Poland is a democratic, politically stable country in Central Europe, populated by about 38.6 million people.
Privatization of economic activity is the key issue in the process of economic transformation in Poland. The most important of these was the opening of possibilities to establish new private enterprises, both domestic and foreign. The second path was privatization of existing state-owned enterprises.
The transformation of the economic system and especially the liberalization of the legal possibilities of setting up companies and regulation on liquidation procedures (bankruptcy) resulted in an enormous rise in business activity, especially private enterprise. The overall number of economic entities is estimated at over 2.5 million, taking into account individuals and civil law partnerships.
The number of enterprises with the participation of foreign capital rose remarkably.
According to Polish Agency for Foreign Investment (PAIZ), in the year 2001 the volume of foreign direct investment in Poland amounted to $6.1 billion. Within the last ten years the cumulative value of foreign investment amounted to $52.27 billion at the end of the first half of 2001. France, the United States, Germany, the Netherlands and Italy are the top investor-countries in Poland. In the 2002-2003 period, FDI is scheduled to reach $5.5 billion to $6 billion, rising gradually to $10 billion to $12 billion between 2004 and 2005.
In deciding to increase capital involvement in Poland, foreign investors took into consideration the macroeconomic situation, the level of economic development and the progress of reforms, Poland’s recent OECD, WTO and NATO membership and prospects for participation in the European Union. Also an important factor is Poland’s creditworthiness in the international arena.
Among the country’s 38,670,000 inhabitants, its young population (85.6 percent of the population of working or pre-working age) makes up a relatively highly qualified labor force yet deals with an insufficient supply of jobs. Thus, Poland is an extremely attractive labor market for local and foreign employers, in practically all branches of the economy.
Poland is deeply interested in investments, including direct foreign investments that would increase employment in regions with surplus force including rural areas.
The successive opening of the Polish economy resulted in growing importance of links with the outside world.
Both politically and economically the country became a leader in transitions, soon to be followed by others. The task was neither easy nor simple, and the results of transitions are now different among various countries. Poland, however, represents an undeniable success, also confirmed by independent sources, like Freedom House, a U.S. non-government organization, which for over 60 years has been carefully watching and supporting democratization processes in regimes around the globe. According to the Freedom House’s recent rankings, Poland holds the first position among 27 post-communistic countries in advancing and achieving progress in political and economic transformations.
Following the September 2001 parliamentary election, Poland has a new coalition government headed by Prime Minister Leszek Miller, with Jacek Piechota having assumed his post as Minister of Economy and Wieslaw Kaczmarek as Minister of Treasury.
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