3 April 2020

A Quarter-Hour with the European Financial Congress

We invite you to watch the conversation as a part of “Kwadrans z Europejskim Kongresem Finansowym” (“A Quarter-Hour with the European Financial Congress”), which was devoted to the topic of the expected economic crisis.

Małgorzata Winiarek-Gajewska, President of the Management Board of NDI Sopot S.A. talked with Beata Daszyńska-Muzyczka, President of the Management Board of Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego about the crisis related to the COVID-19 epidemic, its consequences for the Polish economy and how and whether its negative consequences can be responsibly limited.
The key question of NDI President Małgorzata Winiarek-Gajewska, as an entrepreneur, was what objectives are currently being set by the State, and whether they coincide with the expectations and needs of entrepreneurs.

Beata Daszyńska-Muzyczka pointed out that Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego is the only Polish state development bank, and its mission continues to be supporting Poland’s economic development. According to Daszyńska-Muzyczka, the challenges brought by coronavirus today are almost comparable to those which Poland faced after regaining independence, i.e. after the First World War. Although at first it could seem that the current crisis will mainly affect small and medium enterprises from the tourism and services sectors, now it is already evident that it concerns all sectors in the economy.

‘We’re all in the same boat. The economy is growing in a way that the system created by the State allows it, and the State is as strong as the entrepreneurs operating in it. These are connected vessels,’ noted the President of BGK.

Małgorzata Winiarek-Gajewska emphasised that construction remains, as one of few branches of the economy, the one that still maintains its production capacity.
‘Construction is a sector of the economy that, even before the current crisis, was treated quite often, especially by financial institutions, as the one burdened with high risk, low-margin and was generally disliked. Today, construction seems to be one of those branches, which despite huge difficulties still maintains its production capacity. This situation may and probably will change due to the availability of employees and materials, especially those imported, which will be limited, and this will have a serious impact on maintaining continuity and efficiency of production. However, in light of a significant slowdown in the branches of the economy related to services, especially those addressed directly to the population, industrial production, including construction production, seems to be key to limiting the destructive impact of coronavirus on the economy. Entrepreneurs like us are aware of this and undertake all necessary preventive and protective measures for employees and, at the same time, try to maintain production capacity at all costs. I must say that this awareness unites us all, employers and employees, contractors, suppliers, smaller and larger subcontractors. I think that the current experience changes the perspective for many of us and, as a part of this process, it will be necessary to realistically diagnose the state of our economy,’ said President Winiarek-Gajewska

During the conversation, President of BGK, Beata Daszyńska-Muzyczka, presented the first aid package, which was created to counteract the current crisis (five pillars’ package), addressed to society and enterprises, focusing primarily on ensuring employee safety, financing of entrepreneurs, safe finances and on health protection. Daszyńska-Muzyczka thinks that we should, however, also think about how to maintain the current level of development of investments, in particular public ones. The President of BGK pointed out that de minimis guarantees for small and medium-sized enterprises (loans up to PLN 3.5 million) were launched already 1.5 weeks ago and they are secured with as much as 80% guarantee of Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego. Such instruments can significantly support entrepreneurs.

According to the President of BGK, focusing only on small and medium-sized enterprises would be a mistake, as small and large enterprises are closely related. Hence the Liquidity Guarantee Fund project, addressed to larger enterprises, which may be launched as soon as in the second week of April. Daszyńska-Muzyczka also explained to viewers that loans guaranteed by BGK will be available in the offer of commercial banks, and the possibility of granting loans will be assessed by individual banks.

‘Today we are in a period of transformation of business, financial and maybe even political models, and I think that nothing will be the same,’ says Daszyńska-Muzyczka. She emphasised that companies that survive the crisis will have to rethink the effectiveness of their business models. However, every crisis creates opportunities and new possibilities.

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