At 7 a.m. on Wednesday Polish House (Dom Polski) at the World Economic Forum in Davos was full of guests. The morning discussion entitled „Growing Europe: the economic vitality of Central and Eastern Europe”, announced by the organizers, was seen as a potentially important event. This was proven to be the case. Participants od the meeting in ‘Polish hause’ in Davos / autor: wpolityce.pl
The panelists included the President of Poland Andrzej Duda, the President of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, the President of Latvia Eglis Levits, the Prime Minister of Estonia Juri Ritas, and among the guests was the US Ambassador to Poland Gerogette Mosbacher, the President of Bank Pekao Marek Lusztyn, the President of PZU Paweł Surówka, the Vice President of Goldman Sachs John Rogers, the Vice President of Google Karan Bhatia.
The President of Poland spoke first:
Since the 1990s, our economies have undergone deep restructuring, our countries have become members of the EU and NATO, but the scale of our contribution to European GDP was still small. But times are changing. We are growing in strength; our economies are consistently catching up with the West. Large markets, friendly business environment, strong growth, stability - this makes our countries increasingly attractive
— said Andrzej Duda.
President of Croatia (resigning soon after the lost elections) Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović stressed that the success of the Three Seas Initiative exceeded her wildest expectations:
It turned out that the cooperation of countries located in the territory between the Baltic, the Adriatic and the Black Sea is possible. Although it is not easy; there are differences not only between countries, but also within them. The historical differences are also important. Therefore it is not easy to achieve coherence in joint actions; we all know that it requires effort. Its present form is not definitive; I believe that it will evolve.
The President of Latvia Eglis Levits stressed that the cohesion and unity of Europe is a task not only for the region of Central and Eastern Europe, but for the whole Union. In his view, regional cooperation is a contribution to the development of the whole region. He added:
If anyone enquires about the most important features of Central and Eastern Europe, I answer: dynamism, well-educated people and increasingly improving infrastructure.
The Prime Minister of Lithuania, Juri Ratas, announced:
I am proud to announce the Three Seas meeting in June in Tallinn. I already invite everyone to it. Our goal is also to develop the investment fund of our agreement, which is to support the development of infrastructure.
Ambassador Georgette Mosbacher stressed:
When President Donald Trump visited Poland, his speeches emphasized the role of the Three Seas. And this remains valid; the potential of the region is enormous. Politically - because it is the eastern flank of NATO towards Russia, because politically it is between Russia and China. The economic significance is obvious - today it is the engine of growth of the European economy. It is an excellent place to invest.
The President of PZU Paweł Surówka stressed that the initiative of the Business Council of Growing Europe results from talks with investors.
They pointed out that investing is related to the growth they are looking for and which lies in our region, but also to the scale, which must be appropriate.
For this reason, we decided to set up the Business Council of Growing Europe - to get to know each other better, to build a platform that allows global investors to invest better and more strongly here
— stressed the President of PZU.
President of Bank Pekao S.A. Marek Lusztyn also stressed the importance of creating the economic dimension of the Three Seas Initiative:
It is going to be a forum not only for discussion, but also for implementation; specific initiatives will be undertaken.
The meeting ended with the formal launch of the Business Council of Growing Europe, with the participation of large corporations from Poland, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria and Slovakia.