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2015 Franchise Expo

On October 15, 2015 the U.S. Commercial Service had the opportunity to visit the 2015 Franchise Expo in Warsaw, Poland. Among the dozens of exhibitors, there were a few familiar American brands. Domino’s Pizza, Papa John’s, Denny’s, Arby’s, Lawry’s, Mail Boxes Etc., Signarama, the Tilted Kilt, and Sky Zone were all represented. The expo brought in a large number of individuals interested in the Franchise sector, and was a valuable experience for anyone looking to familiarize themselves with how franchising works in Poland. We wish all the exhibitors the best of luck, and look forward to visiting again in 2016. If you have are an individual or company who is interested in Franchising in Poland, please contact Alicja Drolet at Alicja.drolet@trade.gov or call 22-625-4374.

Cyber Security Trade Mission to Poland

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews today announced he will lead a delegation of 20 American companies on a Cybersecurity Trade Mission to Bucharest, Romania, and Warsaw, Poland May 11-15, 2015. Assistant Secretary for Industry and Analysis Marcus Jadotte will also participate in the mission.

The trade mission will help U.S. companies launch or increase their business operations in Central and Southeast Europe, specifically connecting them with businesses and government leaders in Romania and Poland. It will also introduce or expand the market presence of U.S. cybersecurity companies with innovative products and services.

“This trade mission is part of our commitment to combatting the growing threat of cyber threats and protecting critical infrastructure in the U.S. and among our European allies,” said Deputy Secretary Andrews. “U.S. cybersecurity firms are world leaders, providing cutting-edge technologies, products, and services all over the globe. Through this trade mission, we will have the opportunity to share best practices and collaborate to combat and protect against cyber attacks, while strengthening bilateral ties with Romania and Poland, two strategic and economic U.S. partners in the region.”

The following companies will join Deputy Secretary Andrews on the cybersecurity trade mission:

The Commerce Department is the lead federal agency driving cybersecurity standards and policy initiatives that promote innovation and public-private partnerships. In February 2014, Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released the Cybersecurity Framework, created through collaboration between industry and government, which consists of standards, guidelines, and practices to promote the protection of critical infrastructure. Many of the companies participating in this trade mission provided input to NIST for the Cybersecurity Framework, and will share experiences and best practices with businesses and government officials in Romania and Poland.


On April 23, 2015 the U.S. Embassy Commercial Service in Warsaw and the Polish Green Building Council, in partnership with the American Chamber of Commerce in Poland, will launch a two-city “Earth Day Seminar & Reception” in Poland. We would like to invite you to also be a part of these unique events. The three-hour seminar will be held simultaneously in Warsaw and Wrocław; with both sites being connected by video conferencing.

Expert Speakers will include:

Peter Templeton, Vice President of the United States Green Building Council,

Jonathan Scott, author of “The Sustainable Business: A Practitioner's Guide to Achieving Long-Term Profitability and Competitiveness”. 

Each location will also have a panel presentation and discussion of a local case study on green building and energy efficiency, with special highlight put on behavioral changes towards energy efficiency.

The evening will end with a networking reception for:

construction companies,


financial institutions,

green business owners,

strategic business planners,


representatives of local governments.

We are looking forward to seeing you either in:

Warsaw University Library BUW at Dobra 56

Wrocław at 3M’s Innovation Center at Kowalska 143.

Entrance is free for invited guests.


A view from the largest yacht at the Warsaw Boat Show.

On February 12th, 2015 the U.S. Commercial Service attended the opening of the 27th Warsaw Boat Show Wind & Water at the Trade Fair Center MT Polska in Warsaw. It was a great opportunity to meet various Polish manufacturers, suppliers and distributors of boats and boating parts. Additionally, a large amount of American companies were well represented. Walking through the various displays at the show, we had the opportunity of meeting with representatives of American companies and observing Luxury yachts, motorboats, sailboats, scooters, parts and accessories made by Brunswick Group, Garmin, Raymarine, Harken, Mastercraft and Evinrude.

The boat show also included a cultural aspect with live Polish sailing music being played in the background. Visitors were also treated to large amounts of “paczki” (Polish donuts) as the opening day fell on Poland’s long tradition of ‘Fat Thursday’, an annual carnival celebration where people eat copious amounts of sweets. All in all, the boat show proved to be a success. Through attending, our office learned lots of interesting information about the boating market in Poland and expanded its contact base within the industry. We look forward to attending future Warsaw Boat Shows and thank the organizers for an excellent event.


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Commercial Attaché Brenda VanHorn speaking at PARP’s Polish Silicon Bridge event.

