It has been 25 years since the end of the Cold War and Poland has experienced a great transformation since 1989, when it was ‘nearly bankrupt, with a big, inefficient, agricultural sector, terrible roads and rail links’ (Economist 2014). Today the country is leading economic recovery among the Eastern EU nations, according to Lovasz (2014).
Not only has Poland redirected much of its trade from its eastern neighbours to the European Union, it has also started to modernise its transport infrastructure and restructured some of its ailing state-owned industrial behemoths.
Last week The Economist published a special report about Poland, considering the country as a golden opportunity for investing. As reported by the newspaper, ‘the Polish energy sector is experiencing an investment boom: new conventional power plants, renewable energy sources and transmission networks’.
In Poland coal is the major energy source. Even though coal offers a number of benefits, such as little environmental impact, Poland currently is looking for more diverse sources of energy in order to ensure better safety. TAURON Group, a leading energy holder in CEE, has planned TAURON Polska Energia’s corporate strategy for 2014-2017 (with an outlook until 2023) that is based on a diversified generation portfolio. One of the greatest national energy projects in recent years is the LNG (liquified natural gas) import terminal in Swinoujscie, which is a strategic facility for Poland’s energy security. It is assumed that with an access to the international LNG market, Poland will be able to diversify gas sources for national economy.
However, according to the Economist, getting stuck at its current level would be the biggest risk for Poland’s economy. Most of Polish companies lack scale and do not focus on the international market. Moreover, what is worrying is a very low fertility rate linked to the concern to keep up and to afford a good quality of life.
Therefore it is crucial to focus on a vision of all transformations in the country first, and only then follow up with a clear strategy. By knowing precisely what you want to achieve, you know where you have to concentrate your efforts.
Nevertheless, there is a strengthening cooperation between Poland, its biggest trade partner – Germany and France, and with continued efforts, Poland should become even more prosperous. I strongly believe that it is a perfect time for Poland to strengthen its position in the international and European arena, and for international investors to consider Poland as a competitive investment destination.