Limited activity of PCCIJ and JETRO Poland?

Piotr A. Głogowski
September 16, 2019

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Limited activity of PCCIJ and JETRO Poland?

What happened? Number of entrepreneurial activities published on the official sites of PCCIJ and JETRO Poland declines. It makes impression, that both government-related chambers have not only hosted, supported or participated in fewer events, but also have decided to change their business profiles due to various reasons. Very likely because their tasks have been recently assigned to other state organizations.

Who is who The Polish Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan (PCCIJ) has been established in 2007. Its operations cover wide range of activities, such as promotion, education, analysis and information. Japan External Trade Organization is a semi-governmental organization with 73 foreign offices in 55 countries (includes 13 European states). It’s a much older organization than PCCIJ (established in 1958) and with different and strictly defined profile, focusing mostly on investments and supporting Japanese small-medium enterprises (SME). On paper the broad range of activities looks impressive, however considering the data on trade and investments between Japan and Poland the picture is less rosy. Both countries – despite friendly relations are not the most important trade partners for each other.

The possibilities Wisely and efficiently managed governmental or semi-governmental organizations could became a flywheel for trade and investments development. Especially for SME sector, which could find a lot of obstacles related to the cultural differences while entering distant markets. The role of PCCIJ is well-defined, and its support could be an invaluable help for Polish SME sector in the complex Japanese market, where cultural factors play a major role in business. That’s why with a proper coordination both organizations (PCCIJ and JETRO Poland) could succeed or at least help each other and amplify their efforts even if political factors won’t allow for a fully-fledged cooperation.

Why it matters for Poland?

The PCCIJ hasn’t published any major report in recent years –apart from severalbasic posts derived from the Embassy of Poland in Tokyo. Even though a dedicated members area has been created and there are several members listed, the actual impact of the organization on the business relations remains unknown. The reason for hiatus in publicly PCCIJ operations may be caused by overlapping competencies with other organizations operating in a governmental or public sphere such as Polish Investment and Trade Agency (PAIH), which replaced in 2017 Trade and Investment Promotion Departments (WPHI) formerly operating under umbrella of the Polish embassies around the world. The PAIH prepared an extensive report addressed to Japanese investors. Moreover, in 2016 The Polish-Asian Chamber of Commerce has been established as an initiative of Polish entrepreneurs. Even though the initiative covers Asia as a whole, it seems to have been so far a well-managed organization. In regard of two other organizations’ activities the lack of tangible JETRO’s successes in the a field of Polish-Japanese cooperation can also be surprising.

There are two main questions: 1) is it efficient (for a various of reasons) for Poland to have two overlapping government-related organizations? 2) why there are no Polish firms among those who use of JETRO’s support to set up business in Japan?