Boosting bilateral relationship in times of crisis and beyond

by Magdalena Bogdziewicz

As the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted public health, transport and global trade, cooperation on safe movement of people and essential supplies security created a new momentum for Poland-Singapore ties. Poland’s May 3 Constitution Day is a good opportunity to reflect on recent achievements and outline prospects for the future.

Working together in the times of crisis made our relations stronger and more substantive, contributing to a significant trade growth. Singapore’s interest in diversification of food supply sources, additionally sparked by the pandemic, generated a swift response from Polish manufacturers.

Supported by regulatory authorities, the export of food products to Singapore increased more than twofold, creating a firm foundation for stable and long-term partnerships in the agri-food sector. The commitment to further enhance bilateral economic ties, going beyond trade, was affirmed by ministers in charge of trade, industry and economy in the joint Ministerial Statement issued in May 2020, in an effort to strengthen our countries’ resilience against global disruptions.

The steady upward trend in bilateral trade is undoubtedly facilitated by enhanced connectivity between our countries. With the regional logistic hub enjoying the strong presence of e-commerce giants, including homegrown Allegro, and developed IT infrastructure, Poland has become a popular investment destination, with the Lion City among its top Asian financial investors. Singaporean businesses, encouraged by the EU-Singapore FTA and the presence of PSA International at the Baltic Sea in Gdansk port increasingly see the economic potential and commercial opportunities in Central Europe, and Poland in particular.

This is no surprise, as our economy has proven to be resilient against external shocks. In fact, Poland is expected to reach the pre-pandemic GDP level by the end of this year and continue to be an EU growth engine with over 5 per cent GDP growth forecast for 2022.

The way ahead has to be on enhancing digital connectivity and technological cooperation. Poland’s sound R&D, one of the largest pools of tech talent in Europe, high growth potential in digital industries and a vibrant startup community make us an attractive partner for any advanced economy.

Trend-setting multinational IT and tech companies invest heavily in the Polish technological scene. Global successes of the sky-rocketing gaming sector such as the Witcher and Cyberpunk 2077, highlight Poland’s position as the No.1 exporter of video games in the EU.

The seeds have already been sown in IT, fintech, medtech and agritech, supported by the growing presence of strong Polish tech brands and talented individuals in Singapore. “Made in Poland” solutions have been successfully implemented in various sectors in Singapore in travel, banking and e-commerce.

Looking forward, we intend to develop more comprehensive cooperation on smart cities. Moving towards a greener and sustainable future, we also see great potential in cooperation on water technologies and robotics.

This is why the technology and digital industry has been playing a key role at the annual PolandSHIOK.sg festival organized by our Embassy in Singapore. It has become a successful platform to raise awareness of Polish brands in food, culture and tourism, and a useful tool to explore business cooperation opportunities. The 5th edition’s focus, inspired by Year of Lem, is on creative industries. Insightful webinars allowed us to advance technological exchange with local partners and explore cooperation potential with Asean in the e-gaming sector. The Polish film festival presenting Kieslowski’s movies, concluded just days ago, was a great success. Still to come is the Asean-wide promotion of Polish video games on the GOG.com distribution platform. Last but not least, the culinary experience “From Polish farm to Singaporean table” will be an excellent opportunity to start thinking about Poland as your next remarkable – business or leisure – destination.

Originally published on www.businesstimes.com.sg.

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