Foreign expansion with help from PAIH
After handling the domestic market, Polish companies are ready to get out of their comfort zone and explore new opportunities abroad. Navigating unchartered territories can be difficult, but here are examples of businesses which took the plunge and with help from the Polish Investment and Trade Agency (PAIH), they were able to seal the deal. But first up, what is PAIH? More here.
Apart, a leading Polish jewellery manufacturer, opened its first store in spain this year. The spanish market is extremely competitive and favours local companies, making it difficult for foreign brands to make a mark, according to Wojciech Łopatkiewicz, Head of the PAIH Trade Office in Madrid. However, Poland exported nearly 12.6m zł worth of jewellery to spain in 2018. After entering the Czech Republic, APART looked to expand into other European markets and contacted PAIH for advice on how to win over the initial business contacts in each targeted market. Piotr Rączyński, President of the Board of APART, said the trade office presented the brand as a “reliable business partner and promoted its activities in Spain,” making it easier to implement their plans for the local market. PAIH’s office in Madrid began operations in 2018 and since then, it has supported over 370 companies, mostly from the food, cosmetics, furniture and interior design industries.
When Canada’s ceramic tile provider Eurcan Tile approached PAIH to help them find a Polish ceramic tile manufacturer, the company chose Ceramika Paradyż – one of the country’s biggest producers – from a database of potential contractors. In 2018 the two companies signed a long-term contract after the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada and the EU came into force. The PAIH Toronto office helped both parties throughout the negotiation process and assisted them with the application of CETA regulations. In line with the contract, Eurcan Tile will be the main importer and distributor of Ceramika Paradyż tiles in Canada and the us in what is one of the first agreements of its kind between Polish and Canadian companies. Since its foundation in 1989, Ceramika Paradyż has developed its own recognisable style, which is characterised by bold design, refined details and the availability of various types of tiles within individual collections.
Trias Group, which develops audiovideo-light (AVL) solutions for businesses, established Trias International after opening an office in the US. The PAIH trade office in New York helped Trias with its expansion abroad by aiding with administrative procedures and gaining local partners. The company, which has been active for 20 years, is implementing its first American project: the modernisation of the chain Regal Cinemas which operates 550 movie theatres all over the us. Trias is responsible for the installation of custom-shaped LED screens connected to a Digital Signage System. The Polish company started the modernisation project with a cinema located in Manhattan, New York. Zbigniew Klonowski, President of Trias, said the company has been at the forefront of the Polish AVL sector for nearly two decades. Trias introduced the first LED screens to the country 18 years ago and specialises in equipment rental, fixed installations and services for global brands and institutions.
Grenton, a producer and distributor of smart home solutions, strengthened its position on the Arabian market by signing a partnership agreement with a leading saudi distributor. The innovative company first focused on expansion in Western Europe before taking its home systems – which control all aspects of the building from heating, lighting, ventilation and multimedia – to the Middle East. In 2018, Grenton partnered with Dubai’s Kromtek systems to distribute its solutions and modules for homes, villas, apartments and commercial buildings. Another export destination is Saudi Arabia where the smart home market is the largest on the Arabian Peninsula with an estimated value of $305m, said Natalia Zimny, Business Development Manager at Grenton. This year, with support from the PAIH office in Riyadh, Grenton made a deal with the Saudi Al-Alameya Group, which is one of the leaders in integrated solutions for security systems and a contractor in the public and private sectors.
Lino, a producer of linen clothing and textiles, extended its offer to clients in Japan. The owner, Daria Wysocka-Zajul, said she contacted PAIH offices abroad to broaden their reach. Tokyo took the call and it turned out to be a good fit because the Japanese have a penchant for flax, and recycling is important – according to the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi lifestyle. After Lino sent the PAIH trade office some bestsellers, a Japanese company showed interest in their products such as bread baskets, sheets, and kimono-type blouses. Eliza Klonowska-Siwak, Head of the PAIH trade office in Tokyo, said nearly 20% of Polish clothing and textiles exports to Asia are sent to Japan and highquality linen is a great export product. She added that flax, which has the natural properties of a breathable fabric, is an excellent replacement for disposable plastic bags and the material is perfect for Japan’s moist and hot summer climate.
The Polish automotive sector is thriving in senegal, a country which imports 100% of its cars and automotive parts. According to the PAIH Foreign Trade Office in Dakar, senegal may become one of the most attractive export markets for the Polish automotive industry, especially manufacturers of auto parts and accessories. The automotive market value in senegal is $100m and about 100,000 vehicles are imported to the country every year – mainly SUVs and pickups, which require the constant replacement of parts due to the difficult climate and infrastructural conditions. The biggest problem is the lack of availability and quality of products in the country, which is why it’s a great market for Polish companies. Leszek Biały, Head of the Foreign Trade Office in Dakar, said Poland can offer European quality at a decidedly lower price. PAIH offers support instruments for expansion into the African market, such as insurance and financing, which is especially important for SMEs.