1st European Congress for SME inaugurated

A plenary session attended by Donald Tusk, Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland, Jerzy Buzek, President of the European Parliament, City and regional authorities opened today the first European Congress for Small and Medium – Size Enterprises in the Krystyna Bochenek’s Katowice Center of Culture. An organizer of the event, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) in Katowice, is expecting about 2500 guests.

Topics discussed throughout 30 sessions focus on the analysis of the present condition of small and medium – size enterprises in Poland and in the EU. However, an interest in the topics is also visible among non-EU members. “The Congress is visited by 23 foreign delegations including 8 from the eastern countries” – said Tadeusz Donocik, President of the CCI. “We are going to gather conclusions concerning ideas and remarks about the Polish SME sector pointed out during the event which will be formulated by specialists and delivered as recommendations to the authorities of the Republic of Poland” – Donocik explained.

Small and medium – size enterprises are the largest group of Polish companies, a major employer offering jobs for more than 60% of employees and they form a sector which generates nearly one half of the Polish GDP. “There are almost half of million companies registered in the Silesian Voivodeship, most of them are categorized as small or medium – size businesses. When we proudly say that Poland faced the global economic downturn, we all see how important was small and medium – size entrepreneurs’ self-confidence” – said Donald Tusk, Prime Minister of Poland.

Leading figures of country’s politics, local administration, academia and business persons of many countries will discuss during two days of the congress (6th -7th of October) a development of European funds allocated for enhancement of competitiveness, role of business environment and local administration in creation of conditions and instruments to develop and strengthen the potential of this sector, the international character of the Polish SME as well as cooperation of science and business for innovative economy.

“99% of all companies operating in the EU are the small and medium – size enterprises which employ more than 74 million people. Today such organizations generate approximately 60% of the Community GDP and offer nearly 70% of work places in the European Union. They are the source of innovation, initiative and economic growth” – said Jerzy Buzek, President of the European Parliament.

The Congress is accompanied by Business Expo – an exhibition presenting the offer of organizations and institutions dedicated to the sector of small and medium – size enterprises. An aim of the fair is to create a platform to establish contacts and exchange experiences between entrepreneurs and organization supporting business. The Expo was inaugurated by Waldemar Pawlak, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy.

Moreover, the Internet Revolution (“Internetowa Rewolucja”) park is situated on Sejmu Śląskiego Square. The organizers of the action are Google, PKPP Lewiatan and home.pl. The event is held under the patronage of the Ministry of Economy. Participants have an opportunity to, among others: register an Internet address (domain) for free, create a web page, put a business card in the Internet maps, try out a commercial campaign in the Internet.