The Economist: Poland’s Golden Age

3 July 2014
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The British Economist weekly has published Special Report on Poland. As the author, Vandeline von Bredow says, “Poland is thriving. Not since the days of the Jagiellonian kings in the 16th century, when Poland stretched from the Baltic almost to Black Sea, has it been so prosperous, peaceful, united and influential”.

Various aspects of Poland’s performance have been described in the Economist’s Special Report: foreign policy, economy and business, country’s east – west divide, agriculture, the Church. The author also writes about the future of the country. 

„When the Iron Curtain came down in 1989, Poland was nearly bankrupt”, argues von Bredow adding with admiration, that however the cure was painful, after a couple of years Poland has started to grow again.

When describing the changes in Polish economy, the Report shows performances of few Polish cities. Gdansk, know as the place of origin of the Solidarity movement and the location of shipyards in Poland is now facing with the decline of the ship building industry. Thus the city had to reinvent itself as a hub of another, relatively new and fast developing industry: offshoring and outsourcing, says the author. The Polish BSS rector has been described by the Economist as one of the fastest - growing in the CEE region. The sector employs 120,000 people, that is roughly the same as the coal mining, a tradition industry of Polish economy that is currently declining. According to the McKinsey Global Institute, the level of employment in Polish BSS is equal to the level of employment by the sector in Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia combined.

The next city described in the report is Wrocław. It was said to be the place that “embodies Poland’s successful transformation and does not have the image problems”.  The city, as the whole country, has risen nearly from the total destruction after the WW2 and “now wants to become the specialist hub for R&D.

Despite the perfect performances of the Polish economy and foreign policy, Poland’s transformation is still unfinished, argues Vandeline von Bredow. Among the things that need to be improved, there are: modernization of agriculture; filling the gap between Eastern Poland and the prosperous parts of the country; demography and one of the lowest fertility rate in the EU; development of domestic technologies instead of using foreign ones as well as the increase of the presence of Polish companies in the global business. (PAIiIZ)

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