This Wednesday on 20th May 2020 another webinar from a series of expert debates organized by the editors of The Warsaw Institute Review took place. This time, the meeting was entitled “The future of economic relations between Poland and the US after the end of the pandemic.”
The event’s guests were Bogdan Pukszta – Executive Director of the Polish American Chamber of Commerce, as well as Michał Rzeźnik – Head of the Foreign Trade Office of the Polish Investment and Trade Agency (PAIH). The debate was moderated by WIR correspondent in the USA Daniel Pogorzelski – journalist living in Chicago, an expert on US policy and Polish-American relations.
However, the meeting was started by a third guest, Jakub Łyjak – an author writing for the US Weekly format at the Warsaw Institute, specializing in American economy and politics. By outlining the topic of the debate to the viewers, he presented the situation of trade between the USA and Poland, the impact of the ongoing pandemic, and compared the economic situation in both countries.
Michał Rzeźnik presented then in his speech the issue from the perspective of the Polish Investment and Trade Agency in Chicago. He stated that the pandemic would not drastically affect the deterioration of trade relations between the USA and Poland. The expert noted that in 2009 the trade balance between countries amounted to USD 3.44 billion, and by 2019 its value was tripled, which clearly shows a positive trend. The speaker pointed out that the coronavirus crisis is an exceptionally good time for the IT industry, including Polish companies. This is an exception because other industries are reporting losses due to supply chain breaks and freezing economies. The resumption of economic activity will enable further development of cooperation between countries not only on a commercial level but also indirect investment in both states. After the pandemic, some habits, such as remote work, may be maintained in societies, which may favor the development of the construction sector, which could benefit Polish companies operating in the United States.
Bogdan Pukszta stated that a pandemic will have a positive impact on the innovation of products and technology in the world and will cause even greater automation of the economy. In his opinion, it is also possible that many companies will move their production lines from China to other, more reliable countries. Poland, which is one of the leaders in dealing with the pandemic crisis and has favorable conditions for foreign investment, may benefit from it. Just like the head of the PAIH office in Chicago, he also thinks that the IT industry will do the best after the crisis. This may be conducive to the development of Polish companies and Polish IT specialists, who are very much appreciated in Silicon Valley for example. The expert also noted that the law firms serving international business will flourish due to the large-scale renegotiation of contracts concluded in the past.
Our experts also raised the issues of US-Poland strategic cooperation and answered a number of questions from the audience. To learn more about the issue, please watch the recording of the debate!