Hannover, 5 March 2013
The German IT and telecommunications industry is strengthening its collaboration with neighbouring Poland. "Poland is one of Germany's most important trading partners, a rapidly growing, innovative economic nation, and an attractive, emerging market for companies in the high-tech industry", said the President of the German Association for Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media (BITKOM), Prof Dieter Kempf, at the CeBIT computer fair in Hannover. This year, Poland is the official partner of BITKOM and CeBIT. Comprehensive collaboration agreements have therefore been signed with the Polish Chambers of Commerce for Information Technology and Telecommunications (PIIT), Electronics and Telecommunications (KiGEIT) and High Technology (IZTECH).
The partnership is supported by the governments in Berlin and Warsaw. German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and Polish Prime Minister, Donald Tusk, therefore jointly opened CeBIT on Monday evening. Today, a total of 200 senior officials from both countries are taking part in BITKOM's Polish-German ICT Summit in Hannover, including the Polish Economics Minister, Janusz Piechociński, and the German Economics Minister, Philipp Rösler.
For Germany and the whole of Western Europe, Poland is the gateway to Central and Eastern Europe; the country is by far the largest ICT market of the new EU member states. At around EUR 15 billion, the Polish ICT market is almost twice as big as the Czech market, which is in second place. The IT industry in particular has posted strong gains in recent years, of over 4 percent in the last year alone.
Last year, German suppliers exported EUR 1.7 billion of ICT hardware (equipment and systems) to Poland. This is an increase of 10 percent compared to 2011. Polish companies supplied around EUR 1 billion of equipment to Germany. Foreign trade in IT services has grown even more strongly. In 2012, German companies sold services worth EUR 178 million to Poland. This represents an increase of 31 percent compared to 2010. Conversely, Polish IT suppliers sold services amounting to EUR 103 million to Germany. An increase of 30 percent in two years. "We see great potential for growth, especially in the IT services industry. Our partnership can hopefully help to actively realise this growth", said Kempf.
Poland is being showcased at CeBIT by over 150 exhibitors over more than 3,000 square meters. "Of course CeBIT is also about making it easier for exhibitors and interested partner companies to access the market in each others' countries. We therefore also want to enable SMEs and start-ups in particular to look beyond national borders", said Kempf. Discussion forums, conferences and networking trips will follow later this year. Joint activities are currently being planned at the industry's autumn exhibitions, as well as a joint event in Warsaw.
BITKOM represents more than 1,700 companies, including over 1,200 direct members, with sales of EUR 135 billion and 700,000 employees. Almost all the global players, as well as 800 SMEs and numerous founder-operated companies, are represented by BITKOM. This includes suppliers of software and IT services, telecommunications and internet services, manufacturers of hardware and consumer electronics, and digital media companies. BITKOM is particularly committed to the modernisation of the education system, innovative economic policy and future-oriented network policy.
Dr. Axel Pols, a.pols[at]bitkom.org