Conclusions of the second day of the European Economic Congress

wnp.pl - 15-05-2013
fot. PTWP
The second day of the largest economic event in Central Europe was dominated by the Africa-Central Europe Economic Cooperation Forum and a number of specialist debates regarding, among other things, energy, transport, and metallurgy. The participants of the European Economic Congress – EEC also discussed current challenges in banking, management and enterprise restructuring.
Hundreds of speakers took part in over 50 panel discussions. Among the participants were Baidy Agne, President of Senegal’s National Council of Employers, Milan Hovorka, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic, Matiya Kasaija, State Minister for Planning from Uganda’s Ministry of Finance and Planning, Jerzy Osiatyński, Advisor to the President of the Republic of Poland, Waldemar Pawlak, Member of the Polish Parliament, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Economy 2007-2012, Janez Potočnik, EU Commissioner for the Environment, Gao Xiqing, President of China Investment Corporation, and representatives of the management of some of the largest Polish and international companies, such as the LOTOS Group, KGHM Polska Miedź SA, WBK, PKP Cargo, LOT Polish Airlines, Siemens and ArcelorMittal Poland.

The second day of the European Economic Congress 2013 began with the session Euro – the system under pressure, which was attended by Ivan Mikloš, Member of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance of the Slovak Republic 2010-2012, Indrek Neivelt, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Bank of Saint Petersburg, Chairman of the Supervisory Board at Ldiamon, former President of the Estonian Development Fund, Jerzy Osiatyński, Advisor to the President of the Republic of Poland and Matti Vanhanen, Prime Minister of Finland 2003-2010, Managing Director of the Finnish Family Firms Association. The participants focused on such issues as the necessity for introducing reforms in the monetary union and increasing the EU budget.

“It was assumed that growth in the Eurozone countries will be high, yet it is the countries that are outside of the union that have developed better. Poland could enter the Eurozone if we find an answer to the question of what we can do to make sure that we do not share the fate of Spain or Greece once we join the common currency?”, emphasized Jerzy Osiatyński, Advisor to the President of the Republic of Poland.

The European Union – China Economic Cooperation Forum, which took place within the Congress for the second time, provided an occasion to consider the opportunities created by the growing economic role of China and also the prospects for economic cooperation between China and Poland.

“We are pleased that the turnover of trade exchange between Poland and China grew last year, but it was mostly larger exports from China to Poland, with export to China growing by very little. The first issue to be considered is how to reach a trade balance (…) Polish-Chinese relations are marked by a certain syndrome of politics always preceding economy. The political relations and distribution channels we have built are very good, for example we have appointed an inter-ministerial team to coordinate efforts for the development of strategic partnerships. It seems, however, that business does not take any notice of this, which means that perhaps our communication with business circles is poor.” – Olgierd Dziekoński, Secretary of State at the Chancellery of the President of Poland.

The second day of the Congress was also a continuation of Africa-Central Europe Economic Cooperation Forum. The discussions focusing on the issues relating to the economic potential of Africa were attended by delegates from Senegal, Uganda, Angola, Tanzania and Zambia.

“In the past, Europeans used to condescend to us, yet our experiences with Central Europe are different and we approach them with more trust. We know that in Central Europe, Africa is treated as an equal partner” said Wylbur Simuusa, Zambia’s Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection.

“Africa is no longer in need of aid, it needs partnership. It is important that we understand the aspirations that Africans have today. They do not expect a teacher-pupil relationship, but a true partnership” said John Godson, Member of the Polish Parliament.

At the panel discussions devoted to transport, speakers considered changes to EU transport policy, prospects for the development of investments in aviation transport, and the latest trends in municipal transport. Urban themes were also discussed at the debates devoted to the real estate market, attended by Jerzy Adamski, Director of the Institute of Urban Development, Jarosław Bator, Managing Director for Real Estate, a proxy of the PKP Management Board, Agata Brzezińska, Country Manager NEINVER Polska and Hadley Dean, Managing Partner for Eastern Europe at Colliers International and others. The panels dedicated to local governments, such as Metropolises as centres of growth, Municipal investments and healing local government finances gave grounds for intensive discussions on current challenges faced by regional governments.

