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Poland
 

Country
GDP per Capita: $4,249 GDP (USD Billions): 164 GDP Growth Rate: 6.2% External Debt as a % of GDP: 29% Inflation (CPI): 10.3% Currency: 1 zloty (PLZ)=100 groszy USD Conversion Rate: 1USD=4.54PLZ Internet Presence: 6.2% Population (Millions): 38.7 Population Growth Rate: 0.1% Labor Force (Millions): 17.4 % Growth in Labor Force: 0.8% Unemployment: 13% Language: Polish Major Industries: machine building, iron and steel, coal mining, chemicals, shipbuilding, food processing, glass, beverages, textiles Political System: Parliamentary Republic Economic System: Free Market Literacy Rate: 99% President: Aleksander Kwasniewski Prime Minister: Jerzy Buzek Capital: Warsaw Candidate country for the first round of the EU admission

Poland

Poland today stands out as one of the most successful and open transition economies. The privatization of small and medium state-owned companies and a liberal law on establishing new firms marked the rapid development of a private sector now responsible for 70% of economic activity. In contrast to the vibrant expansion of private non-farm activity, the large agriculture component remains handicapped by structural problems, surplus labor, inefficient small farms, and lack of investment. The government's determination to enter the EU as soon as possible affects all aspects of its economic policies. Improving Poland's worsening current account deficit also is a priority. To date, the government has resisted pressure for protectionist solutions and continues to support regional free trade initiatives. The government export strategy emphasizes a more aggressive export assistance program. Warsaw continues to hold the budget deficit to less than 2% of GDP. Further progress on public finance depends mainly on comprehensive reform of the social welfare system and privatization of Poland's remaining state sector. Restructuring and privatization of "sensitive sectors" (e.g., coal, steel, and telecommunications) has begun. Long-awaited privatizations in aviation and energy are now under way.

Comment:

Poland represents the leading commercial success story in the region, resulting from sound economics and a resourceful business climate. Effective if slow privatisation, rapid closure of uneconomic enterprises and across the board restructuring has resulted in a thriving free market climate, with a some pockets of post rust belt long term rebuilding acting as a sign of past legacies. Commercial opportunities are already European in nature, with domestic consumer and real estate sectors increasingly being treated in that manner. Manufacturing industry tends to be high quality but cost-efficiencies are often a problem as Poland is no longer the cheapest in the region and needs to compete on quality. The standard of skills and the underused capacity available must make Poland one of the easiest and safest countries in the region to do business with. From privatisation investment to e-manufacturing, it can all be readily accessed in Poland.