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World Bank – Poland
World Bank Country Manager Praises Poland’s Sound Economic Fundamentals
Xavier Devictor, World Bank Country Manager for Poland and the Baltic countries discusses Poland’s economic development and investment potential.
European Times: How would you describe Poland’s current role in Europe?
Xavier Devictor: after its successful EU presidency, Poland is now looking to become a leader not only in Central europe, but also in the EU as a whole. I think Poland is well on the way to becoming one of the core members of the EU. With a population of around 40 million, the successful economic transition, its outstanding economic performance during the crisis and the recent success of organising the euro 2012, poland certainly has the opportunity to become one of the most significant voices in europe.
European Times: Some investors fear corruption here. What is your take on that?
Xavier Devictor: I would not worry too much about corruption. poland has a much better record on corruption fighting than other countries in the region because of the polish government’s tremendous anticorruption efforts.
European Times: What are the World Bank’s objectives in Poland?
Xavier Devictor: in many developing countries, the World Bank focuses on ensuring financial resources, but here in Poland this is not the case. instead we are concentrating on providing knowledge and technical expertise to the polish government. in terms of lending, we currently have only two projects in Poland; the first is the odra river flood protection project and the second, more recent one, is the development policy loan which focuses on providing support for the fiscal reforms. so we are gradually moving away from traditional lending in countries like Poland and the polish government is interested in our evolved business model. the poles are very pragmatic people who want to know what did and did not work in other countries in various areas, such as subnational development, climate change issues, doing business agenda etc. the World Bank is very pleased to be able to provide Poland with its knowledge and expertise in those areas.
European Times: What do you advise international investors who are considering Poland?
Xavier Devictor: poland is a great entry point into the EU market since it is part of the EU and its labour force is good and competitively priced. the country’s infrastructure still needs work and there are still a lot of bureaucratic challenges as well, but progress is constantly being made. one of the challenges of Poland is to take things to the next level. there is scope for investment in a number of activities where the investor can bring in new technologies, such as energy or pharmaceuticals.
European Times: What is the World Bank’s message to foreign investors?
Xavier Devictor: We are open to sharing with investors our excitement in poland and we would like to hear about their concerns and ambitions concerning the polish market.