China's Belt and Road Initiative is an important project with great economic impetus and geopolitical developmental potential, Polish President Andrzej Duda said Tuesday.
Addressing the Polish-Chinese international conference in Opole, southwest Poland, Duda said in a letter: "The evolving debate concerning the Belt and Road Initiative is a proof that Poland appreciates the meaning of this project and is very interested in it."
He said concrete examples of common initiatives could already be seen, such as China-Poland rail cargo connection and partnerships between various academic and research centers. "The Belt and Road Initiative means many chances and opportunities. Let's use this chance together," Duda added.
Chinese Ambassador to Poland, Xu Jian, said Poland, as a big and important Central and Eastern European (CEE) region country, was also an important partner for China.
"Poland is a "gate to Europe" as far as the Belt and Road Initiative is concerned," Xu said, adding between 2013 and 2016, Chinese-Polish trade volume rose from 14.8 billion U.S. dollars up to 17.6 billion U.S. dollars, with a 6 percent average annual growth rate.
"Polish dairy products, wine, fruits, meat and other high-quality food products are already present on Chinese consumers' tables," he added.
Grzegorz Czelej, deputy marshal of the Polish Senate and chairman of the Polish-Chinese Parliamentary Group, emphasized that due to the Belt and Road Initiative, new opportunities emerged. Chinese investments in Poland have been increasing.
He underlined the huge dynamics of the initiative and opportunities brought to Polish regions.
"We need to use the opportunities created at the central level and transfer them into the local, regional level," he said.