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Polish–German cross border cooperation

The Forum on the Polish-German cross border cooperation highlighting the influence of the Szczecin-Świnoujście seaports on neighboring German regions was held on the premises of the Ports Authority in September this year. The goal of the forum was to exchange information and define needs and expectations of German companies interested in establishing their business in the Szczecin seaport and its vicinity.

Such projects require, among others, well-developed infrastructure. The Seaports Authority is one of the leaders with this respect. During the past several years, the ports of Szczecin and Świnoujście have rebuilt their roads and railway lines, created new parking space and new quays, and modernized those that already existed.

The border regions of Western Pomerania, Poland, and Mecklenburg Vorpommern and Brandenburg, Germany, already have a network of links comprising a motorway, railway lines and inland waterways. Unfortunately, the poor status of the infrastructure on selected stretches is a barrier for further development. The motorway on the German side still includes a stretch that was build back in 1936, whereas the railway line from Passow towards Szczecin consists of a single track and lacks electrical infrastructure. Additionally, the status of inland waterways do not allow for their full utilization. This picture, however, has been changing due to the progressing modernization process. For example, investment is made to improve the Oder-Havel waterway. On the German side, the Oder River has class C and an annual volume of cargo transport below 3 million tons. It means that further development can be considered when the volume of cargo grows, i.e. when much more cargo is transported through the port of Szczecin to Berlin and further to other German federal states. As regards the Oder, great hopes are attached to the ratification of the Polish-German agreement of 27th April 2015 which provides for a number of joint projects to be implemented together with the German administration.

During the meeting, a presentation was made regarding the Berlin-Brandenburg logistic region and its potential as well as opportunity to cooperate with Szczecin, while taking into consideration also 12 inland ports on the German side.

The Forum attracted representatives of Business Location Network (BLN) Eastern Brandenburg, Investors Support Center Uckermark ICU, Investors Support Center Eastern Brandenburg ICOB, Zukunftsagentur Brandenburg GmbH ZAB, Polish-German Business Circle DWK of Poznań, Western Pomerania Marshal’s Office - COIE, Port and Shipping Authority (WSA) Eberswalde, Inland Shipping Authority of Szczecin, and representative of German businesses.