As part of the Regional Operational Program, the voivodeship has prepared own activities for the promotion of export. Their goal is to accelerate the internationalization of the West Pomeranian companies as well as promoting the region abroad. The project is being implemented both through facilitating companies to make business contacts with potential foreign partners and through supporting export activities and offering opportunities to present companies’ offers during international trade fairs and exhibitions.
Conditions of subsidizing
Subsidies can be assigned to micro-, small or middle-sized companies from the West Pomeranian Voivodeship which participate in fairs or exhibitions of international character (whether taking place in Poland or abroad).
The Program supports the participation of companies in economic missions organized under fairs or exhibitions abroad. Such a mission can be subsidized if there are at least representatives of five companies (besides the organizer) taking part in it. Subsidies can be granted to an investor, an organization assembling investors, a local government unit or a business-support institution.
The organizer of a subsidized economic mission can also apply for support, however, they must agree its program with the Economic and Commercial Section (ECS) of the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in a given country. The written opinion of the ECS head concerning the program should be enclosed with the application. In case of missions organized in countries without Polish diplomatic missions, the organizer must agree the program with the Economic and Trade Section of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs or with the Department of Promotion and Bilateral Cooperation of the Polish Ministry of Economy. The following elements of the program of the economic mission should be agreed: date and duration of the mission, number of participants, goal of the mission, proposed planned meetings with potential business partners.
The subsidy-eligible expenditures related to the participation in a fair or exhibition include:
- leasing of the exhibition area and the stand;
- preparing and printing promotional materials in respect to the participation in a fair or exhibition (including expenses for translating the content of materials);
- transport of exhibits (including insurance and customs clearance);
- forwarding of exhibits;
- entry in a fair catalogue and registration fee;
- travel costs and accommodation for no more than two representatives of the investor participating in a fair or exhibition.
In case of economic missions, the subsidy-eligible expenditures include:
- purchase of entrance tickets to visit fairs and exhibitions related to the economic mission;
- preparing and printing promotional materials (including expenses related to translating such materials);
- travel costs and accommodation for no more than two representatives of the investor participating in the economic mission or of its organizer;
- organization of the economic mission (e.g. renting rooms and multimedia equipment, translators).
The maximum share of EU funds in eligible expenditures of a project is 50%. The minimum value of all eligible expenditures of a project is PLN 4,000, and the maximum – PLN 20,000 (in case of fairs and exhibitions) and PLN 10,000 (economic missions).
Tasks of COIE
The institution assisting exporters in the West Pomeranian Voivodeship is the Investors and Exporters’ Service Centre (COIE) in Szczecin. COIE initiates cooperation between Polish companies and entities operating on foreign markets through the distribution of foreign letters of inquiry among Polish exporters, making available contact information of potential buyers from the commercial B2B database and through the organization of match-making meetings as part of foreign economic missions.
COIE supplies investors with information about foreign trade fairs and exhibitions as well as economic missions organized from Poland or to Poland, provides access to data about export and investment conditions on foreign markets and informs about financial, service and institutional export support instruments. The Centre also notifies about free opportunities to promote export offer of Polish companies on foreign markets (e.g. through the Trade and Investment Promotion Sections of embassies and consulates of the Republic of Poland) and organizes free informational meetings for exporters.
COIE cooperates, among others, with the Regional Center for Innovation and Technology Transfer (RCIiTT) which was created in 1999 in response to the need to coordinate international research programs conducted at the Szczecin University of Technology. RCIiTT conducts consulting and training activities for companies, scientists, students and graduates in the field of technology transfer, research financing and academic entrepreneurship while also coordinating the cooperation between business and research sectors and animating the development of industrial clusters.
Database of exporters
COIE is cooperating also with the North Chamber of Commerce (Północna Izba Gospodarcza), assembling almost 1500 companies from West Pomerania and Germany, in cooperation with which COIE has prepared an electronic database of the West Pomeranian Voivodeship exporters. On 3 November 2014, the first edition of the database – intended for English-speaking markets – has been sent out to Trade and Investment Promotion Sections (WPHI) of Polish embassies and consulates. In order to participate in the project it is enough to fill the registration form in English. Apart from the company address and data of the contact person responsible for servicing English-speaking clients, COIE also requires a short presentation of the company offer in English. The last part of the form contains the classification of the company activity which permits to create business directories of companies from the West Pomeranian Voivodeship. In the future, COIE plans to create a similar database of exporters intended for German-speaking and Scandinavian markets.
Investors and Exporters’ Service Centre
ul. Piłsudskiego 40-42, 70-421 Szczecin, Poland
tel.: 91/44 67105, fax: 91/44 67 102
mobile: 512 006 662