, economist at ING Bank Slaski in Warsaw.
Changing the zloty's free float exchange rate to the ERM-2 mechanism for at least two years is one of the prerequisites for adopting the euro.
To date, Poland's biggest problem has been keeping its public deficit under the European Union's ceiling of 3 percent of GDP, but a recent drop in the budget deficit and a jump in inflation has raised questions about the CPI entry criterion.
Inflation in Poland jumped to 4.3 percent in January, and EuroStat's 12 month HICP average approached close to the required level of 1.5 percentage points above average of three countries with lowest inflation in the European Union.
Poland's public deficit last year is estimated at 2.5 percent of GDP and is expected to remain under 3 percent this year.
Source: By Patryk Wasilewski, Jon Boyle, guardian.co.uk

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Poland: supermarket group drives up organic turnove

The Polish retail chain Spolem operates 20 stores in Warsaw called Sezam, the majority of which have an attractive organic product range. In 2005, organics were introduced in just three stores, but by now you find them in a dozen or so Sezam outlets, with the number of organic products varying according to the size and location of the stores. The Spolem cooperative (www.spolem.org.pl) was founded 135 years ago.

“In 2007 we included an organic range in another four of our stores,” says Boguslaw Edmund Pienkowski. He is the manager of the biggest Sezam store that has 3000 m² of retail space and is located in Marszalkowska Street near the Palace of Culture. Food, including organic products, is on the ground floor; on the two upper floors you find household and electrical goods and other things for the home. This Sezam store employs 105 people.

Mr Pienkowski also points out that some of their stores only have 30-70 m² of shopping area. A small outlet might have just half a metre of shelf space for organics, while the equivalent in one of the two department stores can be as long as 15 metres.

“Sezam stores now stock 500-800 organic lines, depending on their location,” explains Marta Uzarska who is responsible for publicity. Organics are no longer marginal – they now account for a respectable 2 % of turnover, and the trend is upwards. You see bright green signs on the shelves drawing attention to products from organic agriculture, and sometimes flyers with product information are provided for customers (see photo). In 2007 more organic departments were integrated into four stores, and last year the sale of organics rose by 30 %.

The range is varied and includes all product groups - fresh products like fruit and vegetables, milk products, bread and bakery goods, soy products and sausage products are clearly identified with green signs. A large green sign with Produkty Rolnictwa Ekologicznego hangs above the dry goods shelf.

There is currently a supply bottleneck in the case of meat products. “Customers often ask us when more sausage products are coming in,” says one of the employees. There is only one sort of beer on sale, but in contrast there is a well presented spirits department selling organic wines and liqueur.

At the moment, there is only a basic range of fresh fruit and vegetables, and the same applies to milk products. “We simply don’t yet have enough certified organic goods in Poland, even though we would like to extend our stock to meet customer demand,” says Mrs Uzarska.

“We are now thinking of combining organics with the marketing of regional goods, since we are dealing here with a similar clientele,” says Jolanta Jadrzejewska, Marketing Manager at Spolem. By paying special attention to environmentally friendly and local products, Sezam would make itself clearly different from its mainly international competitors in the retail food trade.

As well as at the point of sale, the company engages its customers via an in-house monthly magazine. The origin and benefits of organic products are constant themes in this publication.

How is the organic idea being spread from the Warsaw Spolem stores to other regions of Poland? They have worked out a standard organic shelf design for the other stores in their cooperative. There is a total of 274 cooperatives with 4000 stores in the Cooperative Association. “But it is not simply a question of other cooperatives taking over the Sezam model. Each one must decide for itself,” says Mrs Uzarska. According to her information, 64 stores now list organic products, and they stock on average 200 different items.

“We provide information for consumers to get them more interested in organics, and we also distribute leaflets. And each of our stores that sells organic foods has at least one organic advisor chosen by us from the employees,” explains Marta Uzarska, Head of the Department dealing with customer advice and PR at the Spolem consumer cooperative. At the store in Marszalkowska Street as many as eight of the 55 employees in the food department have attended a course on organics. These two-to-three-day courses are made available twice a year by the Spolem Cooperative, and 20 employees take part in each course.

The Sezam stores in Warsaw have in total 800 members, who each made a payment of 500 Zloty (140 euros). Members then receive a customer card that gives them a 5 % discount on goods, except for alcohol and cigarettes. Membership also gives access to cultural events and travel opportunities. Work groups come together to discuss a range of topics, and regular meetings take place with the Board, enabling ideas to be passed on to the management.

