Supporting our customers in the development of foreign trade remains an important aspect of our cooperation. Our ambition is to become the first bank in foreign trade in Poland and the bank of first choice among corporations dealing with export and import.
In 2017, we continued the Export Development Programme, aimed at educating the entrepreneur market on the benefits of foreign expansion, and demonstrating specific solutions facilitating such development.
The programme leverages the opportunities created by the power and geographical presence of the Santander Group as well as international tools and solutions offered within the Group (Santander Trade, Santander Trade Club, Santander Passport, Santander Network, International Desk and International Business).
We carry out the Export Development Programme in partnership with companies that also have an offer addressed to importers and exporters but are not competitors. The programme in 2017 was organised in cooperation with Bisnode, KUKE, KPMG and PAIiH, and specific events were attended by special partners chosen depending on the topic (e.g. Deloitte, Mintel).
Topics and activities appreciated by the entrepreneurs participating in the Export Development Programme:
- practical assistance in finding business partners,
- transaction security and insurance,
- workshops dedicated to specific sectors,
- institutional support from the government
- sharing business experience with other companies,
- information about foreign markets, assistance in assessing the market and local support,
- export of services,
- assistance in obtaining certificates and patents.
In 2017, the programme reached more than 1,400 Polish companies – our customers from the corporate banking segment.
In 2017, the 5th and 6th editions of the programme were held, addressing the following issues:
- Trade corridors – that is, markets considered strategically advantageous, which currently include Germany, the UK, Spain, South America and China. We have dedicated experts in international business to these markets and initiated competence and knowledge building. We help Polish companies, which are already operating in those markets and those that are only considering expanding to those markets, to trade and invest.
In 2017, there was a series of meetings held in Poland attended by representatives of Santander UK, Santander Germany and our external partners related to the Chinese market (Mazars), which were dedicated to the British, German and Chinese markets, respectively.
- Strategic sectors – We initiate activities and events focusing on new food trends and the TSL sector (Transport, Shipping, Logistics).
In 2017, we organised meetings in Wrocław, Poznań and Warsaw for food processors, entitled “Functional Food: Fad or Future of the Industry?” The subjects discussed during these meetings included practical aspects of implementing manufacturing lines for organic products or products containing ingredients for specific consumer groups, trends on foreign markets and the resulting opportunities for Polish exporters of functional food.
Additionally, we presented a report we commissioned about new food trends entitled, “Innovation vs. Health. Opportunities for Food Brands.” The meetings were attended by nearly 60 entrepreneurs.
For the TSL sector, we organised a conference in Gdańsk, called “Searching for the Best Route – Meeting of Transport Sector Leaders.” The participants addressed such topics as Brexit and industry EU regulations, which spark fierce debates throughout Europe. The driver-deficit problem was also discussed. Workshops were attended by several leaders from the industry.
As part of the Export Development Programme, in 2017 we organised numerous workshops and trade missions – outgoing, incoming and virtual (in the form of webinars and/or video conferences) to selected countries. Here are a few of these initiatives:
- An outgoing trade mission accompanying the official visit of the President of Poland, Andrzej Duda to Mexico took place in May and was attended by 20 of our corporate customers from various sectors. The Polish entrepreneurs in the company of the bank representatives and their Mexican partners participated in bilateral meetings, had a chance to meet potential local trade partners and took part in workshops organised together by our bank and Santander Mexico on the potential trade cooperation between the two markets. This trade mission is an element of a broader program of our bank’s cooperation with the Polish Investment and Trade Agency.
- An outgoing trade mission to the UK for our corporate customers from the cosmetics industry took place in October. The initiative was supported by Santander UK and OCO & DIT.
- A networking session in the form of a webinar for our customers – Polish food and beverage producers with Chinese distributors was held in November 2017. The participating partners included: Santander Asia, Bank of Shanghai, PAITH (Trade Office in Shanghai).
- A networking session for Polish furniture manufacturers with entrepreneurs from the UK took place in November 2017. Santander UK was the partner of this virtual meeting.