According to the latest competitiveness report of the World Economic Forum, Poland has advanced to the forty-first position of one hundred forty, gaining two places. This development is an indication for foreign investors that the business climate is constantly improving. However, the legal and institutional environment requires decisive changes.
In the last decade, Poland has advanced six places in the competitiveness ranking. The direction in which we are going is good, but the tempo is hardly amazing. Although our economy remains one of the most competitive among post-communist countries, the distance between us and Estonia (ranked thirtieth) – not to mention the leader, Switzerland – is still significant. The condition of infrastructure and macroeconomy has improved. Education and market potential are among our biggest advantages. Entrepreneurs also point to stable prices and flexible wages. The barrier of the cost of financing economic activity is also lower than in other post-socialist countries – the situation in this regard is better only in the eurozone and in Czech Republic.
We are slowly improving our position in other international rankings as well. Poland is forty-second in the economic freedom ranking prepared by the Heritage Foundation and Wall Street Journal – this is our all-time best showing. It is also the first time Poland found itself in the top forty most business-friendly countries in the Doing Business 2015 ranking prepared by World Bank.
We are developing, though not as quickly as our potential and aspirations would indicate. Entrepreneurs still list tax law, labour law and inefficient public administration as the most important barriers. We still have much to improve when it comes to social capital and soft skills, such as cooperation and trust between employers and employees. The grades for the institutional environment are also low: business complains about excessive regulatory burdens (we place one hundred and twenty-second in this regard), low transparency of procedures (one hundred sixth) and inefficient legal procedures (ninety-sixth).
Fully aware of these strategic challenges, Employers of Poland will take up the topic of the barriers restricting the growth of our economy at the Polish Economy Congress. This year’s edition references the conclusions drawn from international reports in order to come up with ways to improve the legal and institutional business environment. The biggest challenge is bureaucracy – lack of legal stability, ambiguous regulations, excessive reporting requirements and the tardiness of the administration.
Anna Jórasz, expert of the Research and Analysis Centre of Employers of Poland