POLAND


The 9th largest country in Europe and 69th in the world in terms of size; a nation with a proud cultural heritage

Total area: 312,685 sq km
Population:  38.5 million
Government type: Parliamentary democracy
Administrative division: 16 administrative regions (“voivodships”)
Capital + other major cities: Warsaw (1.7 million) + Lodz (769,000), Krakow (755,000)
Currency: zloty (PLN)
Languages: Polish (official) 96.2%
Ethnicity: Polish 96.9%, Silesian 1.1%, German 0.2%, Ukrainian 0.1%, other & unspecified 1.7%
Religion: Roman Catholic 87.2%, Eastern Orthodox 1.3%, Protestant 0.4%, other 0.4, unspecified 10.8%
President: (Mr.) Andrzej DUDA (since August 2015)
Prime Minister: (Mr.) Mateusz Jakub Morawiecki (since 2017)
Date of EU accession: 1 May 2004
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KEY FEATURES

  • 38 million people – largest consumer market by value in CEE, 30th largest population globally
  • 10th largest economy in the EU
  • Continued solid growth from a lower GDP per capita base (5.1 % in 2018)
  • Regional leader in nominal GDP; 2nd in R&D expenditure in CEE
  • Strategic location for manufacturing and logistics companies
  • Significant differences between regions
  • Rapid expansion of transport infrastructure
  • Constant development of the country fostered by EU’s cohesion policies (incl. EU funds)

MACROECONOMIC OVERVIEW

Poland stands out as one of the most successful and open transition economies in the CEE region. Privatization of small and medium-size firms in early 1990's and liberal law on establishing new firms led to rapid development of a private sector now accounting for 70% of all economic activity.

Poland has been enjoying the longest period of uninterrupted GDP growth in Europe (last recession taking place in 1991). And its GDP kept growing, even in 2009, while the rest of Europe, without exceptions, went down!

Poland was the least hit by the recent global financial crisis, thanks to its large domestic market as well as sound fundamentals at the onset of the crisis: a well-capitalized and sound financial sector, relatively low degree of openness of the economy, and sizeable depreciation of the Polish currency at an early stage of the economic turmoil and also skillfully managing public finances and adopting controversial pension and tax reforms to further bolster public finances.

Poland has emerged as a dynamic market over the past 25 years and has become a major actor within Europe, being the tenth-largest economy in the EU. The country performed well during the 2014-17 period, with the real GDP growth rate generally exceeding 3%. In 2018, Poland’s economy expanded 4.4% (IMF estimates), with private consumption - fuelled by favourable labour market developments and strong consumer confidence - as the main growth driver, together with public investments financed with EU funds. The IMF expects the Polish economy to slow gradually to 3.5% in 2019, followed by 3% in 2020, as a result of the negative effect of rising inflation on real disposable income.


Selected economic indicators, Poland, 2012 - 2018

    2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
GDP
Real GDP growth
%
1.6
1.3
3.3
3.8
3.1
4.8
5.1
GDP at current prices
€ bn
389.27
394.60
410.86
427.74
426.54
467.30
496.46
Foreign trade
Exports
€ bn
172.92
182.71
194.98
211.14
222.63
253.92
274.59
Imports
€ bn
174.77
175.15
189.69
199.20
205.42
234.38
257.61
Balance
€ bn
-1.84
7.56
5.29
11.94
17.21
19.54
16.98
Prices
CPI - average inflation rate
4.3
3.7
0.9
0.1
-0.7
-0.6
2.0
1.6
PPI - industry - average
%
3.2
-1.3
-1.5
-2.1
-0.2
3.0
2.0
Employment
Registered unemployment
%
10.1
10.3
9.0
7.5
6.2
4.9
3.7
Average monthly gross wage
895
924
957
992
949
1,002
1,076
Exchange rates
PLN/USD average
3.2556
3.1600
3.1546
3.7712
3.943
3.779
3.612
PLN/EUR average
4.1847
4.1975
4.1843
4.1841
4.36
4.26
4.26


Source: Eurostat, IMF, Central Statistical Office, Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency, 2017-2018

KEY SECTORS
Defense & military - increase of defense expenditures up to 2.2% of GDP by 2020 and to 2.5% of GDP by 2030. Drone market (military and commercial) value expected to skyrocket to over EUR 750 million in the next 10 years (the market’s value is currently estimated at EUR 32 million).


Energy and environment projects – power plants modernization, nuclear power plants to be built, green buildings tech, air pollution control – anti-smog law, asbestos removal plans, railway and road constructio.


Chemicals
– largest importer of chemicals in CEE, rising demand for chemicals fostered by growth in machine, automotive, electrical, electronic, paper industries, agriculture. Opportunities also exist in supplying technologies and machinery to the Polish chemical industry.


Agricultural machinery & food processing
- Poland is a significant European producer of a diverse range of agricultural products. The country is the EU’s largest producer of poultry and apples, second-largest grower of potatoes (after Germany) and ranks third in sugar beets, rapeseed and pork. Based on strong agriculture, the highly competitive food & beverage sector accounts for 20% of Poland’s manufacturing output. For fast-moving consumer goods producers, Poland is the manufacturing hub for the wider EU, and even EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) markets.


Advanced manufacturing
– Strong manufacturing industry 20-25% of the GDP. The automotive industry itself accounts for 8% of the GDP and generates 13% of Polish exports. Poland is in the very beginning of the development leading to the industry 4.0 era. Only 6.0% of manufacturers claim that they have already begun the transformation process. Some 65% of the industry is still at the 3.0 automation stage, with only 15% fully automated and 76% with not completed automation process. Industries of interest include the automotive, furniture, pharmaceutical, chemical, electronics, aviation, metal & machinery and food processing sectors.


Information technologies, IoT
, block chain, active network of start-ups community, several success stories on international level (Booksy, Brand24, LiveChat, Brainly, Wish.


Infrastructure & intelligent transport systems

  • Poland will build central airport for as much as 35 billion zloty (EUR 8 billion) by 2027
  • The Polish government, with the aid of the European Union, plans to invest over US$30 billion in the seaports and inland waterways by 2030
  • In May 2018 the consortium of several entities was commissioned to prepare the Central Port development concept in Gdansk. The investment of the Central Port, with a planned area of about 500 ha with a target number of up to 8 terminals, will allow the Port of Gdansk to handle up to 100 million tons of cargo annually
  • PLN 107 billion (ca. EUR 25 billion) on construction of new expressways and highways in the coming years. By 2023, nearly 4,000 km of new roads should be finished

  • 2017 export and import data:




    Main import partners:
    Germany - 27.9%
    China - 8%
    Russia - 6.4%
    Neterlands - 6%
    Italy - 5.3%
    France - 4.2
    Czech Republic - 4%


    Main export partners:
    Germany - 27.4%
    Czech Republic - 6.4%
    United Kingdom - 6.4%
    France - 5.6%
    Italy - 4.9%


    Poland external trade - 2015




    See references for our track record in Poland.



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