Conclusion: The Sezam stores under the management of Boguslaw Edmund Pienkowski are excellent at promoting organic agriculture and providing the consumer with a high value organic product range. Through their efforts they have created a unique position for themselves, and competitors in the retail food trade will have great difficulty in catching up with them. Big concerns like Sezam and successful specialist organic shops will make processors realise that they have to invest in converting production totally or partially to organic. The aim is to enhance basic goods produced in Poland itself and to supply a wide range of organic products at affordable prices.

Source: persianoad.wordpress.com

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Polish central bank sees bump in inflation between now and mid-2009

WARSAW (Thomson Financial) - Poland's central bank said today it would continue to act to curb inflation as the gap between wage and productivity growth widens and price rises exceed earlier expectations between now and the middle of next year.

The bank earlier raised interest rates by 25 basis points for a second consecutive month in a decision analysts had seen as too close to call after a series of surprises on the high-side from January economic data.

The bank said in its post-meeting statement that its new quarterly projection showed 'significantly higher' price growth between now and the middle of 2009 than the last projection in October.

But it also said the new projection, which assumed unchanged interest rates, showed similar inflation for the second half of next year.

It said the projection showed a 50 pct chance of inflation of 3.6-4.7 pct in 2008, compared to 2.2-3.5 pct in October, and 2.6-4.9 pct in 2009 versus an earlier 2.5-4.6 pct.

Source: By Paweł Sobczak, forbes.com

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Ohio firm buys 66% of European contract supplier

Tire maker Goodyear Tire & Rubber of Akron, Ohio, will increase its stake in TC Debica, a Polish contract tire maker, to 66% and work with management to nearly triple commercial tire production for Goodyear, to 5,000 tires per day from 1,700.

An Associated Press report says TC Debica's management board will decide whether to expand production in Poland. Goodyear has said the expansion would require an investment of more than $200 million.

"This additional capacity would make TC Debica one of our largest suppliers of tires in the world," says Michel Rzonzef, president of Goodyear's Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa countries, in a corporate statement. "Goodyear, of course, will share the necessary technology and expertise to assure that TC Debica is producing the highest-quality and most advanced commercial truck tires possible."

The expansion, if approved, would be made adjacent to the existing factory in Debica, located in southern Poland. TC Debica currently employs 2,500 at the plant. Most tires now produced at the plant are sold to Goodyear or Goodyear affiliates, and are sold under the Goodyear, Debica, Dunlop, Fulda and Sava brands.
Source: By Tom Stundza, purchasing.com

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Cinemas in Poland: A growing market - but not for independent films

This month two giants in Poland's cinema market joined forces, as Multikino took over Silver Screen

The director of marketing at Silver Screen, Roman Jarosz, spoke with WBJ about how Poland's cinema market is developing, and what lies ahead for its film industry

Anna Kalembasiak: What are the dominant trends in Poland's cinema market?

Roman Jarosz: Above all infrastructure is developing. There is an increasing number of multiplexes and cinemas, which means more people have access to more high-profile films. In general, more movies are coming to Poland. Another trend affecting the market is the development of Polish society. It is said that Poles are earning more, so we have more money to spend on going to the cinema.

What about consolidation on Poland's cinema market? Is the merger of Multikino and Silver Screen an indication of a broader trend?

I would guess that our merger is the last step [for consolidation] on the Polish cinema market. Whoever wanted to consolidate has already done it. The merger between Multikino and Silver Screen has created a situation where there are only three main players on the market, with many other small, single cinemas around. There is no other significant player to be consolidated. This situation is good for the market's development, because there is still healthy competition between the players, while on the other hand these chains have their own loyal clientele, so they have a stable revenue. Every chain has its own idea for further development.

What is the market's potential for development?

I think the cinema market in Poland still has great potential. There are around 32 million tickets sold annually. Taking into account Poland's population of about 38 million, this comes to less than one ticket per Pole a year on average. In France for example, this number is much much higher. The key factor is the scope of multiplexes, where mainly high-profile movies are on screen. Now only 30-40 percent of society has access to such cinemas. The aim should be that every county capital has its own "miniplex" - a three- or four-screen cinema. I know that sometimes it is not profitable for a company to create such a cinema in a small city. That is why it would be good if local authorities would help investors to develop such projects. Modern mixed-use culture houses [domy kultury] could be created and movies could be played during the evenings. Then, the inhabitants of these towns could see the newest movies. Local governments are responsible for the cultural development of their communities.

What about the movies themselves? What is most profitable for cinemas?

There is strong polarization on the film market in Poland. The major part includes the most popular cinemas, playing international and domestic blockbusters, which are always successful. These films earn most of a cinema's money. I would estimate that about 20 percent of film titles account for 80 percent of cinemas' turnover. Attendance is always high for such movies.

