XVI International Forum “Polish-Ukrainian Business Days”
The forum held within the walls of the Warsaw School of Economics and was inaugurated by a panel with the participation of, among others, the Ambassador of Ukraine Vasyl Zwarycz, PAIH’s board member Zdzisław Sokal, as well as representatives of Poland’s Ministry of Development and Technology and members of Ukraine ‘s State administration. The discussion was devoted to the challenges and prospects of cooperation between the two countries in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Ambassador Vasyl Zwarycz stressed that it is of great importance for the functioning of the State during the war to maintain a functioning economy. He noted that Russia’s aggression resulted in even closer economic cooperation with Poland. He also reminded the participants that despite the ongoing war, Ukraine has become a candidate for joining the European Union and has joined the European Energy Network. He also spoke about the importance of institutional economic support from Poland and assistance from Polish business in the face of the humanitarian crisis.
Despite the war, we have had an increase in our trade exchange. We are also constantly working on increasing the capacity of border crossings in order to improve the checks on rail transport, which now, due to the war, is how most trade takes place. We see very concrete examples of our cooperation and the we have the will to continue to strengthen this. We are also talking about the participation of Polish companies in the reconstruction of Ukraine – said Zdzisław Sokal, a member of PAIH’s Management Board, who reminded that the Agency started helping Ukraine immediately after the start of the war in February of this year.
At the same time, he emphasized his commitment to creating programs and workshops for entrepreneurs, sharing Polish experience and supporting the creation of SMEs in Ukraine as a factor of economic growth.
We should create conditions for the creation of joint ventures. It is important that after the end of the war, the Ukrainian economy is competitive in Europe. We also need to know what criteria we will adopt for assessing the effectiveness of investments. Our strengths should be the driving force of our growth – he concluded.
Tomasz Salomon from the Ministry of Development and Technology admitted that this year the Ministry has noted that exports and imports between the two countries are very dynamic. As an example of cooperation of Polish companies for a stronger presence in Ukraine, he cited the fact that in August Polish companies created a consortium, currently implementing the construction of two hospitals in Ukraine. Halyna Yanchenko, Secretary of the National Investment Council under the President of Ukraine, stressed that Poland is the most important direction of business relocation for Ukraine. The topic of discussion was the expected post-war reconstruction of the country. Yanchenko stressed the size of the project, referred to as the new “Marshall Plan”, and the key role of direct investment in its implementation.
Professor Piotr Wachowiak, Rector of the Warsaw School of Economics, spoke about the need for cooperation of our countries at all levels – not only official and economic, but also that of Universities and non-governmental organizations. He also pointed to the need to implement these activities in a coordinated manner. On the other hand, Andrzej Rudka from the Lewiatan Confederation reminded that every crisis also holds hope, because there are opportunities for business to jump over certain stages of development and thus achieve a higher level of economic development faster.
The panel devoted to the participation of Polish companies in the reconstruction of Ukraine was attended by the head of PAIH’s Foreign Trade Office in Kiev, Karol Kubica. He pointed out that entrepreneurs will play an important role when joining tenders related to the reconstruction and that a great deal will depend on their willingness to cooperate.
We are creating a catalogue of Polish companies wishing to participate in the reconstruction of Ukraine. A significant part of the decision process for reconstruction will be in the hands of local governments. We want to reach them and together recreate what has been destroyed – he said.
It was also pointed out that Polish aid for Ukraine has had and will have many dimensions in the future, including economic ones. This arises from the fact of territorial and cultural proximity, as well as similar historical experiences. It was also emphasized that many processes are currently taking place in Ukraine in parallel, allowing for the local economy and law to be adapted to European standards. Representatives of Ukrainian business and administration emphasized that large investments in public infrastructure are already being carried out, and companies from Poland are invited to cooperate.
During the whole day of the event, the issue of preventing the global food crisis by strengthening cooperation between Poland and Ukraine was also raised. Participants had the opportunity to discuss access to financial instruments offered by Poland and the EU for the relocation of Ukrainian business.
During the Forum a memorandum on mutual cooperation was signed between The Polish Investment and Trade Agency and the Association of Ukrainian Business in Poland. On PAIH’s side the document was signed by board member Zdzisław Sokal, while for the Association its Chairman Yaroslav Romanczuk signed.z
The Polish Investment and Trade Agency was a co-organizer of the event The Forum was held under the Patronage of the Ukrainian Embassy In Poland.