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The Warsaw Voice » Business » May 28, 2008
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Ukraine: An Important Partner for Poland
May 28, 2008   
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Waldemar Pawlak, deputy prime minister and minister of the economy, answers questions from the Voice.

What's the current state of Polish-Ukrainian business and trade links in your view?
Economic cooperation between Poland and Ukraine is developing dynamically, which is best confirmed by bilateral trade, which has grown more than two-and-a-half times over the past three years. Last year bilateral trade grew to $7.2 billion, rising by 33 percent compared with 2006. Polish exports made up more than 76 percent of the total figure.

Polish companies are eager to invest in Ukraine, and Ukrainian businesspeople are willing to invest in Poland. At the start of this year the total value of Polish investment in Ukraine [since the transformations] reached $670.5 million, while Ukrainian investment in Poland stood at $800 million.

Cooperation between the two countries has excellent prospects for development, particularly given their fast economic growth. Ukraine faces the need to quickly modernize its economy. That requires a lot of investment and imports of machines, equipment and modern technology. Poland may help in this respect. Cooperation between the two countries may be particularly productive in sectors such as mining, power and construction industry, and agriculture.

Bilateral relations will also be influenced by Ukraine's accession to the World Trade Organization and closer cooperation with the European Union. This will result in the further liberalization of the Ukrainian economy and easier access to the Ukrainian market, which should further improve conditions for investment in that country.

Can Polish-Ukrainian partnership benefit other countries as well?
Close relations between Poland and Ukraine can be successfully applied on other markets, for example, by using the knowledge and experiences of Polish companies and investors obtained in Ukraine. The energy sector seems to be particularly promising in this area, for example through the diversification of energy raw material supplies. Polish companies are interested in working with the Ukrainians as part of the Odessa-Brody-Płock-Gdańsk oil pipeline project, for example.

How do you think the Euro 2102 European soccer championships-which will be jointly hosted by Poland and Ukraine-influence the development of Polish-Ukrainian business and trade relations?
Euro 2012, as a joint Polish-Ukrainian project, offers new opportunities for the development of transport, sports and tourist infrastructure. The championships are a major organizational challenge for Poland and Ukraine. That is why the two governments should work closely together in this area. In order to upgrade our cooperation, in March we signed an intergovernmental agreement establishing a committee that will prepare and carry out Euro 2012. The committee includes intergovernmental working groups that will coordinate activities linked with the event.

We would also like to see good direct contacts between Polish and Ukrainian businesspeople taking part in this huge project. Business associations from the two countries have signed a cooperation agreement that will enhance the exchange of information about investment projects related to Euro 2012 and business opportunities for Polish and Ukrainian companies.
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