Global Trade Center Stage at Poland’s Maritime Conference
The biggest annual gathering of Poland’s maritime industry leaders, the Maritime Economy Forum Gdynia is unveiling its program.
The day-long event, now in its 19th year, takes place on October 11 in Gdynia, featuring 30 speakers with 600 senior figures from Poland’s maritime sector and around the world expected to attend.
Forum chairman Slawomir Kalicki said the conference will see a morning session examine some of the biggest issues facing the international maritime sector, worth an estimated $3-$6 trillion a year, from an EU, Baltic Sea and Polish perspective. This will include the China-USA trade conflict, Europe after Brexit and the challenges and opportunities for the European maritime economy. The Norwegian Ambassador to Poland, meanwhile, will discuss how innovation between European countries can strengthen Europe’s position in the fiercely competitive global maritime technology sector.
Mr Kalicki, president of one of Poland’s leading maritime firms, the Gdynia and UK-based Intermarine said the afternoon session will showcase the very best of Poland’s flourishing maritime sector with four subject panels covering Maritime Technologies, Sea Ports and Logistics, Shipping, Finance and Law.
“The Polish maritime industry has a very bright future and we want to communicate this to an international audience of investors and business partners,” he said. “The industry now employs more than 112,000 people and generates more than $10 billion euros for the economy. This year we have seen new figures released showing Poland’s three major ports Gdansk, Gdynia, Szczecin broke all records in 2018 by handling more than 100 million tonnes of cargo for the first time, a 16pc increase on 2017. In addition, we are seeing a renaissance in our shipyard sector with more than 34,000 people employed in the industry, the highest level since 2002. Poland’s ‘blue economy’ is being driven by the strong performance of the Polish economy that has grown at an average rate of 4.2 per cent a year between 1992-2019, to become the seventh largest economy in the EU with a total GDP of $587 billion. This growth is supported by infrastructure investments, including $233 billion in EU funding between 2007 and 2020, across the Polish hinterland. As a result, Poland is becoming a more efficient, competitive maritime nation where our ports and shipyards are some of the most important on the Baltic Sea. The forum will examine all of this and more.”
The Mayor of Gdynia Wojciech Szczurek said the forum will raise awareness of Gdynia as a global maritime city.
“The maritime industry underpins the economy of Gdynia,” he said. “And it is brilliant to see Gdynia take center stage again as the leaders of Poland’s maritime industry come together here. This year’s forum comes at a great time for the city. The port of Gdynia is seeing the best results in its history, a new ferry terminal is under construction and several big companies operate in the reinvigorated shipyard area. Moreover, along the seafront Gdynia’s Sea City is taking shape with new office and residential developments. During the MIPIM Trade Fair in Cannes, Gdynia was awarded the Polish City of the Future title by the FDI Magazine of the Financial Times group, the third consecutive time our city has won this prestigious ranking.
“Gdynia is further home to a growing number of innovative entrepreneurial companies with access to the largest science and technology park in Poland and we have tremendous educational and training facilities here to upskill the next generation. We are proud to host the annual Maritime Economy Forum which stimulates a national debate about the importance of maritime in Poland. We also hope the forum can increase the impetus to start building the new Red Route relief road. To embrace the opportunities of the future we have to improve road access and reduce vehicle load by building the Red Road. We hope to make more announcements about the Red Road at the conference.”
Further events during the forum include a seminar entitled: “Tourism from the Sea”, and the winner of this year’s movie competition, for young film makers, promoting the maritime economy will also be announced. The winning film will then be showcased at the forum’s famous evening celebration the ‘Duck Dinner’ which will be attended by more than 2000 guests.
The organizers of the Maritime Economy Forum Gdynia are the city of Gdynia and the Gdynia Development Agency. The event will be held at the conference center of Pomeranian Science and Technology Park Gdynia under the patronage of the Ministry of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation, the Maritime Office, the Polish Investment and Trade Agency and the Polish Chamber of Commerce as well as other non-government organizations.