McKinsey: How must tailwinds shift to set Poland up for growth?
Tomasz Marciniak: Poland has been one of the fastest growing economies, not only in Europe, but also globally. Over the last five years, it grew by an average of 4 percent GDP annually. However, the growth engine is losing power, so we need a call for action to lift the country’s ambition. Otherwise, Poland’s economic growth rate will significantly decelerate.
Productivity is the first concern. Although the productivity gap versus the EU 15 has declined from 61 percent to 38 percent, there is still a huge opportunity to improve, especially by adopting new technologies faster and on a broader scale. Which is a big ask and challenge not only for the overall economy, but also for players in the corporate world.
Secondly, Poland’s working-age population will decline by seven million people in 2050, from 27 million to 20 million, which is a massive gap that needs to be filled. And given that Poles are some of the hardest-working citizens of the European Union, there’s not a lot we can do by activating the population that is old enough. So Poland needs to focus on attracting nearly three million people with desired capabilities to come and join the labor force.
Finally, Poland need to attract investment and demonstrate its worthiness as a credible partner for international capital. There’s quite a bit to be done with regards to thinking about attracting capital, how to think about Polish credibility, and how to think about being a long-term partner for investments in both the private and public sector, including infrastructure, technology, and all other aspects of the corporate world.