Earlier this month, our Commercial Attaché Brenda VanHorn gave opening remarks at the first stage of the Polish Silicon Bridge hosted by PARP (Polish Agency for Enterprise Development) at the Novotel Hotel. The event was a seminar geared at Polish hi tech companies looking to enter the U.S. market. Guest speakers included Paweł Pietrasiński (Minister Counselor, Head of Trade & Investment Section Polish Embassy Washington), Chris Burry (Co-CEO, US Market Access Center), Christopher Dilworth (Nonimmigrant Visa Chief, US Embassy Warsaw), Tomasz Snażyk (Snażyk Cytowski LLC), Michał Petz (Case & White), Michał Polański (Director of Business Development Promotion, PARP), Karol Andruszków (Honaro), Witold Kajszczak (PARP), and Gustaw Groth (Frugoton).

During the seminar a number of topics and questions were discussed. Chris Burry provided a comprehensive and practical look at doing business in Silicon Valley while explaining the business culture and strategy needed to succeed. Our colleague from the visa section Chris Dilworth spoke about visa requirements for businesses entering the United States. Corporate law, intellectual property rights and the venture capitalist closing process were all discussed by both Michał Petz and Tomasz Snażyk. Later in the afternoon, Paweł Pietrasiński provided details on Polish government support for Polish companies operating in the United States. Karol Andruszków, Witold Kajszczak and Gustaw Groth closed the event with case studies related to Silicon Valley and advice on applying to the second and third phase of the Silicon Bridge program.

2015 marks another launch of the Polish Silicon Bridge. The program aims to support, accelerate and develop strategies for hi tech companies looking to enter the U.S. market. Furthermore, the program is broken into three phases. The opening seminar (mentioned above), boot camp (a five day intensive workshop camp featuring Polish and American experts), and the acceleration program (companies will receive resource support in order to implement marketing and entry strategies into the U.S.). We are very excited and confident that PARP’s Silicon Bridge will further strong ties between the Polish and American business community. We wish all participants the best of luck and look forward to the second phase of the program.


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Commercial Attaché Brenda VanHorn at IDC Predictions 2015 Warsaw.

On February 11, 2015 at the Mamaison Hotel Le Regina, IDC Predictions 2015 took place. The evening was dedicated to all things IT, specifically global trends and outlooks. The evening started with opening remarks by Brenda VanHorn, our Commercial Attaché here in Warsaw. She spoke about the importance of cyber security and the ever changing dynamic IT solutions provide to companies across all industries. As the event progressed, Steven Frantzen (Senior VP EMEA, MD CEMA Region IDC), Rafał Szczap (Region Director, Large Enterprise, Dell), Greg Hanson (Sr. Director Technical Operations, EMEA Informatica), and Patryk Szymczak (CEO, Cloud your Car) provided attendees with a breadth of knowledge regarding the IT sector.

Trends and outlooks such as the fifth and sixth wave of innovation, technology and Information system relevance and new threats to cyber security were thoroughly discussed. Key figures and statistics of the IT sector were also provided. For example, did you know that the top 10 data breaches in 2014 totaled over 800 million? To end the formal part of the evening, speakers sat down as part of a panel and took questions from the audience. At this point an interesting debate on developing and sustaining relevance in your industry was sparked. Each speaker offered examples of how their companies cope with change. It was particularly interesting to observe that companies such as Cloud your Car (a smaller Warsaw based startup) & Dell (a large global enterprise) share similar strategies and mindsets.

The event provided the Commercial Service with industry specific information. The reception following the formal event allowed our commercial service representatives to network and gain practical insights from global leaders in IT. We would like to thank IDC and all partners involved (Dell, Informatica, Red Hat, HP and American Chamber of Commerce) in putting together a well-organized event.

Seminar "How to Enter the American Market - Select USA in Warsaw

From left: Maciej Cybulski, State of Illinois,  Michał Bronowski and Friedericke Sudholt, State of Pennsylvania, Antje Abshoff, State of Georgia,  Emile Boucton, State of Iowa, Richard Price, State of Mississippi, Ford Graham, President of CASE, State pf South Carolina, William Czajkowski, Senior Commercial Officer, FCS

The US Embassy Commercial Service section organized a seminar entitled "How to Enter the American Market - Select USA".  Over 70 participants attended the event, held on September 24, 2013.  As the event was in the end over-subscribed, CS Warsaw arranged for the conference to be simultaneously webcast for additional, interested Polish companies to participate virtually. In total 140 Polish organizations participated in the event.  The Commercial Service Officers were joined by event partners, the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency (PAIZ), the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development, the Council of American States in Europe, and six American states (Pennsylvania, Illinois, Georgia, Iowa, Mississippi, and South Carolina).  The U.S. Embassy's Public Affairs and Consular sections participated, and welcome remarks were given by the Charge d'affaires. 

