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Remarks on Signing the Poland-United States Business and Economic Treaty

March 21, 1990

The President. Mr. Prime Minister, I'm just delighted that we've signed today this treaty concerning business and economic relations, a treaty that will greatly strengthen business and economic ties between our two countries.

I want to salute three distinguished Members of our United States Congress: Congressman Broomfield; Congressman Rostenkowski; Senator Pell, the chairman of our Foreign Relations Committee. I want to salute the newly appointed members of the Enterprise Fund Board that you just met -- these distinguished Americans taking time from exceptionally busy schedules to join in as best they can to guarantee Poland's economic success. And we're looking forward to their mission and their work very much.

This treaty is very important -- important not only in its content but what it says about where Poland is going. It says that Poland wants U.S. investment because this investment is good for the Polish people and vital to the growth and development of the Polish economy. In this treaty, Poland is taking a number of very substantial steps, steps that will orient the Polish economy toward the Western economic system and towards global markets. These are courageous steps, and we applaud them.

Following the steps the United States has taken to open our markets to Poland, we can now take this treaty to the U.S. business community and say, this is why you should invest in Poland. And I'm also pleased to note that this is the first economic treaty that the United States has concluded with the newly emerging democracies in Eastern Europe. And we all think that it's quite fitting that Poland is first.

This treaty is more than an investment treaty: it is a broad and comprehensive agreement that lays the basis of a new economic relationship. It's a milestone for Poland and also for the United States -- a milestone on the road to a prosperous Poland and a stronger U.S.-Polish partnership.

So, once again, welcome. Would you care to say a word, sir?

The Prime Minister. Mr. President, I thank you very much for your kind words.

I also consider this treaty is very important and very significant. As I had a chance to say during our conversation before, we're tying together, linking, political change and economic change in our restructuring efforts. We believe there is a relationship between democracy and the development of an economy based on free market and free enterprise. We believe that to combine these two kinds of changes in Poland allows us to make changes that reach most deep.

The treaty we have just signed is very important in this sense, because it offers a prospect for American business and for American companies to become committed and engaged in the Polish conditions and the Polish environment. The treaty offers a certain framework, and what needs to be done now is to fill it with contents. Perhaps Poland not in every respect is prepared for this kind of activity. We're having a great deal of problems. Our telephones do not work as they should, and we have many other problems. But I would like to tell you that I think people should not be discouraged by the problems which are typical of this first phase. And we will be looking forward to seeing courageous people who will be willing to come and to move through this half a year of progress.

I believe Poland is a country of big opportunity, and I believe it is a country of opportunity of opening more to the East. I think our economy could play this role, too. And I do hope that this combinative attitude to investment and business in Poland will continue to characterize our economic relationship.

Let me also join the President in expressing our thanks to the newly appointed members of the Board of the Fund that is intended to boost the development of the private sector in Poland. We want to thank them for accepting the effort of doing it. We very much count on the outcome of that Board's work and on the outcome of the Fund's activities.

Mr. President, I believe that signing this treaty is a good step, opening up our economic conduct into the future. Thank you for kindly signing this treaty personally.

Note: The President spoke at 11:45 a.m. in the Rose Garden at the White House. The Prime Minister spoke in Polish, and his remarks were translated by an interpreter.

George Bush, Remarks on Signing the Poland-United States Business and Economic Treaty Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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