EC backing for high-speed rail project, FDI record in 2019 and driving licences to go digital

STH Poland concept by Grimshaw Architects
The EC swings its support behind the STH’s high-speed rail project with deal approval and funding, PAIH reports a record in FDI for 2019 and digital driving licences to go live in …
Micro Bite: The EC backs the Solidarity Transport Hub’s high-speed rail project with deal approval and funding

The European Commission (EC) has approved a partnership agreement between the Solidarity Transport Hub (STH) and France’s national train operator, SNCF, to guide the planning, design and construction of the transport hub’s high-speed ​​rail (HSR) component. Poland will also receive between 2-3m zł in EU funding as part of the Structural Reform Support Programme. 

Marcin Horała, the Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Government Plenipotentiary for STH, said that SNCF, the operator of the high-speed TGV service, will advise STH on the technical standards and regulations required for building the HSR. The EC will also help fund the consultation costs after deeming that the planned transport hub satisfies current EU transport policy, such as the promotion of low-carbon transport and the optimisation of energy consumption. 

Meanwhile on Tuesday, the Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki met with his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe, in Tokyo to discuss strengthening economic ties. During a joint press conference, the two leaders revealed that among the issues addressed was a potential partnership to facilitate the implementation of STH. 

Macro Bite: Poland attracted a record €2.9bn in FDI in 2019 through PAIH

On Monday, the Polish Investment and Trade Agency (Polska Agencja Inwestycji i Handlu: PAIH) released its FDI data for 2019, reporting a record €2.9bn worth of investment over 56 projects serviced by PAIH – mainly in the field of advanced technology. According to the agency, these investment projects amounted to an estimated 11,800 new jobs.   

Compared to 2018, it was a case of quality over quantity. While there were 14 fewer projects in 2019, the total level of investment increased by more than a third from €2.13bn in 2018 to €2.9bn last year. This trend may be explained by the fact that around a half of all the projects in 2019 came under reinvestment programmes, such as those carried out by Toyota and the France-based PSA Group – the owner of Peugeot, Citroen, DS, Opel and Vauxhall.

The e-mobility industry attracted the most investment (€2.12bn) followed by automotive (€331m) and household appliances (€180m). US and German companies initiated the highest number of projects, but in dollar terms, the South Koreans (€1.82bn) led the way through just five projects with German (€202m), Japanese (€121m) and American (€90.45m) companies trailing behind.  

Grażyna Ciurzyńska, the acting president of PAIH, added that there are currently 200 investment projects in the pipeline with a total value of €8bn.

Nano Bite I: Digital driving licences to go live in 2020 – says minister
Example of the mObywatel mobile app

A physical driving licence will soon be a thing of the past, announced Marek Zagórski, Minister of Digital Affairs earlier in the week. Drivers will be able to download the official government app ‘mObywatel’ on their smartphones and keep the digital document in their pockets at all times. The electronic licence will operate in the same way as the electronic national ID card that was launched in 2018.

Although the new form of the document is ready, the Minister of Infrastructure and Construction, Andrzej Adamczyk, cautioned that amendments to the law are still required before drivers can start going completely digital. The changes are expected to be completed in the first half of the year. 

PTnewsBites: latest news about Poland at a micro-level mixed with the bigger nationwide trends, with something extra on the side – all bundled up in one weekly bite-size news package. All Bison. No Bull.

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Written by: Poland Today Team