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International Relations

India-Poland Relations

  • 10 Feb 2021
  • 6 min read

Why in News

Recently, Poland has invited India’s Prime Minister while he will be visiting Portugal for the European Union-India summit (May 2021), and Cornwall, United Kingdom to attend the G7 grouping where India is a special invitee (June 2021).

  • Poland is also negotiating with India for a travel bubble arrangement to resume direct flights suspended due to Covid-19 pandemic.
    • Creating a travel bubble involves reconnecting countries or states which have shown a good level of success in containing the Covid-19 pandemic domestically.
    • Such a bubble would allow the members of the group to restart trade ties with each other and open travel and tourism.

Key Points

  • Background:
    • India and Poland 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 of Poland (1944 to 1989), bilateral relations were close and cordial, with regular high level visits, 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 European Union in 2004, and became one of India’s key economic partners in Central Europe.
  • Economic & Commercial Relations:
    • Export:
      • 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 2019 was USD 2.36 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 2019.
        • As per the statistics, the increase of bilateral trade by 2.5% was visible in 2019 in comparison with previous years.
    • Investment:
      • Indian investments in Poland are valued at over USD 3 billion.
      • Total Polish investment in India is estimated at USD 672 million.
    • Foreign Direct Investment (FDI):
      • From April 2000 to March 2019, India recorded over USD 672 million of FDI from Poland, 0.16%of its total FDI inflows in that period.
    • 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.
        • An MoU on agriculture for technical and institutional cooperation was signed between both countries in April 2017.
      • Information Technology (IT) Sector:
        • Around thirteen Indian IT companies, employing more than 10,000 professionals, are currently active in Poland and are also operating their Europe operation from here.
      • Textile Sector:
        • India has presently a share of only 3.73% overall in the Polish Textile and Apparel Imports (valued at USD 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.
        • India and Poland signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2019 to enhance bilateral cooperation in the coal and mining sector.
      • Pharmaceutical and Chemicals Sector:
        • Given Poland’s strategic location, shortages in healthcare personnel and 25% growth in the pharma market in the last 5 years, there are good opportunities for Indian exporters and investors.
  • 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.
    • Polish Mission organised the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi in 2019.
      • Polish Post (Poczta Polska) issued a Commemorative Stamp on the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi which was released on the occasion.
    • On the occasion of 550th Prakash Purab of Guru Nanak Dev ji, Mission and Gurudwara Sahib of Poland jointly organised functions at Gurudwara Sahib, Poland.
    • 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.
  • 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 a rising number of Indian students.

Source:TH

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