BGK to invest in Three Seas Initiative

Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Polish state-owned bank BGK will be among the investors in the projects of the Three Seas Initiative, which will cost northwards of EUR 100 bln in total, the bank’s president said on Tuesday.

“We are thinking about taking part in the program of financing infrastructure investments in the Three Seas countries, the total value of which will amount to EUR 100 billion. These investments would be implemented over about 30 years,” said Beata Daszyńska-Muzyczka, BGK’s president.

The Three Seas Initiative is a joint Polish-Croatian project, launched in 2016, with the aim of strengthening trade, infrastructure, energy and political cooperation among countries bordering the Adriatic, the Baltic and the Black Sea.

Daszyńska-Muzyczka said the fund would finance infrastructure connecting the countries, for example, the expansion of the railway network, which would connect ports in Poland, Croatia, Slovenia and Romania.

“It would be a north-south supply chain that would create the possibility of re-building logistics routes,” she said.

Until now the region’s main trade routes have tended to run from east to west rather than north to south, partly reflecting Germany’s economic dominance - but that is starting to change.

The North-South Gas Corridor, expected to be completed in the next two years, will help send gas supplied from the LNG terminal in Swinoujscie and also from a planned Baltic pipeline through Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary to a new LNG terminal in Croatia.

Another major project of the Three Seas Initiative is the construction of a north-south highway dubbed "Via Carpathia" which is intended to run some 7,750-kilometers from the Lithuanian port of Klaipeda on the Baltic to the Greek city of Thessaloniki on the Aegean, passing through most countries of the region along the way.

Of the countries mentioned, Poland currently has reasonably good road and rail connections with the Austria Czech Republic and Slovakia, which are all in the top 20 of Poland's trading partners. Of the others, only Hungary is now responsible for more than 1 percent of Polish export trade.