CEETRA appoints new chairmanBy Alice Brooker
Andrzej Miłaszewicz has been named the new chairman of the Central and Eastern European Travel Retail Association (CEETRA).
Miłaszewicz is the former CEO of Lagardère Duty Free Polska. His new appointment took place at the group’s annual general meeting (AGM) at Lagardère’s Warsaw offices in April.
Patrick Bohl, who served as CEETRA chairman from 2019 to 2022, will continue to support the association in the role of senior advisor.
Miłaszewicz’s career began with retail company Carrefour in the domestic market almost 30 years ago, followed by a move into travel retail at Lagardère in 2009.
He became a founder of CEETRA exactly a decade ago.
Miłaszewicz said: “Unusually for a very specialist regional and trade sector group, the war in Ukraine means CEETRA has found itself at the very forefront of global news. Across the CEETRA region it placed members at borders, airports, and train stations on the front line of the refugee crisis.
“This has been so much more than an economic or business event – it is a very tragic human story in which our members and our staff have been directly engaged with arriving refugees.”
CEETRA has carried out a number of measures in attempt to support the crisis in Ukraine, including offering restaurants and airports free food and wash facilities, and converting offices and technical buildings into accommodation.
Miłaszewicz added: “Furthermore, many Ukrainian colleagues working in CEETRA enterprises – mainly women – have had to leave behind homes and loved ones. The material and psychological impact across CEETRA members has obviously been very substantial.”
The new chairman also shared that 99% of CEETRA’s travel retail trade has ceased selling Russian alcohol, producing a stopgap for producers such as Poland’s Chopin Vodka.
“After the years of lockdown we immediately need focus our current meeting schedules on our member countries, in the EU and Balkan states, but later we obviously want to take in other states such as Georgia, Moldova – and I hope, in good time, Ukraine where travel retail will make an important financial contribution to the reconstruction of shattered airport infrastructure,” he shared.