Start spreading the news
I am leaving today
I want to be a part of it
New York, New York
It’s hard to believe anyone might not remember this tune, but all you have to do to recall it now is type twice into a search engine the name of the city – the one that appears in the last line. One click and you’re away …
I wanna wake up, in a city
That doesn’t sleep
And find I’m king of the hill
Top of the heap
Surely I am not the only one who, while walking around New York, can’t resist the urge to hum this Frank Sinatra’s song. Is there any other place where the song would sound better than in the city to which it was dedicated, better than in Manhattan or Wall Street? How many of those who have arrived at these shores in the last quarter-century would have said to themselves I’ll make a brand new start of it in old New York!How many of those who have paced up and down Wall Street would have drawn strength from If I can make it there I’ll make it anywhere!
New York … a city where you can start all afresh, a city of success.
I’ve come to New York at the invitation of the Global Technology Distribution Council. The name of the organization speaks for itself. The Council is made up of members (including ABC Data) whose combined annual revenues exceed 130 billion dollars. At the current US dollar exchange rate, that’s much more than annual revenues of Poland. And since getting this sector of industry to invest in Poland and in the region (i.e. CEE) would make good business sense, you shouldn’t be surprised that that’s precisely what I want to do. Big business could do worse than take a closer look at Poland. The time is ripe indeed! All the more so because some local companies are fast gaining upon the multinationals, not in terms of their global reach perhaps but certainly when it comes to the style of management.
At this point I am reminded of an old well-known comedy feature film whose characters heard during their trip to Chicago that everything was bigger in America than anywhere else. Well, exactly! The New York stock exchange is worth 70 times more than the Warsaw stock exchange. In fact, it’s no surprise that global investors think of Poland as a so-called emerging market – a market which will come of age only in some more or less distant future. Put simply, developing is not exactly a sought-after compliment, equivalent to a promise of We’ll call you from the lips of a potential employer.
Can the stock market be the measure of everything though? From the market’s giants’ point of view, Poland has been a emerging market at least as far back as I remember. It was developing in the 90’s and it is developing today. As if nothing has changed since then! The Warsaw stock exchange (GPW) has had its ups and downs. The fact that recent valuations have not been terribly successful (many investors are giving GPW a wide berth) means only one thing to me – the market has a lot of potential! I can only think of the investors’ tastes as being very peculiar. Trotting out hackneyed comparisons, one might say: Yes, my dears, there are a lot of bears in Warsaw. They grapple with the bulls on the floor every day. And for this reason, a lot of interesting companies end up on the private equity market.
Talking of absurd stereotypes, the potential investors should ask themselves whether the Polish economy would be in such good shape as it is now if it didn’t offer investment conditions which meet the most stringent European standards. Could we have attracted the European giants without having first satisfied those requirements? Could dynamic and thrusting Polish companies be highly-regarded partners in international business? Know this: Poland is not Eastern Europe, nor Central and Eastern Europe either. Poland is at the heart of Europe.
It is this kind of vision of the Polish economy we must bring investors round to seeing. We don’t want them to have a vision of Poland tainted by outdated stereotypes, resembling sometimes, if you pardon my comparison, medieval superstitions. We want them to have a true vision of our country. And if I have a chance to do my bit, I will do my best to make it clear that it is not only in New York but also in Warsaw where everything is possible.
Why shouldn’t Warsaw inspire the sentiments reserved here for New York:
New York, New York
I want to wake up in that city
That never sleeps
And find we are number one
Top of the list
King of the hill
For Frank Sinatra’s wonderful New York, New York, go to:
An earlier rendition of the same song from Martin Scorsese’s movie New York, New York (197) by Liza Minelli can be found here:
The comedy I refer to here is none other than Kochaj albo rzuć, directed by Sylwester Chęciński. By a strange coincidence, this movie too was released in 1977. Here is the link:
Global Technology Distribution Council:
The New York stock exchange: