Despite the crisis and information about bankruptcy of our shipyards, broadly publicized by media, the maritime economy still remains the main industry in Pomerania providing a considerable income and employment.
The both ports of the Tricity consecutively modernise their cargo handling, storage and logistic potential. Although, the ports have had decreased turnovers over the last years due to the worldwide economic crisis, they may soon contribute to a growth of the region. Globalisation means that we witness an unprecedented development of international trade. Taking into consideration the fact that as much as 90% of the Europe’s external trade and nearly 40% of its internal trade goes through ports, it is easy to understand the enormity of the challenge ahead of the European and the Polish ports in connection to the growing demand.
The accessibility of our ports is slowly improving thanks to the built A-1 motorway and modernisation of the E-65 and CE – 65 railway lines. The latest information on commissioning a Deepwater Container Terminal of the Mearsk shipping line for regular transcontinental shipping route with China creates a chance for Gdansk to become an ocean port and not just a feeder port. In order to achieve it, the big logistic centres nearby our ports will have to intensify their efforts.
The Pomeranian shipbuilding industry undergoes a serious crisis. It is associated with the domination of the Far Eastern shipyards which concentrate around 90% of the worldwide shipbuilding production. The EU share in the shipbuilding industry has dropped down to 7%. However, a transformed and modernized Polish shipbuilding industry may find its opportunity in the new economic conditions, for example in such sectors like building and renovation of yachts, or building of specialist offshore vessels (e.g. oil platforms).
Management of the Pomeranian maritime economy is the key issue when it comes to the state of the maritime industry in Pomerania. We got used to the fact that the maritime economy in Poland is owned by the state and the state is responsible for this sector’s condition. It was the case during the Second Republic of Poland and during the People’s Republic of Poland and this understanding has been brought to the present days. New challenges of the global development trends (decentralisation of authority and decline of the economical instruments of national state) and practice of the western states confirm however that the new maritime economy requires a chain-based management, decentralised and horizontal (also called cluster in today’s nomenclature). It is actually the communes and the regions that should intensify activities to create conditions for development of maritime economy, improve its innovativeness and initiative and take advantage of the fact that the transportation, cargo handing and production infrastructure (shipyards) is located on their area. While the tasks of the commune’s administration includes the issue of spatial planning (so important to secure the seaside land for higher need purposes), the local government authorities of the seaside voivodeships are responsible for economic development by preparing their strategies and regional operational programs.
Therefore, the local government of the Pomorskie Voivodeship intensifies activities in favour of maritime economy development. The competences of the Economic Development Department include a postulate regarding “balanced development of the maritime economy in the Pomeranian Region, improvement of its competitiveness and innovativeness”.
These activities are realised through the following initiatives:
- Creation and promotion of the development zone of the Baltic-Adriatic Transportation Corridor in Poland.
- Support of decentralisation of the Pomeranian port’s management of the primary importance for the national economy.
- Activities to improve innovativeness of the Pomorskie Voivodeship’s maritime economy by establishing co-operation network between companies and scientific institutes.
- Activities to develop small-sized sea ports of the Bay of Gdansk, the Baltic Coast and the Vistula Spit to develop tourism, fishing and trade there.
- Support of the environmentally friendly system of intermodal transport and railway transportation within the frames of the Trans-European North-South Transportation Corridor.
- Co-ordination and monitoring of investments in the field of transportation assuring inland accessibility of the Tricity ports using the EU funds (within the frames of the Operational Program Infrastructure and Environment).
- Co-operation with companies, business environment institutes, economic government organisations, scientific centres, territorial government units and inter-commune associations (such as ZMiGM and SMAB) in the scope of maritime economy.
- Organisation of conferences, seminars and symposiums devoted to maritime economy.
Source: The Marshal Office of the Pomorskie Voivodeship in Gdansk