1951 when the first Chinese – foreign company Chipolbrok was established. Chipolbrok established the first headquarter in Shanghai, the second one was set up in Gdynia. In the mid-80s of last century an agreement on the establishment of friendly relations was signed between Gdansk and Shanghai.It has been an oldest contract between Polish and Chinese cities. The cooperation developed mainly in fields of culture and sport. Over time it spread to fields of education and economy. Pomorskie region main role in Polish – Chinese relations has been confirmed by the establishment of a diplomatic representative in Gdansk. It is the second only city, after Warsaw, where the People’s Republic of China has its’ diplomatic mission. Here are the most important historical facts from Pomorskie – Chinese cooperation:
XII 2004 r. – trade mission to Shanghai was organized by the Marshal’s Office. It was attended by several companies from Pomorskie. Each of the Pomorskie companies held a meeting with Chinese partners. Many of these discussions resulted in agreements on further joint activities, and one of the companies – Intermarine - opened a representative office in Shanghai.
X 2005 r. – cooperation between our province and the City of Shanghai was established. At the invitation of the Marshal of the PomorskieProvince - Jan Kozlowski – an official delegation from Shanghai was sent, led by Vice President Tang Dengjie. The delegation was accompanied by Shanghainese entrepreneurs and representatives of business support institutions ( China Council for the Promotion of International Trade-CCPIT). The delegation also included people representing various fields of social and economic life in China.
IX 2006 r. – visit of Shanghai Inland Revenue led by its’ director. For purpose of examining the effects of the Polish tax system, the Marshal's Office has organized meetings with representatives of Inland Revenue and Treasury Control Office.
III 2007 r. – official visit of Pomorskie's Officials (Marshal Jan Kozlowski, president of Gdansk city Pawel Adamowicz and president of Sopot city) in Szanghai on the occasion of unveiling of Chopin’s monument. The monument was designed by Mrs. Lu Pin, who studied at the Fine Arts Academy in Poland and was granted the Pomorskie Marshal’s scholarship. The delegation was accompanied by the president of Balex Metal company, which supplies steel at one of the biggest Chinese ironworks BAOSHAN IRON & STEEL CO., LTD.
2008 r. – delegation from Beijing Development Research Center of the State Council. Delegation was mainly interested in Polish and Pomorskie experiences with local development as a member of the European Union.
I 2009 r. – Pomorskie Development Agency signed an agreement to set up Pomorskie Office China in Beijing. The purpose of cooperation with the Pomorskie Office China in Beijing is to fulfill the mission of Pomorskie Development Agency: to support small and medium-sized businesses from Pomorskie Province and promotion in China. One of the main purposes of the Pomorskie Office is to mediate in establishing business contacts between companies and entrepreneurs from Pomorskie and local Chinese business organizations.
V 2009 r. – seminar "Hong Kong, the gateway to the Chinese market" was held in the Artus Court in Gdansk. It was organized by Marshal’s Office Department of Foreign Cooperation, the city of Gdansk and Hong Kong Trade Development Council-HKTDC). The meeting’s main purpose was promotion of trade cooperation between Pomorskie region and Hong Kong. The seminar was attended by about 150 entrepreneurs interested in cooperation with Chinese companies.
VI 2010 r. – marine trade mission within the EXPO exhibition. 11 enterprises from Pomorskie region promote this particular economic sector at world exposition.
IX 2010 r. – visit of over 40-peoples delegation of Pomeranian Province during the world exposition EXPO 2010 in Szanghai. Four industry seminars and performances introduced Pomeranian potential on different fields (economic, environmental protection, education and tourism). Marshal Mieczyslaw Struk, vice-president of Gdansk city Wieslaw Bielawski, vice-president of Gdynia city Marek Stepa. Vice-president of Slupsk city Andrzej Kaczmarczyk were welcomed by Han Zheng – Mayer of Szanghai and by president of the Shanghainese branch of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade –CCPIT.
IX 2010 r. – trade mission of Pomeranian IT enterprises on Investment Fair in Xiamen and on EXPO 2010 in Szanghai. The mission eas organized by GARG and PSSE.
XI 2010 r. – visit of the Vice-Marshal of the Pomorskie Province Wieslaw Byczkowski and a representative of Pomorskie Development Agency in Beijing and Szanghai within the investment mission organized by PAIiIZ.
V 2011 r. – on 4th Pomorskie Civic Congress Plenary Session a letter of Intent about establishing Pomorskie representative in China was signed. Document was signed not only by the Province’s Marshal, presidents of Tricity and Slupsk city, but also by presidents of special economic zones, business organizations and business support institutions.
VI 2011 r. – representatives of Pomorskie Province’s Marshal’s Office visited Shanghai and Chongqing within a trade mission organized by PAIiIZ.
XI 2011 r. – signing an agreement about cooperation between Pomorskie Special Economic Zone, represented by president Teresa Kaminska and Zhuhai city represented by vice-mayor of Zhuhai city – Chen Honghui. The main purpose of the contract is to increase cooperation between economic zones and harbors of both regions (Gaolan harbor is an important port in South China).
XII 2011 r. – Marshal Mieczyslaw Struk and president of DCT Boris Wenzel took a part in official visit of The Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski in PRC. During Investment Forum in Shanghai and Economic Forum in Beijing they presented benefits of investments and tourism in Pomorskie region. Representatives of the University of Gdansk and the Gdansk University of Technology presented education offer of our Voivodeship at the 1st Polish- Chinese Forum of Rectors of Schools.
