|Beautiful venue: National stadium in Warsaw – built for Euro 2012 football championship is one of the symbols of economic development of Poland. — Photo courtesy of Polish Embassy
On the occasion of Polish Independence Day, which falls on November 11, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to Viet Nam Barbara Szymanowska would like to share with Viet Nam News readers some insights about Poland.
It has been 97 years since Poland regained indepen-dence after World War One. Today we can say that we are in a new golden era. The Polish economy started its transformation over 25 years ago, converting overnight from a central planned economy to a free market.
In that time, Poland became one of the top 25 biggest economies in the world. Poland's financial system employs the same open market practices as the rest of the EU, but has managed to avoid some of the pitfalls which led other member states into recession during the recent global financial crisis.
Poland was the only economy in Europe that avoided recession during the global crisis, benefiting from a large domestic market and low household and corporate-sector debt leverage.
Poland joined the European Union in May 2004 after completing comprehensive structural reforms. Eleven years after its accession, Poland is now one of the most pro-European member states and an advocate for other countries in the region. EU membership has helped strengthen Poland's economic prosperity and open new markets. Poland is now the sixth largest economy in the EU.
In 2015 we are celebrating 65th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Poland and Viet Nam. This long history of relations and close co-operation has made Poland the biggest economic partner for Viet Nam in Central and Eastern Europe.
Annual bilateral trade between the two countries rose to US$1.3 billion last year and has been growing in the first eight months of 2015, approximately 20 per cent compared to the same period last year.
For Poland, Viet Nam is one of its most important economic partners in Asia.
I'm very proud of our recent mutual achievements. In October, Viet Nam opened its market for Polish apples. Poland is the biggest exporter of that fruit in the world, bigger than China or the US. Delicious apples grown under strict European Union health regulations will hit Vietnamese shops soon.
On the occasion of Polish National Day, I would like to wish health and success to all readers of Viet Nam News.
Some interesting facts about Poland and Viet Nam's relationship:
- Poland and Viet Nam established diplomatic relations 65 years ago.
- The first book translated from Vietnamese to Polish was A Tale of Kieu written by Nguyen Du.
- Polish archaeologist and architect Kazimierz "Kazik" Kwiatkowski was responsible for the restoration of My Son, Hue and Hoi An – thanks to his work two of those sites were included in UNESCO's World Heritage List.
- Poland is the biggest exporter of apples in the world. Since October 10 this year, Polish apples have been allowed to be sold in Viet Nam.
- Poland is also the biggest exporter of amber jewellery in the world. 70 per cent of the world's amber jewellery market belong to Polish companies.
- The first Polish constitution was enacted on May 3, 1791. It was the first such act in Europe and second, after America, in the world.
- From 1954 to 1975 more than 2,500 Polish soldiers and civilians participated in international commissions of supervision and control, after the Geneva Agreement (1954) and Paris Memorandum (1973).
- Between 1960 and 1970, Poland built or equipped Viet Nam with more than 20 industrial facilities, including the Ha Long Shipyard, Gia Lam Train Repair Factory and Cam Pha Mine.
- More than 5,000 Vietnamese have studied in Poland. Some of them are first page politicians – for example Nguyen The Thao – Chairman of Ha Noi People's Committee. Currently over 200 students from Viet Nam are studying for their university degrees in Poland.
- Poland is the biggest trade partner for Viet Nam in Central-East Europe, and Vietnamese exports reached almost US$1,3 billion in 2014.
- Polish female physicist and chemist – Maria Sklodowska-Curie (also known as Marie Curie) is the only woman to receive two Nobel Prizes and the only Nobel Prize winner to receive the prize in two different sciences. In Viet Nam, there are two schools named after her.
- More than 30,000 Vietnamese people are living in Poland. It is the fifth largest overseas Vietnamese community in Europe, after France, Germany, the UK and the Czech Republic.
- Polish people have won 17 Nobel prizes, including five for literature. One winner, Wislawa Szymborska, wrote a poem entitled ‘Viet Nam'. — VNS