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Tue, Nov 11, 2003 - Page 7 News List

Build a strong trade relation between Poland and Taiwan

By Alice Wang

When it comes to Poland's economic tie with Taiwan, Tomasz S. Wrzosinski, Deputy Representative Director and Head of Commercial Division said, "At this moment, we are not very satisfied with the trade relationship between Poland and Taiwan. Since Taiwan has a real strong potential in economy and Poland is a big European country, therefore, we expect the relationship be wider."

Mr. Wrzosinski indicated that since the turning point of 1989, Poland has undergone great political, social and economic changes. The introduction of democratic structures, the move from the command economy to the free market, and wide-ranging systemic reforms are all achievements of which Poles can be proud.

The most important achievement of the start of the 1990s was the implementation of the so-called 'Balcerowicz Plan', its author being the then Finance Minister. The outcome of introducing this reform programme was liberalization of domestic prices, rising imports, a tightening of enterprises' pay structures and financial policy, the introduction of interest rates above the rate of inflation, the stabilization of the zloty against the dollar and the introduction of zloty exchangeability.

As a consequence the Polish economy stabilized and opened up to the world. The banking system and credit policy were also reformed. "Of the systemic reforms the start of the process of ownership change, making enterprises independent and building domestic competition were of enormous significance. A capital and labour market were also created in Poland," said Mr. Wrzosinski. Mr. Wrzosinski indicated that the Polish government's economic policy, which presented in the program 'Enterprise-Development-Work'- covers the realisation of the following strategic goals: Return to a 5% annual GDP growth path over the next 2 years; Awakening the labour market and increasing employment; Efficient absorption of European funds and using them for the development of the country. "Polish workers are hard-working and the labor cost is lower than that in other European countries, so Poland is a very competitive country in Europe," said Mr. Wrzosinski.

The key to the country's economic development in the plan is improving infrastructure. Investment in the communications system and road, rail and air networks are designed to ensure an improvement in the conditions in which enterprises function and for the creation of new jobs. Investment in the house building sector will help not only trade and the service sector, but will also raise the quality of life for Polish society.

The government anticipates that money for developing the Polish economy will come from sources 'freed' as a result of the significant savings made in the state's fixed expenditures. This will be achieved via the liquidation of non-effective areas of the government administration, limits on various privileges in different branches of the economy and rethinking of the social security system. Privatisation and the sale of shares in State Treasury companies will continue. An indispensable source of funds earmarked for new investments (for example on infrastructure) is money from the EU, both from pre-accession sources (Phare, ISPA and SAPARD) and those that will be forthcoming after Poland's accession.

Consistently conducted economic policy led Poland in a relatively short period of time into the group of the most dynamically developing economies in Europe. The fundamental priority of successive governments remains strong economic growth. This is not only a condition for making Poles' lives better, but equally fundamental for realizing strategic goals such as EU membership. "Poland will enter EU next year, therefore, it's the last call for Taiwan investors to grab the opportunity to do business in Poland," said Mr. Wrzosinski. "Poland is an attractive country for foreign investment due to its competitive labour costs, the size of its market, variety of industry and opportunities for the development of new economic entities," he added.

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