This week you will be an honorary guest at the Polish-American business conference in Miami.
The interest for Poland in America is very big and the attitude very positive. Recently, owing to the work of my office, the state of Nevada has signed a proclamation of cooperation with Poland. I was in Atlanta and Georgia, where same talks are being held. I wish that other states would follow in these footsteps. There is a group of several dozen of congressmen in the American Congress, who take a particular interest in Poland. It is possible that they will visit our country in March. I encourage all American to do the same, as it is the best way of building proper relations. Those, who come to Poland, are under a great impression of what they saw.
What will be the nature of the conference in Miami?
It is a business conference. But not only businessmen have been invited. A few politicians will attend on Poland’s behalf, i.a. the Minister of Investment and Development Jerzy Kwieciński and myself. There will be a number of politicians on American side as well. The whole point is to allow businessmen to lead talk within their own as well as political lieu. Such meetings and back room talks are invaluable.
Isn’t it so that for a common American Poland and Holland sounds all the same?
(laughter) Surely, it is changing. It has changed to a great degree, since Donald Trump’s last year visit to Poland. During his campaign, he met with the Polish American Congress and some commentators even emphasized that it as owing to the Poles that he won the election. Aside from that, the image of our people is different than in years before. Once, they used to be perceived as poorly educated immigrants but nowadays they often hold very high positions. We have to remember that we have a huge Polish diaspora in the US. My office would like to start a discussion on how to convince them to invest in Poland.
How does the Polish diaspora perceive our country?
In my opinion, American Polish diaspora takes a great interest in Poland and would like a closer relationship with the country, while sometimes there is no reciprocity. Poland lives with a conviction that Americans of Polish decent are doing excellently on their own. Or, since they do not speak Polish, they are basically American. It is a faulty way of thinking. One can speak hardly any Polish and still be a patriot. Such often is the case in the USA.
Poland was recently visited by Rex Tillerson, American Secretary of State. Was it an important visit, in your view?
Absolutely. In my opinion, this visit was supposed to show that the words of the President Donald Trump about the Polish-American friendship, delivered in Warsaw, were not just a summary courtesy. Those mutual relations are being deepened. We are connected with America over two key matters – military safety, due to a NATO contingent stationing in Poland and energy affairs. Such as a common, skeptical position on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
I think Poland hopes that Americans will help us block that investment.
The construction of this gas pipe, in view of our American allies, is precarious, as it endangers many European countries to the dependency on Russian supplies of gas and, in result, a possibility of energetic extortion. In the context of relations with the United States, it is important that America also needs Poland. Most of countries within the European Union are not so pro-American, so we can be sort of a bridge between US and EU. g
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