Prime Minister Beata Szydło: We are restoring the Polish shipbuilding industry to its glory

For the Polish Government, the issue of the restoration, development and support of the shipbuilding industry as well as the development of Polish ports and inland waterway transport is a priority and strategic task in the dimension of economy, security, sovereignty and independence of our homeland – said Prime Minister Beata Szydło at the 5th International Maritime Congress in Szczecin.

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Photo: P. Tracz/Chancellery of the Prime Minister

Prime Minister Beata Szydło stressed that the shipbuilding industry was not only an important section of the Polish economy and jobs for a thousand people, but also the pride of the Polish technical thought and a symbol of the Polish road to freedom. For this reason, the Polish society could not understand the previous Government’s decisions on liquidating the Polish shipyards, while other shipyards in the world were developing – she said. She added that the liquidation of the Polish shipyards was not in the interest of Poland, and despite this fact, the then authorities agreed to it. Today, I can say with satisfaction that the current Government restore the Polish shipbuilding industry and treat it as one of the most important parts of the development of the Polish economy – she said.

Restoration of the shipbuilding industry

The Prime Minister stressed that the Government’s priority was to restore the Polish shipbuilding industry and to develop inland waterway transport. Today, we are restoring the Polish shipbuilding industry to its glory and trying to fully tap the potential of the people – said Beata Szydło.

The Prime Minister argued that thanks to the shipbuilding Act, the production of vessels would be more competitive. The zero VAT rate on the production and import of parts and equipment of sea vessels met the expectations of economic operators. In her opinion, the part of the restoration of the shipbuilding industry was also the fact of saving the Marine Ship Repair Yard Gryfia in Szczecin from collapse.

Development strategy of inland waterway transport

Prime Minister Beata Szydło also pointed to the role of inland waterway transport. The Development Strategy assumed the regeneration of waterways in the Polish rivers. In the previous year, the Government adopted the objectives to the development plan of inland waterways in Poland by 2020 with a perspective to 2030.

As the Head of Government added, it was due to the geographical conditions – the marine industry is more eco-friendly, cheaper and safer than the road industry. Moreover, its development may also result in the social and economic boom in towns and regions situated upon waterways of great transport importance.

We also started a project, that is, the construction of a waterway linking the Vistula Lagoon with the Bay of Gdańsk. The channel will enable free and year-round navigation of sea vessels to the ports in Elbląg and all ports in the Vistula Lagoon and will also create about 3 thousand jobs – said the Head of Government.

The Government in figures

As the Prime Minister reminded, the dynamic economic development of Poland was the unarguable fact. It was confirmed by hard data and positive signals from the economy. The development was also positively rated by the world rating agencies and financial institutions. In the first quarter of this year, we achieved the 4% GDP growth, exceeding our forecasts. We have the highest ever percentage of the Poles positively rating the economic situation. In May 2017, we had the exceptionally low unemployment rate of only 7.5%. This is the best result for 26 years. The decreased unemployment rate was observed in all voivodeships. State Treasury debt is regularly decreasing – said the Head of Government.

Also, the Polish shipyards and ports work for the good economic situation. We are highly satisfied with the fact that we are able to regularly restore and develop what my predecessors tried to destroy. Here, however, we need determination, honesty and understanding that the shipyards and ports along with entire inland waterway transport may be one of the flywheels of the entire Polish economy. And today’s Congress is to serve the purpose of this understanding – she added.

This year’s 5th Maritime Congress will last until 9 June. The organisers would like it to become an important part of the restoration of the shipbuilding industry as well as of sea and inland waterway transport.

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