WASHINGTON, August 6, 2013—The World Bank Group’s Board of Directors discussed today a Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Poland for 2014-2017. The new strategy is a four-year business plan that sets out the framework of cooperation between the Government of Poland and the World Bank Group.
Under the new strategy, the World Bank Group will support the Government’s shared prosperity agenda and help foster sustainable income growth for the 40 percent of the population with the lowest income. This work will include activities that improve competitiveness (business environment, innovation support, public finance), equity and inclusion (labor market, reduction of regional disparities, health and aging), and sustainability (climate change policy, flood protection, resource-efficient infrastructure). The new strategy program is aligned with the Government’s own priorities as well as with the EU2020 agenda of smart, sustainable, and inclusive growth.
“Poland’s partnership with the World Bank Group is based on mutual trust and on the recognition that the Bank Group can add value to Poland’s reform efforts,” said Ms. Mamta Murthi, Director for Central Europe and the Baltic Countries. “Our program is increasingly based on knowledge services, to share global experience with the authorities.”
“The Government very much values our partnership with the World Bank Group”, responded Jacek Dominik, Deputy Minister of Finance. “With the new strategy we have access to expert knowledge and to the lessons learned in other countries, which is often critical to inform our own reform process.”
Under the new strategy, the World Bank Group intends to provide support through a combination of analytical and advisory services. The World Bank Group is also planning to continue to provide financial support – with a planned lending envelope of US$3.2 billion. The financial support may be adjusted throughout the new strategy period to reflect the country’s economic circumstances, the speed of the government’s reforms, as well as the availability of IBRD resources. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), which focuses on private sector development, will seek to strengthen Poland’s private sector through development of critical infrastructure, including via public private partnerships, as well as through climate-friendly investments, and support to Polish companies investing in other emerging markets.
This new strategy coincides with Poland’s emergence as a global development partner that can contribute to the development of other countries. Poland adopted a law on development cooperation in 2011 and is developing a bilateral aid program. Efforts during the new strategy will aim to seek and leverage synergies between these programs and that of the World Bank Group.
“Poland’s achievements have been impressive over the last two decades. There are important lessons to be learned from Poland’s experience that can help other countries,” said Xavier Devictor, World Bank Country Manager for Poland and the Baltic Countries. “We’re eager to help Poland share its experiences and inform debate in other countries.”
Over the last two decades, Poland has made remarkable progress on the economic and social front, with GDP per capita rising from slightly above US$2,000 in the early 1990’s to more than US$12,500 in 2012 (adjusted for price differences). Between 2008 and 2011, Poland’s performance was strong by regional standards. Yet, the economy is now going through a slowdown with economic growth expected at around 1 percent in 2013, unemployment on the rise, and the lowest-earning 40 percent of the population disproportionately affected.
According to Marek Belka, Governor of the National Bank of Poland, “Poland’s relationship with the World Bank is a partnership of choice. We are looking forward to a further close cooperation – for the Bank to share with Poland the lessons of international experience, and for Poland to share with the Bank the lessons of its own experience. This is not a donor-recipient relationship, but a two-way knowledge partnership, based on mutual trust and on the recognition that such a partnership can bring value to both parties.”