Poland overview

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Poland stadium and cityscape

In Poland we focus on:

Promoting the low carbon economy. Coal still accounts for more than 80 percent of Poland’s primary energy supply and the economy remains among the least energy efficient in the EU. Promoting low carbon solutions, energy efficiency and reduction of green-house gas (GHG) emissions will therefore remain a key strategic priority for the Bank’s operations over the coming years. The Bank will continue to support diversification of energy and fuel supplies (especially in renewable energy) and improving energy efficiency (both on the demand and supply side), together leading toward a more sustainable energy market in the country.

Enhancing the private sector’s role in the economy. The Polish state continues to play a significant role in the economy, notably in the power, chemical, natural resources, transport and municipal sectors. Accelerating the implementation of the structural reform agenda is crucial to consolidate transition and support the recovery that has slowed markedly. The Polish authorities have acknowledged the need to push ahead with greater market liberalisation. Moving Poland toward a more resilient economic model built on private investment and productivity increases will also require more innovation, providing risk capital and corporate restructuring (operational and financial), and will include supporting Polish companies in their regional expansion and cross-border investments.
Assisting in the development of a sustainable financial sector and capital markets. Although the banking system remained sound in the course of the crisis, a number of systemic vulnerabilities emerged, especially banks’ balance sheet mismatches, lack of sponsors liquidity support and the need for consolidation. In the current environment, high risk aversion by banks and deteriorating credit quality in the economy are leading to substantial financing constraints, in particular for small and medium sized companies and in the poorest regions. EBRD will assist in the development of a more sustainable financial sector by helping banks address crisis-inherited vulnerabilities and promoting the development of local currency capital markets in order to reduce the sector’s dependence on foreign financial inflows.

As well as being a country where the EBRD works, Poland is also an EBRD donor with €5.5 million of contributions. Poland first became a donor to the EBRD in 2005, contributing to the European Western Balkans Joint Fund (EWBJF).  It has also contributed to the Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership (E5P) and the Ukraine Stabilisation and Sustainable Growth Multi-Donor Account.  In 2019, Poland provided a contribution for technical assistance support to EBRD projects across various sectors in the country.      

The EBRD's latest Poland strategy was adopted on 11 April 2018.

Poland's policy response to the coronavirus crisis

The EBRD is monitoring Poland's policy response to the coronavirus pandemic. Our biweekly publication identifies the major channels of disruption as well as selected impact and response indicators.

Learn more

Current EBRD forecast for Poland’s Real GDP Growth in 2020:  -3.5%

Current EBRD forecast for Poland’s Real GDP Growth in 2021:  4.0%

GDP growth in Poland decelerated to 4.1 per cent in 2019. Household consumption remained strong, although it started to moderate in the second half of the year, as did investment and exports. While Poland has proved to be resilient during the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, the coronavirus crisis is expected to have a more severe impact on domestic businesses and employment. Despite its substantial domestic market, Poland is highly integrated into global value chains and has a large exposure to trade, especially within the EU. Therefore, the overall slump in demand for Polish goods from Western Europe, especially Germany (about 30 per cent of total exports), has already severely affected Polish exporters. The significance of small and medium-sized enterprises in employment also constitutes a risk. Micro companies represent 38 per cent of total employment, higher than the EU average of 30 per cent. These are largely self-employed individuals with no permanent contracts, mostly active in services that had to be temporarily closed.
The Polish government announced several ‘anti-crisis shield’ packages, worth almost 15 per cent of GDP. They focus on protecting employment (wage subsidies), companies (liquidity injections), healthcare (infrastructure improvements, including telemedicine), strengthening the financial system (central bank measures) and higher public investment. The central bank has assisted the government through several purchase operations of government-backed securities from domestic financial institutions, especially the state development bank (BGK) and the state-run Polish Investment Fund (PFR). These two institutions have been key players in managing the crisis policy response. Taking all these measures into account, the drop in GDP in 2020 could be limited to 3.5 per cent, with a recovery of 4.0 per cent in 2021.

Poland in the EBRD's 2019-20 Transition report


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