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The Warsaw Voice » Business » February 23, 2012
Business & Economy
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Exports Break Records
February 23, 2012   
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Polish companies boosted their sales abroad last year, despite the problems in the eurozone and fears of a second wave of crisis. Preliminary estimates show that Polish exports soared to a record 138.3 billion euros, 10.6 percent up from 2010. Calculated in Polish zlotys, the increase was even more impressive, at 14 percent. These figures show that even in tough times, the Polish economy is doing well, especially when it comes to exports. Forecasts indicate that the upward trend in exports will continue this year, even if the rapid rate of growth proves hard to maintain.

It is no secret that to a certain extent, Polish exporters owe their record sales to the fact that the Polish currency weakened against the euro and the dollar and Polish products became more competitive. Needless to say, however, without quality products, Polish companies would not have been able to increase their sales on demanding foreign markets. Polish producers are perfectly capable of marketing their products to buyers around the world, as evidenced by the Inglot cosmetics company, which at the end of last year opened new stores in Malaysia, Lebanon and Argentina. This Polish producer of nail polish, eye shadow, face powder and lipstick now has a total of over 130 stores outside Poland in Europe, Australia, the Americas, Asia and Africa. It took Inglot only five years to attain this unprecedented position on global markets after the first Inglot store opened in Canada in 2006. This example shows that any market can be conquered when a quality product is combined with a well thought-out strategy.

The rapid growth of Polish exports is to a large extent the result of Poland joining the EU, which led to the removal of a slew of trade and customs barriers. At the same time, however, the arrival of Poland and other new members in the EU club stimulated the exports of EU member states in the West, boosted by funds from EU cohesion programs. “Old” EU member states have complained that the cohesion policy only benefits the “new” members, but the findings of a recent survey that Poland’s Ministry of Regional Development commissioned from the Institute for Structural Research prove otherwise. The survey found that between 2004 and 2015, the “old” EU will have earned almost 75 billion euros from helping the new member states. The lion’s share of the total, 66 billion euros, will come from extra exports which would never have been possible had the enlarged EU not carried out projects under the cohesion policy. The process mostly benefits Germany, which will notch up over 31 billion euros in extra exports, according to the Institute for Structural Research.
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