Krynica Economic Forum
It’s the end of the summer, the kids are back at school and so it must be time for the Economic Forum in Krynica. This year, the annual event – which sees Poland’s political and economic elite overrun the small mountain resort town of Krynica Zdrój for three days – celebrated its 27th anniversary. Poland has seen political fortunes ebb and sway enormously in this time, but Krynica has deftly negotiated the often-treacherous political waters, always bobbing up to the surface to float with the current. A foolproof indication of the political climate is the winner of the ‘Person of the Year’ award. This year, Prime Minister Beata Szydło won. Last year, Hungary’s Viktor Orbán claimed the prize and the year before Jarosław Kaczyński, but former President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso and Donald Tusk, former PM and current President of the European Council, were honoured during more EU-friendly times.
An enormous array of topics is discussed during the event. This year, 344 panel sessions ran, covering the whole gamut including EU investment in Poland, Brexit, healthcare, Polish companies expanding abroad, artificial
intelligence, hidden champions and terrorism. Krynica is also the launchpad for new government ideas. Writing on 10 September, after the event, Frankfurt Allgemeine Zeitung said:
“In Krynica, superminister Mateusz Morawiecki presented his plans for the reform of Polish economic zones: in ten years he expects additional income of about €2.5bn and 60,000 new jobs. In addition, in the future, more and more SMEs will export. Morawiecki regrets that only 50% Polish exports come from production by Polish companies. Zygmunt Berdychowski, the organiser of the forum, commented: “When I listen to Morawiecki, I have no worries.” Over the past 27 years he has often heard that investors are leaving Poland. But what happened was the opposite. Poland has become increasingly interesting for investors, regardless of political rhetoric.”
One thing that Krynica did confirm is that, no matter the shifting nature of political fortunes, the ruling PiS party appears to be very firmly in control for the foreseeable future.
Photos courtesy: Krynica Economic Forum