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The 'Secret' of Poland's Economic Success

Exiled 2 | 425
15 Feb 2010 #31
What does the Belgium export except bureaucrats?
Nika 2 | 507
15 Feb 2010 #32
Belgium ? What a dump. How can you compare ?

What are you talking about? Oh, I see - your father was certainly working in one of the Charleroi's coal mines and you are now biassed.
hague1cameron - | 85
15 Feb 2010 #33
Well their finance minister, jacek Rostowski. has a Master in economics ( from the London school of economics) has a master degree in history, same uni. As well as a Bachelor of Science – International Relations, University College London. He was born in the UK and apart from English, he is fluent in French, Russian, Polish and German.

Born into a Polish exile family in London. During the Second World War his father, Roman Rostowski, served as personal Secretary to Tomasz Arciszewski, Prime Minister of the Polish government-in-exile and did not return to Poland after the war. In the 1950s, Roman Rostowski worked for the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office with postings to Kenya, Mauritius and the Seychelles where Jacek Rostowski spent much of his childhood.

During the early 1980s he was active in the Polish Solidarity Campaign, a London based Solidarity support group. From 1989 to 1991 during Poland’s great economic transformation following the fall of communism, Vincent-Rostowski was an advisor to the Polish Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Leszek Balcerowicz.

In the early 90s Vincent-Rostowski also advised the Russian Federation on macroeconomic policy. From 1995 he has been Professor of Economics and was the head of the Department of Economics at the Central European University in Budapest during the periods: 1995-2000 and 2005-2006 (Post suspended following appointment as Polish Finance Minister.

During the years 1997 to 2000, Vincent-Rostowski was Chairman of the Macro-economic Policy Committee at the Polish Ministry of Finance.He is one of the co-founders of the Center for Social and Economic Research (CASE). He was also a member of the Foundation’s Council.From 2002 to 2004 he was an Economic Advisor to the National Bank of Poland.

In 2004 Vincent-Rostowski was appointed Economic Advisor to Bank PEKAO SA. He left this post in November 2007.He was a member of UK Conservative Party. It was announced in the beginning of 2010 that he became member of Platforma Obywatelska two months earlier.

I would trust him, i doubt if there is a more competent finance minister in Europe, he also won finance minister of the year award from the Banker's Magazine.
TheOther 5 | 3,711
16 Feb 2010 #34
someone has to be able/skilled enough to do the job

Depends on the job. How many positions for highly skilled workers are really created by foreign investment (and how many of them are senior positions to be filled by locals), and how many are more comparable to slave work in a call center?

The difference between a highly skilled worker in Poland and elsewhere in western Europe is that the Polish one is much cheaper than his counterpart. That's why Poland is so interesting for investors at the moment. At some point of time this will change, as Ireland has shown.
f stop 25 | 2,513
16 Feb 2010 #35
You don't seriously think, that the only criteria a company would take into consideration is the cost of labour?

It's not the only criteria, but it is the biggest chunk.
Nika 2 | 507
16 Feb 2010 #36

Very interesting post hague, I've learnt something from it, thank you!

That's why Poland is so interesting for investors at the moment. At some point of time this will change, as Ireland has shown.

Let's wait and see...
16 Feb 2010 #37
then you can not do a thing with them!

What a snobbish attitude. I know people personally who have no diplomas, no second language and no qualifications on leaving school, that have built from nothing a multi million company within 6 years. So your " you can not do a thing with them " statement is totally wrong and offensive to some.

These persons are now their own bosses on higher incomes than you.
So what good is your qualifications ?
Who is better off ?
What outlook have you ?
You work to rule, day after day. ( what a life )
You,re on the treadmill.
They,ve got you where they want you.
And when the time comes, they will show you the door.
bolek 6 | 330
16 Feb 2010 #38
Positive news...Shows that Kaczynski does something right, or at least stays out of way on certain economic matters...What is Polish foreign debt?

your comments may go down well with the village idiot, but you may want to explain what has this government done so right, just look at the state of the hospital system, low wages, and housing affordability, the list goes on.
16 Feb 2010 #39
Nika wrote:

You don't seriously think, that the only criteria a company would take into consideration is the cost of labour?

uuuhhmmmm.....well.....yeah, kinda. when you can hire 3 people to do one person's job (and pay the same for it), 2 of them can be under-qualified as long as one of them isn't.....the other two push paper and make coffee for their boss and so the world turns.......

Nika wrote:

You are forgetting that first of all, someone has to be able/skilled enough to do the job.

what would give you that silly idea? man, i have seen so much in my 3+ years here in Poland being in and out of companies and talking to thousands of people.....I could write some stuff about companies that would blow the doors off this conversation but I'd hate to expose/incriminate anyone or any company. to me, the "secret", as so many others have already pointed out, is obvious, and it's not Poland's ultra-economy savvy government or their "highly skilled and qualified workers".