Are these mainly Hollywood blockbusters? What about Polish productions?

Actually, there are more and more Polish movies with a [blockbuster] character. When we take into account the number of movies and revenues from tickets sales, Polish films' market share is rising. But the other face of the Polish film market is also important. These are the artistic, independent films. These movies are mainly for connoisseurs. In my opinion, they are underestimated. They could be more successful, but better distribution, placement and information is needed. The best places for such movies are arthouse cinemas - and these came about exactly to promote such independent movies.

So, is there a future for independent movies?

No. Unfortunately this sector of the film market is shrinking. This is what I am worried about. Viewers who want to see such films have little access to them. The number of prints is far too small. Promotion is bad, and if this continues, these films will disappear. If a film is not vulgar commerce, producers assume that there is no point putting any money into even a minor amount of promotion, because they reason that nobody will come to see such a movie and that there is no need to promote non-commercial films. This leads to the situation where such unpopular movies have an ever more limited release and an ever smaller number of people can see them. In my opinion, if producers of such movies are not able to spend zł.1 million on promotion, they should at least make sure a film has good publicity and is distributed to the proper cinemas, where people expect to see such movies.

Source: By Anna Kalembasiak, wbj.pl

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Poland's PGNiG will spend 108 mln usd to search for oil and gas in Libya

WARSAW (Thomson Financial) - Poland's natural gas monopoly PGNiG will spend 'at least' 108 mln zlotys in the next six years to search and drill for oil and gas off the shore of Libya, the company said in a statement.

PGNiG today signed a deal with Libyan National Oil Corporation (NOC) to conduct a seismic surveying and drill eight wells on an area of 5,494 square km between Libya's Murzuq and Gadamesh basins in the Mediterranean Sea.

Libya last year awarded gas exploration contracts to PGNiG, Shell, Gazprom, and Sonatrach, the first ever given to foreign firms as relations warm between Tripoli and the West.

OPEC member Libya has natural gas reserves estimated at 1,314 bln cubic metres.

Source: by Piotr Skolimowski, forbes.com

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Gambling on Poland

Procter & Gamble has begun construction of its largest factory in Europe

Construction on Procter & Gamble's (P&G) largest European factory has begun following the issuance of a permit allowing the world's leading FMCG manufacturer to expand its activities in the Łód� Special Economic Zone (ŁSSE). The new plant, worth some $50 (zł.120.9) million, will be based in the ŁSSE's sub-zone of Aleksandrów Łódzki and will produce Olay skin-care products.

The factory, located on a 33-ha plot which formerly housed a sports airfield, will cover an area of 15,000 sqm. The area has already been fitted with a sewage system and has seen improvements made to the local road network. The total cost of this work amounted to zł.5 million and was covered by the local authorities.

The first phase of the project is scheduled for delivery in August of this year, while production is scheduled to begin in 2009. The plant, although fully automated, will employ at least 300 staff, and the investor expects to see a daily output of 30 tonnes of beauty creams and oils.

"This is our third project in Poland, following a Pampers factory in Warsaw and a Gillette razors factory in Łód�," said Alex Blanco, P&G's vice president in charge of global production and distribution of beauty products. "We chose Aleksandrów Łódzki because of its central location and access to well qualified staff. The stance of the Aleksandrów municipal authorities and representatives of the ŁSSE was also a very important decision making factor," he added.

ŁSSE was established in 1997. It covers a total area of 900 ha and constitutes 29 sub-zones. Last year 20 investors received permits to trade in the ŁSSE and they are expected to generate zł.1.9 billion and 5,100 new workplaces.

Procter & Gamble has some 130,000 employees globally and has a turnover of over $70 (zł.169) billion.

Source: By Anna Kapica-Harward, wbj.pl

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MTU Aero engines opens a new branch in Poland

According to the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency (PAIiIZ), the German MTU Aero Engines manufactures of power units, will begin the construction of its Polish branch in Rzeszów in southern Poland this spring. Production is due to begin in 2009.
The branch will be established on a 7 ha site within the Rzeszów Aviation Valley, Poland’s aviation cluster. This subsidiary company will design and produce stator and moving blades for low pressure turbines. It will also be involved in renovation and repair work of civil aviation engines.
Mr Richard Maier, the MTU Aero Engines project director said that the company decided to locate its new plant in Rzeszów because that region has a well developed industrial base, including businesses from the aviation industry and large reserves of well qualified specialists.

