‘I'd like see Poland-In­dia ties grow in eco­nomic terms'

FICCI Business Digest - - In Focus -

In an In­ter­view, To­masz Lukaszuk, Am­bas­sador of Poland to In­dia, tells FICCI Busi­ness Di­gest that he sees Poland's re­silience and In­dia's eco­nomic growth de­vel­op­ing into a strong part­ner­ship in terms of sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment and sus­tain­able busi­ness re­la­tions. There is a need to fa­cil­i­tate busi­ness, to de­velop a dy­namic and ac­tive re­la­tion­ship and to har­ness the full po­ten­tial of Poland and In­dia ties.

BD. Ties be­tween In­dia and Poland are char­ac­ter­ized by strong mu­tual good­will and ex­pand­ing dy­nam­ics. At the same time, Pol­ish econ­omy has been one of the most re­silient and In­dia is a top emerg­ing econ­omy. What in your view has been the im­pact of th­ese de­vel­op­ments in ce­ment­ing our ties and eco­nomic en­gage­ment?

Amb. Yes, In­dia and Poland have tra­di­tion­ally en­joyed close and friendly ties. Last year we cel­e­brated 60th an­niver­sary of the es­tab­lish­ment of diplo­matic re­la­tions be­tween In­dia and Poland with the theme “Com­mu­nity of Val­ues”. This en­shrines ap­proach to the so­ci­ety, phi­los­o­phy of state, con­cept of mak­ing busi­ness and the con­cept of eco­nomic diplo­macy. What we have as our motto is to serve Poland, build Europe and to un­der­stand the world. That means in our his­tory we have never tried to preach and teach any­body. We would like to un­der­stand the world, we would like to share our knowl­edge with the world but we are also hop­ing the world will share knowl­edge with us. So this is the par­a­digm of our re­la­tions with In­dia.

In­dia is an even more re­silient econ­omy than us and I wish we had such a dy­namic growth. You al­ready have the quick­est eco­nomic growth in the world. The way we see our re­silience and In­dia's eco­nomic growth de­vel­op­ing into a strong part­ner­ship is in terms of sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment and

sus­tain­able busi­ness re­la­tions. This is a mat­ter of con­nect­ing with each other di­rectly, ex­pand­ing busi­ness ties and ex­pand­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion links. I mean links by plane, lo­gis­tics, by sea. We are also part of the project “New Silk Route”, which In­dia is also a part of. If we fa­cil­i­tate our busi­ness with all those in­stru­ments, I think we could have a very good re­la­tion­ship, more ac­tive and dy­namic than be­fore be­cause the po­ten­tial is big.

BD. In March 2015, the Pol­ish Deputy Min­is­ter of Econ­omy, Jerzy Pi­etrewicz had said he was per­son­ally en­thused by Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi's vi­sion for trans­form­ing In­dia into an eco­nomic be­he­moth. In the light of the re­forms sweep­ing In­dia's econ­omy, what are the key emerg­ing ar­eas of eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion?

Amb. We are ex­pand­ing be­yond the tra­di­tional ties of heavy industry, min­ing and en­ergy. We are now fo­cus­ing on In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy co­op­er­a­tion. Re­cently we had the first Poland-In­dia IT fo­rum in Krakow, Poland. This is a very, very new area of ex­ten­sive co­op­er­a­tion. An­other is food pro­cess­ing. This is some­thing which we would like to take up and co­op­er­ate very closely with In­dia. Dur­ing the last year we had sev­eral vis­its of of­fi­cials from Poland and even busi­ness­men and the Deputy Chief Min­is­ter of Pun­jab vis­ited Poland re­cently. The ma­jor sub­ject was food pro­cess­ing co­op­er­a­tion.

In this con­text, joint ven­tures, trans­fer of tech­nol­ogy are very dy­namic ar­eas of co­op­er­a­tion be­cause In­dia is one of the big­gest pro­duc­ers of food in the world but ac­cord­ing to your statis­tics you are pro­cess­ing only five per cent of what you are pro­duc­ing. If you process 50 per cent you can flood all the coun­tries in the world with your prod­ucts. We would like to co­op­er­ate with you, we would like to share our knowl­edge, we would like to show you how we pro­duce. We are ea­ger to ex­port our pro­cessed foods to In­dia – food which can­not be avail­able here but what we can pro­duce in our cli­mate in Poland. So IT and food pro­cess­ing are two po­ten­tial sec­tors and oth­ers are tra­di­tional ar­eas where it is a mat­ter of step­ping up co­op­er­a­tion and in­creas­ing the busi­ness.

