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    Poland’s Rising Influence in Global Trade

    Poland has steadily increased its share in global goods trade, reaching a record 1.6% of world exports in 2023, up from 0.5% in 2000. Poland’s significance in global trade surpasses its share in the global GDP, which has also risen in recent years. The country’s export portfolio includes furniture, car parts, and rail vehicles, with electric car batteries emerging as a recent success story. Last year, Poland exported electric batteries worth 55 billion PLN, accounting for 3.4% of its total exports. Agricultural and food products, such as tobacco, poultry meat, fish products, and sweets, also play a crucial role.

    Competitive Edge and Economic Integration

    The success of Polish exports can be attributed to high price competitiveness due to lower production costs and steadily improving product quality. Poland benefits from economic integration within the EU, with 75% of its exports directed to EU markets, enjoying tariff-free access to over 400 million consumers. Foreign direct investment and the accompanying technology transfer have further bolstered Polish exports. Additionally, a flexible exchange rate helps mitigate global economic shocks, maintaining competitiveness during turbulent periods.

    Recent discussions on geo-economic fragmentation, driven by the pandemic and geopolitical tensions, highlight the need for nearshoring and friendshoring. Poland stands to gain from these shifts. Sustaining a significant role in global trade in the long term will require continued quality improvements and expanded presence in more distant markets as the cost gap with more developed countries narrows.

    Challenges for the European Union

    Conversely, the leading EU economies have seen a decline in their global trade significance. This trend is linked to lower GDP growth compared to emerging economies, particularly China. As developing economies rapidly absorb foreign technologies, European production and export capabilities have grown at a slower pace. High production costs, industrial policy challenges, and competition from China have further reduced the EU’s share in global trade.

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