Up at the crack of dawn yesterday and on the way to Poznan to address a banking conference on what a Great Inward investment destination the UK is. Why on earth you may think would I address a set of moneymen and why in Poznan? Here we go:
The banking community has a great role to play in enabling trade and investment. The 30 guys I met yesterday have 100 attractive clients each. If 10% of them act on what I had to say, 300 of them will do more business, so will the bank and so will I. The point here is that in trade and investment the bank is a ‘must have partner’, especially in an international environment. Already during the conference we managed to identify 60 British companies who have lots of potential to grow their business more assertively in Poland. I could say the same about lawyers and venture capital – they were my next two calls in Poznan.
Yesterday I laid the foundations of a UKTI led partnership which will work together to enable Poznan based companies to actively engage in the UK. An added value benefit is that this same partnership also offers great potential for UK companies looking to expand their business in Poland. Anyway back to the UK - why is it so Great and who should be looking to expand there?
Following the Olympics there is a huge excitement about the UK as a business destination. For Polish companies operating in hi-tech markets we have a huge amount to offer – a leading EU market and a springboard to the world. Polish IT is great however the market here is too small to compete in a globalised market – Tech City offers a superb, up and coming global IT hub for Poland’s burgeoning IT intellect. Think IT-UK-Tech City-the World. Google and Cisco think so. I’d have to agree with that.
We’re the 2nd largest global pharma R&D destination – in pharma we’re connected to the world in a globalised health industry. If I was a Polish pharmaceutical company just think of the added value I would create for my share price if I created an R&D centre in the UK. I would overnight become a recognised EU pharmaceutical company – R&D in the UK and manufacturing in Emerging Europe. That’s a wow!
Oh I forgot to say why Poznan. Simple really – Poznan is at the heart of a great Polish regional economy; close to Berlin it is rapidly developing as a regional manufacturing and logistics hub for the region. It has some really great companies there who should be doing much more in the UK. And finally Santander invited me. Thanks to them for having a Great idea.
If you are a Polish comany with big international ambition – the UK’s a Great destination. Get in touch.
This piece originally appeared in the FCO’s Global Conversations blog