Polish ports aspire to handle a larger share of Polish-Saudi Arabian trade: Minister

The Polish Ministry of Infrastructure wants to increase the use of Polish ports in the total trade exchange between Poland and Saudi Arabia. The topic was one at the centre of a recent conversation between the Deputy Minister of Infrastructure, Marek Gróbarczyk and the president of the Main Board of Transport of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Rumaih al-Rumaih.

The conversation, which took place on July 20, was centred on cooperation in the field of maritime transport and within the framework of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

The ministry stresses that the upward competitiveness of Polish ports is forecasted to continue, especially as important infrastructural investments have been carried out recently and rail and road access to ports have been improved. Other projects are also planned, such as the Central Port in Gdańsk, the External Port in Gdynia and the deepwater container terminal in Świnoujście.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Poland exported goods worth USD 910 mln to Saudi Arabia while importing goods worth USD 1,8 bn. The main products exported by Poland include wheat, buses and railway vehicles. Nearly all of the Saudi Arabia’s exports to Poland consist of crude petroleum. Between 1995 and 2019, Poland’s exports to Saudi Arabia grew annually by an average rate of 11.7 percent while the imports from its Arab trade partner grew by 32.5 percent.

The Ministry of Infrastructure wants a larger share of that trade flow to be facilitated by Poland’s access to large ports on the Baltic Sea (Port of Gdańsk, Port of Gdynia and the Szczecin-Świnoujście Port Complex), which are making the country an increasingly important link in maritime transport on a regional scale.

According to Minister Marek Gróbarczyk, quoted in a communiqué released by the Ministry of Infrastructure, Polish ports handle around 100 million tonnes of goods per year.

"It is therefore justified to take measures to develop connections, including with Saudi Arabia. As far as sea trade exchange between Poland and Saudi Arabia is concerned, it should be conducted with the direct use of our ports," the Minister wrote.