Ambassador: Jersey and Poland should build links post-Brexit

JERSEY and Poland should look to build stronger trade and cultural links in the post-Brexit world with both enjoying growing economies, the country’s ambassador to the UK has said.

His Excellency Professor Arkady Józef Rzegocki took part in a series of meetings with Island dignitaries and officials, including Chief Minister John Le Fondré and External Relations Minister Ian Gorst, last week during an online ‘virtual’ visit to Jersey.

Speaking to the JEP, the ambassador said that the relationship between the two is long-standing and, with Poland’s newfound economic strength in recent years, must continue to develop.

‘The Polish diaspora has been present in Jersey since the 19th century and Poland is now one of the most dynamic countries in the EU,’ he said.

‘We are one of the closest allies of the UK, and Jersey, and we have a huge trade exchange. We’re also very much interested in economic, culture and tourism co-operation with Jersey.

‘I still think that there’s not enough information about Poland and central Europe, which is the engine for GDP growth of the EU nowadays and in the future. There’s a lot of new opportunities for our co-operation.’

His Excellency called on Poles who have lived in Jersey to act as ambassadors for the relationship between the two.

‘About 3% of the population of Jersey are Poles and some of them are coming back to Poland,’ he said. ‘We are very glad that the Polish economy is going so well and our wages are so good and the standard of living is getting better and better.

‘During the last years we accepted the largest amount of migrants out of EU, more than Germany or the US even, and there’s quite a lot of Poles also deciding to come back.

‘These people are really ambassadors for our co-operation for the future.

‘These people know the English language, Jersey and the UK and they should be the real bridges between our societies and our businesses.’

He said that Poland’s financial services economy was developing and he believed the country could work with Jersey in areas such as banking start-ups, fintech and green finance.

And the ambassador added that he would like to see tourism links boosted in both directions.

‘Tourism has potential because there there’s so many links between Poland and Jersey,’ he said.

‘We are trying to encourage Poles to visit Jersey and also to encourage people in Jersey to visit Poland. It’s amazing to travel around the country, which has a lot of history and natural resources.’

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