A bunch of old timers who grew up in communist times running the country's government (maybe 3 of which can actually speak some English to hold a conversation with another country's president/prime minister.....come to think of it, I've never seen a Polish diplomat speaking anything but Polish on television......ever...) along with a work force sporting Master's Degrees that are given away in Poland like fliers in the Krakow rynek.

I know it's fun, and it feels good to be proud of Poland's recent success.....I'm happy to be in a country that is "on the up and up" so to speak, but let's not be delusional about it.
Exiled 2 | 425
16 Feb 2010 #40
They have feked up so badly,damn how badly they have feked up.
You will see Putins arising all around.
jwojcie 2 | 763
16 Feb 2010 #41
The secret of polish succes is "chilling down" economy around 2000 when Balcerowicz was the head of National Bank of Poland. He did exactly opposite thing than USA beloved Greenspan did in USA after tech bubble burst. Thanks to that Poland jumped in world property bubble train few years later than others so it didn't get so enormous like in Baltics for example.

It is only one factor, but important one. Unfortunately such events in economy like this move of NBP around 2000 are too detached from results in time. It is like with getting pregnant. If getting pregnant and childbirth would be at the same speed as hitting fingers hammering in nails, then no conscious woman would ever decide to have sex... It is the problem with economy that action is usually long before reaction. In the meantime everyone is wiser because stocks are up...

The second most important factor is that in begining of 90' Poland has the gigantic crisis, and we cann't stop laughing in Poland when we are hearing that current crisis is the biggest one since 30'...

The third one is huge constructing projects concerning road building and EU funds, what started for good in the begining of crisis.
The fourth would be Zloty depreciaction..
The fifth... oh it would be quite a long list...
aphrodisiac 11 | 2,443
16 Feb 2010 #42
You don't seriously think, that the only criteria a company would take into consideration is the cost of labour?

unfortunately this is usually the first thing the investor will consider and it is Economics 101.

At some point of time this will change, as Ireland has shown.

true. Business management 101;).

And finally Geography 101: location, location, location. Wait, it is real estate 101;)

Poland should lover its small business taxes, so the small Polish business will get a break (economy:101)
Ironside 50 | 10,933
16 Feb 2010 #43
What success ?are you mental?
OP Happymeal 7 | 35
10 Mar 2010 #44
No country is perfect and there are bad policies in every government, but you got to admit they have done something right... It's not like this awesomeness was just handed to them.

Poland Is Far From

With the Obama Administration working overtime on remodeling the U.S. economy after Sweden, ca. 1975, formerly Communist Poland remains one of the world's last free-market champions. Unlike most Western governments, Warsaw refused to blow its hard-earned zlotys on futile attempts to pump-prime the economy and is the better for it now.
hague1cameron - | 85
10 Mar 2010 #45
Kaczynski does something right

You have got to be Joking, it is Tusk and Rostowski who are in charge of the finances, the stupid bumpkin Kaczynski insisted on getting us into debt during the crisis, and thank goodness that Rostowski ignored him
bolek 6 | 330
10 Mar 2010 #46
Its nice to see people speak of Poland economic success, and three cheers for the rank and file but could somebody explain this article, something does not add up,

Hundreds of billions lacking for pensions8th March 2010

The government will have to assist the Social Insurance Institution (ZUS) in paying out pensions in the coming years, the institution has announced. Over the next five years, ZUS might require as much as zł.350 billion.

ZUS added that the worst possible scenario would see the government forking out as much as zł.83 billion a year. Just three years ago, the institution announced that it would require a maximum of zł.184 billion in funds for the 2008-2012 period. (RG)

Source: Dziennik Gazeta Prawna

From Warsaw Business Journal
Honest George 1 | 105
10 Mar 2010 #47
could somebody explain this article, something does not add up,

Pensions are paid from ZUS contributions, which have declined due to Poles working and registering abroad.
Pension funds is a misleading term, for no fund actually exists. If for example the British public stopped paying their national insurance contributions, then the government would only have enough funds to pay pensioners for up to 4 - 6 weeks.

So the problem the Polish government have is basically a shortfall, to which they will have to subsidize ZUS pensions.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,475
10 Mar 2010 #48
So the problem the Polish government have is basically a shortfall, to which they will have to subsidize ZUS pensions.

The real problem can be traced back to the way that the "shock therapy" didn't extend to stripping people of any pension entitlements beyond the basic - people nowadays are effectively subsidising pensioners who have never worked a single day under a convertible zloty - and thus have never paid anything 'real' into the system.

And let's not forget all those people on early retirement - ballet dancers, anyone?
deepfern - | 6
10 Mar 2010 #49
I don't know what all this "bragging" about Poland's economic growth is all about. The country has enjoyed significant foreign investment over a long period of time due to its comparetively low wages. Change this cost factor to the disadvantage of the corporations and we will see how strong Poland's economy really is.

I disagree. It's not just low wages. Poles are hard working and smarter on average than a Brit -- and this is due to the low standard of current British Education. For example, I would say that Brits growing up in the 90s are no where near as educated as their compatriots who grew up and studied in the 70s. There are exceptions, yes, but the education has failed the students.

