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Thursday, 26 April 2018

President at US-Poland Business Summit

  |   President Andrzej Duda at US-Poland Business Summit President Andrzej Duda at US-Poland Business Summit President Andrzej Duda at US-Poland Business Summit President Andrzej Duda at US-Poland Business Summit


Ladies and Gentlemen,


I am really happy that such a unique group of businesspeople and government officials is meeting today to discuss the development of economic cooperation between Poland and the United States. The 100th anniversary of Poland regaining its independence, which we proudly celebrate this year, is not only a good reason for making analyses and summaries, but also gives us a wonderful opportunity to look ahead, set new goals and design plans for achieving them in the coming years.


Your presence here clearly confirms that the strategic alliance between Poland and the United States, besides its crucial security dimension, has another, equally important, pillar – economic cooperation. Thank you for gathering here to look for ways of developing it further.


Ladies and Gentlemen,


I am very happy to see us meeting at the 3rd US Poland Business Summit in Warsaw. Right from the outset of my presidency, I decided that one of the priority goals of my international activity will be to promote Poland’s economic interests world-wide and to attract to Poland solid foreign partners. Obviously, a major thrust of this effort has been directed at the United States. I have good memories of my meeting with the American business community during my visits to New York: back in 2016 when I had a lecture on Polish-American economic and defense cooperation at the meeting organized by the US Chamber of Commerce; or in 2017 as I met representatives of the biggest investment funds, and among them particularly private equity or venture capital funds.


It is gratifying to see that my work yields tangible results as your companies undertake investments in Poland. We are partners in security, we are partners in business. And now and then we are also partners in security business as many companies represented in this room will know. This is because we profess the shared values of freedom, enterprise, and trust. That is why we may state with satisfaction that bilateral economic cooperation between Poland and the United States shows dynamic development. In spite of physical distance between us, the United States is one of the biggest trading partners for Polish business outside the European Union. This is due to the massive scale of the American market but also due to the technological advancement and innovation of the US economy. Owing to increased cooperation with such partners, Poland is able to ensure itself a fast-track sustainable economic growth for many years to come.


With pride we acknowledge the results achieved last year: the record-breaking one in terms of volume of trade done between Poland and the United States. It grew by almost 22 percent. The exports of Polish goods to the United States has recorded an imposing growth of almost 27,9 percent, i.e. 1.34 billion USD, this according to the Central Statistical Office data. Also, the volume of US supplies of goods to Poland was not lagging far behind: growing by 16, 5 percent, i.e. 910 million USD. Thanks to this, Poland moved upward on the list of US trading partners, boasting one of the highest percentage growths in terms of trade value.


Ladies and Gentlemen, I wish to make it clear that despite these encouraging reports, the present scale of trade done between our two respective countries does not yet match the level of our ambitions and our expectations. Bearing in mind Poland’s fast growing economic potential I do believe that we should strive to at least double the present volume of trade in the nearest future. Ambitious as the goal is, I am persuaded that it is absolutely feasible. In order to be able to achieve that it is absolutely necessary to eliminate the existing barriers in market access and to refrain from creation of new ones. I do understand President Donald Trump’s solicitude for American jobs and his concern with the trade imbalance with many countries. Nevertheless, I am still firmly convinced that deepening cooperation between Poland and the United States will not to be a source of any new problems and will yield abundant mutual benefits, contributing to job creation on both sides of the Atlantic.

Our investment cooperation occupies a special place in the overall remit of our economic relations. American investments in Poland have been and continue to be an important driving force of the country‘s development. Not only do they contribute to creation of new jobs and increased standard of living of the Polish people but also, equally importantly, to the transfer to Poland of modern technologies and to in-depth modernization of our economy. What is particularly satisfying is the fact that the companies who have once invested in Poland almost always tend to expand their area operation and reinvest profits made in this country. Today’s presence at the Summit of representatives of many American corporations that for three decades have been running their operations in Poland speaks volumes about their success.

Likewise, it is gratifying that Polish investments in the United States have been growing at a very good pace in the recent years. Next to companies such as: Com40, Selena or Inglot who have already firmly taken root in the United States, also Polish firms from the IT sector, biotechnology, medicine or space technology seek opportunities for themselves on the US market. We hope that such cooperation will continue and will contribute to the development of our economies on the two sides of the Atlantic.


In this vein, the recent establishment of the Polish Chamber of Commerce in the United States has been a landmark event. Hand in hand with Polish diplomatic posts and with the branches of the Polish Investments and Trade Agency, the new organization will substantially contribute to our effort to support the presence of Polish companies on the American market. I am confident that as much is the US Chamber of Commerce in Poland, the popularly nicknamed AmCham, and the US Poland Business Council, also the Polish Chamber of Commerce in the United States will feature importantly in promoting further dynamic development of trade and investment relations.


As we think about business cooperation with the United States, we want to focus more attention on our contacts with individual states. This is precisely the level where genuine economic cooperation unfolds, and each state offers its unique specificity, different possibilities and shows different perspectives. Quite recently, I had the pleasure of meeting the Governor of Illinois with whom I spoke about the possibilities to expand business relations with his state, and the prospects seemed particularly encouraging. Similar cooperation develops with other states, such as such as Nevada, Indiana, Washington, Ohio, Virginia or Texas, to mention just a few. We are always ready to host in Poland business delegations from those states and other states as well. Moreover, we will also lend our support to Polish companies interested in forging business contacts in various regions of the United States.


Ladies and Gentlemen,

Poland highly values energy cooperation with the United States. One of priorities of the Polish authorities is to further enhance this cooperation. I welcome our converging perspectives on energy security, which must be underpinned by diversification of directions, sources and suppliers, as well as reinforcement of the domestic production capacities. Despite many instances of considerable success in this area, including the launch of the LNG Terminal Swinoujscie, bearing the name of President Lech Kaczynski Terminal, or the Baltic Pipe project which is underway, we need to step up our efforts to make this region free from the monopolist from the East.


In the area of energy, the United States and Poland share their critical views of the Nord Stream 2 project: a venture which would undermine energetic solidarity in Europe and would give even more strength to the consolidated market position secured by a single supplier to the European market. Poland consistently advocates a model of diversified energy supplies to Europe, and of forging an authentic energy cohesion in our region. That is why we made energy one of the three basic pillars of the Three Seas Initiative which gathers 12 countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Its aim is to build a network of infrastructure connections and energy grids along the North-South axis.  This will allow to achieve a regional value-added effect for our region in the European Union.


The attendance of last year’s Three Seas Initiative Summit in Warsaw by US President Donald Trump generated growing interest among American business operators in the Initiative, which is often seen as a gateway to Central and Eastern European markets. This year’s Bucharest Summit will be accompanied by a large-scale Business Forum with more than half a thousand participants willing to attend. I wish to encourage also your companies to visit the Forum this autumn.


Coming to the close, last but not least, I would like to emphasize that in view of the broad scope of Polish-American economic cooperation, we are gratified by the unceasing and friendly support lent by partners such as the US Chamber of Commerce in Warsaw, and the US Poland Business Council, both being the organizers of our today’s event.


I wish to thank for the effort invested in the preparation of the 3rd US Poland Business Summit and I wish you fruitful deliberations and productive meetings which will serve to further enhance business relations between Poland and the United States.


Thank you very much.

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