A little more than two decades after free elections brought an end to Poland’s Communist era, the country now has one of the most robust economies in Central Europe. Poland joined the European Union in 2004, and became its only member country to sidestep recession in 2008-09. Gross domestic product grew about 4.2 percent in 2011. Nonetheless, per capita GDP remains below the EU average and unemployment exceeds 12 percent.
Business travel industry insight
The business travel market is highly competitive with minimal commissions and a high penetration of low-cost carriers. However, Poland’s growth is hampered by weaknesses in its road and rail infrastructure.
- The country has strong trading ties with EU partners, such as Germany, the U.K. and the Czech Republic, and it also has a substantial trade relationship with Russia.
- Poland’s manufacturing sector drives business — and business travel — in areas such as consumer electronics equipment, furniture, car parts and appliances.
- While the country’s deficit has hurt economic growth, the government has promised deficit-reducing and other economic reforms.
- Weak revenues coupled with demands to fund health care, education and the state pension system have fueled a growing public sector budget deficit in recent years.
- An inefficient commercial court system, bureaucracy, low-level corruption and a burdensome tax system dampen business growth.
- There is some local resistance to using credit cards.