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The Warsaw Voice » Business » December 30, 2014
Business & Economy
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Doing Well? Think Again
December 30, 2014   
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There is every indication that the Polish economy grew more than 3 percent in 2014, marking one of the best results in the European Union. Most projections show that the Polish economy will continue to grow at a similar rate this year, which would also be a very good result. In the last few years Poland was always at the forefront of the fastest growing countries in Europe. As a result, some began calling Poland a “green island,” meaning a safe haven that resisted recession amid the global economic crisis. Of course, this was eagerly cited by the Polish government’s PR machine.

However, the success of the Polish economy in Europe does not mean that Poland is in a strong position globally. In many countries economic growth has been much faster than in Poland. This is shown clearly by a ranking compiled by the Bankier.pl website, listing the fastest growing economies in the world over the last five years. Bankier.pl has evaluated which countries saw the fastest cumulative growth in terms of gross domestic product in 2009-2013. The list is interesting. It points to no universal recipe for rapid economic growth. The world’s 10 fastest growing economies have only one thing in common: none of them is in Europe. They are generally poor or very poor countries, combining unlimited opportunities with a very low standard of living. At the forefront are Liberia, Afghanistan and Ethiopia, which recorded over 60 percent GDP growth in 2009-2013. But the top 10 also includes global economic powerhouse China, with nearly 53 percent growth.

Poland, with cumulative 14.3 percent growth in the last five years, was ranked a distant 115th among the world’s fastest growing economies, behind countries such as Thailand, Botswana, Turkey, Egypt and Chile. This shows that Poland’s status as “the fastest growing economy in the European Union” is not necessarily reason enough to be proud. Even in Europe, Turkey, Belarus, Moldova and Kosovo recorded faster GDP growth than Poland.

Andrzej Ratajczyk
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