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North Rhine-Westphalia opens its own representative office in Poland

Düsseldorf/Warsaw, 28. April 2016 – Today, State Secretary Dr. Günther Horzetzky of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Energy and Industry of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia officially opened the new international office of NRW.INVEST in the presence of Katarzyna Kacperczyk, State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, and Rolf Nikel, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Poland. By doing so, Germany's most important economic region seeks to strengthen relations with its Eastern European neighbor.

"Poland is regarded as a prime mover of economic growth within the European Union – experts expect annual growth rates of 3.5 percent by 2017. Among the German federal states, NRW occupies a leading role in trade with Poland and can only benefit from such prospects," said State Secretary Horzetzky. "The relations between our two states have evolved historically – they thrive not only on the close economic ties, but also on a strong Polish community in NRW. We are therefore delighted that, in the year of the 25th anniversary of the German-Polish Neighborship Treaty, we are represented in the country with our own NRW office." State Secretary Katarzyna Kacperczyk added: "The opening of a representative office of NRW.INVEST in Warsaw confirms the growing potential of the Polish economy and Polish companies that are increasingly interested in expanding abroad. Economic diplomacy supports this development of Polish business and will continue to do so."

There are already over 200 companies with Polish capital participation based in NRW today, including renowned firms such as Amica, FLT-Metall, Oknoplast, Secespol and Tele-Fonika. This makes the state one of the most important locations for Polish investors in Germany. The Polish economy has been strengthening its innovation capacity and competitiveness for years. "That makes Polish companies attractive partners for North Rhine-Westphalian industry," explains Petra Wassner, CEO of NRW.INVEST. "We would like to convince Polish investors to play a part in future trends such as Industry 4.0 in NRW."

The aim of the new international office is to intensify direct contacts with the Polish economy, associations, institutions, chambers and politics. Furthermore, investors are to be approached specifically in order to inform them about the strengths of NRW as a business location.

The manager of the Warsaw branch office is Katarzyna Sokołowska. A graduate in German Studies from the University of Wrocław as well as the eMBA program at the ESCP-EAP European School of Management in Berlin, her most recent position was as Director of the Polish Institute in Düsseldorf. Having spent over 12 years working for bilateral diplomacy she has broad experience of German-Polish relations. Sokołowska therefore has the best credentials to accompany Polish companies on their way into the German market.