Kolhapur (Maharashtra), Sep 14 : Poland's Deputy Foreign Minister Marcin Przydacz on Saturday said that its trade with India is expected to double within the next few years.
Addressing an India-Poland Business Meet here, Przydacz said that trade between the two nations has been growing steadily and has more potential, as they celebrate the 65th anniversary of their diplomatic relations this year.
Recalling the deep emotional ties between the two countries and how India had provided refuge to the Poles during World War II, he called for further enhancing cultural and business ties.
"We plan to set up a 'Kolhapur-Poland Business Forum' (KPBF), invite Indian business community to Poland and support the idea for launching a direct flight between Warsaw and either Mumbai or Pune in Maharashtra," Przydacz said at the conclave.
Rajya Sabha MP Sambhaji Chhatrapati said that the KPBF would further strengthen the trade ties between Poland and the historic town of Kolhapur, an erstwhile royal state.
"Leaders of both countries are excited to forge collaborations and take the bilateral relationships to greater heights.
We have adopted a resolution to send a business delegation to Poland and hope for a return visit to India," Chhatrapati said.
Polish Ambassador to India, Adam Burakowski invited Indian industry to invest in Poland which continues to be India's biggest trading partner in the European Union (EU).
"Poland is the sixth biggest country in the EU, and its GDP growth almost matches that of India.
We have very good international connectivity. A recent survey has revealed that investing in Poland brings a high-level of satisfaction to the investors," he said.
LOT Polish Airlines CEO Rafal Milczarski said that resuming a direct flight between New Delhi-Warsaw after a gap of 25 years was a momentous development and urged for the need for at least one daily service connecting Warsaw with either Mumbai or Pune.
"There is immense scope for business collaboration between the two countries in the areas of Information Technology, Artificial Intelligence, textile, leather and silver industries," Milczarski said.
Concurring with the deliberations, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis' Principal Secretary Bhushan Gagrani said that the state government fully supports the idea of direct flight linking Warsaw with one destination in the state.
"Kolhapur holds immense opportunities in the area of foundry, leather and small scale industries, and exhorted Polish businesses to tap into this potential," Gagrani pointed out.
The business meeting was held to commemorate the 80th anniversary of persecuted Polish refugees fleeing from the war-torn Russia and Germany and got refuge in the former princely state of Jamnagar (Gujarat) and later in Kolhapur.
The Poles made these two towns their home for many years, and after the post-World War II situation normalized, returned to Poland, but did not forget their strong ties here.
A group of young Poles, who had spent a few years as young children here during those days at the Valivade Polish settlement, have also come to Kolhapur to relive their wartime memories when they were sheltered by the Indians.