5th International Maritime Congress held in Szczecin with Port of Gdansk as a partner
On 8-9 June, the International Maritime Congress was held in Szczecin for the fifth time. The Port of Gdansk Authority SA, a partner of the event, says it is an event which provides a platform for discussion and meeting for representatives of the broadly defined maritime economy sector, including representatives of the world of industry, science, and politics.
During the two days of meetings, representatives of the maritime sector discussed topics such as inland navigation in the European Union's transport corridor development policy, the significance of rivers in the development of cross-border regions, and the economic benefits from their navigability. A lot of space was also dedicated to maritime education, the development of the shipbuilding industry and navigation project financing.
On the second day of the congress, during the discussion panel dedicated directly to ports, issues such as investments in the so-called green infrastructure at the Baltic ports, and their influence on enhancing the competitiveness of the ports in the global market were raised. The issue of the Silk Road and its predicted economic and geopolitical consequences, especially important to Europe, was also brought up.
The panel entitled "The Baltic on the global sea shipping map" enjoyed particular interest. It was initiated by Lukasz Greinke, President of the Board of the Port of Gdansk Authority SA, who presented the current situation of the Baltic Sea in the context of the development of sea logistics routes in Europe.
In his presentation, President Greinke emphasised the great dynamics of the Baltic Sea's development within the last dozen or so years. As he stressed during his speech, since the beginning of the 21st century, an over 50% increase in commodity turnover was recorded within the basin, and as a consequence, a considerable increase in the Baltic's share in Europe's maritime turnover. Significant changes also took place in terms of the distribution of powers among the Baltic countries, whereby - as L. Greinke emphasised - Poland advanced from fifth to second position within the past 20 years, outdistancing the Scandinavian ports.
Further on during the panel, port authority Presidents discussed important changes which have taken in the Baltic Sea, above all the tremendous surge of the Polish ports and their significance in the continent's shipping market. The participants sought answers to questions on how to maintain this positive trend in the Polish maritime economy and further enhance its significance on the global sea shipping map. The development of deepwater port infrastructure and expansion of the Polish ports' impact on its base, including countries such as the Czech Republic and Slovakia, were recognised as the most important factors. The significance of further development of road and railway access infrastructure in the country, expansion of the network of shipping connections from the Polish ports, and providing legislative solutions compliant with Western standards were also highlighted.
Moreover, the two-day event offered an opportunity to enter into discussion about planned and ongoing infrastructure investments at ports, in which the greatest chance for the further dynamic development of the Polish maritime economy was seen.