Less fun with red tape

Alan Heath
02-08-2002, 00:00

Foreign investment agency PAIZ has proposed legal changes which would facilitate both foreign and domestic investors to get necessary permits quicker. Currently they may have to wait up to six months to start trading.

The greatest problems are those associated with real estate. PAIZ would like to see a month month time limit on the question of property acquisition formalities. Outside the special economic zones this can take half a year. Another area of problem has been that of environmental protection where the law is unclear.

Antoni Styrczula, the head of PAIZ, notes that one investment can require an application being returned up to ten times.

Construction regulations need each investment to go through the entire administrative process at least twice. Before anything gets built a year can go by.

Foreign investors who were promised to be treated on a tax free basis if they placed money in this country need to get what they paid for in the opinion of PAIZ. Following changes in the law, businesses in the special economic zones are now being charged rates. One example is Isuzu which has been charged rates by the local authorities in Tychy. Antoni

Styrczula says that it took a lot of effort for Isuzu not to pay but due to all the hassle they had they feel cheated.

Another problem is the changes in labour law which require work permits for board members or people in managerial positions. This requires a good deal of effort and patience by the time everything is sorted out.

But sometimes it is better to be a foreigner. Foreign companies can import assets such as machinery without paying tax but domestic firms have to pay customs duty thus hindering modernisation.

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