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The International Monetary Fund
IMF Praises Poland’s Strong Performance during Crisis
The International Monetary Fund is a long-time supporter of the Polish economy and is very positive about the country’s current performance and future prospects. Mark Le Gros Allen, the IMF’s Senior Regional Representative for Central and Eastern Europe, explains that in the four years since the global crisis began, the Polish economy has grown by 15%, making it the top performer in the EU by far. Poland has also continued to benefit from public- sector investment throughout the crisis, achieving some of the highest total public investment in the EU in 2011. Consumption has continued to grow as well, boosted in part by EU structural funds.
The IMF’s Regional Office in Warsaw is currently involved in improving the framework under which regional bank groups operate, since many of them have been hit by the global financial crisis and European debt turmoil. Mark Le Gros Allen says, “Poland is doing quite well compared to some neighbouring countries and it is important to make sure that regional bank groups remain committed to the Polish market, which has been quite stable throughout the crisis. In fact, their Polish bank subsidiaries are the geese that have been laying the golden eggs. The regulators in Poland have kept the banks under quite conservative supervision.”
Strategic location, huge domestic economy
Poland’s healthy economy remains an attraction for investors. Mark Le Gros Allen also cites Poland’s huge domestic market of around 40 million and strategic location next to Germany as reasons to invest there. Challenges Poland faces, he notes, include lowering the ratio of public debt to GDP and improving Poland’s standing in global ‘doing business’ surveys by cutting red tape and improving infrastructure. “Poland has implemented a number of positive reforms and is a very good environment for business. And, things will continue to improve here,” he points out.
“Poland has implemented a number of positive reforms and is a very good environment for business.”
The IMF granted Poland a €22.9 billion (US$30 billion) credit line to be used in case of crisis, making Poland one of only three countries to receive this support. Thanks to its strong economic performance, however, Poland has not needed to draw on the funds. Mark Le Gros Allen explains, “This credit line shows the IMF’s confidence in Poland and its support for the Polish business sector and Polish policy.” Addressing potential investors, he adds, “Come and see Poland for yourself. I guarantee that everything you thought you knew about Poland will have been wrong.”