Russian business in Poland: more ado than business

#Poland #Business #Russia #Economy

We are used to hear: Russia and Poland – neighboring countries. Kindred nations. The Slavs. Seemingly, these states must have close economic relations. Indeed, if we are attentive, we can notice lots of Polish producers in Russia: household chemical goods, cosmetics, personal hygiene goods, some food, especially confectionery. But how does Russian business feel in Poland?

During the last decade Russian investments in Poland attain less than 14 mln euro. This index is tiny in comparison with its investments in Poland’s neighboring countries economies. For reference: in 2011 (the crisis year which was far from being perfect for the world economy) Russia invested in Netherlands two thousand times more than in Poland during the last ten years (according to Anatoly Leirix, the head of the Business Council on Russian-Polish cooperation). There are 15 thousands companies with Russian capital in neighboring Chech Republic (which population by the way is one tenth of the Polish). The statistics shows that " Russian capital does not feel comfortable in Poland ", claims Anatoly Leirix in the interview to Rosbalt (http://www.rosbalt.ru/business/2014/02/11/1231932.html).

What is the reason?

Actually, it is not connected with economy at all. This is an ordinary example of how politics displaces other fields of life and prevails over them. What do we see in Polish media?  "Boycotting Russian goods ", "It's better to avoid these products",  "How to boycott Russian goods without difficulties" or even «Fight against Putin by purchases!» (http://www.tygodniksolidarnosc.com/pl/a/5437/walcz-z-putinem-na-zakupach.html) etc. This was such an expressive response to Russian embargo on Polish vegetables ans fruits. „We support economy of this country by buying its goods”, warns Gazeta Polska Codziennie. Then various Polish media offer the list of Russian products which the Poles should refrain from and substitute them for Polish goods (newspapers try to persuade that both quality and prices of Polish analogous products are better).

And it comes out that „king of vodka” in Poland is Russian businessman, Rustam Tariko, the head of Russian Standard – this firm possesses such Polish vodka producers as Żubrówka, Soplica, Absolwent, Bols, Palace and Royal.

Among other Russian „giants” in Poland are petrol stations Lukoil, shoe companies Kari and Centro, tea producer Greenfield, antivirus software Kaspersky, Outpost and Dr. Web. Namely, the antivirus programs suffered from critics the most : for example, Tygodnik Solidarność alerts to refrain from them to avoid Russsian cyber terrorism.

However, as we have already mentioned, in comparison with some other countries the share of Russian investments in Poland is not so significant, despite all hot debates. There is more ado here. More ado than business. More politics than economy.