Wed, 29th May 2024 06:38 (GMT +7)

Poland and Việt Nam: learning and succeeding together

Thursday, 02/05/2024 | 09:12:00 [GMT +7] A  A

Polish ambassador to Việt Nam Aleksander Surdej wrote to Việt Nam News on the occasion of the country's National Day (May 3)

Poland is one of the oldest historical nations in the world with more than 1,000 years of statehood. On May 3, Poles celebrate the day of the Constitution in remembrance of the 1791 legal act that laid the foundations for the national political system based on laws, that protect individual freedoms, but also guarantees the effectiveness of state policies.

Alas, the full implementation of the 1791 Constitution was interrupted by the invasion by foreign powers that forced several generations of Poles to strive for national independence and eventually regain it in 1918. Soon, however, World War II and its consequences distorted the development of Poland for more than four decades.

Long historical memory reminds Poles how important it is to protect the world system based on respect for international law. As we have learned, only in such conditions can nations pursue their development and build widely shared prosperity.

During the last 30 years, Poland, in a beneficial international environment, has achieved great economic success. The Polish economy grew uninterruptedly at an average rate of 4 per cent and our gross domestic product (GDP) per capita has increased more than 300 per cent. Higher salaries and improved living conditions followed.

Lazienki Royal Park in Warsaw. Photo courtesy of Go To Warsaw

The economic success of Poland is a result of good economic policies that created incentives for investment and entrepreneurship, while also caring about improvements in citizens’ accessibility to high-quality public services. Poland has heavily invested in education at all levels: from kindergartens to universities. The outcomes have proven positive: Polish 12-year-old pupils are among the top performers in OECD PISA rankings, Polish youth are especially strong in STEM subjects and Polish technical universities train excellent specialists in various subjects starting from geology to software development, and they do it at moderate costs.

A high-quality workforce, good infrastructure, and a location in the heart of Europe have made Poland a place firms must be and must invest in, and this tendency is confirmed by Poland’s high position in the 2024 FDI Confidence Index.

In the eyes of experts, Poland and Việt Nam show striking similarities. Not only due to their histories of struggles for independence, but also because they are regional medium powers, crucial in all geopolitical equations. Both countries live a prolonged period of rapid economic development relying on domestic growth sources supported by targeted foreign investment.

Our countries have much to offer to each other. Poland’s golden age of growth can be an interesting inspiration for Vietnamese policy makers and Việt Nam’s entrepreneurial dynamic creates ideal growth partners for Polish companies.

Yet, the current level of economic cooperation is below the potential of both countries. We need to work together to support companies to identify optimal partners, to arrange for the transfer of skills and technologies, and to encourage joint ventures and investments.

Our countries need to nurture efficient intermediaries. Fortunately, Poland is home to a diaspora of 40,000 Vietnamese who create useful platforms for economic and cultural exchanges. Việt Nam, in turn, hosts an increasing number of Polish companies and many entrepreneurs visit Việt Nam with ideas to invest in Việt Nam and run businesses in this country.

Krakow city. Photo courtesy of Poland Travel

In the past, Polish universities educated many Vietnamese who greatly contributed to the economic rise of the S-shaped country. In an era of globalisation of educational markets, students can choose what and where to study. But, the Vietnamese know that Poland’s universities still offer a good education at reasonable costs and produce world-leading specialists in several scientific disciplines. Polish academic institutions turn also to Vietnamese universities, considering them attractive partners for designing joint study programmes and exchanging students and teachers. Yet, more can and should be done in this area!

Our citizens admire and enjoy a richness of culture and a diversity of nature in our friendly countries. No mutual understanding is possible without cultural exchanges. As our governments will celebrate next year the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations, Poles and Vietnamese will listen to the 19th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition that will take place in Warsaw in October 2025, hoping that talented Polish or Vietnamese piano players will repeat the successes of Krystian Zimerman or Đặng Thái Sơn.

From culture to the economy, Poland and Việt Nam can benefit from strong and comprehensive partnerships. There are many reasons to look ahead with optimism!

Source: Vietnam News