Jerzy Kwieciński: Trillions needed to modernise Poland

An investment of trillions of złoty is needed in order to fulfil the government pledges made at the recent Economic Forum in Krynica, said deputy Development Minister Jerzy Kwieciński.

Pro-development investment, electric buses in cities, new flats for rent, and cargo trains hauling goods across the country – that is what Poland could look like in 2023 if the announcements from the 26th Economic Forum in Krynica are fulfilled.

So far, the Plan for Responsible Development, known colloquially as the “Morawiecki Plan”, predicted that the pool of development expenses could reach PLN 1 trillion. However, it has turned out that it could be twice the size if new areas of expenditure are taken into account.

“Recently we commissioned a summary of all the development expenditure up to 2023 and I think it comes to about PLN 2 trillion,” Jerzy Kwieciński, deputy Development Minister, told the CE Financial Observer website.

“Now we know that expenditure up to 2020 will come to PLN 1.5 trillion, so by the end of the current EU perspective until 2023 there should be proportionately more. The new estimates are due to the fact that we have been poring over the finances and we have included such expenditure, which in the world is considered to be pro-development in health, education and local government budgets,” Kwieciński said.

The Morawiecki Plan, presented by the government in February, also brought a list of eight flagship projects with impressive names. The “Żwirko and Wigura” programme will create Polish drones, the “Bathory” programme should build a Polish passenger ferry, “Luxtorpeda 2.0” to build high-speed trains, and the “Polish Mining Combine” to expand the potential exports of mining and construction machinery. On top of these there are the “Kazimierz Funk Centre for Development of Biotechnology”, the “Polish Medical Products” Programme, “Cyberpark Enigma” and the “Medium-Sized Cities as Centres of Advanced Outsourcing”.

Of these, only the “Bathory” programme has started. In June, a letter of intent was signed, which indicates that the Polish shipyards will build two car-passenger ferries for Polish Baltic Shipping Company (Polska Żegluga Bałtycka). The first ferry is to be completed in 2019.

“This list is not written in stone. We are approaching this flexibly, and we do not rule out that certain initiatives will not be implemented, but also that completely new ones may appear. Everything depends on the private sector. The private sector, and not the government, will carry out the ventures which suit it. Our role is, for example, to announce research and development programs for specific sectors, e.g. the railways, for electric vehicles, and the companies will deal with the rest,” Kwieciński said.

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