CZ/SK verze

"Poland is a Strong Inspiration for the Czech Republic; Polish Companies Can Be Very Important Partners for the Czech Market," Says Polish Ambassador in Prague

&quote;Poland is a Strong Inspiration for the Czech Republic; Polish Companies Can Be Very Important Partners for the Czech Market,&quote; Says Polish Ambassador in Prague
photo: RAILTARGET/Mateusz Gniazdowski
10 / 01 / 2024

RAILTARGET's editorial team is proud to present an exclusive interview with Mateusz Gniazdowski, the Polish Ambassador in Prague. Our conversation extends beyond the traditional Polish Logistics Day conference, organized annually by the embassy, to explore the nuances of infrastructure project development in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Ambassador Gniazdowski, we meet at the 'Polish Logistics Day' conference. Could you share your thoughts on the event's success, particularly in terms of the attending guests and the main benefits of the conference?

I'm thrilled with another successful Polish Logistics Day at the Embassy. This year, we celebrate our achievements in enhancing transport accessibility to Poland, including our Polish ports. Building upon the foundation of the traditional Polish Sea Days, we have expanded our focus to encompass logistics, transport, and freight forwarding. We're honored by Minister Kupka's visit, and I'm thrilled by his insights on enhancing connectivity between Poland and the Czech Republic. Today's extensive panel on what's often called the 'miracle of Polish infrastructure' is a highlight, featuring companies like BUDIMEX. Their experience is invaluable for the Czech sector, especially in cross-border connectivity. d Poland—through large rail corridors and the construction of high-speed railways—we do not overlook regional interconnections. Thus, the cross-border component is also something I am very pleased about.

You mentioned the 'Polish miracle', which is frequently discussed in Czech media and political debates, where Poland is often seen as a model for the Czech Republic. Why is Poland able to build these infrastructure projects efficiently, swiftly, and, at the same time, inexpensively compared to the Czech Republic?

I believe this is a very complex subject. It starts with the conviction that transport infrastructure and the cohesion of the landscape are fundamental to enhancing infrastructure and transport accessibility, which in turn are key factors of economic growth. Poland's success was rooted in the belief that the country's development depended on the state of its infrastructure. The convergence of the entire political scene around this belief was crucial for us. It guided how we linked our national funds with European ones and invested in infrastructure without fearing its significance in economic growth. I see a similar conviction emerging on the Czech side. We are also observing the development of work in the Czech Parliament, particularly regarding the law on accelerating infrastructure construction. In this respect, Poland has inspired the Czech approach. In Poland, we experienced a period of creating a legal framework that allows for the smooth implementation of projects—from transparent tender procedures and obtaining environmental permits to the construction itself. The key in this context is openness and effective coordination by officials at many levels who see these projects as beneficial for the wider local community and also in the strategic interest of the state.

The second aspect is the belief that companies active in the sector, with their accumulated experience, can continue to be assets for further construction. Our construction and exhibition sector offers solutions for executing projects quickly, as you mentioned, and in a relatively cost-effective manner. Simultaneously, these solutions are advantageous in terms of limiting environmental impacts and the effect of construction on society and local populations. For them, construction always poses certain challenges during the building phase, so we strive to minimize these issues. In Poland, we have learned to carry out construction in a manner that is friendly to both the environment and the local community, including drivers. This approach is vital, ensuring that drivers waiting for the completion of a section of a thoroughfare or an upgraded railway line can comfortably use the infrastructure during construction. Our road engineers have become quite adept at implementing these practices effectively. I believe that in this respect, we can serve as an inspiration.

At the conference, various companies are presenting themselves, including those from Polish ports, which have a very strong representation, as well as companies involved in transportation infrastructure. I would like to ask if you think these companies have a place in the Czech market and if there is potential for cooperation.

We aim to take a holistic approach to the Polish offerings for the Czech transport and logistics sector. The entire process is a chain that culminates with ports, which are not only expanding their services but are doing so very ambitiously. The largest ships in the world are sailing to Polish ports, enhancing their accessibility. However, inland accessibility is also crucial. Improvements in rail connections, increased speed, and enhanced freight traffic on Polish railways are significant aspects being discussed. Discussions are also centered on road infrastructure, specifically the growth of motorways and expressways in Poland. Another important facet is the integration of railways. Poland serves as a key gateway for rail links with the Far East. Consequently, our companies, whether involved in building infrastructure or operating logistics, can be significant partners for the Czech market.