Patronage of "Rzeczpospolita"
- It was an unprecedented situation, we witnessed the greatest recession, when an impact came from all sides simultaneously - said Paweł Borys, president of the Polish Development Fund, who moderated the debate during the opening session of the Economic Forum 2020 in Karpacz.
There was also an unprecedented response from the state, aimed at maintaining jobs and enterprises, which was associated with a huge increase in debt and new challenges in monetary and fiscal policy.
What Europe can look like and after a pandemic, in what direction it can rebuild, which can become a driving force for the European economy, is the main point of this year's meetings during the Forum in Karpacz.
- No community can survive for long if it is not based on common values- said Jadwiga Emilewicz, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development. And in her opinion, Europe should return to its roots in this particular value and in concepts such as "solidarity, community, freedom to understand", because only thanks to them we will be able to overcome national egoisms and find a way out of the crisis together.
- The Polish economy has great opportunities and potential for quick reconstruction, due to the incredible innovativeness of Poles, the desire to achieve success and the ability to adapt to the changing environment - noted Włodzimierz Wlaźlak, president of Lidl Polska. - This is a chance for our and the whole economy's success - he added.
These features mentioned by the president were perfectly visible during the pandemic and helped the Lidl chain of stores not only survive this difficult period, but also successfully carry out its mission. - Our mission is to deliver products to our customers on time and at a low price. During the lockdown, we did not disappoint the trust of Poles in this regard, thanks to good cooperation with suppliers and employees - said Włodzimierz Wlaźlak.
As he emphasized, Lidl treated the pandemic situation not as a barrier, but as a challenge that must be faced. This required new solutions, such as early payment to suppliers, to ensure that they were paying. - A big problem in March or April was the almost zero demand for flowers. And yet, we collected all goods from our suppliers, so that they could survive and we could continue cooperation in a later period - emphasized the president. In turn, one of the companies supplying tights to Lidl stores, in the face of the growing demand for masks, immediately switched on their production.
- The biggest challenge for us was the beginning of April, when the new requirement of the number of customers in the store was to apply - three people for one cash register - also recalled President Wlaźlak. Then, within several dozen hours, it was possible to communicate with the employees and prepare for extended opening hours of the stores, and some outlets worked around the clock.
President Wlaźlak noted that this ability to flexibly respond to the changing reality and needs is also behind the success of Polish Lidl as an exporter, which in 2018-2019 sent goods from 241 Polish companies to a total of PLN 5.5 billion. - Mainly these are agricultural and food goods, but we also export the knowledge of Poles, or IT solutions developed by our specialists, which are used in other Lidl companies throughout Europe - argued the president.
Mark Boris Andrijanič, head of public policy for Central and Eastern Europe at Uber Polska, emphasized that we can emerge stronger from the crisis. But it requires a strong partnership, an innovative approach and often a change of the business model. As he described, the main part of Uber's business has shrunk by 80 percent, but it can be said that the business in the field of food delivery to customers has almost doubled, the company also appeared in four new cities during the pandemic, and digitization accelerated.
- Strategies are not sitting and watching how they are implemented nicely, you have to work hard, change and modify them. This applies to both companies and governments. I think it will help overcome the pandemic and the emerging economic challenges, emphasized Andrijanič.
In turn, Igor Petraszko, Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture in Ukraine, pointed out, inter alia, on the topic of governments' responsibility for their response to the pandemic and further anti-crisis measures. - Many countries pumped a lot of money into the economy, of course the most important thing is to save jobs and increase real wages, but you also have to be careful not to cause hyperinflation as a result. You have to pump money, but be careful that this does not lead to lower productivity. First of all, it is worth supporting innovative projects, infrastructure, digital transformation, as well as education, so that employees can acquire new skills - emphasized Minister Petraszko.
Deputy Prime Minister Emilewicz emphasized that our current goal is to kick-start investments, both public and private. To stimulate the latter, the government prepared new solutions - incl. investment relief, the so-called Estonian CIT and a new tax relief for robotization (half of the expenditure for this purpose is to be deducted from taxes). Both solutions are to enter into force from the beginning of 2021.
- The leverage of development after the pandemic will be a quick transformation in terms of business, active government policy, building partnership relations between business and administration. And I think we can all agree that the key values we started about will be the key values- solidarity, not disintegration, freedom, not building barriers, community and wise leadership - summed up Paweł Borys.
Patronage of "Rzeczpospolita"