Blogs // Sławomir Czepielewski

Sky is the limit?

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When I read this title which in full is as follows: "Sky is the limit for Chinese investment in Poland" I thought at the first moment it was about the direct air connection between Warsaw and Beijing, which is expected to overcome obstacles in the development of cooperation between Poland and China, but it was not. It was a quotation of the statement by the head of Poland's foreign investment unit (PAIiIZ) speaking about potential funding from the China Investment Corporation. It seems to sound very well, but I do not think the sky is any limit, it is actually not. There are many other limits, some of them are inside Europe and Poland particularly. On one hand our president and our government would like to attract Chinese investments to Poland, but on the other hand there are many actions in a totally different direction.

During the visit of our president in China last year, the opening of the office of the Chinese bank ICBC the largest bank in the world was agreed. The bank submitted the application and the Polish Financial Supervision Authority rejected this application together with application of the fourth largest world bank, Bank of China. It seems to be in line with the opinion of Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation stressing that Chinese enterprises still find Europe's legal system complicated or get discouraged by hidden costs, but these banks opened their offices in other EU countries except of Poland. It is difficult to believe that these global banks are unable to prepare in the right way the documents required for opening a foreign office.

The circumstances seem to become more clear when we look at activities of the Public Procurement Office in Poland. This institution has prepared the proposal to limit the access to the public tenders for parties coming from outside European Union. It is an open secret that this action is to deliver first of all a blow to the Chinese companies.

I think that generally it is not the sky which is a limit, but the limit  is our red tape and fear of open and fair competition.

Sławomir Czepielewski

Vice Rector for international cooperation at Warsaw Academy of Computer Science, Management and Administration. Very experienced projects initiator and innovator, father to more than 20 innovative high tech. companies. He was very effective in the international cooperation creating joint venture companies with American, German, French, Swedish, Czech and Belarusian partners and developing business long term cooperation with many Asian companies, first of all from China.