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Poland overview

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.

Current EBRD forecast for Poland’s Real GDP Growth in 2023: 0.6%

Current EBRD forecast for Poland’s Real GDP Growth in 2024: 2.7%

Economic activity remained robust in 2022, growing at 5.1 per cent, before dropping sharply by 0.8 per cent in annual terms in the first half of 2023. High growth in inventories has been the key economic growth driver for the last two years, triggered by uncertainty related to value chains and weakening, inflation-hit household consumption. Increased financing costs and a further delay in RRF transfers have hampered investment, though military spending has risen. Subdued external demand has negatively affected exports, while recently stabilised energy prices have provided some relief to the current account, which turned to a surplus in the first half of 2023. While HICP inflation peaked in February 2023, at 17.2 per cent, it is still among the highest in the EU at 10.3 per cent in July 2023. In June 2023, however, economy-wide real wage growth turned positive for the first time since end-2021. Structurally, labour market pressures are eased by the inflow of refugees and migrants, counterbalancing unfavourable demographic trends. Given the overall subdued economic activity in 2023, GDP is forecast to rise at just 0.6 per cent. The expected return to positive real wage growth, low unemployment and an improvement in consumer sentiment are all expected to lift GDP growth to 2.7 per cent in 2024. The central bank’s larger-than-expected cut in the main policy rate, by 0.75 percentage points to 6.0 per cent in early September will likely provide some relief to indebted households and companies, though disinflation is expected to be slower, also reflecting the depreciation of the zloty against the euro. Further delays in RRF transfers and uncertainty about potential increases in energy prices constitute the main risks to improvements in investment, which stood at 16.7 per cent of GDP in 2022, below the EU-average level of 22.5 per cent.

Poland in the EBRD's 2022-23 Transition report


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