War still looms large for Poland but business moves up agenda

As a neighbour and key ally of Ukraine, Poland has felt the effects of the war on its doorstep perhaps more than any other country outside of Ukraine.

The intensity of feeling about it — shock, fear, anger — was palpable among Polish representatives at MIPIM 2022. This year at the event, while worries about the war continue to loom large, the mood was calmer and focus was back on business.

“Last year we felt there was a big question about whether it is safe and reasonable to invest in our part of Europe, due to the war on Ukraine. After a year, business is now as usual, despite the sad continuation of the war,” said Katarzyna Gruszecka-Spychała, deputy mayor of the Polish city of Gdynia.

“The investors understood that Kyiv is located far away from our cities.” Meanwhile, the influx of Ukrainian refugess in Poland has created a need for new housing, offices and jobs, she added: “We have a lot of Ukrainian workers and people who live in our country now, as well as businesses that have moved [to Poland], so they will need new places to live and work.”

At MIPIM Gdynia was presenting two major plots for development: one in the city centre earmarked for housing, public services and cultural amenities; and another outside the centre near main highways and well connected to the airport, intended for public services and light industry. “This is something very new for our city, we usually don’t have such big bits of land available,” Gruszecka-Spychała said.

Please click on the video above to watch the full interview or listen to the podcast below.