Weatlh and Resources in Poland

Poland Today

Poland today stands out as one of the most successful and open transition economies. The privatization of small and medium state-owned companies and a liberal law on establishing new firms marked the rapid development of a private sector now responsible for 70% of economic activity. Agriculture employs 28.4% of the work force but contributes only 3.4% to the gross domestic product (GDP), reflecting relatively low productivity. Unlike the industrial sector, Poland's agricultural sector remained largely in private hands during the decades of communist rule. Poland is a net exporter of confectionery, processed fruit and vegetables, meat, and dairy products. Processors often rely on imports to supplement domestic supplies of wheat, feed grains, vegetable oil, and protein meals, which are generally insufficient to meet domestic demand. However, Poland is the leading producer in Europe of potatoes and rye and is one of the world's largest producers of sugar beets. Before World War II, Poland's industrial base was concentrated in the coal, textile, chemical, machinery, iron, and steel sectors. Today it extends to fertilizers, petrochemicals, machine tools, electrical machinery, electronics, and shipbuilding. Poland's industrial base suffered greatly during World War II, and many resources were directed toward reconstruction. The communist economic system imposed in the late 1940s created large and unwieldy economic structures operated under a tight central command. In part because of this systemic rigidity, the economy performed poorly even in comparison with other economies in central Europe. In 1990, the Mazowiecki government have been impressive, many large state-owned industrial enterprises, particularly the railroad and the mining, steel, and defense sectors, have remained resistant to the change and downsizing required to survive in an open market economy. Opportunities for trade and investment continue to exist across virtually all sectors. The strong economic growth potential, a large domestic market, prospective EU membership, and a high level of political stability are the top reasons U.S. and other foreign companies do business in Poland.