SDSU and WULS – SGGW reinforce scientific bridge between two continents

By Michal Wojtaszek Guest Columnist

The Republic of Poland is a country in Central Europe situated between the Baltic Sea in the north and two mountain ranges (the Sudetes and Carpathian Mountains) in the south. 

After joining the European Union in 2004, Poland became a frequently favored tourist destination. Most tourist attractions are connected with the natural environment, historical sites, cultural events and sports activities, which jointly draw millions of tourists every year from all around the world. 

The country’s central European location, where main communication routes intersect, makes it possible to export goods to other European countries with more than 500 million consumers.


Economic cooperation

Polish-American trade reached a record high in 2016, with a value of more than $10 billion. Polish exports to the United States reached $4.8 billion (an increase of 10 percent over the previous year). U.S. exports to Poland reached $5.6 billion (an increase of 6 percent relative to 2015). In 2016, the U.S. ranked as the 8th largest trading partner for the Republic of Poland for imports from the U.S. and 12th in terms of exports to the U.S.. The level of U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) in Poland at the end of 2015 was $5.4 billion. However, the actual value of U.S. investments in Poland is higher, about $40 billion, providing total employment for about 200,000 people. Polish FDI in the United States reached $715 million in 2015. Also, the number of Polish companies entering the U.S. market has increased in recent years.


Scientific cooperation

SDSU provided me a great opportunity to conduct research here in Brookings as a visiting scholar. During this time, I am engaged in a variety of activities and events taking place at your university. These activities are enabling me to increase my knowledge and understanding of American society and culture. 

Before my arrival in Brookings, I feared I would be far away, yet close in terms of economic and scientific cooperation. I am now so far from my home country and feel like a real scientist, who does not know the borders and distance, and can go very far for knowledge. 

Being able to go abroad to obtain additional scientific materials for my work is of enormous benefit to me as an academic. It is a unique opportunity to gain experience in international cooperation and to build relations between our countries. Therefore, I strongly encourage each of you SDSU students to travel during your studies to discover this world, and in the process learn even more about yourself. 

Each new experience makes us stronger, so take advantage of such opportunities while you can. Summer will be upon us soon, so perhaps during your travels to Europe, and maybe even Poland, I recommend stopping in the capital city of  Warsaw, where you will find a wonderful place — Americans will say an awesome place. That place is a campus of Warsaw University of Life Sciences – SGGW, one of the most modern university campuses in Europe, both for its architecture and research equipment.


Michal Wojtaszek is a second-year Ph.D. student preparing his dissertation about American investment in Poland and can be reached at [email protected]