Poland marks its presence on the African continent

Donald Tusk, together with the representatives of business and a number of ministries, will visit South Africa and Zambia next week. In addition to political meetings, he will participate in business forums in both countries: the Business Forum in Johannesburg and Economic Forum in Lusaka.

The agenda of the visit includes signing an intergovernmental agreement on economic cooperation with South Africa, which provides for, inter alia, the establishment of the Joint Economic Commission, and the cooperation agreement between PAIiIZ and its South African counterpart TISA. In Zambia, it is also planned to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between PAIiIZ and the Zambia Development Agency.

Prime Minister will be accompanied by the representatives of mining, defense, furniture and construction industries from Poland. In the Republic of South Africa, will also be present ministers of science Barbara Kudrycka, minister of transport Sławomir Nowak, minister of agriculture Stanislaw Kalemba, and environment Marcin Korolec. The minister of transport and minister of health Bartosz Arłukowicz in turn will be present in Zambia.

This is the second visit of the Prime Minister in Africa this year. In April, the head of government, along with Polish entrepreneurs, visited Nigeria. Then, in addition to political meetings and signing economic agreements, he was promoting Polish economy and entrepreneurs on business forum.

Donald Tusk will meet, inter alia, with President of South Africa Jacob Zuma and Vice President Kgalema Motlanthe. In Zambia, he will talk with President Michael Sata. On the African continent, it is particularly important to build economic relations on the basis of political support. Poland, one of the biggest European Union countries, cannot lag behind other European players who have already marked their presence in Africa.

Sub-Saharan Africa is a strategic region for the development of trade, business, and investment relations. In the coming decades, it is there where the economies will record the biggest growth and thus the trade. The same was true in the past. During the global economic slowdown, it was the African continent that was dynamically developing. In 2001 – 2010, six out of the ten fastest growing economies in the world were from sub-Saharan Africa. Polish government takes up a strategic approach to economic expansion in the African markets. A  program "Go Africa!" has been implemented, which aims to facilitate the development of economic relations and the promotion of exports of our products.

The Republic of South Africa is the most important African economic partner of Poland. Despite the global economic crisis, in Polish relations with South Africa, a high level of trade exchange is maintained, amounting to USD 800 million. In recent years , the exchange balance was positive for Poland. The major South African investments in Poland include:  SAB Miller investment in brewing industry (Browary Tyskie and Browary Lech), and Fra - Mondi consortium investment in pulp and paper  and wood plants (inter alia Zakłady Celulozy i Papieru w Świeciu Celuloza SA - Pulp and Paper Plant in Swiecie). South African partner is interested in cooperation with Poland, among others in the field of maritime economy, first and foremost in the construction of ships and yachts, development of port infrastructure and training of experts in this field.

Zambia has one of the fastest growing global economies. It is also a country with one of the lowest tax rates in sub-Saharan Africa . Zambia’s exports in 2012 doubled when compared to the level recorded in 2009. Exports of Polish companies was sevenfold higher in 2012 when compared to 2008 and amounted to USD 6 million. The exports volume in 2012 doubled when compared to 2011. Zambia is interested in the development of  cooperation in military and education.

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