Our contacts with China have never been more intense, frequent and multidimensional than they are today, underlined the Prime Minister. She recalled that this year marks the 5-year anniversary of the platform between the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEEC) and China, widely known as the 16+1 platform. Beata Szydło noted that it had provided for the creation of new channels for dialogue, allowing to identify the best areas for cooperation with China.
According to the Prime Minister, Poland wants to actively seek to use possibilities deriving from the 16+1 format.
We want to mutually develop the beneficial cooperation for the benefit of our countries and citizens in the area of development of seaports and coastal areas, as well as waterways of our entire region, she said. According to the Prime Minister, Central and Eastern Europe constitutes a gateway for the Union, through which every product transported by land from China to Western Europe and from Europe to China is carried.
Therefore, port infrastructure in our region can be an interesting alternative for the ports of Western Europe, she added.
In Poland, it is crucial to make up for the existing negligence in the development of the north-south transport corridor, said Beata Szydło. The Prime Minister informed that by 2023 the government intends to allocate EUR 16 billion to implement the programme to development and modernisation of the rail network.
Our railway companies successfully transport goods between Poland and China. There is a regular railed link between Łódź and Chengdu, and the number of Chinese trains entering the territory of Poland amounts to several hundreds per year. We cooperate with our partners from Belarus, Germany, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and Russia in providing container freight services between China and Europe, said the Prime Minister.
Martime and inland waterway transport
The Prime Minister said also that measures were taken in order to improve the Polish potential in the area of maritime transport.
Polish seaports set records in handling imported and exported goods. Only in Gdańsk in the first half of 2017, 18.5 million tonnes were handled. In Szczecin and Świnoujście this number amounted to 21.5 million tonnes, and to 10.3 million in Gdynia. The future prospects are very promising. Due to the increasing importance of maritime economy, the Polish government decided to build a central port in Gdańsk with deepwater terminals that allow for servicing the largest ships proceeding to the Baltic Sea, she added.
According to Beata Szydło, the next ambitious plan of the government is to restore the navigability of the Vistula and Oder rivers and to actually include Polish rivers in the international waterway system.
While investing in inland waterway transport, we promote environmentally friendly and low-carbon transport. Polish ports will be among beneficiaries of actions for waterway development, underlined the Prime Minister.
Developing Polish transport
The Prime Minister underlined that one of the aims of the Polish government was to develop the Polish road, railway, air, maritime and inland waterway transport. As she stated, the construction of the Central Communication Port is the concept of a communication hub that will be included in the high-speed rail transport network.
The Central Communication Port will be a response for the increasing number of air services between Europe and Asia, added the Prime Minister. In her opinion, this is one of the great investments for development that can be a breakthrough for the development of our country.