The event was held as a fulfillment of the MOU signed at last year’s US-Poland Business Summit between PAIZ and Select USA to promote investment in each other’s countries.  Presentations were made on the US economy, benefits of investing in the US, tax, legal and visa matters and how the Polish and US governments can assist business.  In addition, information on the Select USA Summit to be held in DC on October 31, and Nov 1 was given. 

Commercial Attache participates in factory tour of UTC Wrocław

Warsaw Poland Commercial Attache participates in factory tour of UTC Wrocław: On February 22 Commercial Attache, Brenda VanHorn, visited and toured the newly renovated and opened UTC Wrocław plant on a joint meeting with Undersecretary of State, Ms. Illona Antoniszyn-Klik from the Ministry of Economy.  UTC manufactures fuel control system for aircraft engines, as well as hydraulic systems and other aircraft parts at this facility.

Center for Disease Control in Warsaw

On January 24, CS Warsaw organized an event for the Center for Disease Control based in San Antonio, Texas. The Center for Disease Detection (CDD) is a clinical laboratory that specializes in cancer diagnostics and detection of communicable diseases. CDD’s core business is centered on implementation of automated high-volume, integrated diagnostic solutions.

Meetings were arranged between Company representatives and the Ministry of Health, the National Health Fund, and the National Institute of Public Health as well as a variety of non-public health organizations for a knowledge exchange on cervical cancer screening activities in Poland.

The CDD has developed an early diagnosis and treatment initiative in this area and has been reaching out to the appropriate organizations in Poland with regard to developing low-cost diagnostic solutions that demonstrate efficacy in reducing overall disease morbidity and mortality.

The January 24 meeting included the CDD presentation and live discussion with participants. CS Warsaw’s extensive outreach campaign paid off with a group of 20 factual invitees attending the event. The CDD officials were pleased with the program and evaluated the event as a constructive introduction to the Polish cervical cancer screening organizations.


From left: William Czajkowski-FCS, Robert Day, Robert J. Donovan-FCS

This year CS office is celebrating its 40th anniversary. In fall of 1972 the office was officially opened by Secretary of Commerce Pete Peterson. U.S. Trade Development and Technical Information Office was then the official name of our bureau. Over the 40-year period a lot has changed including the name of the agency to finally be called the Commercial Service office, or – the Commercial Counselor’s Office.

In summer of 2012 the CS Warsaw was glad to briefly host Mr. and Mrs. Robert Day, who in 1972 was the first Director of the Office.

From left: Robert J. Donovan-FCS, Zofia Sobiepanek-FCS, Dominika Nowak-FCS, Barbara Grabowska-FCS, Robert Day-first Director of the Warsaw FCS Office, Mrs. Day, Maria Kowalska-FCS. Second row: William Czajkowski-FCS

Poland and GE, a Partnership Celebrating its 20th Anniversary. Next 20 Years: Joint Innovation

Brenda VanHorn –Commercial Attaché, Ambassador Lee Feinstein, Lesław Kuzaj- GE CEO in Poland

On October 2, 2012, Commercial Counselor Bill Czajkowski and Commercial Attaché Brenda VanHorn, together with Ambassador Lee Feinstein, attended the GE 20th anniversary in Poland celebration held at the Copernicus Science Center.  The event, entitled “Poland and GE, a partnership celebrating its 20th anniversary. Next 20 years: Joint innovation” featured all of GE’s business sectors and was attended by over 300 guests including Polish and American Government representatives and leaders from GE’s Europe division.   

Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank Meeting Polish Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Beata Stelmach

From right: Secretary Blank, Ambassador Feinstein, Assistant Secretary Camunez Meeting Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Beata Stelmach (photo: courtesy of MFA)

On June 20 Acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca M. Blank, Ambassador Feinstein, and commercial Officer RJ Donovan met with Polish Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Beata Stelmach.  Occurring on the same day as the U.S.-Poland Business Summit, the meeting focused on the current state of U.S.-Polish commercial relations and the potential to broaden and deepen bilateral economic cooperation.  Department of Commerce Under Secretary for International Trade Francisco Sanchez and Assistant Secretary for Market Access and Compliance Michael Camunez also joined the talks.  According to a statement issued by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Deputy Minister Stelmach emphasized the potential of the Polish market and… also underscored the full support of the Polish authorities aimed at ensuring the right conditions for the development of the shale gas sector in Poland, and for closer cooperation in other sectors of the economy, especially in the field of energy.”

