About Us India and Poland

भारत का राजदूतावास, 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. Pratibha Patil, 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 Thupstan Chhewang. 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 (FOCs) since 1996.  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. The 9th Foreign Office Consultations between India & Poland were held virtually on August 10, 2020. From the Polish side, the meeting was chaired by Mr. Marcin Przydacz, Undersecretary of State for Security, the Americas, Asia and Eastern Policy- Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland and from the Indian side by Mr. Vikas Swarup, Secretary ( West) in the Ministry of External Affairs. 

II. Economic & commercial Relations

Bilateral Trade:  Poland continues to be India’s largest trading & investment partner in Central & Eastern Europe. Over the period 2010-2020, the total bilateral trade with Poland has witnessed an increase of 107.9% i.e. from US$1.32bn in 2010 to US$ 2.73bn in 2020. Despite the pandemic, there has been marginal decrease in the volume of bilateral trade i.e. 2.73bn in 2020 against 2.85bn in 2019 (4% decrease). The volume of bilateral trade peaked in 2017 reaching US $ 3.1bn. India’s exports to Poland have grown from US$ 987mn in 2010 to US$ 2101mn in 2019 i.e. an absolute growth of 1113% in a decade. The volume of export at its peak in 2017 i.e US$2444mn. The trade balance continues to be largely in favor of India. The ratio of India’s exports to imports which was 2.4 times in 2009 now stands at 2.9 times. The trade balance registering an export to import ratio of 3.8 times, was at its best in 2015.

Growth of trade between India and Poland, 2010-2020 (Figures in US$ million)

US $ mn

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

Indian Exports to Poland

987

1354

1244

1465

1722

1747

2099

2444

2136

2120

2100

3185

Indian Imports from Poland

333

523

665

491

552

464

669

736

818

731

632

1122

Total India-Poland Bilateral trade

1321

1877

1910

1956

2274

2211

2769

3180

2955

2851

2733

4307

{Source: Central Statistical Office of Poland; Trade Figures in US$ million; Calendar year basis Jan-Dec}

Sectoral Collaboration

Agro-food Processing: The Food-Processing industry is at a nascent stage in India which provides lot of opportunities for Polish investment in the sector and this also serves government priority to raise farmer’s income. The Polish capabilities and advance technologies in the food processing industry is well recognized. Polish food processing companies and entrepreneurs could participate in the Mega Food Parks being set up in India. 

IT and ICT: The Indian and Polish IT & ICT companies complement rather than compete with each other, as manifested by the presence of a significant number of blue-chip Indian IT companies in Poland. The synergy between the Polish and the Indian companies can deal in attracting more IT projects to Poland from Europe and trans-Atlantic regions. Around 11 Indian IT companies, employing more than 10,000 professionals, are currently active in Poland and are operating also their Europe operation from here. 

Textile Sector: Textile continues to be the largest segment in the Indian exports to Poland. Polish Imports of textiles and textile articles from India have grown from US$ 280 mn in 2009 to US$ 472 mn in 2019 marking an absolute growth of 69% in a decade. China, Germany, Bangladesh and Turkey are the major competitors in the textile sector accounting for around 60% of total textile imports by Poland. There are nearly 150 Indian textile trading companies in Poland. 

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 are already receiving 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. The MoU was signed by the Minister of State for Coal and Mines, Shri Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary, and the Deputy Minister of Energy of Poland, Mr. Grzegorz Tobiszowski. 

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 chemicals Sector – 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. MoU for continuing a Hindi Chair at the University of Warsaw is pending for renewal due to covid. A chair for Indian studies at the Jagiellonian University, Krakow is in place and Prof. Kishor Kumar had joined the university in Feb 2022.  

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 8th IDY was held in Warsaw in June 2022 in front of the famous Ujazdowski Castle. 

IV Consular Relations.

Visas: The Embassy in Warsaw issued in 2021 a total of 950 visas.  

Indian Community: Estimated at approximately 15,000, 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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July 2022