Willkommen auf den Seiten des Auswärtigen Amts
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you very much for inviting me to participate in today’s cornerstone laying ceremony. I personally feel much honored to celebrate this event with you today.
And it’s a great opportunity to leave Warsaw and see a little bit of Poland’s beautiful countryside and experience the warmth of its people. The project the concrete start of which we are witnessing today is outstanding in many respects.
It has the potential to become a beacon of German-Polish economic cooperation, for the benefit of both sides.
Allow me to congratulate all those who have so far contributed to its realization.
It’s very good news that two of the best-known, experienced and reputable German enterprises, Lufthansa and MTU, have joined forces to set up a joint venture here in Jasionka. The two companies separately have already made a significant contribution to Poland’s economic development. The new project will bring their cooperation to a new level.
The facility which will hopefully start operations in less than two years from now will each year provide state-of-the-art services for hundreds of airplanes.
It will thereby not only play a crucial role in Europe´s ever growing aerial transport sector, but also bring hundreds of qualified and well-paid jobs to the Podkarpackie region.
This new project will yet write another chapter in the successful German-Polish bilateral trade and investment relationship. We have every reason to be proud of this evolution.
We have reached a level which 10, let alone 20 or 30 years ago few people would have imagined.
In any case, when I was working on Poland, as a young diplomat, at the federal Chancellery under then Chancellor Helmut Kohl, I would never have believed what we see now. And this statement refers not only to the economic relationship, but also to the broader political relationship. On other occasions I have called this development a real miracle.
The trade and investment cooperation linking our two countries is manifold. Together with our civil society cooperation, economic links constitute one of the central pillars of our relationship. They should be cherished and well taken care of.
Over the years, we have demonstrated that the fundamentals of our relationship are strong, very strong. And when the roots are strong, the tree is strong, even when occasionally the wind is blowing through the treetops.
Both Lufthansa and MTU are global players. They are well established in Poland.
Lufthansa has been operating in Poland for almost 50 years now. Nowadays, it is the biggest and strongest international airline in this country. Hundreds of flights every week connect Poland with Germany. Later on, other affiliates of the Lufthansa Group have started, and then enhanced, their operations in Poland. Recently, I had the pleasure to attend the inaugurating flight form Munich to Lodz.
Almost the same goes for MTU. The company has been active here in Jasionka for almost a decade now, and has been expanding ever since, currently employing about 800 people.
In combining their excellence and deciding to significantly enlarge their operations in Poland, Lufthansa and MTU have demonstrated that they have full confidence in Poland’s further economic success. They trust that Poland will remain a profitable investment destination, also in the longer run.
They base their assessment on their own very positive experience, but also on Poland´s dynamic economic outlook for the years to come. In the last quarter century, and particularly since Poland´s entry into the European Union, Poland’s development has been steadily positive, even when the western part of the European Union was in recession after the financial crisis 10 years ago.
And there is also the deep conviction that the core ingredients of Poland´s success story will remain: a functioning market economy, investor-friendly policies, a well developed and maintained infrastructure, a well trained workforce, full legal protection and respect for the joint „rulebook“ the countries of the EU have given themselves.
The new center also reflects Poland’s growing and ever more recognized potential as a site for high-tech production and engineering service facilities.
In this context, it is no coincidence that, just a few months ago, the cornerstone of yet another service center was laid in Lower Silesia, this case being a joint venture between Lufthansa and General Electric.
Companies, entrepreneurs and investors all around the world are preparing for new challenges which go in line with today´s ever faster technical developments. Poland has shown, in many different sectors, that it is ready to take up these new challenges and profit from them.
The Government’s plan for responsible development which carries your name, Mr. Prime Minister, spells out in detail which road Poland wants to take in the coming years to address the new challenges.
There is room for optimism: when companies like Lufthansa and MTU join forces for an investment of this size and significance, we do not have to worry about the future. So let us preserve the positive spirit of Today for the challenges of Tomorrow, and for the further strengthening of Polish-German relations!
Thank you for your Attention!