India and Poland
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भारतकाराजदूतावास, वार्सा

Embassy of India, Warsaw

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India-Poland Relations

I. Political Relations

India and Poland share a long-standing friendly relationship, marked by high level political contacts, vibrant economic engagement and traditional cultural links. Diplomatic relations were established in 1954, leading to the opening of the Indian Embassy in Warsaw in 1957. The two countries shared common ideological perceptions, based on their opposition to colonialism, imperialism and racism. During the Communist era, bilateral relations were close and cordial, with regular high level visits (five VVIP visits from India – beginning with Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in 1955 - and four from Poland), coupled with planned trade and economic interactions by state trading organizations, underpinned by the rupee clearing arrangements.

The relationship continued to remain close after Poland chose the democratic path in 1989. A cordial political relationship has emerged in the current century, particularly after Poland joined the EU in 2004, and became one of India’s key economic partners in Central Europe.

Visits

Over the decades, India and Poland have had robust exchanges at the level of Heads of State and Government. After democracy came to Poland in 1990, high-level contacts continued with the visits of Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski (1998) and Polish PM Leszek Miller (2003). The President of India, Smt. PratibhaPatil, visited Poland in April 2009, and Polish PM Donald Tusk paid a state visit to India in September 2010. Vice President of India, Shri M. Hamid Ansari visited Poland in April, 2017.Krzysztof Szczerski, Secretary of State and Chief of the Cabinet of the President of the Republic of Poland visited India in January 2019.

Vice President’s visit to Poland: The then Vice President, Shri Hamid Ansari, visited Poland on an official visit from April 2017, leading a high-level delegation, including Shri Giriraj Singh, Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and four Members of Parliament from both Houses – Shri Sita Ram Yechuri, Shri D.P. Tripathi, Shri Vivek K. Tankha and Shri ThupstanChhewang. During the visit, the HVP held extensive talks with the Prime Minister, President and the Marshal (Speaker) of the Senate (Upper House). The Hon’ble Vice President addressed, jointly with the Polish Prime Minister, an Indo-Polish Business Summit at the Ministry of Economic Development in Warsaw. He delivered a keynote address on ‘Seven Decades of Indian Democracy’ at the University of Warsaw and interacted with the Polish scholars and students. The HVP interacted with the members of the Indian community, Indologists and Association of Poles at Reception hosted by Ambassador. He also visited the Warsaw Uprising Museum and formally inaugurated the newly-built Embassy complex in Warsaw. During the visit, an agreement on cooperation in agriculture and allied sector was signed.

Visit of EAM to Poland: EAM Dr S. Jaishankar visited Poland from 28-29 July August 2019. The last visit by Minister of External Affairs was in 1987.During the visit, EAM held extensive talks with the Prime Minister Mr. Mateusz Morawiecki, Deputy Prime Minister Piotr Glinski, and Foreign Minister Mr. Jacek Czaputowicz. Both the Foreign Ministers jointly addressed the Media and a Joint Statement was issued at the end of the visit. In the Joint Statement, Poland emphasized India’s role as a prominent regional power, an active and significant player in G20 and in the United Nations, as well as its key partner in South Asia. India emphasized Poland`s role as an important member of the European Union and

a leader of Central and Eastern Europe.Both sides discussed a wide range of issues concerning bilateral political cooperation, as well as in the field of economy, education and culture.Poland expressed its commitment to support global efforts to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, particularly cross-border terrorism.

Visit of Krzysztof Szczerski, Secretary of State and Chief of the Cabinet of the President to India: Krzysztof Szczerski visited India in January 2019. He met EAM, MoS(VKS) and MoS(Independent Charge) for Culture and Tourism. The core and central agenda of his visit was to discuss an formulate a calendar of high-level visits, including the long-pending visit by the President of Poland to India, in order to elevate the bilateral relationship to a higher level including in political, economic and cultural fields. On his return to Poland, he stated that the Polish President Andrzej Duda may visit India this year.

