Even after the current economic slowdown ends, Poland has no chance for 5-7 percent growth but may grow at 2-3 percent at the most, economists told Rzeczpospolita.The economy needs additional stimulus, a loosening of regulations, more business-friendly law and money for education and innovation, they say.
Even the usually optimistic Finance Minister, Jacek Rostowski, estimates 2.5 percent growth for 2014, 3.5 percent in 2015 and 4 percent in 2016.
Independent economists are more pessimistic: Witold Orłowski, former presidential economic adviser and now partner at PwC predicts 2-4 percent growth for the next few years while Ernest Pytlarczyk, chief economist at BRE Bank sees growth of around 3 percent for at least three years.
The reason for such pessimistic forecasts is that natural growth reserves will be gone: cheap labor will not be available anymore as Poles will no longer accept low wages.
What's more, Asian countries are already offering more affordable quality products –the equivalent of more expensive goods available on the Polish market. Cheap goods could be substituted with innovative ones, but now Poland focuses more on imports and is limiting spending on technology.
Too little is also spent on research and development, economists say.
The government and economists are predicting that the main wave of the economic crisis will be over at the end of 2013.However, without a period of fast growth, negative crisis phenomena will linger – job creation will remain slow, and part of the society will remain permanently unemployed.
“We will stop catching up with the European Union when it comes to wealth. Poland will be outpaced by others. In ten years China will be richer than Poland in terms of GDP per capita,” projects Stanisław Gomułka, chief economist at the Business Center Club.
From Warsaw Business Journal
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