Apart from the obvious objective of strengthening Poland’s defense potential, the modernization program for the Polish army should be treated as an opportunity to modernize Polish industry, acquire new technologies and create jobs – believe Employers of Poland.
– The government plans to spend ca. 130 bln PLN on military projects in the next few years. As much as possible of these resources should go to Polish industry. Buying foreign equipment for Polish taxpayers’ money, when products of the same – or higher – quality could be provided by Polish producers, would be to act to the detriment of Polish economy – says President of Employers of Poland Andrzej Malinowski.
Employers are increasingly concerned with the biggest military equipment acquisition programs. Delayed procedures, unclear requirements, publicly formulated accusations of favoritism – these are some of the problems that hinder the process of procuring modern equipment for the Polish army. However, the most alarming phenomenon is the fact that the Ministry of Defense ignores the experience and potential of Polish companies. The procedure of acquiring 70 multi-task helicopters is a very clear illustration of this. Thanks to substantial investments, our country has two world-class helicopter producers: PZL Mielec and the oldest and most experienced producer in Poland – PZL Świdnik. They provide a couple of thousand jobs in total, have created lasting cooperation networks with Polish suppliers and are leaders of innovation and the motors of their regions’ economies. It is striking that the tender procedures do not take into consideration the potential of Polish producers, as well as the scale of investments they have already made.
– We support free competition on the military equipment market. However, we are convinced that the level of previous engagement on the Polish market, and real – rather than only declared – development perspectives should be the key criteria in tenders. If that is not the case, in a few years the Polish market will be dominated by eg. Asian products, whose main advantage will be their low price – argues the President of Employers of Poland.
It should be noted that Employers’ of Poland position is in line with the public opinion. Polls show that according to Poles the main criterion of acquiring military equipment should be whether it is produced in Poland. Poles are also of the opinion that strengthening the Polish defense industry should be among the most important effects of military equipment acquisition programs.
Employers of Poland hope that in the process of modernizing the equipment of Polish army, the interests of domestic industry will be taken into consideration to an appropriate degree.