Agreements:A number of bilateral agreements are operational, including: Agreement on Cultural Cooperation (1957); Agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation (1981); Agreement on Cooperation in Science and Technology (1993); Protocol on Foreign Office Consultations (1996); Agreement on Promotion and Protection of Investments (1996); Agreement on Cooperation in Combating Organized Crime and International Terrorism (2003); MOU on Defence Cooperation (2003); Extradition Treaty (2003); Agreement on Economic Cooperation (2006); Agreement on Cooperation in the field of Health Care and Medical Science (2009); and Agreement on Cooperation in the field of Tourism (2009) ; Agreement on Audio-Visual Coproduction (2012); Protocol on Amending the Agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes and Income (2013); Agreement on Exemption from Visa Requirement for Holders of Diplomatic Passports (2015); Agreement on Cooperation in Agriculture and Allied Sectors (2017); and Cooperation in the Area of Coal Mining (2019).

Parliamentary Exchanges

Contacts between the Indian and Polish Parliaments were established after the overthrow of the Communist system in 1989. Polish parliamentary delegations have visited India in December 1992, March 2000, January 2003 and December 2004. Speaker of Lok Sabha, Shri Manohar Joshi, led a multi-party Parliamentary delegation to Poland in May 2002. Subsequently, a Parliamentary Friendship Group with Poland was constituted in both the Parliaments. A 19-member Polish-Indian Parliamentary Group, comprising members from both Sejm (Lower House) and the Senate, has been formed after convening of the new Parliament elected in October 2015.

Foreign Office Consultations

Both sides have been regularly engaging in Foreign Office Consultations since 1996. Most recently, Secretary (West), Ms Sujata Mehta led the Foreign Office consultations held on 24 August, 2016 in Warsaw with the Polish side being led by Deputy Foreign Minister KatarzynaKacperczyk. The talks focused on high-level bilateral visits, economic cooperation, co-ordination in international fora, the migration crisis, Brexit, the crisis in Ukraine and the situation in South Asia. The 8th FOC was held in Delhi in January 2018 co-chaired by Secretary (West) and the Polish Deputy Foreign Minister (in-charge of Asia) Marek Magierowski.

II. Economic & commercial Relations

Poland is India’s largest trade partner and export destination in the Central European region, with bilateral trade growing almost seven-fold over the last ten years. As per Indian statistics, the overall value of bilateral trade in 2018 was US$ 2.351 billion. India’s export to Poland contributed to 0.48% of overall India’s export. Only 0.15% of India’s import was covered by Poland in 2018. As per the statistics, the increase of bilateral trade by 5.8% was visible in 2018 in comparison with previous years.

Indian Statistics:

Year

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019 (Jan-Apr)

India’s Exports

939

1080

999

1143

1470

1554

1572

India’s imports

667

633

572

651

753

797

793

Trade turnover

1606

1713

1571

1794

2223

2351

2365

Source: Department of Commerce (In US$ Million)

Investment

Indian investments in Poland are valued at over US$3 billion which comprises companies such as ArcelorMittal, Videocon, Escorts, Strides Arcolab, Ranbaxy, EsselPropack, KPIT Cummins, Zensar Technologies Ltd, Tata Consultancy Services, HCL Technologies Ltd, Infosys and Wipro, Jindal Stainless, Berger Paints India, UFLEX and Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, Rishab Instruments (acquired Lumel) and CRISIL.

Total Polish investment in India is estimated at US$ 672 millionImportant Polish companies present in India : TZMO S.A. (sanitary equipment USD 200 million), CanPack (packaging, USD 200 million), Famur (mining, USD 75 million), GeofizykaToruń (geology, USD 50 million), Ekolog (green technology, USD 50 million), Solaris (green transport, USD 50 million), BBT (defense USD 50million), Meble Forte (furniture, USD 2.3 million), Thaiger Nutraceuticals (nutrition, USD 0.6 million), Maflow (autoparts, under assessment), Inglot (cosmetics, under assessment).

