Ms. Joanna Skoczek, 波兰共和国驻广州总领事 Consul-General of the Republic of Poland in Guangzhou

近期,DB三角铃采访了波兰驻广州总领事Joanna Skoczek女士。采访中 Joanna Skoczek女士就两国学术合作展开讨论,同时她还提到了为庆祝2018年波兰独立100周年而精心准备的计划。
DB spoke to Ms. Joanna Skoczek recently, the Consul-General of Poland in Guangzhou. She discussed the consulate’s focus on academic cooperation between the two countries, as well as their exciting plans for celebrating the 100th anniversary of Poland regaining its independence in 2018.

DB:您任职波兰驻广州总领事已经有三年多了,您认为波兰和华南的关系总体是怎样的呢?You’ve been Consul-General here for a little over three years now – do you think the relationship between Poland and South China is growing, and in what way?

The general tendency is that these relations are more and more intense. First I should mention the increase of economic relations – more businesses are established from Poland here, but also Chinese investment and Chinese businesses are going to Poland. We have also had a huge increase in the dynamic of academic cooperation, which is extremely important to me.

Then of course are the relations between people. More and more people are coming from Poland to Southern China, and there are more and more Chinese people going to Poland. The increase year on year, if we take the overall Chinese figure, is over 70 percent. We know that a big share is here in Guangdong province. It’s a very wealthy province, which is traditionally open to the world. This means people are ready to go – to explore.

Poland is also a partner of the Belt and Road Initiative. With Poland being the biggest country in Central-Eastern Europe it seems to be quite a natural partner for China to pursue this initiative in our part of Europe. So not only is it our feeling, but there are also hard statistics and hard numbers saying that this cooperation is growing, which is very positive. It confirms that our presence here makes sense.

DB: 就在上个月,波兰科学与高等教育部副部长Aleksander Bobko先生访问了广州。您如何看待这次访问,它对推进两国关系起到怎样的作用?Last month the Deputy Minister of Science and Higher Education – Aleksander Bobko – visited Guangzhou. How do you think visits like this benefit the relationship between the two countries?

This visit was just another step in strengthening academic cooperation. I think that having the Deputy Minister for Higher Education here is a visible sign that we attach great importance to this area. There are universities on both sides interested in enlarging and enhancing cooperation. We see the number of Chinese students going to Poland growing. This growth is on the level of 30-40 percent per year which is quite a significant number.

This visit also aimed at showing Poland as an interesting partner in research and development. We have a lot of interesting startups and companies dealing with high tech in Poland that are usually very small, so they feel intimidated by the scale of the Chinese market. It is good, I think, for our Chinese friends and partners to know that we have potential in this area. But academic cooperation in all fields is important. We have had Polish Studies at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies since 2014, so we see dozens of young Chinese students interested in learning our language and culture. I hope to see more Polish Studies developing in China, and I hope that the dynamics of our bilateral relations will also help these young people to find their dream job after their studies.

DB: 您能讲一下您在广州和华南地区的一些经历吗?你第一次来到这座城市或者珠三角是什么时候? Tell us about your personal history with Guangzhou and the South China region. When was the first time you visited the city or the Pearl River Delta?

It’s been exactly ten years since my first visit to the Pearl River Delta. I visited Hong Kong during one of my first visits to Asia, and I fell in love with the region. I was coming back every year, not necessarily to China but to Southeast Asia. I couldn’t even think of a better place to work in this region. I like it a lot – I like the climate, I like the people, I like local cuisine, and I especially appreciate the dynamics. When I compare my first experience when I arrived three and a half years ago – so many things have changed. Living here has become more comfortable from the perspective of an individual, and as a professional I must say that we have more and more opportunities to strengthen relations and cooperation in recent years. It’s not always easy, but I think that the region has this special power in itself that makes it interesting to work and live here.

DB: 您是2012年银十字勋章的获得者。那么这件事情是否对您来中国这个决定有所影响?You were a recipient of the Order of Merit, Silver Cross, in 2012. Tell us about that, and whether it influenced you in coming to China?

It was a very important moment for me as a civil servant and diplomat. I was decorated by the President of the Republic of Poland for my achievements in my previous scope of responsibilities, which was European policy. I was in charge of coordination of the first Polish presidency in the Council of the European Union. That was just the crowning of that stage of my career. It didn’t influence my coming to China in a direct way, but of course it was important for me and made me feel like I did it well so I can also succeed in other fields. I wanted a change, and I had been enchanted by the region of East and Southeast Asia. It was a very good opportunity for me to come to this area – to do what I really wanted to do at this very specific moment of my professional life.

DB:目前领事馆正在进行哪些重大举措或活动?What are some major initiatives or events the consulate are working on at the moment?

The most important thing in 2018 for us is the 100th anniversary Poland regaining its independence. After the First World War Poland regained its independence, after more than 120 years of foreign occupation. It’s really the most important occasion, not only for our consulate, but for other diplomatic missions around the world. We don’t want to just focus on the history without thinking about today, so the idea is that we will refer to our history to show the Poland of today, and how being an independent state for 100 years has influenced the attitudes of people.

I mentioned academic cooperation because I think that’s one of the most important things we can do here for bilateral relations. In this context there will also be a lot of promotion – cultural activities showing Polish culture and Polish history to a Chinese audience locally. We want to organise something at the margin of International Women’s Day – so the beginning of March expect some events that will refer to our history but also to the present situation, and especially to the empowerment of women.

Being a female Consul-General I feel personally responsible for putting this subject high on the agenda. Poland has its achievements in women’s rights, also historically speaking women were always responsible for their families and were very active in public and professional life. We are happy to show some good examples of Polish women active in China right now.