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Poland faces inflation challenge on road to ERM-2, euro adoption - minister

WARSAW (Thomson Financial) - Poland is unlikely to enter the pre-euro exchange rate mechanism this year and its chief barrier to joining in the near future will be volatility on financial markets and high inflation, Finance Minister Jacek Rostowski said Sunday.

'We will be ready to join the ERM-2 mechanism when we meet the Maastricht criteria (for economies joining the euro zone) and first and foremost when the situation on global markets has calmed,' Rostowski told reporters on the sidelines of a party rally to mark the government's first 100 days in power.

'In 2008 it is very unlikely that the situation on markets will stabilise and from March we will no longer meet the inflation criteria. I hope this problem will cease to exist in 2009.'

Rostowski reiterated comments made to a newspaper on Friday that he could 'not rule out' the adoption of the euro in 2012 by Poland, which with a population of 38 mln is one of the largest countries in the bloc with its own currency.

This formula is the closest the new government has come to setting a possible date for adoption of the euro. Previously, he had said only that it was unlikely to come before the government's term ends in 2011.

Poland's zloty and debt markets have been boosted by expectations this government would support a swift push to adopt the single currency but Rostowski's approach has played down hopes of entry before 2013-14.

Rising inflation in recent months has made it clear that, like other eastern European states, Poland's main problem with meeting the euro's economic fitness tests will be on price stability.

'Formally we could join ERM-2 without meeting the conditions on inflation but this would unwise,' Rostowski said.

Asked again when Poland would most likely join, he reiterated: 'We do not rule out 2012.'

Source: By Paweł Sobczak,


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Poland: No Missile Shield Without Aid

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland will only sign up to accept a U.S. missile defense base if Washington gives significant help to modernizing Poland's military, the Polish defense minister said in comments published Saturday.

"As long as we cannot sign an agreement about a satisfactory contribution by the Americans to the modernization of our armed forces, we can't talk about our agreeing to an American installation on our territory," Bogdan Klich was quoted as saying in an interview with the daily Polska.

Washington wants to place 10 missile defense interceptors in Poland and a radar system in neighboring Czech Republic as part of a global system it says is necessary to protect the U.S. and Europe against future attacks from Iran.

Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski said in Washington three weeks ago that Poland and the U.S. had reached an agreement in principle after he received assurances that the U.S. would help Poland strengthen its short- to medium-range air defenses.

The two sides did not elaborate, and it remained unclear whether the United States had made specific promises to provide air defense systems. Polish officials have pressed for Patriot or THAAD missiles.

Klich reiterated that Poland's main expectations concerning U.S. aid are tied to air defense, but added that Warsaw has also identified 17 areas where its military needs an upgrade.

"I believe that in this range of possibilities the Americans have a chance to find somewhere" to help, Klich was quoted as saying. Negotiations on the missile shield site and the eventual U.S. role in strengthening Poland's military continue and "must end at the same time," he added.

He also acknowledged that new threats may emerge if Warsaw agrees to accept the 10 interceptors, but said Poland would benefit from being tied into the U.S. defense system.

"You don't generally mess with the strong, but the weak you can give a kick to," Klich was quoted as saying. "If you stand by the strong, it pays off. And that would be the positive result of the American presence in Poland."

Russia strongly opposes the prospect of U.S. installations in a region that it controlled during the Cold War and has threatened to attack the bases, causing deep anxiety in Poland.

The U.S. and Poland opened negotiations early last year on the base. Klich declined to give a date for a possible final deal.


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Kingfisher Q4 underlying sales slow UPDATE

LONDON (Thomson Financial) - Kingfisher PLC, the global home improvement retailer, has reported a slowdown in fourth quarter underlying sales but forecast full year underlying pretax profit in line with the current consensus of analyst expectations.

Prior to today's statement analysts were forecasting a year to Feb 2 2008 profit before tax and exceptional items of about 380 mln stg, down from 397 mln stg in the previous year. Full year results will be announced on March 27.

Kingfisher said year end net debt is expected to be 1.6 bln stg, slightly higher than previous guidance, reflecting exchange rates.

For the 13 weeks to Feb 2 2008 the group, which trades from 780 stores in nine countries in Europe and Asia, saw total sales increase 4.0 pct on a constant currency basis to 2.18 bln stg.

However, sales on a like-for-like basis, which strips out the impact of new and closed space, fell 0.5 pct. They were up 1.9 pct in the third quarter.

Like-for-like sales at B&Q, Kingfisher's largest and most high profile business, fell 1.7 pct -- a deterioration from a decrease of 0.2 pct in the third quarter but better than some analysts had expected.

The group said B&Q's performance reflected the tougher retail environment, partly offset by sales growth from revamped large stores. It noted new decorative, bedroom and flooring ranges performed well.

