The cooperation of the State and private investors is the most efficient way of solving the problems of constructing motorways in Poland. This model has proved to be successful in other parts of the world, still it has been barely used in Poland. These are the conclusions that can be drawn after the debate Who will build modern infrastructure for the purposes of the economy the best and the fastest which was held on September 10th during Investment Forum in Tarnów organised as a part of the 18th Economic Forum in Krynica.
The debate which was moderated by Mr Jacek Socha, Vice President of PricewaterhouseCoopers, saw the participation of Aziz Aalijew, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Regional Development and Trade in Kyrgyzstan, Emil Wąsacz, President of Stalexport Autostrady, Ludwik Sobolewski, President of the Warsaw Stock Exchange, Ireneusz Węgłowski, Vice President of Orbis and Wojciech Włodarczyk President of Operator Logistyczny Paliw Płynnych.
Roads and particularly motorways in Poland are not build fast enough for a number of reasons. The main problem is that the entire process is placed in a political context. ‘Each new government, each new minister tries to devaluate everything the predecessors have done and present a new idea of how to solve the problem of building motorways. The place and time of constructing motorways and whether the construction will take place at all is decided on the basis of political arguments and propaganda rather than economic reasons. As long as this situation remains the same, the condition of road infrastructure will not improve’, convinced President Emil Wąsacz.
Moreover, contrary to the popular belief, Poland lacks the necessary public funds which could cover the cost of building the road infrastructure which is needed the most. ‘Hardly anything has been built to be honest, while the total amount of EU and budgetary funds earmarked for the development and modernisation of road infrastructure has decreased. Among others, it was influenced by the strong Polish zloty as well as a significant increase in the costs of contactors and construction materials which has been observed in the constructions sector for some time now. Therefore, if the road infrastructure is to be built efficiently in Poland, the State should forget about building everything on its own and use the support of private capital’, added President Wąsacz. According to him, the best solution would be for the State to focus on spending its own funds on building the necessary road infrastructure, which is less attractive for private investors. This infrastructure would include express roads or Voivodship roads. At the same time, the State ought to place the main burden related to constructing motorways on private capital. This, as Mr Wąsacz explained, would result not only in the construction of motorways but also in the improvement of the condition and quality of the remaining roads in our country. ‘In Poland we always tend to look for the so-called third option. This also applies to constructing roads and motorways, but why shouldn’t we use the methods and solutions which have already been successfully used in other countries. Solutions such as, in the case of road infrastructure, the broadly understood Public-Private Partnership’, said Mr Wąsacz, ‘To do something good, you don’t always have to be a pioneer. Sometimes it’s enough to use solutions which have been applied before and for once learn on the mistakes of others, not ours’, concluded President Wąsacz.