Poles Exceed Expectations

Poland Surprises Everyone

Poland Surprises Everyone

There is an article about the Polish economy in the context of Poland’s history in Foreign Affairs magazine. The author is Michtell A. Orenstein, the economist, publicist, Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science at Northeastern University in Boston. Professor Orenstein heaps lavish praise on Poland but he also shows the country’s shortcomings. First of all, he summarises the history of Poland, starting with the partitions, and speaks with great respect about the progress that Poland has made in spite of its “traumatic history.” He also reminds readers that Poland is the sixth largest economy of the EU and living standards have improved two-fold since 1989. Orenstein quotes Dr Marcin Piątkowski, the World Bank economist, who concludes: “Poland has probably just had the best twenty years of its entire millennial history.” Professor Orenstein also points out Poland’s faults. In his opinion, one of the main challenges that Poland has to face is bureaucracy. Poland came in 41st place in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) by Transparency International (the higher the position, the lower the corruption). According to some entrepreneurs the process of removing administrative barriers to business by the government is too slow. However, in Orenstein’s opinion, Poland is still a more attractive choice despite the fact that the Czechs and Slovakians offer similar business opportunities. Poland’s 38m population is a major selling point. Orenstein writes that Warsaw is sometimes called the ‘phoenix’ city and the question today is how high can this phoenix fly? “Economic expectations suggest that the Polish economy will increase by 2.5% annually until 2030 and then it will become one of the twenty largest economies in the world before it will be buried by depopulation. If it becomes possible to create a hospitable business environment and build an informed economy, increase immigration and the birthrate, the Polish economy could expand even faster. After all, Poles have a special talent for exceeding expectations,” writes Orenstein.

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