Measured by gross domestic product (GDP), Poland is the
world's 21st largest economy and the sixth largest economy
in the EU (2018). GDP growth was 5.1 per cent in 2018. Since
2009, Poland has had the fastest growing economy of all EU
countries. However, GDP per capita is lower than the average
for EU countries. Of the EU countries, only three countries
have a lower GDP per capita than Poland. It is Croatia,
Romania and Bulgaria.
COUNTRYAAH, unemployment was 1.6 per cent in 2018. Poland's strong
economic growth and the fact that around 2.3 million Poles
have taken up employment in other EU/EEA countries after
Poland joined the EU and part of the EEA on 1 May 2004 has
led to a labor shortage in Poland. This is why around
200,000 foreign nationals, mainly from other EU countries,
Ukraine and Belarus, work in Poland (2018).
Primary industries contribute 2.4 per cent of the
country's GDP (2017).
60 percent of the country's land is cultivable, while the
cultivated agricultural area makes up 46.9 percent of the
country's land. In total, there are 1,410,700 farms (2016).
Wheat and barley are cultivated on the good soil in the
south, on the sandy plains in central Poland rye and in the
barren soil in the north oats. Potatoes and beet are grown
in all areas.
Poland is a major producer and exporter of meat, wheat,
apples and potatoes. The country is also a major producer of
vegetables and sugar beets.
Forest covers 29.6 percent of Poland's land area (2017).
The state owns 76.9 percent of the country's forests. The
largest forest areas are in the western and northeastern
part of the country, as well as in the Carpathians and
Sudets. Pine is the most common tree species. Every year,
about 40 million cubic meters of wood pulp is added, which
is slightly more than half of the annual growth. The forest
has provided the basis for, among other things, the
production of furniture for the home and export market.
Poland has a fleet of 834 fishing vessels, mainly fishing
in the Baltic Sea and the northern part of the Atlantic
(2017). The total catch in these waters is 137 462 tonnes
(2016). Most of the catch is delivered to ports in Poland.
Alaska pollock and Atlantic herring are of the utmost
importance. In the Baltic Sea, sprat, herring, cod,
flounder, salmon and sea trout are fished.
Total fish farming in domestic lakes amounts to
approximately 40,000 tonnes. There are a total of 300 plants
for carp farming and 160 for trout.
Poland is the world's ninth largest producer of coal. In
Europe, only Russia and Germany have a larger production.
Production is 129 million tonnes (2018). Polish authorities
expect coal mining operations to continue for another 75
years. The country has limited production of copper, lead
ore, sulfur, zinc and iron ore. Mineral deposits are mainly
concentrated in the south. Poland has very limited deposits
of petroleum and natural gas.
Electricity production is 156.9 billion kWh, while
consumption is 149.4 billion kWh (2016). Electricity from
fossil fuels account for 79 percent of electricity
production, while two percent comes from hydropower and 19
percent from other renewable sources.
Coal dominates in the heavy industry and is also used as
heating, both as direct fuel and indirectly through
coal-fired district heating plants. In 2019, 50 percent of
the crude oil the country imported came from Russia. Saudi
Arabia was the second largest supplier of crude oil. Poland
seeks to diversify gas imports to reduce dependence on
Russian gas, which is delivered via pipelines through
Belarus. An LNG plant in Świnoujście came into operation in
2015. Imports of LNG accounted for 23 per cent of total gas
imports in 2018, against 18 per cent in 2017. Poland has
large shale gas reserves, and drilling and other exploration
work is underway. to start recovery as soon as it is
economically and technically sound.
The industry contributes 40.2 per cent of the country's
GDP (2017). Industrial production increased by 7.5 per cent
Under communism, priority was given to the heavy industry
while neglecting consumer goods production. This has been
rectified following the political changes in 1989/1990.
Production of pig iron and steel is particularly linked to
the °vreschlesiske coal field and the big Nowa Huta works at
Cracow, landscaped in the 1950s. Łˇdź is a center for the
textile industry. Machines, chemicals, motor vehicles and
more are manufactured in Warsaw, Poznań and Wrocław. Of the
new EU countries, only the Czech Republic and Slovakia which
produces more cars and other motor vehicles than Poland. The
largest shipyards are in Gdańsk - Gdynia and Szczecin. At P
o ock there is the oil refinery and petrochemical industry.
At Puławy northwest of Lublin there is a large fertilizer
Service-providing industries contribute 57.4 per cent of
the country's GDP (2017). Poland has the largest banking
sector of the new EU countries in Central and Eastern
Europe. 70 per cent of the banks have foreign owners, mainly
from Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and the USA.
Outsourcing is one of the fastest growing sectors of the
The tourism industry has been growing rapidly since
Poland joined the EU in 2004. In 2017, 18.3 million tourists
visited Poland. This was an increase of 4.5 per cent
compared to 2017. The largest group of tourists comes from
Germany, and Krakˇw is the country's largest tourist city.
Transport and Communications
Since 2004, Poland has been supported by EU funds for the
development of the road network. In 2013, it was 2 820
kilometers of motorway. In the period 2014-2023, another
2200 kilometers of motorway will be built. The railway
network is best developed in the former German areas, and is
star-shaped from Warsaw. The state-owned company Polskie
Koleje Państwowe (PKP) has a total network of 23 429
There are 3997 kilometers of inland waterways used for
traffic, with Oder in particular as a transport vein for
mass products. The main ports are Gdańsk, Gdynia and
Szczecin. There are the following ferry routes from and to
Polish cities on the Baltic Sea: Gdynia - Karlskrona, Gdańsk
- Nynńshamn, and Świnoujście - Ystad and Copenhagen. LOT
Polish Airlines is the airline of the Polish state. There
are 15 airports with commercial passenger traffic.
In 2017, total exports amounted to USD 224.6 billion,
while imports were USD 223.8 billion. With this, Poland had
a small surplus on the trade balance with foreign countries
in 2017, as was the case in 2016. In 2017, the five most
important export markets were Germany (27.4 per cent), the
UK ( 6.4 per cent), the Czech Republic (6.4 per cent).),
France (5.6 percent) and Italy (4.9 percent). The five most
important markets for Polish imports were Germany (27.9 per
cent), China (8.0 per cent), Russia (6.4 per cent), the
Netherlands (6.0 per cent) and Italy (5.4 per cent). Germany
is thus Poland's most important trading partner.
Four of the five main groups of goods for both export and
import are: various industrial goods, transport equipment,
consumer goods and capital goods (except transport
equipment), while food and fuel are one of the five most
important main groups for export and import respectively.