Country Economic Memorandum

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Poland Country Economic Memorandum: The Green Transformation in Poland – Opportunities and Challenges for Economic Growth

2022, World Bank

Poland’s economic development story is one of success: since the early 1990s, the country has transitioned to a market economy, integrated into the European Union economy and global supply chains and sustained robust growth, avoiding the middle-income trap and increasing the resilience of its economy. Poland has sustained strong growth over the past three decades, making substantial advances in converging towards the European Union (EU-27) average per capita income, although there is still a considerable gap in both productivity and income convergence when compared with aspirational peers. Poland successfully transitioned to an EU-integrated market economy, moving from upper middle-income to high-income status in less than a decade and a half. Its economy underwent a deep structural transformation, supported by cost-competitiveness, and is now well-diversified and more resilient to shocks. Long-term growth has been supported by increased total factor productivity (TFP), grounded in efficiency gains, although capital accumulation has remained the main contributor to growth. While capital deepening did occur, investments in Information Communication and Technology (ICT) and in intangible assets that have high growth potential lagged those of peers. A skilled labor force has contributed more to growth in the case of Poland than it did in peer countries. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, has resulted in important learning losses, as observed throughout the world, and together with reversals in education reforms in recent years could weigh down on labor quality and productivity in the future.COVID-19