VII 2012 r. – representatives of Deepwater Container Terminal - DCT Gdansk and delegations from Port of Gdansk, Port of Gdynia and Port Szczecin-Swinoujscie with Chinese-Polish Joint Stock Shipping Company in Shanghai “Chipolbrok” accompanied Minister of Transport, Construction and Maritime Economy Slawomir Nowak during his official visit in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing. During the visit Pomorskie-Chinese investments in seaports and logistics were widely discussed.
X 2012 r. – Minister of Economy Waldemar Pawlak officially declared that Pomorskie Special Economic Zone is a dedicated localization for Chinese investments in Poland. Minster therefore appreciated its activity in cooperation with China.
IV 2013 r. - 1st Regional Forum Poland China took place. This unprecedented in the history of both countries event was held in Gdansk. In the initiative aimed at giving a new impetus to regional cooperation in the economic, tourism and education 54 cities’ representatives and delegations from 31 Chinese provinces and autonomous regions arrived. The honorary patronage was Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski.
X 2013 r. - A trade mission of Pomorskie Voivodeship representatives to China. Officials from the Voivodeship Office and eleven companies visited Beijing, Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Hong Kong promoting investing in the region. During the visit both, semianars and official meetings were held.
Along with changes in Polish political system and China opening up to the world, economic and education began to play a larger role in Polish-Chinese relations. In this situation bilateral contacts became more intense, focused on achieving measurable effects. Here are examples of companies which succeeded on Chinese market:
Chipolbrok is a very important example of Pomorskie-Chinese relations. The company was founded in order to ship goods between China and Poland. At first it owned only 6 ships. Within over 50 years the company grew and adjust to needs of modern market. Nowadays, Chipolbrok is transporting goods using over 20 modern ships.
Secespol company from 2006 still supplies Chinese market in goods from refrigeration and chemical industry, as well as complex solutions from heating infrastructure sector and drug industry. In 2012 Secespol established a JV company with its local partner in Jinan (Shandong province). It's main purpose is selling company’s products in South-East Asia Region.
Jewellery company S&A its presence on Chinese market started in 2004 during trade mission. Company took part in EXPO 2010 exposition in Shanghai. Currently company from Gdynia has over 70 selling points in China. Jewellery designed especially for Chinese customers is 30% of all export sales.
Sunreef Yachts – company from Gdansk, specializing in design and construction of catamarans and luxury yachts in 2013 opened its Sales Office in Shanghai. The office monitors marketing and sales actions in China and Hong Kong.
Deepwater Container Terminal Gdansk (DCT) – in 2009, 2 years after foundation, the company opened the first direct connection between China and Poland. Nowadays, it is the biggest (over 900 000 TEU in 2012) and the fastest growing polish terminal with the most modern technical facilities. Since August 2013 connection Gdansk – Ningbo operated by MAERSK connection will support world biggest container ships (18 000 TEU). In 2016 the second terminal will be ready to use. Developing infrastructure creates an opportunity of becoming a hub for Chinese goods sent to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.
Pomorskie – Chinese cooperation is also manifested through signing cooperation agreements between sister-cities.
2005 – beginning of relations between Sopot city and district of Shanghai-Changning. A number of mutual visits resulted in the transfer of a bronze statue of Frederic Chopin. The statue of composer stood in Changning Zhongshan Park in 2007.
2006 – City of Gdynia signed a five-year cooperation agreement with the city of Haikou. Haikou is located on the island of Hainan - the largest Special Economic Zone in China. This cooperation proceeded on fields of economic development, promotion of culture, education, tourism and environmental protection.
2007 – establishment of official ties with the City of Slupsk and Chinese city of Xiamen. The Chinese delegation got acquainted with investment opportunities in Slupsk Special Economic Zone.
2010 - Starogard City initiated a cooperation with the city of Foshan – one of five cities in China with the highest economic growth dynamics.
In addition to the activities in the field of economics, Polish-Chinese cooperation in the field of education is growing rapidly:
In 2006 Regional Government and the Marshal's Office support Medical University of Gdansk’s choir, which won the highest awards (Gold and Silver Medal) at the Choir Olympics in Xiamen.
University of Gdansk started its cooperation with China in 2006. Presently, university cooperates with 6 Chinese universities. In December 2007 university appreciated the work and contributions of professor Yi Lijun from Beijing University of Foreign Languages, honouring her with a degree honoris causa. Professor Yi Lijun is known as the ambassador of Polish literary culture in China. The university supports opening Polish Studies departments in China. In 2009 under university’s patronage Polish philology was open at the Department of Slavic Languages at the University of Harbin. This is the second Polish philology opened in China (after the Beijing University of Foreign Languages).
University of Gdansk is hosting a few delegations from China every year. The most significant was visit of a Vice-Minister of Education of PRC Du Yubo. During the visit rules about Chinese assistance in opening Sinology at the University of Gdansk were established. Opening is planned on May 2013. Nowadays, 76 Chinese students attend University of Gdansk. Most of them study English philology at Faculty of Languages and International Business at the Faculty of Economics
Since 2007 Gdansk University of Technology hosts students from China. Presently, over 70 Chinese are studying at the Faculty of Management and Economy. In December 2012 University signed an agreement with Shanghai Normal University. It concerns the cooperation between faculties of management and economic of both universities.
The Stanislaw Moniuszko Academy of Music offers training for Chinese students. Currently around 30 students from all over the China attends music classes at the Academy. Most popular is piano class, probably because of Chinese fascination with works of Frederic Chopin.
Medical University of Gdansk and Gdansk University of Physical Education and Sport are taking actions to admit Chinese students from new academic year 2013.
(Last update: November 26th, 2014)