Socio-Economic Development and Competitiveness: Poland

Socio-Economic Development and Competitiveness: Poland

Mariola Ciszewska-Mlinarič (Kozminski University, Poland), Franjo Mlinarič (University of Maribor, Slovenia), Aleksandra Wąsowska (University of Warsaw, Poland) and Krzysztof Wąsowski (Warsaw School of Economics, Poland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6054-0.ch010
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The objective of this chapter is to present Poland's key strategic strengths and weaknesses, providing insights into the actual state of the country's competitiveness in a comparative strategic context. The chapter findings are based on the most recent and reliable data, including international and reputable domestic sources. The authors present a general country profile, discussing the position of Poland in key business rankings. Then an overview of the socio-economic development of Poland, including the macroeconomic situation, international stability and safety, global competitiveness, infrastructure, and demographic trends is provided. The authors also discuss key economic sectors and trends in foreign trade and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). The discussion on Polish competitiveness is summarized in a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis. Finally, the authors present best corporate and institutional practices and lessons in competitiveness, and provide a list of sources of information on doing business in Poland.
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Poland is one of the biggest countries in the European Union (EU) in terms of population (ranked 6), area (ranked 6), and economy (ranked 8, by gross domestic product (GDP) in current prices) (Eurostat, 2013). The large consumer market and economic growth, political stability, availability of well-educated employees, relatively low labor costs, and a prime location (in the center of Europe and at the intersection of major Pan-European corridors) make the country an attractive location for foreign direct investment (FDI). During the recent economic crisis, Poland avoided a recession (it was the only country in the EU that experienced GDP growth each year between 2008 and 2013). It also strengthened its socio-economic competitiveness, which is reflected in improvement of a number of international rankings. In 2012, GDP per capita in Poland was 67% of the EU-27 average, in comparison to 51% in 2005 and 56% in 2008 (Eurostat, 2014). Key facts about Poland are presented in Table 1.

Table 1.
Key facts about Poland
Population38.5 MillionGDP in Current Prices (2012)377.2 Billion EUR
Area312.7 thousand square kilometersGDP per capita in PPS, EU-27=100 (2012)67
Density122 residents per 1 km2GDP growth (2012):1,9%
Distribution of populationUrban: 61.8%
Rural: 38.2%
Inflation(Jan. 2014): 0.1%
CurrencyPLN (1 Euro = 4.15 PLN)Unemployment(Jan. 2014): 14%

Source: Own elaboration based on Central Statistical Office of Poland and Eurostat data. Retrieved February 10, 2014 from

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