B&Q's underlying gross margin rate was described as 'slightly up before range review clearance activity'.

'B&Q finished the year in better shape after the biggest year of change in its history,' said Ian Cheshire, the former boss of B&Q, who succeeded Gerry Murphy as group chief executive last month.

'By focusing on improving product choice, store environment and service for customers, B&Q now has a stronger platform to face what is expected to be a tougher consumer environment.'

In France, like-for-like sales at Castorama were up 3.0 pct, having been up 4.8 pct in the third quarter and were down 1.1 pct at Brico Depot, having been down 0.3 pct in the previous quarter. Gross margins in France improved due to higher own-brand sales penetration and an improved sales mix.

In the Rest of Europe division (Poland, Spain, Ireland, Russia, Turkey and Germany) like-for-like sales increased 4.4 pct, boosted by a strong end to the year in Poland, where like-for-like sales increased 12.1 pct.

But in Asia like-for-like sales fell 7.5 pct, reflecting the continued impact of the slowdown of new apartment sales in the major Chinese markets and changing supplier regulations.

'Kingfisher's international businesses, which account for more than half of group sales, continued to grow, with Castorama in France and Poland performing particularly strongly. Continuing this momentum will be our key international priority next year, along with addressing our performance in China,' said Cheshire, who has pledged to deliver 'a real step-change in shareholder value'.

Less than a month into the job he is planning a shake-up of the retailer's top management.

Talking to reporters he identified 'putting in place the right management teams' as one of his three key initial themes to unlock value.

He said management will be structured around 'a single unified retail group'.

'We're at the point now where we can move to a single worldwide home improvement business and run it on a more integrated basis than we have been able to in the past ... when Kingfisher was more of a conglomerate,' he explained.

Cheshire said his other two themes were targeting better cash returns from the group's existing businesses and a focus on improving its use of capital.

He said Kingfisher has already set more demanding target rates for returns on investment. This investment will be 'more narrowly focused on a few of our higher return projects'.

He also said his assessment was that 'all aspects of the group can contribute to a better use of capital' -- a statement which could be read as him shying away from the possible disposal of some businesses.

On the outlook for trading in 2008 Cheshire said it was too early to assess the likely impact of the global credit crunch on Kingfisher's businesses.

'As retailers we'll just carry on planning prudently with a focus on margins, costs and cash control,' he said.

He said like-for-like growth at B&Q would be hard to come by. 'We think we're planning fairly prudently for the year ahead and we're certainly not assuming any help from the market.

'Most commentators would say it's going to be fairly tough in 2008 so I'd rather see plans that rely on our own self help to deliver our bottom line ... than assume big sales leaps.'

Cheshire plans to outline more of his strategic thinking next month.

He said the board will make a decision on the final dividend payment in March. Sector analysts expect it to be slashed.

At 10.33 am shares in Kingfisher were up 3-3/4 pence, or 3 pct, at 135-3/4 pence, valuing the business at 3.19 bln stg.

Source: By James Davey, forbes.com

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Poland Ready to Support GUAM’s Efforts in Consolidation of Democracy and Market Economy

Azerbaijan, Baku, 22 February / Trend News corr S. Agayeva / Poland is ready to support the efforts of the GUAM countries in consolidation of democracy and market economy, Warsaw official stated at the GUAM-Poland meeting, which took place in Warsaw on 21 February, the Azerbaijani Embassy in Poland told Trend News.

The Polish side expressed its will to continue cooperation with the Organization for the Democracy and Economic Development – GUAM.

The meeting of the Deputy Foreign Ministers of GUAM countries ( Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova), as well as that of Poland, discussed the prospects for multi-side cooperation in the fields of trade, investment promotion, energy, transport and tourism.

The participants noted the necessity to intensify the role of European Union in GUAM. Poland officials voiced their readiness to render their assistance in implementation of the New European Neighbourhood Policy Action Plan signed with Azerbaijan, Georgia and Moldova.

The GUAM countries and Poland emphasized their adherence for the peaceful settlement of the conflicts existing in the organization’s member countries, in accordance with the UN Security Council’s resolutions.

Four post-Soviet republics; Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova, established the GUAM format in 1997, during a summit of presidents of European Union countries in Strasburg. In 1999, Uzbekistan joined the organization, but left four years later. In 2006, at the first summit of the organization in Kiev a decision was made to announce GUAM as an international organization with a new name; Organization for Democracy and Economic Development – GUAM. Later, such formats as GUAM-Poland, GUAM-USA and GUAM-Japan were established.

Source: news.trendaz.com


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