Poland’s Chief Export
After Russia banned the import of products from Poland, Polish companies have been seeking other export opportunities. Spain has turned out to be one of Poland’s best partners and could soon become one of the five top export markets for Poland, according to Puls Biznesu. According to Marcin Luziński, a BZ WBK economist, Spain has undertaken several structural reforms and this has triggered faster economic growth. From January to April 2015, the export of Polish products to Spain increased by 22%, which positioned Spain as the seventh largest importer of Polish goods. First place is still occupied by Germany, where the export of Polish commodities increased by 9%; then the United Kingdom with an increased of 10.5%; and the Czech Republic, where Polish imports increased by 13.1%. Experts believe that Poland will soon begin making a greater impact on markets in the Middle East, the Far East, Africa and South America.
“A change in tax thresholds will happen sooner or later, but it must be aligned to the needs of the economy,” according to the Minster of Finance Mateusz Szczurek. The head of the Ministry of Finance avoided any specific declarations of when a cut might be possible, but pointed out that “more will be known when the draft budget for 2016 is accepted”. Szczurek argued that in comparison with other EU countries, Poland is a state with some of the lowest taxes. “Taxes to GDP in Poland are slightly below 31%, which is 8% less than the average in the EU. We actually collect a relatively small amount of money in taxes in relation to the size of the economy,” he stressed.
Poland’s Customs and Excise grossed nearly PLN 61.6 billion last year. Revenue from excise on cars increased by more than 16% and revenue from tax on fuel was 5.5% higher than the year before. New car sales have increased by 12%, and imports of second-hand cars have increased over 5%. PLN 4.2 million was gleaned from excise duty on gas in 2013. A slight increase of approximately PLN 61.5 million (1.8%) was noted in tax revenue from beer. However, the State Treasury saw a fall in excise on spirits and tobacco. Duty on spirits decreased by more than half a billion złoty. In turn, revenue from excise on tobacco products fell by PLN 283 million last year. However, the the overall balance is positive, mainly due to increased sales of fuels and vehicles.
Dziennik Gazeta Prawna
Time to Make Babies
A new ‘baby bonus’ legislative project will be introduced in 2016. It will allow young parents to be financially supported to a much greater extent than ever before. At one time, Polish parents were given a one-time ‘baby bonus’ of PLN 1,000. However, the new bonus will see every new mother receiving PLN 1,000 every month giving a total of PLN 12,000 a year. Parents will receive new family benefits, regardless of their social insurance status (as is the case now). This means that all parents will qualify for the parental payout.
Poland is an excellent place in which to invest and expand a business. International reports emphasise the economic and political stability of Poland, its educated and competent personnel and large internal market. During the global economic crisis, Poland strengthened its position not only in Central and Eastern Europe, but also on the whole continent. Foreign investors, appraising Poland as a safe shelter during the global economic turmoil, willingly invest capital in Poland. The Polish market caters to a population of 38 million making it one of the largest in the EU. The country’s convenient location at the heart of Europe where the main European transport routes cross, makes it possible for Poland to export merchandise across the continent allowing it to reach more than half a billion consumers. Poland’s main trade partners are Germany, Russia, China, France, Great Britain, Italy, Hungary, Ukraine and Spain. Well-educated Polish economists, engineers, IT workers and scientists are greatly-valued and much sought-after employees. Every year, the number of students graduating from Polish universities is increasing, especially in IT, engineering and technology. Poland’s stable development constitutes a solid foundation of the Polish economy. Poland was the only European country not greatly affected by the global recession and furthermore has been developing at the fastest pace in the EU. Foreign businesses assess the investment conditions in Poland higher with every year. Stability and safety, guaranteed by membership in NATO and European Union, mean that Poland is a credible and respected partner for foreign investors. In the immediate future, the greatest challenge for the Polish economy will be meeting the criteria for adopting the Euro.
Still of Interest
The CBOS public opinion research centre has found that the majority of Polish people are interested in the Ukrainian crisis. According to a CBOS survey conducted in October, 83% of Polish people are still captivated by events unfolding in Ukraine. 58% share the opinion that new Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz is continuing the previous government’s policy in relation to Ukraine. 57% of respondents fear that Russia is not going to restrain its territorial claims on Ukraine and that Moscow is also going to evoke other conflicts in countries where there Russian minorities are present. This anxiety is growing. CBOS has noted an increase of 9% in this regard since May. 67% of respondents consider the situation in Ukraine as risky for the security of Poland. This is a 11% drop against the exceptionally high figures in August and September (78%). 83% of respondents were worried about the impact of the Ukrainian crisis on the Polish economy; 74% of respondents said that the crisis could effect Polish energy security; 42% of respondents fear a foreign army might invade Polish territory. Only 4% believed Ukraine would regain its lost territory.
According to the Central Statistical Office of Poland (GUS), the unemployment rate was 9.3% lower in June 2014 than in June 2013. Over the course of one year, the unemployment rate among people with middle school education has fallen by 8.2%, while among people with higher education it has decreased by 9.2%. On the other hand, the unemployment rate among people who completed only vocational schools or post-secondary schools has fallen by 11.5%. The greatest fall of unemployment was noted among high school graduates, 12.3%. “The small drop in the unemployment rate among people without any qualifications is not surprising since the demand for such employees is negligible. This situation will not change,” states Professor Elżbieta Kryńśka from the University of Łódź. There are over 534,000 registered unemployed people in Poland, while 560,000 have a job (this includes work in the grey and black economy). However, the situation is different when it comes to people with higher education. “The economic revival and seasonal changes have not significantly changed the situation of people with higher eduaction on the job market,” states professor Urszula Sztanderska from Warsaw University. Only in the long run during the economic boom were college graduates able to find a job easily because companies invested more and the demand for specialists increased.
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