Source: Republic of Poland in English
Address by the President of the Republic of Poland during the Lithuanian-Polish online business forum
Your Excellency President Nauseda,
Your Excellencies Ambassadors,
Ladies and Gentemen,
I am truly honoured to address you today at this Business Forum. Let me take this opportunity to express my thankfulness for your contribution to strengthening ties between Poland and Lithuania. Our neighbourly relations are centuries-long. They comprise of so many dimensions, yet one of them is of paramount importance. It is the economic cooperation.
We share glorious moments in history of our statehoods but we also remember painful times of subjection. It was in the twentieth century when our peoples experienced unprecedented trauma. The post-war reality deprived Poles and Lithuanians of the possibility to develop their economies on a free-market basis.
Eventually, the collapse of the Communist bloc enabled our nations to seek the long-desired sovereign and unhampered development. Poland’s and Lithuania’s accession to the Common Market opened new prospects for our economies. As entrepreneurs you take full advantage of this exclusive EU membership, contributing directly to our nations’ welfare.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
You have proved that despite operating in objectively more difficult business environment, you are bold, ambitious, competitive and innovative. Speaking of difficult business environment I mean hindered access to critical infrastructure, as compared to Western-European markets. There is no doubt entrepreneurs from our region suffer from lower quality of transportation routes, digital infrastructure and power grids.
Over the past 5 years, we have strongly promoted the 3 Seas Initiative, traces of which one may find in the greatest moments of our 2 brotherly nations’ history – the times of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. I do believe the 3SI, as a project of purely economic character, complementary to the process of European integration, may be the answer to our entrepreneurs’ problems. I do appreciate the position of Lithuanian Authorities towards this initiative. We have succeeded in building up a wide coalition of like-minded countries around the 3SI.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Three Seas Initiative is based on the idea of acting in solidarity. Today, when we face this unparalleled crisis resulting from the pandemic, solidarity among nations is of uppermost importance. It must become the bedrock of European unity. The prospects for small and medium enterprises are far from being optimistic. Certain studies show that in the months to come, a significant number of European companies consider filing for bankruptcy if the overall economic situation does not improve. Tools developed within the 3 Seas Initiative may bring meaningful help to the businesses in these difficult times. Among them, there are: the 3SI Investment Fund, Business Forum and CEEplus index.
New platforms of cooperation are being developed too. Recently Estonia came up with a proposal to organize a digital forum in Autumn 2021. I am convinced soon we shall witness emerging of more and more similar initiatives aiming at bolstering our region’s economic position.
Being confident that the 3SI may be instrumental in restoring our economies’ fast-track growth, I call upon you to join hands with the governments in order to challenge the current setbacks.
Please accept my very best wishes of fruitful debate in the spirit of neighbourly solidarity and many successful business projects.
Thank you for your attention.