Trade promotes Chinese soft power and culture in Poland
Updated 2016-12-27 09:26:34
Workers are seen at a warehouse operated by Chinese firm Nutech in Warsaw, Poland in December 2016. (Photo/CRIENGLISH.com)
A continued influx of Chinese companies into Poland, China’s largest trading partner in central and eastern Europe, is said to be helping foster a new image of China to the people of Poland.
Through the first three quarters of this year, Chinese investment into Poland stood at 1.4 billion U.S. dollars, creating more than 14,000 jobs locally.
Maciej Lojek, who heads a China-Poland trade association in Poland, says the continued investment into Poland has also helped improve China’s brand among the locals.
“There are many benefits brought by Chinese investment to Poland. Through the examples of ZTE and Huawei, we have noticed that China-developed technologies in some areas have surpassed those in Western Europe. This has enhanced the Polish people’s understanding of China; we now see a technologically advanced China.”
Chinese investment in Poland covers many sectors, including machinery, energy, pharmaceuticals and IT. Andrzej Pieczonka with the Polish Consulate General in Shanghai says these businesses often create positive spill-over effects.
“The Chinese firms in Poland have created many possibilities for our economy and society, including employment for our high-end human resources. Polish companies can jointly explore investment opportunities and third markets with Chinese partners. Also very importantly, Chinese companies can often become good promoters of the Chinese culture among the Polish people. “
Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE entered the Polish market more than ten years ago. Artur Kaminski recently left another large global corporation and joined ZTE’s Polish branch. He says it is the company’s competitive edge that lured him over.
“I have noticed that Chinese companies offer high-quality products and great customer service. In terms of growth potential and sales strategies, Chinese companies pose strong competition over their western corporations. That is why I decided to join ZTE, I believe I have made the right decision.”
This sentiment is shared by many other local Polish employees of Chinese companies. Chinese firm Nuctech, which manufactures security and inspection equipment, also set up its Warsaw branch more than ten years ago.
A seasoned local employee of Nuctech says beyond receiving attractive salaries, staff at the company feel they are highly valued.
“I like the corporate culture of our company, which cares about us workers and our professional development. I have participated in many beneficial training programs, and so have my team members. The management team is never condescending; instead, they are very team-oriented. We work together to solve problems.”
Connecting China and Western Europe, Poland has been tapped as a key link in the Chinese government’s “Belt and Road” initiative. Chinese President Xi Jinping made a stop in Poland back in June, overseeing the signing of around 40 different trade and partnership agreements.