Bern, 05.12.2022 – On December 5,2022, State Secretary for Economic Affairs Hélène Budliger Artieda and Poland’s Minister for Development Funds and Regional Policy Grzegorz Puda signed a bilateral agreement in Warsaw. The agreement implements the new Swiss-Polish cooperation programme, which is part of Switzerland’s second enlargement contribution to selected EU member states. The visit signals Switzerland’s continued interest in strengthening its very good bilateral, and economic relations with Poland.
Of the 15 countries receiving the second Swiss contribution, Poland is the recipient of the largest allocation amounting to CHF 320.1 million. The new Swiss-Polish cooperation programme aims to support Poland’s strategic reforms, strengthen Swiss-Polish partnerships. The programme targets areas where there are proven needs in Poland and opportunities for Switzerland to contribute its experience and expertise. It focuses on two programmes:
- the Polish-Swiss Development of Towns programme, a major project costing CHF 278.7 million aimed at supporting the economic and social development of small and medium-sized towns in disadvantaged regions of Poland. The areas envisaged are urban planning, energy efficiency, water and wastewater management, sustainable mobility, vocational education and training and health;
- a second programme costing CHF 35 million to promote the excellence of research and the capacity for innovation of Polish universities and businesses through greater collaboration with Switzerland.
Switzerland’s second contribution is an investment in Europe’s security, stability and prosperity. It aims to strengthen cohesion in Europe and support countries facing exceptional migration challenges. Furthermore, this contribution allows Switzerland to strengthen and deepen its bilateral relations with EU partner countries, and with the EU as a whole.
As part of the second contribution, a total of CHF 1.302 billion will be spent over a ten-year period until the end of 2029 in the areas of cohesion and migration. The contribution was approved by Parliament on 3 December 2019 and released on 30 September 2021. On 30 June this year, Switzerland and the EU signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Brussels specifying the key parameters for the second contribution, such as the total amount, its distribution among partner countries, the thematic priorities and the principles of cooperation and implementation.
During the visit, Ms Budliger met with her Polish counterpart, Minister Waldemar Buda, with whom she discussed the possibilities of deepening bilateral economic relations, as well as the economic and investment situation in both countries. Accompanied by representatives of the Swiss business community, she met with representatives from Swiss companies in Poland and took part in a meeting with Polish start-ups.
With a trade volume of CHF 5.8 billion, Poland is Switzerland’s 14th largest trading partner (including gold trade) and Switzerland is the 8th largest foreign investor in Poland. Poland is also becoming increasingly important in trade in services.