Reforms boost confidence
IT is my pleasure and honour to extend my greetings to the people of Hong Kong, as well as to the Polish community in Hong Kong on the occasion of the National Day of the Republic of Poland.
For many different reasons, this year seems to be a promising one for Poland, as well as for the development of good contacts and co-operation between Poland and Hong Kong.
Poland's elections last year brought a new majority and a new cabinet to power and the new coalition government is determined to continue the process of Poland's transformation into a full-scale market economy.
The past four years of radical economic and political reforms have proved that the programmes implemented in my country are beginning to pay off.
The Polish economy is not only showing signs of recovery but has been recently heralded as the most successful reforming economy in central eastern Europe.
After a one per cent rebound in 1992, the Polish economy experienced more than four per cent growth last year. What is even more important, a four to five per cent GDP growth rate will last for 1994-97.
The government intends to create the best possible environment for foreign business in Poland in legal terms, with fairly liberal trade regulations and adequate business infrastructure.
It has to be stressed that this development strategy is strongly supported by international organisations, such as the European Union, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and many others.
This year, after several years of negotiations with the Paris Club of Western government lenders and the London Club of commercial creditors, agreements have been reached to cut Poland's total US$47 billion external debts almost by half.
These two deals re-establish Poland as a fully responsible financial partner and credit-worthy member of the international community.
Poland, with almost 40 million inhabitants, is the second biggest market for Hong Kong in this part of Europe.
The rapid pace of political and economic change and Poland's convenient location has made it an attractive place for investment and commerce.
And it is also an attractive tourist destination.
Natural attractions such as the Baltic Sea, Mazurian lakes and Tatra mountains, as well as many beautiful historical places and cities, attracted almost 50 million foreign tourists in 1993.
You are cordially invited to acquaint yourself with Poland: its kind-hearted people, its diverse culture and . . . business opportunities.