Africa a strong market, good for Polish firms - PM

Africa is a strong market, interesting to Europe and also very good for Polish companies; contacts established here by Polish businesspeople are very promising, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki declared at a press conference in Vienna on Tuesday.

The PM added that relations with Africa are important in the context of the EU's migration policy.

Morawiecki, who was representing Poland at the Africa-Europe Forum, stressed during a meeting with journalists that it was not the usual summit of leaders. "Apart from Political meetings, this is an opportunity to create very deep economic, trade, business and investment relations," the prime minister asserted. He also pointed out that he was accompanied at the forum by several dozen Polish businesspeople interested in the African market.

"Let's remember that Africa today is 1.2 billion people, in a dozen or so years it will certainly be three times as big as the number of EU residents; so a strong market, a market that is interesting to Europe, to European companies and very good for Polish firms too, because Poles have a capacity for exploring markets, they manage to take the first bold steps into an unknown economic land," the head of government commented.

"Today, contacts that Polish businesspeople have established with African businesspeople are very promising," he continued. He went on to state that Poland already has seven trade offices in Africa, including in Nigeria, Morocco and Egypt and more are being created. "These trade offices will be very important from the point of view of capacity for establishing direct, close relations with local partners for Polish entrepreneurs," the PM explained.

Of particular interest in the context of economic relations with Africa, in the prime minister's opinion, are sectors such as the food industry, machine production, consumer electronics and services, including IT services, which, he said, "are a Polish speciality lately."

Mateusz Morawiecki also highlighted that ever more Polish companies are interested in the African market and are taking advantage of foreign trade instruments available within the framework of the Polish Development Fund. "We have over PLN 30 billion (EUR 7 billion) available in export loans of various types, but also guarantees, companies use them, it is a very important direction of our activities," he explained. "Everything to minimalise the risk of investment or exporting to African countries."

Morawiecki added that the government's economic policy involved creating specialist trade offices to facilitate foreign expansion and motivate businesspeople on what he called a "difficult market."