BD. The forth­com­ing visit of Poland's Deputy For­eign Min­is­ter Katarzyna Kacper­czyk for the 2nd ICEBF be­ing or­gan­ised by FICCI in part­ner­ship with MEA, Gov­ern­ment of In­dia, in Ben­galuru in Oc­to­ber is a sig­nif­i­cant de­vel­op­ment. Given that this ini­tia­tive is aimed at de­vel­op­ing an in­sti­tu­tion­alised plat­form to pro­mote trade and in­vest­ment ties be­tween In­dia and Cen­tral Europe and Poland is the part­ner coun­try, what are the big ex­pec­ta­tions from this fo­rum?

Amb. For us, the forth­com­ing 2nd In­dia Cen­tral Europe Busi­ness Fo­rum is very im­por­tant. We have such a for­mula of co­op­er­a­tion with China and we are just fol­low­ing the same steps. For us in Cen­tral Europe, sup­port is im­por­tant from the In­dian side in our en­deav­our to have wider and more ef­fi­cient co­op­er­a­tion, not only with the Cen­tre but also the states in In­dia. So plac­ing this fo­rum in Ban­ga­lore in the south was a very smart idea in the con­text of build­ing re­la­tions with Delhi and sur­round­ing states as well as those states placed in the far south of In­dia. Ac­tu­ally those states are very ac­tive, they have very dy­namic economies like Kar­nataka, Ker­ala, Te­lan­gana and Andhra Pradesh. We will be keen to ex­plore those op­por­tu­ni­ties. A ma­jor­ity of coun­tries in Cen­tral Europe are small and medium sized. With the small and medium com­pa­nies from th­ese economies, you need to give a help­ing hand like sup­port by gov­ern­ment, in­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tions or by or­gan­i­sa­tions like ICEBF.

BD. Poland's Deputy Prime Min­is­ter has an­nounced a 'Go In­dia' pro­gramme. Could you elab­o­rate on this pro­gramme and if it aims to en­hance Pol­ish in­vest­ments in In­dia?

Amb. This is the pro­gramme of the Gov­ern­ment of Poland which is meant to use the op­por­tu­nity be­ing of­fered by “Make in In­dia” ini­tia­tive of the In­dian Gov­ern­ment. We in­vested in the last seven years $240 mil­lion in In­dia and you re­cip­ro­cate also in a very nice way in terms of In­dian in­vest­ment in Poland. The “Go In­dia” pro­gramme is aimed at fa­cil­i­tat­ing all the Pol­ish com­pa­nies in­ter­ested in hav­ing more busi­nesses with In­dian com­pa­nies within the sec­tors which con­sti­tute the theme of ICEBF. That means IT, food pro­cess­ing, smart ci­ties, sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment, re­new­able sources of en­ergy. Those sec­tors are in fo­cus in the “Go In­dia”. Im­por­tantly, it is not just a mat­ter of Pol­ish ex­port to In­dia but has a wider man­date of trans­fer­ring tech­nol­ogy from Poland and es­tab­lish­ing joint ven­tures and manufacturing in In­dia as we did be­fore but on a smaller scale.

BD. Bi­lat­eral trade in 2014-15 at USD 1.68 bil­lion has grown by more than 4 per cent from pre­vi­ous year but do you agree that there is scope to en­hance our trade and com­mer­cial ex­changes?

Amb. We have $2 bil­lion bi­lat­eral trade with In­dia only. With China we have $20 bil­lion. This is the space and this is the po­ten­tial which ac­tu­ally both our coun­tries have to ex­plore. We have al­ready a lot of po­ten­tial in food pro­cess­ing, agri­cul­ture. We have a lot of spices and tea from In­dia. What we would like to have more from In­dia are man­goes. What we can of­fer from our side is

To­masz Lukaszuk, Am­bas­sador of Poland to In­dia

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