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Lubelskie – the economic gateway of the European Union

31st Economic Forum Partners contributions

The Lubelskie Voivodeship, located in eastern Poland on the border with Ukraine and Belarus, marks at the same time the border of the European Union. The developing economy, transport accessibility, innovation, and tourist attractiveness determine the region’s potential. As a result, Lubelskie is becoming more and more recognisable in the international arena.

Skyline of the Old Town in Lublin, photo: archive of the Lublin Regional Tourist Organisation, Natalia Wierzbicka

The motto of this year’s edition of the Economic Forum in Karpacz is “Europe in the face of new challenges”. Today, the eyes of the entire free world are on Ukraine, which is experiencing aggression from Russia. We are a region directly bordering the Ukrainian oblasts (regions), therefore we feel particularly responsible for the fate of women and children fleeing the warfare.

It is worth emphasizing that the Lubelskie Voivodeship has received the largest wave of refugees since World War II. The issue of the war in Ukraine was an important element of the discussion during the June Three Seas Local Government Congress – Economic Forum. The congress made it possible to re-examine the goals of interregional cooperation and, in the long run, to develop new models of activities corresponding to the challenges faced by local governments, Poland and all Central and Eastern European countries. The talks focused on food and transport security. Consideration was also given to the possibility of including Ukraine in the infrastructural solutions which are the basis for the functioning of the Three Seas Initiative, supplementing the Via Carpathia road route with a railway route along the longitudinal axis, and redefining the trans-European transport network TEN-T. It was also an opportunity to think now about the financial instruments necessary for the reconstruction of Ukraine after the end of war. We hope that the Lubelskie and Podkarpackie Voivodeships will be the economic hub for the reconstruction of the whole Ukraine.

Three Seas Local Government Congress and Economic Forum in Lublin, photo by Łukasz Frączek/ Marshal Office of the Lubelskie Voivodeship

The eastern border of the Lubelskie Region is at the same time the border of Poland and the eastern border of the entire European Union. Such geographical and political location influences the directions of economic development and generates specific challenges that we face as a local government. Due to its location in the pan-European North-South and East-West transit corridors, the transport infrastructure is developing dynamically, including four border crossings with Ukraine and three with Belarus, as well as broad-gauge railway, which facilitate the transport of goods to Eastern Europe and Asia. The Lublin Airport is consistently developing cargo services, launched at the beginning of 2021. The expansion of the cargo terminal is a key undertaking for the long-term development of the airport. Thanks to the connection of the port with the expressway network, it is an investment with great potential, offering a real chance for further economic growth of the region. The “transport backbone” of the region will be the S19 road (part of the Via Carpathia route connecting Greece with Lithuania), as well as the extended A2 motorway, which, together with the S12, S17 expressways and the railway network, will make the Lubelskie Voivodeship an even more attractive place for investments and will raise the living standard of residents. The network of fast roads already significantly influences the transport accessibility of the region.

Horses from Janów Podlaski stud farm, photo by A. Biliński

Lubelskie is mainly an agricultural region and agriculture is naturally the basis for the development of the accompanying fruit and vegetable processing and machine industries. The chemical industry is also doing well, where Grupa Azoty Puławy and Herbapol Lublin are the most recognisable. The wood-furniture industry also plays a significant role in the development of the region, not only thanks to brands such as BRW or Erkado, but also thanks to other producers who often supplement the available offer with luxurious products, exported all over the world.

Innovative sectors of the economy are developing effectively – biotechnology and biochemistry, including ecological and precision farming, information and communication technologies and medical sciences. Investors find here favourable conditions for business development and they receive extensive support from the local government. Lublin is the largest academic centre in eastern Poland. Young, educated staff is an added value for the regional labour market and projects that will have an impact on the coming years.

It cannot be forgotten that Lubelskie is also a natural beauty of the landscape and natural wealth. Our Powiśle, Roztocze, Solska Primeval Forest, Janow Forests, Polesie or the green and wild Bug River Valley attract visitors looking for peace and relaxation. The Lubelskie Region offers very attractive hiking, biking and canoeing routes. The best example is the GREEN VELO Eastern Bicycle Trail, popular among tourists, leading through the least urbanized areas of our voivodeship – from the Podlasie Bug Gorge and Sobibor Forests to Roztocze, through which also famous Central Cycling Trail of Roztocze runs, leading from Kraśnik, through Zwierzyniec to the Ukrainian Lviv. Every visitor to Lubelskie Voivodeship can count on warm reception and an interesting stay.

Three Seas Local Government Congress and Economic Forum in Lublin, photo by Artur Mulak / Event Studio
Small waterfalls on the Tanew river, Roztocze, photo by Tomasz Mielnik

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