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1992-2022. Best period in Poland’s history The Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers publishes new report

Warsaw, 14th July 2023

1992-2022. Best period in Poland’s history
The Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers publishes new report

Poland has come a long way since the systemic transformation that begun in 1989. As a result, it has managed to make up part of the losses in terms of development and the country is now closer than ever to the level of the world’s largest economies. From the position of one of the poorest countries in Europe, a modest representative of the Eastern Bloc, we have become a significant producer and exporter of goods, a country with the lowest unemployment rate in the EU, with a GDP far away from the European bottom.

Political changes turned out to be the driving force behind the economic transformation: we cut ourselves off from a communist legacy, chose democracy instead, and joined the European Union and NATO. Poland implemented several major reforms which helped liberalise economic law, and subsequently became a place to invest capital, reflected in an increase in GDP, a continuous decrease in unemployment, an increase in the average salary, and further changed to a number of other economic indicators.

However, there is still much room for improvement in Poland. Our objective today should be to create a legal and regulatory environment that favours the development of entrepreneurship. On the one hand, it will fully unleash the potential of the SME sector while, on the other, it will attract more foreign investors. The investment rate at the level of 16.8% is one of the most severe shortcomings of the country’s present economy. We are definitely below the EU average, ahead only of Bulgaria and Greece.

Nevertheless, the Polish economy made a leap that has changed our economic reality. Systemic transformation brought about progress in terms of the standard of living of citizens:

  • the number of places in kindergartens in cities increased from 680,000 in 1989 to 881,000 in 2017,
  • the number of tertiary education institutions increased from 98 in 1989 to 394 in 2019,
  • the number of students increased from 378,000 to in 1989 to 1.2 million in 2017,
  • the percentage of PhDs awarded to women increased from 29% in 1989 to 53% in 2017,
  • the number of cases of chickenpox fell from 220,000 in 1990 to 16,000 in 2016.

These data show on how many levels the lives of Poles have changed. It is hard to undermine the argument that appears increasingly frequently in public debate that the last 30 years have been the best period in the history of Poland.

The Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers has initiated the “1992-2022. Najlepszy czas Polski” campaign which can be translated to “1992-2022. Best period in Poland’s history”. It summarises the achievements of our country in the field of socioeconomics over the last three decades. As part of the project, a report was published which constitutes an analysis of the main macroeconomic indicators illustrating the changes that had taken place in Poland. It discusses the advances in the scope and structure of Polish exports, analyses the complicated situation on the Polish labour market, changes in the structure of tax revenues and a number of other important macroeconomic data. The authors of the report also attempted to outline the impact of the last three decades on the situation of the so-called average Joe or plain Jane.

While the past three decades were a time of titanic work and spectacular challenges, the next few years – considering such factors as the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic or the war in Ukraine – will be crucial for solidifying the position of Poland and Polish enterprises internationally.


Organiser: Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers

Main Partners: Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego, ORLEN S.A.

Partners: Agencja Rozwoju Przemysłu S.A. (Industrial Development Agency JSC), Polski Fundusz Rozwoju (Polish Development Fund)

Supporting Partner: Kompania Piwowarska

Institutional Partner: Akademia Leona Koźmińskiego (Kozminski University)

Media Partner: “Dziennik Gazeta Prawna”

Content Partners: Browary Polskie (Union of Brewing Industry Employers – Polish Breweries), Cyfrowa Polska (Association of Importers and Producers of Electrical and Electronic Equipment – ZIPSEE “Digital Poland”), Fundacja Republikańska (Republican Foundation), Instytut Jagielloński, Klub Jagielloński, Krajowi Producenci Leków, Ogólnopolski Związek Pracodawców Transportu Drogowego, Ośrodek Myśli Politycznej (Center for Political Thought), Ośrodek Studiów Wschodnich (Centre for Eastern Studies ), Polska Federacja Producentów Żywności Związek Pracodawców (Polish Federation of Food Industry Union of Employers), Polskie Stowarzyszenie Przemysłu Kosmetycznego i Detergentowego (Polish Association of Cosmetic and Detergent Industry), Stowarzyszenie Dystrybutorów i Producentów Części Motoryzacyjnych (Association of Automotive Parts Distributors and Producers), Warsaw Enterprise Institute, WiseEuropa


View report: 14.07.2023 Report by the Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers: “1992-2022. Najlepszy czas Polski

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