Polish society supports the rapid development of the country, but needs a consensus among politicians

We need to reinvigorate the Polish economy today because the stakes of the coming decade are very high, and future generations may not have the opportunity to make such decisions, writes economist Marcin Piątkowski

CPK visualization. (Source: CPK)
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
3 Min Read

Poland’s rapid development after 1989 was enabled by integration with the West and the ambitions and skills of Poles, but the days of Poland being a pool of competitively priced labor are approaching an end and the Polish economy now needs other catalysts for development. 

Demographics in Poland, with its rapidly aging population, is Poland’s Achilles’ heel and means that Poland has to move fast. Poland does not have the time to gradually catch up with the West, but must accelerate right now. The demographic situation will not improve and therefore Poland has to take advantage to invest in its future before it suffocates under the weight of funding pensions and health services.

The current economic situation is conducive to realizing ambitious projects. Public debt is under control (46 percent of GDP, compared with the eurozone average of 91 percent), costs of debt financing are low, interest rates are projected to fall, and there is a high level of confidence in Poland’s economy on international markets. The Polish people sense this and therefore instinctively support making large investments now. 

The debate over the massive transportation project at the central airport (CPK) near Warsaw has become symbolic in that regard. However, there is also great support for the energy transformation based on replacing coal with nuclear energy. The previous government’s attempts to create a model of balanced territorial development, which meant spreading wealth more widely across Poland’s regions, is also widely supported. 

Modernization is about building Poland’s future competitiveness. That is why the priority must be to support sectors of the economy with high added value, sectors such as IT, biotechnology and advanced tech, which all provide high incomes and innovation. Poland is increasingly becoming an attractive place to live and work, and this must be maintained and accelerated. 

The stakes for the next decade are very high, and the opportunities to make a big leap forward are here. All we need now is consensus among our politicians and thinking that goes beyond the next election. The central airport debate shows Poles yearn for such an approach.  

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