Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

July 7, 2007

Poland needs national road program ahead of Euro 2012 soccer tournament

Filed under: Poland,Roads — Ivan @ 8:52 am

Poland needs to draft a national road building program to avoid delays in the road infrastructure development ahead of the Euro 2012 European football championships, awarded to Poland and Ukraine, said Roman Rewald, president of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) business body in Poland.

“A real danger is the short period of time required for the completion of some parts of the infrastructure,” Rewald said. “We suggest the creation of a national road building program.”

Drafting of a national road building program is a key element of AmCham’s report, presented Thursday after a two-year study. The reports describes barriers hampering Poland’s road infrastructure plans and sets a list of recommendations for the government to improve transport conditions, seen as one of key conditions for the country’s economic growth.

AmCham recommends the appointment of an official at deputy prime minister level, who would be responsible for inter-ministerial coordination of Euro 2012 projects.

“A person in the rank of a deputy prime minister should be made responsible for the issue of road construction,” said Rafal Kasprow, managing partner for consulting firm MDI Strategic Solutions, which helped prepare the report together with another consulting firm, CEC Government Relations.

AmCham said legal processes and difficulties with kick-starting public-private partnership (PPP) – seen as vital to fulfilling its stadia and infrastructure commitments – were identified as problem areas. AmCham recommended the reduction of bureaucratic regulations and improvement of public procurement and environment protection laws.

“There is no possibility to hit the deadline without the participation of private companies,” said Rewald referring to the PPP legal framework. “We should keep a friendly approach towards the public-private partnership.”

The number of public-private initiatives remains limited in Poland, mainly because of strict legal rules for involvement of private companies. The Economy Ministry earlier announced its intention to amend the law and simplify procedures in order to encourage small and medium-sized companies to take part in public-private projects.

Poland is also struggling with the tightening of the construction market.

The sector’s companies suffer from skilled-labor shortages, rising prices for construction materials and a lack of qualified design services. To address those disadvantages, the Polish government should open its market to companies from outside Poland, AmCham said.

“We think that an internationalization of the process is needed,” said Jaroslaw Roszkowski, AmCham representative for road infrastructure issues. “We should also give wider access to our labor market.”

The report has been sent to Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, but Rewald said the premier has not yet given his response.

Source: Internet edition of Interfax Central Europe

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