On 4-6 November 2016, the Summit of Central and Eastern European Countries and China accompanying Business Forum took place in the capital city of Latvia, Riga. The annual meetings of the leaders of the “16+1” formula countries are an excellent opportunity to discuss the development of economic cooperation. This year’s edition focused on four areas: transport, innovation, integration and co-development.
Government delegations, which discussed development opportunities in both plenary and bilateral talks, were accompanied by representatives of government agencies and businesspeople from both the European and Chinese sides. The meetings were an opportunity and inspiration to search for cooperation platforms in the region and on third markets.
Special focus was given to finding solutions that will bring the Chinese market closer to European products. In this respect, road, rail and sea transport links can be the sources of success. Improving rail transport and opening container terminals at terminus stations in Poland, Latvia and Slovakia promise to be the greatest future and opportunity to link China and our region quickly. The first permanent railway connections have already begun their operations.
During one of the discussion panels devoted to trade, PCOCE representative Anna Orzechowska discussed the idea and objectives of the organization and presented the potential of member companies. On the other hand, during a dedicated meeting organized for a small group of delegations from China and Poland, the managing director of PCOCE, Andrzej Kozłowski, spoke in a discussion concerning the opportunities and potential which would allow to set up joint ventures both in Poland and on third markets. The Chinese delegation was headed by Wang Hongzhang, President of China Construction Bank, while the Polish delegation was headed by Marcin Szyguła, Deputy President of the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development (PARP).
We have made an attempt to make contact with three Chinese companies that are already investing in Eastern Europe. As declared by their representatives present at the Forum, the entrepreneurs stressed that they were open for cooperation on the markets mentioned. Moreover, [as PCOCE] we received an assurance from PARP that further activities of the PCOCE in the scope of promotion of construction export and establishing business contacts will be supported by the Agency, and the Cluster, as a representative of the Polish construction industry on international markets, will be able to rely on cooperation with PARP both in the form as presented during the Forum, or in another form, such as e.g. field-specific symposiums or making direct contact. The Economic Forum 16+1 in Riga, the way it unfolded, prominent presence of PCOCE and its being able to present itself at such a broad, international meeting are the basis for the declarations made by PARP to put into practice. On behalf of the Polish Cluster of Construction Exporters, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to Polish Agency for Enterprise Development.
Comment by Andrzej Kozłowski, Vice-President of PCOCE