3rd Industry Forum in Karpacz: Economy Needs Industry [SUMMARY]

Almost 650 guests from the energy, mining, automotive, IT and tourist industries, as well as representatives of state and local administration, research institutes and think-thanks, journalists from many European countries took part in the 3rd Industry Forum, that was held between 8-10 December in Karpacz. The two days of conference were filled up with dozens of different events: debates, plenary sessions, presentations of reports and thematic blocks allotted to five sections: Economy, Investments, Innovations, Infrastructure and Society.


“Directions of Reconstruction and Development of industry in Europe” – this was the motto of this year’s edition of the conference, which has already become a traditional platform for a wide debate on the key problems of European industry.

During the 3rd Industry Forum, Secretary of State from the Polish Ministry of Development, Mr. Jerzy Kwieciński stated that the Polish economy has a great opportunity to maintain its rate of increase in the upcoming quarters. He also added that the rating agencies’ analysts need some time to evaluate the investments and export’s current condition. According to the Secretary Kwieciński, these are the most significant factors  which determine the economic growth.

Following attendees also took part in Forum’s proceedings:  Ministry of Digital Affairs’s  Secretary of State Mr. Marek Zagórski, Ministry of National Education’s Secretary of State Mrs. Marzena Machałek, Ministry of Infrastructure and Construction’s Secretary of State Mr. Tomasz Żuchowski, former Polish Prime Minister Mr. Leszek Miller and Polish Senator Mr. Grzegorz Napieralski. Following foreign guests attended the conference: Georgian President’s Chief of Staff’s Mr. Giorgia Abashiszwili, Bundestag’s MP Klaus-Peter Schulze, Macedonian’s MP Mrs. Slavica Shumanska-Miteva, Chairman of the Association for Foreign Investment Mr. Kamil Blažek (Czech Republic), Director of the Foreign Investment Promotion Agency Mr. Gordan Milinić (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and the CEO of the Fuel Economy Solution Limited Tima Pattersona (UK).

The representatives of large Polish companies spoke about their recipes for success in Karpacz. – We must offer not only raw materials or semi-finished products, but also our own final products. We need to create our brands – Adam Czyżewski, Chief Economist at PKN Orlen, emphasised. – It is also necessary to use the processes and ideas of Industry 4.0, ie. digital robots – he added.

Tauron Polska Energia also focuses on new technologies. – Within the concern, we centralised budgets for research and development in the parent company – Filip Grzegorczyk, President of the company, said Karpacz. “It is Tauron who currently defines what he cares about and invites scientists to cooperate on specific problems” he added.

During the Industrial Forum, another issue to be discussed was building brands and developing their capacity for foreign expansion. Participants of the meeting had no doubts that, although globalisation has its dark sides, it is unstoppable. – This is an inevitable process, so we must participate in it – Wioletta Krawczyk-Namyślak, Managing Director of KGHM TFI said.

– There’s been peace in Europe thanks to the growth of economic correlations – noticed Wiesław Ogrodnik, President of the Management Board at „BOLESŁAWIEC” Sp. z o.o. Ceramic Works. – And the lack of wars aids reaching new markets and increasing wealth.

The most important debates of the Forum concerned building common european industrial policy. Former Prime Minister of Poland, Jan Krzysztof Bielecki, mentioned it would be very difficult. – The level of industrialization in Europe is enormously diversified. The industry’s share in GPD is only 9% in Great Britain, and in Germany – 25%. I think that the common denominator  may be only Industry 4.0, which are new digital technologies.

The main problem is – as the participant concluded – that Europe inhibits the succesful competition with eg. American economy. – In many areas European Union implements restrictive laws that effect in high Energy prices etc. – the former Minister of Economy, Janusz Steinhoff said. – If Europe will be in the cutting Edge of climate changes, without anyone behind, there is possible allocation of industry and some of the workplaces outside EU – he added.

One of the main topics of 3rd Industry Forum was Energy security of Poland and our region. – for the last few months we have been watching a positive trend on the market of energy raw materials and coal has become a „top” material. – President of Management Board of Famur Group Mirosław Bendzera stated. He added that it is one of the stimulants of whole sector.

In Karpacz it was also spoken about Europe’s Climate Politics. Dr Klaus-Peter Schulze, deputy of German Parliament drew attention to the fact that the regions for which coal was the important pillar of their economy, cannot pay for the restructuring of European industry for more ecologic and modern.

The potential of attracting foreign investments was one of the most discussed topics. Maciej Badora, the president of Wałbrzych Special Economic Zone “Invest-Park” said that Lower Silesian Voivodeship has the strength to attract investors and he mentioned LG Chem as the example. According to him, the situation is not bad, and the country encourages investors who without its help wouldn’t decide themselves for risky ventures.

According to Forum participants, the state must play an active role in the foreign expansion of Polish products. – Germans and French have discreetly engaged in supporting their brands for years, and when the crisis came, even this discretion has disappeared. The Polish state must act in the same way: be careful, but always support its entrepreneurs, because thanks to their taxes we live – said Miroslaw Kozlakiewicz, chairman of the Supervisory Board of Cedrob.

Professor Grzegorz W. Kolodko, representing the Kozminski University, pointed out that industry and business must be clearly distinguished. He added that the economy is for people to meet their needs, but the economy needs the industry. The former deputy prime minister stressed that the vast majority of what we produce is based on what has already been invented. – It is not an innovative economy but an imitative one – added the professor during the Industrial Forum.

– This type of forum is an opportunity to exchange own experiences, ideas and views. It is important that people want to show off their achievements and listen to the experiences of others – said Barbara Dolniak in Karpacz, the deputy speaker of the Sejm.

Throughout the Industry Forum the most interesting polish Start-ups presented themselves. Eighteen innovative companies took part in the contest, competing about the award – participation in the elite Startup Session of the 28th Economic Forum in Krynica. The Experts Award was given to Apzumi Spatial and the Audience Award received Runvido.

Exhibition „Made in Poland” presented small and medium companies with the high export potential. Twenty-eight firms and institutions from different branches (starting from cosmetic, food and medical industries and finishing on IT and aerospace industries) participated in this exhibition. The audience chose  Beauty Face as the best exhibitor.

The first day of Industry Forum concluded with a Dinner Gala, at which „Investor” and „Investment” awards were conferred. Report on this subject was prepared by the Centre of Economic Ideas made to order of Institute for Eastern Studies, the organizer of the 3rd Industry Forum. The partner of the report is PKN Orlen.

Wawel SA and Mlekovita Group became the prizewinners of Industry Forum Awards. The producer of sweets won the prize in „Investor” category, whereas the Mlekovita Group won the prize in „Investment” category.

The organizer of the 3rd Industry Forum is the Foundation Institute for Eastern Studies, the organizer of Economic Forum in Krynica-Zdrój. The host is Karpacz City and the Partner is Lower Silesian Voivodeship. Strategic Partner: KGHM Polska Miedź SA. Thematic Partner: Employers’ Union Polska Miedź.