What is the link between the stylish porcelain, high-class yachts and modern training & touristic aeroplanes? – each of those products is successfully competing in terms of the quality on the international markets and is manufactured in … Eastern Poland.
Eastern Poland Macroregion covers 5 provinces: Lubelskie, Podkarpackie, Podlaskie, Swietokrzyskie and Warminsko-Mazurskie. Its strengths include close proximity to the borders, special economic zones, accessible EU funds, natural resources, favourable labour cost vs. work quality ratio and available human resources. The analytics point out that it is a perfect place with developing investment sectors, such as BPO, aviation industry, renewable energy resources and business tourism.
In practice, it turns out that in this area exactly, the high-end products are designed and manufactured, and later successfully compete on the international markets. It’s interesting how some producers can effectively combine several hundred years of tradition and very innovative ideas. This is the case in Cmielow Porcelain Manufactory located near Ostrowiec Swietokrzyski, whose tradition dates back to 1790. Here, the famous and elegant tableware such as Empire, Rococo, Kula and Lwow have been manufactured. Tableware and figurines made in Cmielow, often hand-painted, are sold around the world, they can be found in the most important diplomatic posts in Poland and abroad, and are used by, among others, the President of Poland, Bronislaw Komorowski.
Needless to say, Cmielow factory keeps developing; currently it is in a process of joining another Polish porcelain manufacturing potentate – Chodziez S.A., and this year’s spring it opened a modern design studio – Cmielow Design Studio, where designers from all over the world will be able to pursue their ideas and develop new technologies.
“Today, the strength of innovation are the young and talented designers. For years, Cmielow Porcelain Manufactory has been open to new ideas and cooperation with young people. Cmielow Design Studio will continue the tradition, it will be a place where creative ideas are turned into projects. In order to assure venture’s success, it will be supervised by Marek Cecula, a recognised ceramists, author of many awarded works. This is the first project of this type in our country” – says Inga Kaminska, President of Cmielow Porcelain Manufactory. The results are already apparent – “New Atelier” collection that was well received during Ambiente Trade Show in Frankfurt am Mein.
Another high-end product, however, representing a completely different industry, the pride of Eastern Poland Macroregion are aircrafts. Here, 90% of Polish aviation production is located. Well backed by educational and research base, it can count on business and tax incentives. As a result, on the one hand, we have a dynamically developing giants such as Sikorsky Company in Mielec, the biggest aircraft manufacturer in Poland; and on the other hand, there are at least several dozens of smaller companies operating in this area – the largest industry and technology cluster in Poland - Aviation Valley brings together 90 companies, mainly from the Podkarpackie Province.
One of those companies is Aero AT opened in 1994 with an aim to design, certify and launch the production of an inexpensive and economic training and touristic aeroplane. As a result, the first fully metal VLA (very light aeroplane) was created and plunged into production that has been supported by the experience of “a large aviation industry”. The first five AT-3 planes ordered by the Polish Aero Club and the Warsaw Aero Club were delivered in 2002. Soon, the aeroplane started conquering foreign markets – e.g. as the plans included exporting the plane to the USA, the company prepared a version that was coherent with the American aviation law – AT-4. The company continued to develop – it bought a property in Mielec, where it built, in 2008, a modern production facility. In total, the company invested 5.3 million zloty, 70% of which was funded by the European Union.
“Today, we employ 40 people and our AT-3 has been a huge success on the world’s markets. In May 2013, we will send a hundredth aeroplane manufactured by Mielec factory to our client in Turkey” – says Walter Jankowski, President of Aero AT board.
In February 2013, with a further expansion in mind, this time to the Chinese market, a package of 45% of shares has been offered to the Chinese company LantTien Aerospace Park. “This step will not only help us to enter Chinese market but also achieve a new level of company development in terms of production capabilities and research and development. A strong owner will enable further development of Mielec factory and will support us in coping with the requirements of new markets, such as China or India” – states Walter Jankowski. He openly says that this cooperation is supposed to provide funding for developing new aeroplanes and increase marketing outlays.“Our plans include complete modernisation of the manufactured planes. We are also engaged in talks concerning a new design for a six-seat aircraft” – lists Walter Jankowski.
Companies from Eastern Poland Macroregion are also well known for their broad offer for the water sports lovers, as it is the place where yachts are built, including the ones addressed at the most demanding clients. Motivated and determined, the manufacturers successfully compete and win clients during international events, such as the International Sailing and Water Sports Trade Show in Lodz and 2013 Boat Show boot in Dusseldorf. Supported by the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency under the Eastern Poland Economic Promotion Programme, 13 companies from the Warminsko-Mazurskie and the Podlaskie Province took part in the events. Their interesting offer has already attracted clients, which was proven by the first orders and contracts signed during the trades.
What is interesting, is the fact that the industry’s representatives emphasise that by manufacturing boats they pursue their passions. This was the case of Sedna Yachts from Bialystok. “We created the company in 2007 because we’ve been sailing for many years and the market failed to offer a perfect yacht that would be spacious and modern, and combine comfort and excellent nautical capabilities. So we followed a rule that says: necessity is the mother of invention” – declares Kamil Sulima from Sedna Yachts, a company that currently offers 3 models of sailing boats: Sedna 30, a 30 feet long yacht, and Sedna 26 and 24. At the moment, the company prepares for adding a sea yacht Sedna 40 to their offer.
“Sedna 30, the first boat in our offer, is probably the first yacht in Poland manufactured using CNC technology, which ensures a very precise workmanship, up to 0.1 millimetre” – says Kamil Sulima. Currently, the multi-awarded company, including the yacht and the premier of the year, employs 10 people. The yachts are bought mainly by the Polish, German, Austrian, Ukrainian and recently Belarusian clients. “This should not be a surprise. Our boats cost half the money the yachts manufactured by the competition in e.g. Germany cost while their quality is no different. In general, they are appreciated because of their design quality, ergonomics and the very important – nautical capabilities” – explains Kamil Sulima.
The potential of luxury goods produced in Eastern Poland did not go unnoticed by the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency S.A. Under the Eastern Poland Economic Promotion Programme, the companies can count on the support in the events that enable them to establish business contacts. So it was during the Annual Investment Meeting in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates at the end of April and the beginning of May this year, which was attended by, among others, shipyard’s representatives.
“The UAE are an important buyer of luxury goods manufactured in the eastern part of our country. Particularly valued are the high-class yachts manufactured in the Podlaskie and the Warminsko-Mazurskie Province, and Leopard car manufactured in Mielec. We can see here a great potential” – summarises Agnieszka Lukaszewska-Wojnarowska, Director of Regional Development Department in PAIiIZ S.A.