The large-scale economic national marketing can be a good counterbalance to negative information about Poland - believes the economist Professor Krzysztof Opolski from the University of Warsaw. In his opinion, communication with the world should be increased in order to defend against possible effects of rating downgrades and attract more investors encouraged by good promotion of the country.
- Polish products are still poorly perceived, they are poorly positioned in relation to other products, although objectively speaking they are not worse. Today, a consumer chooses first of all on the basis of marketing, and not on the basis of technological benefits or the value of a given product - says Newseria Inwestor news agency Professor Krzysztof Opolski, an economist from the Faculty of Economic Sciences at the University of Warsaw.
In his opinion, it is necessary to act to increase the recognition of the brand "made in Poland". According to the economist, national marketing Poland must apply in a wider aspect and in all areas of the economy. Without this, even excellent development programmes and building a strong brand will not bring the expected results due to poor global recognition.
- Without such a strong emphasis on information, I am afraid that there may be various hits under the title of rating downgrades, negative opinions about our situation, which in total may have a bad impact on foreign investments - says Prof. Opolski.
In recent months there has been no shortage of bad information, which may affect the assessment of Poland by investors. First, in January Standard & Poor's cut Poland's rating to BBB+ from A-, which was a rather unexpected step. The perspective of the rating was positive so far. Now Moody's has warned Poland for the third time since November about a possible downgrade, emphasizing that this is a legal issue and not a macroeconomic foundation. In the professor's opinion, we can expect Poland's rating to be downgraded. He notes, however, that even the last downgrade has not had a lasting impact on either financial results or the economic situation or exchange rates. Nevertheless, such signals cannot be underestimated.
According to the economist, it is clear that the inflow of spectacular direct economic investments is quite limited in Poland. However, one should appreciate the development of foreign undertakings that are already operating in Poland.
- We will see how the operation of Special Economic Zones will continue, and we will see, because it is very important for us, how our neighboring Slovaks will deal with those investments which they have and which they actually took away from us in some way, especially the automotive ones.
According to Prof. Opolski, the lack of investors who have chosen Slovakia is compensated for by research and development centres which rely on knowledge and are powered by graduates from Polish universities.
- I think that foreign investments should be developed mainly in the sphere of financial and IT services. We have well-prepared people and there are quite big opportunities for such development of modern economy, modern world of work - says Prof. Opolski.
The economist points out that the image of Poland is certainly not one of the worst in the world. However, it is worth taking care of it if we want to attract more investors.
- I have an impression that for a foreign investor, who does not understand much of our internal quarrels, the image of Poland is relatively safe and relatively stable, provided that of course we also mitigate conflicts with neighbouring countries, we will not use vocabulary such as "bankers, fraudsters, thieves". - he stresses.