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India-Poland A Longstanding and Harmonious Relationship

Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi holding bilateral talks with the Deputy Prime Minister of Poland, Dr. Piotr Glinski, at the Make in India Centre, in Mumbai on February 13, 2016

Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi holding bilateral talks with the Deputy Prime Minister of Poland, Dr. Piotr Glinski, at the Make in India Centre, in Mumbai on February 13, 2016India-Poland relations are deep rooted and have traditionally been close, friendly and characterized by goodwill and cooperation. There are no major disagreements of a bilateral nature, and there has been cooperation between the two countries in the international fora.

Since the 15th century, a number of Polish writers, soldiers and missionaries th have visited India. During the 19thcentury, several Sanskrit classics were translated into Polish. A “History of Ancient India” in Polish was one of the first of its kind to be published in Europe in 1820. A Chair of Sanskrit was set up at the Jagiellonian th University of Krakow as far back as 1893. At the beginning of the 20 century, the Polish painter Norblin was commissioned by the Maharaja of Jodhpur to decorate the Umaid Bhavan Palace where his painting can still be seen. Feliks Topolski’s oil painting of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination has adorned Rashtrapati Bhawan.

During World War II, the then Jam Sahib of Nawanagar had extended hospitality to some 6,000 Polish orphans released from Siberia. They had formed the World Association of Poles from India. Despite their advancing years, the members of the Association had donated funds for relief and rehabilitation after the Gujarat earthquake in January 2001.

India and Poland established diplomatic relations in 1954 and the Indian Embassy in Warsaw was opened in 1957. The two countries shared common ideological perceptions, based on their opposition to colonialism, imperialism and racism.

Economic and Commercial Cooperation

In 2013, bilateral trade was $1.961 billion (Indian exports – $1.470 billion, and Indian imports – $0.491 billion). India’s major exports have been cotton, textiles, chemical products, electromechanical appliances, vehicles, air ships and vessels. Major imports from Poland have been electromechanical appliances, mineral products, chemical products, and others.

Bilateral trade in 2014 has crossed the $2 billion mark. Indian exports to Poland between July 2015 to July 2016 was around 0.4 percent of total India’s exports valued at $739.84 million and total shipments were 143684. India’s exports to Poland in Jun 2016 has expanded to $3.4 million an increase of 5.38 percent compared to May 2016. Total export value for Poland in June 2016 was $63.32 million, and total export value for Poland in May 2016 was $59.91 million. India exports more to Poland as compared to imports.

The Indian investments in Poland are over $3 billion and include ArcelorMittal, Videocon, Escorts, Strides Arcolab, Reliance Industries, Ranbaxy, Essel Propack, KPIT Cummins, Zensar Technologies Ltd, Infosys and Wipro, Jindal Stainless, Berger Paints India, UFLEX Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, Flemingo Duty Free, Rishabh Instruments etc. The Polish companies that operate in India include Torunskie Zaklady Materialow Opatrunkowych (TZMO) in Dindigul (manufacturing hygiene sanitary products) Can-Pack Poland in Aurangabad (manufacturing metal packaging), Inglot (cosmetic products), Geofyzika (seismic surveys for oil companies).

Indian Community

Estimated at approximately 4,000, the Indian community in Poland consists of traders (textiles, garments, electronics) who came after the collapse of communism, and professionals with multinational or Indian companies and software/IT experts. There are about 60 Indian restaurants in Poland, more than 30 in Warsaw alone. The number of Indian students in Poland has grown to over 1300. Several community organisations have come up and are supported by the Embassy.

References: Embassy of India, Warsaw