“Institution, fool, institution.” Last countdown before this year’s Economic Forum | Economic Forum 2023, Karpacz, Zygmunt Berdychowski

It turns out that it’s not politics or war, but a pandemic that can cut off supply chains. Therefore, the answer to the question we are looking for – are there limits to globalization – is given outside of us, said the head of the Program Council of the Economic Forum in an interview with Interia, Zygmunt Berdychowski.

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Does globalization have limits?

– That is – he replied and added that we cannot continue to hope that one factory in the world – namely China – will produce everything as cheaply and efficiently as possible, and then we will only benefit abundantly from it.

According to Berdychowski, the permanent process of shifting production to countries with cheaper labor cannot continue indefinitely in Europe. The security infrastructure for the supply of certain goods needs to be maintained on our continent. This new perspective on globalization is changing the role of Central Europe. This is shown not only by the pandemic, but also by the war in Ukraine.

In 2022, it turns out that something that seemed obvious to all Europeans turned out to be completely invisible. It turns out that we may become witnesses, and even participants, of an armed conflict on a scale unheard of since the Second World War, says the head of the Economic Forum’s program board.

– This will mean an overhaul of European alliances and the opening of completely new ones. This new condition experienced by all of Europe and Central Europe clearly poses a big challenge. Firstly, it is difficult to talk about whether Central Europe can become a production center like China, if there is no modern infrastructure here, if there are no educated people, if there are no favorable conditions for investment, if any. there is no openness to investment from foreign capital – added Berdychowski, who stressed that the size of defense spending is also an issue of equal importance. This must be continuously improved because the danger of war is no longer just a historical memory, but something that functions side by side and continues to accompany us.

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State intervention is still needed

In an interview with Interia, Zygmunt Berdychowski also highlighted an important element of security, namely state interventionism. – Until recently, we witnessed a situation where there was a lot of talk about the need to immediately abandon the active role of the state in the economy. It seems that, as we were told in the early 1990s, capital knows no nationality and therefore things would be better now.

The experience of the pandemic and everything that has happened in connection with the war shows that nothing can replace the state, and certainly no private capital can replace it in all projects aimed at implementing these priority goals. That is, guarantee security

As Berdychowski emphasizes, this is not just about military or energy security, but also situations related to, for example, the production of antibiotics or food. – Without state involvement, there is no chance of achieving any strategic goals – he said. According to him, although it has theoretical limitations, globalization has not stopped completely.

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Big maybe more

“We are living in a time of functioning companies that are getting bigger and bigger, which are playing an increasingly important role in the economies of individual countries, including the European economy, but also in the global economy,” said the chairman of the Economic Forum’s programming board. This is seen not only when we talk about Poland and what happened in connection with the merger of Orlen and Lotos. This can be seen throughout Europe, the United States, and other regions of the world. Consolidation took place. Big maybe more.

In an interview with Interia, the chairman of the Program Council of the Economic Forum emphasized that Poland is currently ranked second among OECD countries in terms of the level of economic development over the past 30 years.

– It is noteworthy, because even during the biggest crisis, namely the 2009 crisis, we never experienced a recession and did not record a decline in gross domestic product. This is something truly extraordinary. Therefore, when we look at this period, we can feel that whoever is in power in Poland, we are witnesses of development all the time. At all times Poland managed to catch up with countries that are much more developed and richer than us. It was the institutions we created that contributed to the fact that we were catching up so fast, that we started to make up for lost time so fast. And this is a reason for Poland to be very proud: we have created institutions that guarantee us to achieve developments that no other country in Europe has experienced.

“Institution, fool, institution.”

According to Berdychowski, the Forum is a great opportunity to emphasize this, by saying it out loud. – Just as Clinton used to say “economy, stupid”, we in Central Europe can say: “institutions, stupid, institutions”. It was they who decided that even if Poland is ruled by communist, post-communist, liberal or conservative, we always witness development.

In this dimension, the Economic Forum in Karpacz is a great opportunity to promote everything that we have been successful in doing over the last decades. Of course, this is also an opportunity to find a better solution. So that we can adapt it in our place to improve what we think needs to be improved – he said in an interview with Interia.

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Politicians at the Economic Forum

Every year, the Economic Forum gathers not only representatives of business, culture and science from Poland and abroad, but also prominent politicians. Who will come to Karpacz this year? This is a very important question, because this conference will be held right before the parliamentary elections. Berdychowski, when asked if there would be guests from the ruling and opposition parties, replied that it always happens and there will definitely be this time.

– Political parties have received from us a proposal to present their program and of course all guests can find out about the electoral programs and offers from parties that will take part in the parliamentary elections. The most important thing for us, as organizers of the Forum, is to guarantee equal conditions of participation in the conference for all participants, regardless of which political party they belong to. So far, we have been able to do this, so I think this time it will be a unique debate – said Berdychowski. ([email protected]) photo by TK

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