An international event known as The 60 Million Congress was opened in August in Poland’s northern coastal city of Gdansk. The event brings together social activists, politicians, and business people in a massive networking convention.
Fifth Largest Diaspora
Emigration and exodus mean that the Polish diaspora is one of the largest in the world. The country has a population of 40 million people. Still, there are at least half as many people of Polish descent living around the world again. The co-founder of The 60 Million Congress (also known as the Global Polonia Summit) is Gregory Fryc.
“The 60 Million Congress is a business initiative aimed at connecting Poland with the Polish diaspora. We have 40 million Polish people living in Poland and 20 million people of Polish descent living outside of Poland. Two hundred years of immigration, exodus, and wars created this huge diaspora, so it is actually the fifth-largest diaspora.”
Reaching Out to Build Connections
The idea of the Congress is to connect the people of the diaspora with Poland the country on a business level. Fryc said that Poland was actually a nation of 60 million people, 10 million of whom live in the United States. The summit is trying to change the worldview of Poland. There are Polish communities all over the US and Canada. Nevada, Chicago, Detroit, Miami, and Toronto are places with particularly high numbers. The Congress aims to connect and work with these communities’ chambers of commerce and local leadership.
Zbigniew Klonowski, head of the Congress organizing committee, said that the primary goal of the 60 Million Congress is to make use of the relations between Poles and the global diaspora. They aim to come together in joint undertakings focusing on business collaborations. The summit in Gdansk was the second meeting of the year. A similar congress took place in Miami back in February.
One area that Poland has particularly flourished in in recent decades has been the tech industry. As a result, Poland has a disproportionate number of highly qualified tech innovators, specialist gaming and igaming innovators, and business start-ups.
According to data released by the PKO BP banks, Poland is the world’s fourth largest exporter of video games. These exports are valued at @1.24 billion and account for 6.5% of global sales. They are most popular in UK, Germany, and Sweden. On the other hand, the US is the world’s largest importer of video games, and any connection that would foster the links between Poland and the USA would benefit the Polish economy.
One of the main drivers of the success is The Witcher video game franchise. The games are based on a series of fantasy novels by Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski. The games have been developed by CD Projekt Red, Poland’s leading game studio. Since the first game was launched in 2007, over 40 million units have sold worldwide. The expertise from video game development has also fueled advances in the games available in Polish online casinos. As the US gambling market opens up, tech entrepreneurs will have many more opportunities.
Yachting and Real Estate
Another area the summit is keen to explore revolves around the island of Puerto Rico. During and post-pandemic, many affluent people of Polish descent who were active on Wall Street moved to the Caribbean island. The summit is keen to build relationships with these wealthy individuals who will need business partners. Historically, the Puerto Rican economy has been based on manufacturing (mainly petrochemicals and pharmaceuticals), tourism, and hospitality. Klonowski said they are keen to create connections with the island state based on yachting and real estate.
Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the USA, which lies approximately 1,600 km southeast of Miami, Florida, in the northeast Caribbean Sea. The US acquired Puerto Rico in 1898 following the Spanish-American war. Since 1917 Puerto Ricans have been able to claim US citizenship, and its inhabitants can move freely between the island and the mainland.
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