In Poland, the Poznan International Trade Fair, traditionally one of the largest markets for east-west business, opened on Sunday (11 June).
In Poland, the Poznan International Trade Fair, traditionally one of the largest markets for east-west business, opened on Sunday (11 June). However, this year's fair is held as Poland takes drastic steps to reduce its foreign trade deficit.
SYNOPSIS: The Poznan Fair, this year celebrating its 50th anniversary, comes as Polish officials say the country can expect a period of austerity lasting two to three years. Police leader Edward Gierek, who attended the fair's opening with Premier Piotr Jaroszewicz, faces the problem of a foreign debt, estimated by western sources at about 13 billion dollars (U.S.) (GBP7 billion). Foreign Trade Minister Jerzy Olszewski has said Poland is interested in developing trade with everybody, but has also said that imports must be cut to the "essential minimum".
With Polish imports from the west being sliced by 25 per cent in the first quarter of this year, western exhibitors see little chance of doing much business. Indeed, the number of countries represented is down on last year. As usual, West Germany had by far the largest display, but businessmen noted a shortage of hard currency among Polish importers and, in some industries, fewer Polish visitors. However, despite the prospect of fewer deals this year, one British representative said it is still important to be at Poznan to make future business contacts.