Sectoral Collaboration

Agro and Food processing sectors: Poland possesses world class food processing including preservation/storage technologies while India is one of the largest producers for many fruits, dairy and Agro products. There have been many important visits and a MoU on Agriculture for technical and institutional cooperation has already been signed between both countries during the visit of Vice President of India to Poland in April 2017.

IT/ICTSector: Around thirteen Indian IT companies, employing more than 10,000 professionals, are currently active in Poland and are operating also their Europe operation from here. (Indian IT companies Infosys and HCL have strong presence in Poland providing outsourcing services to various firms, HCL has base in Krakow, where 1200 employees are handling work related to Deutshe Bank).

Textile Sector: India has presently a share of only 3.73% overall in the Polish Textile and Apparel Imports (valued at US$ 400 million). There is of course, much potential for increase in its exports, provided conducive circumstances are created for Indian Exporters. Presently, about 30-40% of goods exported by India to Poland are re-exported to other EU Countries

Mining/energy sector, Poland possesses reputed clean coal technologies and Polish public sector companies have played a substantial role in development of mining and power sectors in India. Coal India Limited’s trainee engineers received training in Polish mines which specializes in intelligent mining. India and Poland signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 4 February 2019, in New Delhi to enhance bilateral cooperation in the coal and mining sector.

Automotive Sector:Poland offers excellent opportunities to Indian investors and exporters in the automotive sector. With number of imported used cars being close to one million units per annum, Poland is a large market for used vehicles with average price of 7,000 Euros. Indian manufacturers are recognizing this opportunity for using near shoring strategy to offer new cars of the same price range for sale in Poland and nearby CEE countries.

Pharmaceutical and chemicalsSector – Given Poland’s strategic location, shortages in healthcare personnel and 25% growth in pharma market in last 5 years, there are good opportunities for Indian exporters and investors.

III Cultural and Educational Relations:There is a strong tradition of Indology studies in Poland, with Polish scholars having translated Sanskrit into Polish as early as in the 19th Century. Sanskrit was being studied at the 600 year old Jagiellonian University in Krakow (the oldest in Poland) in 1860-61, with a Chair of Sanskrit being established there in 1893. The Indology Department of the Oriental Institute at the University of Warsaw (established in 1932) is the biggest centre for Indian studies in Central Europe. Study of Indian languages, literature, culture and Indology is also pursued at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan and the Wroclaw University. ICCR sponsored the first Central & Eastern European regional conference of Indology in Warsaw University in September 2005 in which 19 scholars from 11 countries participated.A Hindi Chair is in place at the University of Warsaw.A MoU for establishment of an ICCR chair of Indian studies at the Jagiellonian University, Krakow for the period 2017-18 to 2019-2020 was signed in February 2017 and Professor RohitWanchoo has joined the University.

Yoga

The first International Day of Yoga was organized in 21 cities in Poland on June 21, 2015. An estimated 11000 people participated in public events. The flagship event was held in the capital city Warsaw. Several Polish celebrities and ‘yoga ambassadors’ have joined the Yoga movement. Currently around 1000 centres and 8,000 teachers are propagating Yoga in Poland. There are over 3, 00,000 yoga practitioners in the country. The 5th IDY was held in Warsaw in June 2019.

IV Consular Relations.

Visas:Poland has been included in e-visa scheme with effect from August 15, 2015 and now rising number of Poles are availing e-visa facilities. The Embassy in Warsaw issued in 2017 a total of 22076 (Regular 6386 and e-visa 15690) visas.

Indian Community:Estimated at approximately 10,000, the Indian community in Poland consists of traders (textiles, garments and electronics) who came after the collapse of communism, and professionals with multinational or Indian companies and software/IT experts, including rising number of Indian students. There are over 100 Indian restaurants in Poland.

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August 2019