Acting Secretary of Commerce, Rebecca Blank’s Breakfast with American Chamber of Commerce

FCS Team with Acting Secretary Rebecca Blank

On June 21 U.S. Ambassador Feinstein hosted a breakfast in honor of the U.S. Acting Secretary of Commerce, Rebecca Blank’s visit to Poland. Held at the Ambassador’s residence the event’s guests included the American Chamber of Commerce and the U.S.-Polish Business Council company member representatives. Approximately 150 guests attended. At the opening of the breakfast, Ambassador Feinstein gave brief remarks and then Secretary Blank spoke about current status of U.S. economy and U.S.-Poland trade relations. The Secretary also answered questions that came from the audience

Zippo Media Event in Warsaw

On April 24, 2012, Commercial Attaché Brenda VanHorn, together with CS Ewa Bogdanowicz participated in the Zippo Manufacturing Company Media Event in Warsaw. The press event, organized with the assistance of CS Warsaw, took place in the Sketch Restaurant. Over 50 guests including business, consumer and trade media sector and representatives of Batek Company, Zippo’s distributor in Poland attended the event.

Commercial Attaché Brenda VanHorn opened the event, welcomed all participants, introduced FCS and its worldwide services and introduced Zippo Company. CA Brenda VanHorn highlighted this year celebration of Zippo brand 80th anniversary and approaching production of its 500 millionth Windproof Lighter. CA Brenda VanHorn congratulated Zippo Manufacturing Company on being selected this year for the President’s “E Star” Award for Exports, the highest award given by the US Government to American business for excellence in exporting. Then she introduced David Warfel, Zippo Global Marketing Director who gave a very informative power point presentation followed by Q&A session and interviews with selected, high quality media interviews.

The Zippo Manufacturing Company’s products are sold in 160 countries worldwide. Zippo is one of the most highly recognized and respected global brands. The iconic Zippo Windproof Lighter has been manufactured in Bradford, Pennsylvania since 1932. Currently Zippo is diversifying its product offer with new outdoor and lifestyle products. In 2011 the company’s turnover reached USD 140 million, a 21% increase over 2010. The company produces 10 million lighters annually and employs over 1500 people. In 1995, Zippo established distribution in Poland. In the last 6 years, the company’s profits here have increased fivefold. Zippo considers Poland to be one of the fastest growing markets for Zippo’s products in Europe.

From left: Brenda VanHorn, Commercial Attaché, CS Warsaw; David B. Warfel, Global Marketing Director, Zippo Manufacturing Company; Ewa Bogdanowicz, Commercial Specialist, CS Warsaw; James McAlley, Business Development Manager Europe, Zippo Manufacturing Company

Brenda VanHorn, Commercial Attaché, CS Warsaw

Assistant Secretary of Commerce Michael C. Camunez visits Warsaw

On April 27 Assistant Secretary of Commerce Michael C. Camunez visited Warsaw and met with Ilona Antoniszyn-Klik, Undersecretary of State, Ministry of Economy, Beata Stelmach, Undersecretary of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Adam Jasser, Prime Minister’s Economic Advisor.  During his busy one day visit Mr. Camunez also found time to meet with the U.S. Commercial Service team.

5th Anniversary of the PZL Mielec Privatization and Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation’s Engagement in Poland

On March 26, U.S. Ambassador to Poland Lee A. Feinstein hosted the reception at his residence in honor of the 5th anniversary of the PZL Mielec privatization and Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation’s engagement in Poland.

Over 120 guests including leading Polish military and defense-aerospace sector business officials attended the gala event.

From left: Ambassador Lee Feinstein, Robert Kokorda - Vice President of Sales and Marketing of Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, Janusz Zakręcki - Chairman and CEO of PZL Mielec/Sikorsky Poland, and Andrzej Szortyka - Chairman of the Board, Agency for Industrial Development.

From left: LT Gen Zbigniew Głowienka - Commander, Land Forces Command, LT Gen Lech Majewski - Air Force Commander, Air Force Command, and COL (ret.) Stanley J. Prusinski Director, Sikorsky Europe, United Technologies International Operations.

