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The Warsaw Voice » Business » November 12, 2008
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Investors Want Better Laws
November 12, 2008 By A.R.    
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Time-consuming legal procedures preceding a construction project are the bane of companies carrying out infrastructure projects, said participants in a recent conference in Warsaw dedicated to investment in Poland's infrastructure sector.

The conference, entitled Policies for Supporting the Development of infrastructure Projects in Poland: Waiting for a Breakthrough, was organized by the ProLinea Infrastructure Development Association, a nonprofit organization that brings together Poland's largest businesses involved in infrastructure projects. The event, held under the auspices of the infrastructure ministry, provided an opportunity for an exchange of ideas between the government-including the ministries for infrastructure, regional development, and environmental protection-and investors from various sectors carrying out infrastructure projects.

Prof. Zygmunt Niewiadomski, who heads the business law faculty at the Warsaw School of Economics (SGH), said that one serious obstacle to greater investment in infrastructure is that many laws are drafted sloppily and fail to take into account the interests of all the parties involved. Legislation is often drawn up with the interests of a specific ministry in mind, Niewiadomski said, and it is not known who is personally responsible when something goes wrong in the lawmaking process.

Bad laws riddled with contradictory provisions cause problems when they are put into practice, Niewiadomski said, adding that the new Construction Code may help improve the situation because it is based on a comprehensive rather than fragmentary approach to lawmaking.

Conference participants agreed that projects of strategic importance to the country should be subject to central government supervision because local governments sometimes slow down investment processes.

Andrzej Tyszecki, an expert with ProLinea, said that investors carrying out infrastructure projects usually face the same problem: paperwork and protracted bureaucratic procedures.
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