Poles in contrast haven't had that misfortune -- yet (but that could change). They're also been fortunate in their location and yes to an extent on lower wages. This is not the sole reason for their staying good -- if you note in the article it doesn't say Poland wasn't hurt by the crisis -- it's just that relatively it did much better.
Wroclaw Boy
10 Mar 2010 #50
Poles are hard working and smarter on average than a Brit -- and this is due to the low standard of current British Education.

Not smarter, more educated you should say. I always say to that where the hell is it? because i certainly dont witness anything of the sort living in Poland.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,475
10 Mar 2010 #51
I always say to that where the hell is it? because i certainly dont witness anything of the sort living in Poland.

Depends how you measure it. Poles are much, much more educated in classical things - such as language and science. But they are lacking quite badly in 'soft' skills - and while Poland shouldn't go all the way towards the British system, it wouldn't hurt to introduce things like business classes into schools.

I don't think Poland or Britain is necessarily better educated - just educated differently. The way that they're trying to push everyone into passing the matura is one way in which you can see parallels between the UK and Polish systems.

One thing where the Polish system is vastly inferior is in the choice of education before 19 - it barely exists.
10 Mar 2010 #52
what do you guys think about their lack of work experience at a young age? how many poles finish college, get to the ripe old age of say 24-25, and they're applying for their FIRST JOB???

i'm not looking to discuss the reasons for why they don't work, totally different discussion, but the effects of it. we're discussing differences in the educational systems....and from my personal experience, that being starting to work when i was a young teenager, I gained a heck of a lot of "education" that cannot be taught in schools or read in a book.

sure, different strokes for differnet folks, but it has it's effects.
aphrodisiac 11 | 2,443
10 Mar 2010 #53
I gained a heck of a lot of "education" that cannot be taught in schools or read in a book.

such as, I am just curious.
f stop 25 | 2,513
10 Mar 2010 #54
last year Poland issued 30,000 work permits to foreign workers. I assume, that the policy is like in most other countries, these permits are issued only to positions that are unable to be filled by Poles. What jobs are they?
10 Mar 2010 #55
aphrodisiac wrote:

such as, I am just curious.

the list could go on forever, but I guess i'll give you one example, since you asked.

let's say when you're 16, you start working for a retail store, dealing constantly with customers. you're working for a business, doing business, for money, not grades, which is an entirely different playing field and an entirely different mentality. year after year, you continue dealing with people, selling them things, managing your work time with friends/family/school/other responsibilities, and when you get a little older and more experienced, you start to maybe be in charge of a few younger people working at the retail store. you put together their work schedules, deal with their requests/problems, manage vacation time with business time, etc. etc, all while going to college and getting your degree. By the time you're in your early twenties, you have years of experience dealing with being in a business environment where money is on the line along with having responsibilities to other people.

now, when you're 25, you apply for a sales job at Company X. your first "Real Job". the person who already has years of experience dealing with people in a work environment will transition very smoothly into a job like that, whereas a complete newbie to the world of work will be at a disadvantage. They've never held a job, never had to report to and answer to a boss, maintain a work schedule, or even pay for anything with their own money.

these are two very, very different people.
king polkakamon - | 544
10 Mar 2010 #56
It is street smart vs book smart but really what you find in the street you cannot put on a book without getting kicked.
Most books are written by far more intelligent people than the ones you meet in real life,so they cover a lot of things.Noone wants to be described as he really is,books manage that through the artificial environment of high intelligence.In real life you deal with very average people very different from the ones who write the books.
wildrover 98 | 4,451
10 Mar 2010 #57
ballet dancers, anyone?

Yep...put me down for a couple...female ones...thanks...
king polkakamon - | 544
10 Mar 2010 #58
I describe the book limitations.If you do sth by the book,the other says:''Are you stupid?Do you think the people who are in real field have time to write books?.''If you do sth improvising they tell you ''where did you find that?Do you know any book or article where this is written?You do everything according to your inspirations?Never listen?,etc.''

Unfortunately most people are not reasonable more driven by emotions.

For example if they like you,in first case they will tell you:''Bravo.You study books and learn new things.''In second case they will tell you:''Bravo.You get intiatives,you are improvising and enterpreuning.You don't just sit with known knowledge,you want to apply it in real conditions.''
TheOther 5 | 3,711
10 Mar 2010 #59
It's not just low wages. Poles are hard working and smarter on average than a Brit

The main cost factor in every business is wages. If you can get well educated and highly skilled workers for a fraction of the cost you would have to pay in another country, where would you invest? Correct: in Poland. But ... you change the economic environment for the corporations in a negative way (i.e., increase salaries and corporate taxes), and you will face the consequences. There is always someone out there with a good education who is willing to work for less - the motor of globalization.
Amanda91 1 | 135
10 Mar 2010 #60
They can only keep up the charade for so long.

I agree with you. At the latest when the cash quits flowing from the EU the way it does at the moment, the problems will appear, slowly but surely.

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