The source of this article is NPCC’s Bulletin no. 67:


The Polish-Dutch Business Forum (PDBF) that was organised in The Hague on 4 April gave an extra impulse to the bilateral relations between the two countries.

The event was inaugurated by the respective ministers – Jadwiga Emilewicz from the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Innovation from Poland and Sigrid Kaag from the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation from the Netherlands – with keynote speeches in front of an audience of 200 people.

The forum, which was organised together with the Polish Chamber of Commerce in the Netherlands, the Embassies of the two countries, PAIH and the RVO, focused this year on innovations. Both ministers referred in their keynote speeches to the theme of the forum: Greening growth through innovation.

“Poland wants to maintain good trade dynamics with the Netherlands, but we also want to give our cooperation a new impulse. An area that can play a significant role is innovations, especially in the field of green technologies,” said Minister of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Jadwiga Emilewicz. Both ministers had a bilateral meeting and talked about the current state of affairs.

Minister Emilewicz also met with representatives of the Dutch government and was present at a round table with entrepreneurs from both countries.

During the many panels, workshops and B2B meetings, the forum participants talked about the strengthening of Polish-Dutch relations and related challenges. There were breakout sessions on energy transition, electric mobility, the life sciences, the circular economy and doing business in Poland and the Netherlands.

Panellists in the sessions included representatives from, among others, Philips, Hitachi Capital, Holland Circular Hotspot, Boekestijn Transport and the E-mobility foundation.

Poland rapidly becoming an economic powerhouse of the EU

One of the speakers during the PDBF was Rob Ruhl, economist at Next Markets Advisory. “In the coming years, the Polish economy will become the 5th largest economy in the EU in terms of size, after Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

Poland is thus overtaking the Netherlands (in 6th) and pushing them down a place,” he said, based on research on the Polish economy over the next 20 years.

With the Polish economic growth rate continuously rising (currently 2.4% per year), compared to its competitors, Poland is moving up the ranking of the largest economies. Poland’s success is partly based on substantial growth in investments that increase productivity. On the expenditure side, the rising income of Polish households is leading to a significant growth in consumption.

At the same time, there is a growing group of Polish companies looking for opportunities in other EU countries, including the Netherlands. Research by the German Chamber of Commerce (in 2018) into the motivation behind Polish entrepreneurs moving to Germany showed that 54% are looking for new markets, with 23% going there to acquire new skills.

Another significant group indicated that this is a necessary expansion of their activities because they are reaching their growth limits within Poland. According to Rob Ruhl, Polish entrepreneurs are also going to the Netherlands for the same reasons.