The meeting marks the launch of the so-called Coordinating Secretariat for Maritime Issues, a cooperation initiative of the “16 plus 1” group, or 16 Central and Eastern European countries and China.
According to Anna Moskwa, Poland’s deputy maritime economy and inland navigation minister, the meeting offers an opportunity to exchange experience on transport infrastructure and is likely to produce specific "investment initiatives."
A total of 600 participants were expected to attend the Warsaw conference, including 25 ministers and executives from more than 160 businesses.
The event is due to address both political and business topics, including inland waterways, the role of seaports in economic development, and innovation in transport.
Transport high on gov't agenda: Polish PM
Opening the conference on Wednesday morning, Poland's Prime Minister Beata Szydło said her government was determined to develop the country's transport infrastructure, including road, rail, air and sea links, in addition to inland waterways.
She specifically mentioned a planned new hub airport in central Poland, which she said was a groundbreaking project of major importance to the country’s development.
The new airport will be combined with a high-speed rail link and respond to rapidly growing air traffic between Europe and Asia, Szydło said.
The Coordinating Secretariat operates out of the Polish Ministry of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation in Warsaw. The decision to establish it was made at a summit of the "16+1" group in the Latvian capital Riga in November last year.
The "16+1" summit in Riga, known as the 5th Meeting of the Heads of Government of China and Central and Eastern European Countries, was attended by officials from Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania and Macedonia, in addition to China.
Source: IAR, PAP