Poland Travel Guide
Economy of Poland
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Financial centre of Warsaw
Poland is considered to have one of the healthiest economies of the post-communist countries, with GDP growing by 6.1% in 2006. Since the fall of communism, Poland has steadfastly pursued a policy of liberalising the economy and today stands out as a successful example of the transition from a state-directed economy to a primarily privately owned market economy.
The privatisation of small and medium state-owned companies and a liberal law on establishing new firms have allowed the development of an aggressive private sector. As a consequence, consumer rights organizations have also appeared. Restructuring and privatisation of "sensitive sectors" such as coal, steel, rail transport and energy has been continuing since 1990. Between 2007 and 2010, the government plans to float twenty public companies on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, including parts of the coal industry. To date (2007), the biggest privatisations have been the sale of the national telecoms firm Telekomunikacja Polska to France Télécom in 2000, and an issue of 30% of the shares in Poland's largest bank, PKO Bank Polski, on the Polish stockmarket in 2004.
Poland has a large number of private farms in its agricultural sector, with the potential to become a leading producer of food in the European Union. Structural reforms in health care, education, the pension system, and state administration have resulted in larger-than-expected fiscal pressures. Warsaw leads Central Europe in foreign investment. GDP growth had been strong and steady from 1993 to 2000 with only a short slowdown from 2001 to 2002.
The prospect of closer integration with the European Union has put the economy back on track, with growth of 3.7% annually in 2003, a rise from 1.4% annually in 2002. In 2004, GDP growth equaled 5.4%, in 2005 3.3% and in 2006 6.2%. For 2007, the government has set a target for GDP growth at 6.5 to 7.0%.
Although the Polish economy is currently undergoing economic development, there are many challenges ahead. The most notable task on the horizon is the preparation of the economy (through continuing deep structural reforms) to allow Poland to meet the strict economic criteria for entry into the European Single Currency (Euro). According to the minister of finance Jacek Rostowski, Poland is likely to join the ERM in 2009 and adopt the euro in 2012 or 2013. Some businesses may already accept the euro as payment.
Average salaries in the enterprise sector in April 2008 were 3137 PLN and growing sharply. Salaries vary between the regions: the median wage in the capital city Warsaw was 4600 PLN while in Białystok it was only 2400 PLN.
Since joining the European Union, many workers have left to work in other EU countries (particularly Ireland and the UK) because of high unemployment, which was the second-highest in the EU (14.2% in May 2006). However, with the rapid growth of the salaries, booming economy, strong value of Polish currency, and quickly decreasing unemployment exodus of Polish workers seems to be over. In 2008 people who came back outnumbered those leaving the country.
Commodities produced in Poland include: electronics, cars, buses, helicopters, transport equipment, locomotives, planes, ships, military engineering, medicines, food, clothes, glass, pottery (Bolesławiec), chemical products and others.
Source: Wikipedia Encyclopedia
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