The second POLRISK conference provides an opportunity to look at how risk management is evolving, Poland’s corporate governance aspirations and rules governing intermediaries, and the risks and opportunities presented by Euro 2012

Of all the eastern European countries, Poland is probably the one that has shown the greatest impetus in creating relationships with western Europe and in developing a corporate methodology that reflects western practice

Many western countries recognise that Polish educational standards and expectations are superior to their own, while the national work ethic matches anything that western countries produce. It is no coincidence that western European countries have welcomed immigrant Polish workers. They can compete incredibly well against local work forces that have grown complacent. For example, it is estimated that since Poland joined the EU, some one million Poles have moved to Britain.

The Polish corporate environment has, however, some catching up to do. The new government, elected in November last year, has pledged to get the economy into shape, cut bureaucracy and make it easier to set up in business.

Until a few years ago, the regime in Poland was not conducive to risk management. However, with growing investment and consumption, and the emergence of vibrant young Polish companies, this is changing. Risk management is beginning to become a big issue in Poland. Bearing in mind the resourcefulness of the people, they could well be teaching the west a thing or two once they get to grips with it!

For example, I find it really interesting that most of the contributors to this supplement are not extolling the process of Polish risk management but are getting to grips with issues in Poland that they are dissatisfied with. Dissatisfaction is a good sign. We could do with more of that in the west. Poland is at the cusp of major development. Clever companies headed by clever people are about to give their western European counterparts a run for their money. And some of the counter indications for investing in Poland are going to disappear. EURO2012 is going to give a huge boost to the infrastructure with some much needed development investment.