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Economic relations

Solid economic and trade relations

France appears to be a long-term industrial, technological and scientific partner to Poland, with a major industrial base in Poland: naval shipyards of the Baltic, steel industry, optics, weapons industry. France is a major industrial investor in Poland (Alstom, Veolia, GDF-Suez, EDF, Saint Gobain, Michelin, Lafarge, etc.). The same issue applies, even more keenly, for energy and transport.

Since France Télécom’s strategic acquisition of TPSA’s capital, France has become a major investor, in terms of both flows of and total FDI (which tripled to Poland between 2002 and 2009). There were 1.5 billion euros in flows from France in 2009. French companies are highly concentrated in the telecommunications, energy and supermarket distribution sectors. Nearly 800 French-held companies provide more than 200,000 direct jobs. Altogether, 8 of the 25 leading investors listed in Poland are French: France Télécom, Vivendi, Vinci, Bouygues, Carrefour, Crédit Agricole, Société Générale, Saint Gobain, Lafarge, Auchan, EDF, Dalkia, ACCOR, Canal +. In the other direction, total Polish investment in France is evaluated at €0.7b, a low figure in terms of absolute value, but one that is growing steadily.

French companies are likely to bring their know-how to Poland in several fields: the acceleration of Poland’s modernization programme for the road and highway network, strategic projects in the area of energy and the environment (nuclear programme, Poland’s efforts to achieve the objective of 15% of renewable energy in 2020),as well as transport infrastructure projects (highways, TGV). Poland can draw on the funds it receives from the European Union under the cohesion policy (€27.8b infrastructure-environment plan for 2007-2013).

In terms of trade, Poland is France’s main trading partner in Central Europe. While France’s trade balance was positive until 2008, it become negative in 2009 and stood at €1b in 2010. Over the first 11 months of 2011, the deficit decreased. Cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, electrical and industrial equipment and metal products remained the sectors in which France boasted a surplus over the first 11 months of 2011, while automotive, electronics, household appliances and especially agrifood are the sectors in which trade with Poland shows the biggest deficits

Updated on 01.10.12

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