Poland has to its name the title of the largest economy of Central Europe. Post the fall of the Iron Curtain, this economy had the difficult task of reaching the level of its developed peers, something that it has nearly managed to do, thanks to the tough but far sighted and prudent reforms of its government, which included liberalization of trade in the 1990s, Mass Privatization Project’s state owned small and medium enterprises’ mostly debt to equity formatted privatization, price controls were done away with, and the Zloty could now be converted. Between 1989 and 2007, the economy of Poland has tripled. Poland’s strengthened internal markets, powered by a large population (today, totaling 38.5 million people), coupled with a determinedly business minded administration helped Poland weather the storm of the 2008 economic slowdown which nearly crippled its other EU peers – its economy grew by 1.6% while that of EU shrunk by 4.5%, on the back of increased domestic consumption, EU funds, and interest shown by corporates. In the aftermath of the crisis, EU spending for Poland, its prime beneficiary was cut.
However, today, with a GDP of US $817.5 bn, growing at a rate of 4.5% until 2011 (slowed to 1.9% in 2012, and then to 1.6% in 2013 and 2015) on the back of recovering EU and return to being the primary beneficiary of EU investment (worth €105.8 bn). Trade with fast recovering Germany has helped Poland maintain stable GDP growth rates, albeit low. Germany is the largest trade partner of Poland, accounting for about 23% of its exports, and about 22% of its imports. Largest imports by the country include crude petroleum, vehicle parts, cars, computers, and packaged medicines. Exports include vehicle parts, cars, refined petrol, video displays and more. It is one of the countries slated to miss the EU 20% by 2020 Renewable Energy targets, and desperately wants transport infrastructure overhaul, but was also the only economy to record a rise of 2.7% CAGR GDP per capita between 2008 and 2013 despite GNI per capita as of 2013 standing at US$13,240, well below the EU average. Agriculture contributes a mere 3.7%, industry 32%, and services are dominant at 64.3%.
However, the economy has a bright future ahead. Funds totaling PLN 114 billion have been earmarked for overhauling Poland’s conventional coal and heat energy plants. Plants supporting 5000MW of power are in the pipeline, including the Opole power plant. 1236km long gas pipelines were consolidated between 2007 and 2014. In infrastructure, the government has launched the National Road Construction Program, 2014-2023, which plans to utilize PLN 92.8 bn for roadways and motorways. The railway is benefiting from incremental trains and friendly train schedules, while further overhaul is on the cards, with 99 stations modernized, and 6100km of rail refurbished. Ports have had PLN 20 billion earmarked by the current administration, of which about PLN 1 will be utilized in 2015. About 13 airports have been expanded.
Despite challenges like 11.30% of jobless rate, fiscal and government deficit running at 3.20% and 1.30%, credit ratings for the country reflect its positive economic outlook – Standard & Poor’s have rated the country A-, Moody A2, and Fitch, A-. Increase in trade with the east will help the economy diversify its trade portfolio. Poland’s Central Statistical Office’s Business Tendency Survey shows that the country’s Business Confidence Chart peaked in April, boding well for the country. Low interest rates are expected to further spur investment.
A large market equipped with a robust policy framework, a well-developed financial market and an openness to international market for trade, etc., spurred by association with the EU has helped attract investment in the country. High enrollment rates in higher education, a large population and a competitive internal market help Poland diversify its economy. A drop in the Zloty in 2008 and 2009 has made Poland’s exports competitive, and imports relatively more expensive.
High unemployment rates, an inadequate transport (road and rail) infrastructure, lackluster private investment in the wake of problems in the Euro zone, reduced EU co-funded projects because of the recession, and a banking sector that needs further consolidation makes for characteristics that Poland, as an economy, is in want of. Furthermore, a GDP per capita lower than the EU average reflects long term progress for the country. Recent crises have led to tighter purse strings and more prudent spending by the population. Government red tape, un-optimized fiscal outlays, corruption, and most importantly, institutional and regulatory framework make up the bottleneck for the private sector. Insufficient initiatives in innovation and R&D, in line with a quick fix “catch up” model of growth, undermining the potential of the up and coming class of private sector in the country, along with an ageing population, low birth rate, and high emigration of young and skilled Poles form crucial challenges for Poland. The workforce, despite being educated, is not as productive as that of EU’s average productivity An unsupportive tax system, and insufficient investment in agriculture has led to an uncompetitive agri-sector further exacerbate the economic outlook. High dependence on the east (especially Russia) for oil reflects the vulnerabilities of the Polish economy.
What this Report Offers
This report will contain micro & macro factors that affect Poland’s market on both Global and Regional scale. It will provide insights pertaining to specified topics and key drivers & restraints for the market particular to each mentioned sector and sub-sector. The report will identify factors instrumental in changing the market scenarios, rising prospective opportunities and identification of key companies which can influence the market on a global and regional scale.
It also contains competition analysis on global & regional scale providing region specific assessments. Competitive landscape will contain profiles of multiple companies along with their strategic initiatives and market shares. Finally, it offers a comprehensive list of key market players along with the analysis of their current strategic interests and key financial information.