On Tuesday morning, the two presidents opened a forum on joint transport and energy projects. Then Andrzej Duda and Volodymyr Zelensky oversaw the signing of a cooperation agreement between the Polish Baltic Sea coastal Port of Gdansk and the Port of Odessa.
See also: Polish, Ukrainian presidents sign joint declaration President highlights importance of truth about Katyn Massacre for Poland Addressing the forum, Andrzej Duda underscored the importance of infrastructure for streamlining Polish-Ukrainian cooperation, such as roads, bridges, border crossings, railway lines and ports. His words were later echoed by Zelensky.
Recalling the Polish-Ukrainian trade value of EUR 7.7 bln reached in 2019, Andrzej Duda said that this year's coronavirus pandemic dented both Polish and Ukrainian mutual exports.
Andrzej Duda said that Poland with 38 million consumers and Ukraine with 42 are huge European markets. He told Zelensky that Poland will support Ukraine's ambitions to become a key transport hub in Eastern Europe. He said Polish and Ukrainian land and sea terminals have the potential to attract customers from Western Europe, Scandinavia and Turkey and can also handle trade with East Asia.
Turning to his country, Andrzej Duda said Poland wanted to make the Port of Gdansk the leader on the Baltic Sea.
Volodymyr Zelensky, putting the value of Polish direct investments in Ukraine at USD 800 mln, called upon Polish businesses to intensify their Ukrainian investments and take part in the country's privatisation process. "Successful Polish business in Ukraine and Ukrainian in Poland is a signal for everyone who has chosen to wait and see and has doubts or those who are waiting for better times," Zelensky said.
Zelensky also said he and Duda had discussed the problems that Ukrainian hauliers face when applying for Polish transit permits and urged Warsaw not to see Ukrainians as rivals but as friends and partners.