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    The congress of “Gazeta Polska” Clubs. Economic Panel: We must let Polish technological thought speak

    Beginning the Economic Panel entitled “What is economic patriotism and why is it important for Poland’s economic development?”, editor-in-chief Tomasz Sakiewicz asked the speakers what economic patriotism is. The following guests took part in the debate: Robert Perkowski – Vice President for operational purposes of PGNiG SA, Artur Warzocha – President of Tauron Nowe Technologie and Paweł Śliwa – Vice President for Innovation of PGE.

    “Most people think that patriotism means wearing a red and white shirt or knowing all the stanzas of the national anthem. And indeed, this is an important dimension of patriotism. The deeper patriotism is that of the economic dimension. You can imagine that someone buys a red and white T-shirt with an eagle, whose distributor is a German company, the T-shirt was made in China, designed in Italy, and the supplier is a French company. As we think well of our country and economy, as we build a sense of worth within us, we must be aware that the world counts only the strongest,” said Robert Perkowski, Vice-President of the Management Board of PGNiG SA for operational purposes.


    Asked about the impact of consumer decisions on gas purchases, Vice-President Perkowski explained that over the last few years we have managed to bring about quite a change in the direction of gas supplies. He stressed that today Poland received gas supplies from both Russia and Norway, the USA and Qatar. This is a significant change in trends from recent years.


    “About 60 per cent of gas still flows from the eastern direction. Not long ago it was 90 per cent. To be counted you have to be able to choose. For years, the only possible direction from which to take this gas was east. We want a choice. (…) Today we are dependent on the security of energy supplies, mainly electricity. We need to carry out the transformation in a security-oriented way so that, at the same time, we do not cause an unnecessary increase in energy carriers above the average European value. So as not to disturb our attractiveness, our competitive position on the European market. At the same time, we should carry out the transformation in such a way that we can rely on the competencies we already have in our country,” said Robert Perkowski.


    At the end of his speech, Perkowski once again referred to the definition of patriotism.


    “Patriotism is, in the first place, love for one’s country. Not to be confused with nationalism. Don’t let that fool you,” explained.


    Artur Warzocha, in turn, the President of Tauron Nowe Technologie, said that very often Polish companies have no choice when it comes to purchasing components, which is why it is so important to let the Polish technological thought speak.


    “We, as entrepreneurs, as a company that operates within an energy group that has to make purchases, are condemned to stay in touch with suppliers from abroad. We are doomed to make purchases not only in Poland. Even when upgrading the lighting, we sometimes have to extend the time of service precisely because of the pandemic and the blockade of the Suez Canal. Most of these components – manufacturing is done in China. Today we are facing a whole process. We cannot allow the energy transformation process to take place without our participation. Polish technological thought must be given a voice and must take an active part in what awaits us in the coming years. That is an economic patriotism,” said Artur Warzocha, the President of Tauron Nowe Technologie.


    Paweł Śliwa, Vice-President of the Management Board for Innovation of PGE, referred to the question asked by editor-in-chief Sakiewicz whether economic patriotism is not just a public relations issue.


    “Answering the question of whether economic patriotism is just PR. It’s not PR, it’s the responsibility of State Treasury companies. It is incumbent upon us to be economically patriotic. The annual capital expenditures of the PGE Group represent a huge stream of money used by many Polish companies. Polish service, Polish products, Polish suppliers should be the first-choice strategy. It is us, as large State Treasury companies, but also smaller ones, who should look for potential contractors in Poland, for specific products and services, so that these companies can participate in purchase procedures,” said Paweł Śliwa.


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