The second day of the Congress also hosted the discussion panel The “Polish Investments” Programme – a stimulant to economic growth.

“Polskie Inwestycje Rozwojowe (Polish Development Investments, PIR) and the “Polish Investments” Programme are a change of the privatisation paradigm. This is the first instance of shares being sold by the State Treasury in order to implement strategic investments rather than for current expenditure (…). We are at a rather advanced stage of creating a company and have to do this as fast as we can. I already have plans for team for the company in my head. I think that in the third quarter of this year we will begin to prepare and evaluate projects. At the same time, we will be preparing an investment policy for PIR (…). We already have 30-40 projects applying for the financing held for us by the State Treasury. We have meetings with the potential investors to gain a preliminary insight into the projects. This should also help us in preparing the investment policy. We meet with the investors in which the state is still a principal shareholder, but also with private Polish and foreign investors”, explained Mariusz Grendowicz, President of Polskie Inwestycje Rozwojowe S.A. (Polish Development Investments)

“Polskie Inwestycje Rozwojowe (Polish Development Investments, PIR) is designed as a state investment bank, which will look for projects for itself; it will assess them, carry out their structuring and involve capital as well as corporate governance. We also hope that PIR will become partly privatized at some point, and will enter the stock exchange” saidPaweł Tamborski, Undersecretary of State at the State Treasury of the Republic of Poland.

The cycle of debates dedicated to energy included such discussion panels as Energy in Poland and in Germany. What connects us and what separates us? and The role of energy in a competitive Europe. The speakers also discussed dilemmas relating to shale gas, issues of energy efficiency, renewable sources of energy and nuclear power. Among the presenters there were such prominent figures as Maciej Bando, Vice-President of the Energy Regulatory Office, Jerzy Buzek, Member of the European Parliament, Chairman of the European Parliament 2009- 2012, Poland’s Prime Minister 1997-2001, Piotr Kołodziej, President of the Management Board at Tauron Dystrybucja and Friedbert Pflüger, Executive Director of the European Centre of Energy and Resource Security.

“The full nuclear energy programme, including the results of social consultations, which defines the activities to be undertaken in this sphere for the next 10 years is in the last stages of preparation at the Ministry of Economy. We expect that it will be presented to the Council of Ministers at the turn of June and July” declared Zbigniew Kubacki, Director of the Nuclear Energy Department, Ministry of Economy at the discussion panel Nuclear energy in Europe and in Poland.

“The European Commission held a questionnaire on shale gas. We asked about what sources of energy would be preferred by the citizens of Europe in a 30-year perspective. 70% of the respondents said that they count on renewable sources of energy and 9% on non-conventional sources of fuel, such as shale gas. In Poland, the answers were different: only 59% of respondents said that they counted on RSE and 32% that they see the share of other sources of energy as desirable, such as shale gas” said Janez Potočnik, EU Commissioner for the Environment, at the panel discussion dedicated to shale gas.

“In no way should the standards for reducing the CO2 emissions be made more stringent relative to today’s norms” said Jerzy Buzek, Member of the European Parliament, Chairman of the European Parliament 2009- 2012, Poland’s Prime Minister 1997-2001 at the discussion panel on climate policy.

Among the accompanying events that took place at the second day of the European Economic Congress 2013 it is worth mentioning the award ceremony for the Top Inwestycje Komunalne 2013 (Top Municipal Investments 2013) competition, the presentation of awards by the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development in the competition “Innowacyjny Projekt” (Innovative Project) and “Innowacyjna Instytucja Otoczenia Biznesu” (Innovative Institution of Business Environment), as well as the opening at Katowice’s Central Mining Institute of the Centre for Clean Coal Technologies - a research centre in which new processes and technologies in the area of clean coal production will be developed in the future.

The discussion panels on the second day of EEC 2013 were held at the Hotel Monopol, Hotel Qubus, Helios Cinema, Sielsian Voivodeship Office, the Biuro Centrum building, Hotel Angelo, an auditorium of ING Bank Śląski, Hotel Novotel Katowice Centrum, Goldstein Palace and at the Central Mining Institute.

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