The Ambassador’s remarks, followed by a short video highlighting Sikorsky’s five years in Poland, illustrated an important chapter in the history of Polish aviation and the American-Polish bilateral commercial relationship, benefitting both the U.S. and Poland. The Ambassador was joined by senior Sikorsky and Mielec officials including Mr. Robert Kokorda - Vice President of Sales and Marketing of Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, Mr. Janusz Zakręcki - Chairman and CEO of PZL Mielec/Sikorsky Poland, and Mr. Andrzej Szortyka - Chairman of the Agency for Industrial Development.

Sikorsky, a global leader in military and civilian helicopters, is known for its Black Hawk helicopter, flown by the U.S. military and in 30 other countries around the world. Sikorsky, a member of UTC Group of companies, is an important and committed investor and employer in Poland. Across Poland, from Rzeszow, to Mielec, to Wroclaw, to Kalisz and Gdansk - UTC’s family of firms – including Sikorsky - has made a long-lasting impact on the U.S.-Poland bilateral economic relationship.

Ambassador Feinstein congratulated the management, employees, and unions of PZL Mielec for their dedication and success and applauded the leadership of Sikorsky for their vision.

Mobile Alabama Trade Mission to Warsaw

From left: Brenda VanHorn, Commercial Attache; Johnny Johnson, Process Equipment; Meridith McKinney, Alabama Development Office; Robert Munisteri, The Dixie Group; Daniel Tallman, Centiva; Robert J. Donovan, Commercial Counselor

On March 26 and 27th, U.S. Commercial Service Warsaw hosted a Mission of American companies seeking local partners in Poland. The Mission was organized by the Mobile Alabama Chamber of Commerce and the Commercial Service’s Birmingham Export Assistance Center. Participants included five companies representing various industry sectors – from consumer products, to Ethernet switches.  The business representatives were accompanied by Mobile Alabama Chamber officials.  These potentially “new-to-market” executives were briefed by the U.S. Embassy’s Commercial Counselor Robert J. Donovan, Commercial Attache Brenda VanHorn and John P. Schutte, Deputy Political-Economic Counselor on how to do business in Poland.  Over two days, the Commercial Service arranged for each firm to meet with as many as 10 potential Polish business partners.

Oshkosh Corporation sells ARFF Trucks to Lublin Airport

Fot. Oshkosh Corp.

On January 24, 2012 Joanna Chomicka of the U.S. Commercial Service Warsaw attended a contract signing ceremony between Lublin Airport and a U.S. company Oshkosh Corporation for a purchase of two specialized airport firefighting trucks (ARFF).  Oshkosh Corporation of Oshkosh, WI, is a leading manufacturer of ARFF as well as defense, construction and commercial /municipal vehicles.

The contract was signed by Ms. Joanna Kiczyńska, Proxy and Chief Financial Officer of Lublin Airport and Mr. Mark Pulfer, Director, International Business Development of Oshkosh.

Lublin Airport decided to buy two ARFFs, of a New Global Striker family, developed specifically for the European market and will be the first vehicles of that type to be delivered to the continental Europe.  The value of the investment is almost 5 million PLN (approx. 1.7 million USD).  Oshkosh Corporation will deliver the trucks later in 2012.  Lublin Airport is a new regional airport in Poland, currently under construction.  The airport is expected to be operational in October 2012.

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Fot. Mikołaj Majda, Lublin Airport

1.  From left to right: Mark Pulfer, Director of Oshkosh Corporation; Joanna Chomicka, CS Warsaw, Commercial Specialist; Maciej Górski, Navimor Oxer

2. From left to right: Maciej Górski, Navimor Oxer; Jakub Górski, Navimor Oxer; P. Joanna Kiczyńska, Lublin Airport, Proxy and Chief Financial Officer; Mark Pulfer, Director of Oshkosh Corporation

AmCham Monthly Meeting

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From left to right: Joseph Wancer, AmCham President; Lee Feinstein American Ambassador; Senator Mark Kirk; Congressman Mike Quigley

On January 11th, 2012 American Ambassador Lee Feinstein, Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois and Congressman Mike Quigley representing the 5th district of Illinois were the speakers at the American Chamber of Commerce Monthly Meeting. The discussion included political and economic outlook for 2012, the transatlantic relationship and security issues impacting Poland.

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Photos from left to right:

1. Piotr Jucha, McDonald’s; Christian Henkemeier, InterContinental Warsaw; Robert Donovan, Foreign Commercial Service, American Embassy

2. Dorota Dąbrowski, AmCham; Judith Y. Gliniecki, Wierzbowski Eversheds

3. Joseph Wancer, AmCham; Senator Mark Kirk; Congressman Mike Quigley;

Ambassador Lee Feinstein

4. Senator Mark Kirk; Brenda VanHorn, Foreign Commercial Service, American Embassy

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