What is it about?

Poland, like other economies of the region of Central and Eastern Europe, embarked upon a process of radical economic transformation since 1989, leading to the introduction of a market-based economy. This process was accompanied and driven by a gradual opening of the economy to different forms of international economic activity, including notably a dynamic growth of foreign trade. The paper provides an analytical account on the increasing internationalisation of the Polish economy, pointing to the existence of a certain paradox. On the one hand, the process of catching up with advanced economies requires higher growth rates in terms of GDP. However, the said internationalisation also makes the economy more dependent on the economic situation in other countries. The analysis also indicates that a strategic shift in sectoral and geographic terms occurred in Polish exports. The paper concludes with recommendations for economic policy.

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Why is it important?

The present paper is based on the analysis of the changes, which occurred in the position of Poland’s economy as opposed to the world and the European Union, in specific. The objective of this analysis is to seize relationships, which appeared in the investigated period. The paper also undertakes an attempt at verifying the information about a geographic and sectoral re-orientation of Polish exports, which started to appear in publications at the beginning of 2014.


The above arguments have to find their support in specific policy measures. Currently, in terms of state support for firm internationalisation, the Polish system of incentives for firm internationalisation still remains limited in its scope and dispersed over a range of institutions. While the Export Credit Insurance Corporation kuke has existed since 1991, its scope of activities has remained relatively limited. The same can be said of the Bank of National Economy (bgk), which had existed in the previous political and economic system, but only introduced export credits and loan guarantees or subsidies and loans for foreign direct investment. In 2000, the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development (parp) was established to foster sme development, including their overseas promotion and matchmaking. Furthermore, grants for export promotion, or the Polish export promotion portal featuring information on foreign markets and a database of foreign business inquiries and tenders, are offered by the Ministry of Economy. At the same time, Trade and Investment Promotion Sections of Polish Embassies deal with the promotion of Polish business in other countries, information on foreign markets, matchmaking or assistance in organisation of economic missions. Clearly, the spectrum of instruments dedicated to fostering Polish exports and their geographic diversification is not narrow, however the responsibilities are dispersed between different institutions, which results in overlaps and increased transaction costs for the firms in search of support.

Marian Gorynia
Uniwersytet Ekonomiczny w Poznaniu

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Towards a Strategic Shift? On the Evolution of Poland’s Position in the Global Economy in 2003–2012, Managing Global Transitions, June 2017, University of Primorska Press,
DOI: 10.26493/1854-6935.15.145-168.
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