Ceremony in honour of the 80th birthday of Emperor Akihito was held on Wednesday in the Embassy of Japan in Poland. Andrzej Malinowski, President of the Employers of Poland and Janusz Pietkiewicz, Vice President of the organisation attended the event.
The Emperor’s Birthday gained importance in the 19th century and is now a bank holiday in Japan. On that day the Emperor appears on a palace balcony and people gathered in the assembly area outside of the Imperial Palace wave small Japanese flags and cheer Banzai!, which means Long live! (literally ten thousand years). After that people can enter the Imperial Palace and Gardens. The date is determined by the reigning Emperor's birth date so the holiday is now observed on 23rd December.
Reception to celebrate the Emperor’s Birthday in the Embassy of Japan is usually held at the beginning of the month. It gathers people from the world of politics, culture and art as well as business people. Economic relations between Poland and Japan have intensified. There is a bright outlook for a dynamic development of trade and investment.
In Q1 and Q2 Polish export to Japan rose by 132% and import from Japan by 87% year-to-year. Japan is in talks with the EU to sign a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which could be another spur for closer economic relations between Poland and Japan.
There is a great growth potential for the export of farm and food products to Japan. Demand for these goods is growing as Japanese agriculture is becoming less and less self-sufficient.
The energy sector, farm and food production, chemical and financial sectors are most attractive and promising for Japanese companies investing in Poland. There is a growing interest in investment related to environment protection (energy-saving technologies, waste management, and recycling) and in transportation, which is a result of a new policy for promoting Japanese investment abroad.
In 2012 the Union of Employers Shokokai in cooperation with the Embassy of Japan in Poland and The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) organized a study of the investment climate in Poland as perceived by Japanese companies. 300 Japanese companies have invested in Poland, including 100 production companies creating approx. 40,000 jobs.
The report says Japanese investors appreciate the size of Polish market and its growth potential, the proximity of both West and East European markets as well as professional, diligent, and relatively cheap workforce. They also point out to political and economic stability as Poland’s advantage. Companies participating in the study value highly investment incentives and support given to them within Special Economic Zones.
Poland’s weak points are: infrastructure (especially the road infrastructure), complicated and lengthy administrative procedures, tax and labour law. Japanese entrepreneurs also assessed Polish health care and public transport negatively.