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Poland: Economic Development in a Changing World

June 15, 2012


Seminar on "Democratizing Development in a transforming world" at the National Bank of Poland.

  • World Bank and National Bank of Poland officials stress interconnectedness of economic development and growth, and role Poland can play.

A joint seminar organized by the World Bank and the National Bank of Poland (NBP) held at NBP’s head office in Warsaw discussed the issue of economic development in a transforming world.

NBP’s First Deputy President, Piotr Wiesiolek, said that new trends and models are necessary when looking at economic development in the context of a changing and evolving world.

Central bankers usually spend little time talking about development and development assistance. They usually talk about growth. But, as we have learned over the years, economic growth and development are closely interconnected and one may not be easily sustained without the other,” said Wiesiolek.

World Bank Managing Director Caroline Anstey attended the event during her two-day visit to Poland April 12-13th. In her presentation, Democratizing Development in a Transforming World, Anstey said that to stay relevant, today’s models of global growth must take into account the multi-polar distribution of economic clout and the rising influence of emerging markets. She also discussed what Poland could bring to the table.

" A country like Poland has a special role to play in the global debates on economic development. "

Caroline Anstey

Managing Director, World Bank

“A country like Poland has a special role to play in the global debates on economic development,” said Anstey. “Poland’s experience shows how sound policies and strong political leadership can deliver success. This experience – the ‘Polish know how’ – is an important ingredient for others to learn from and to be successful, and only Poland can provide it.”

Another issue raised at the seminar is the need for structural reforms.

According to Peter Harrold, World Bank Country Director for Central Europe and the Baltic Countries, reforms are key to achieving medium-term growth strategies.

Harrold said structural reforms could increase competitiveness and productivity within Europe and contribute to the medium-term growth agenda. However, throwing money at the problem is not always the solution.

“It isn’t simply money that makes the difference. If you put money into a poor policy environment or an environment with undeveloped institutions, undeveloped capabilities, nothing much happens,” said Harrold. “When money goes into a good policy environment where institutions function and are able to deliver then you get double the reward. And Poland has had a remarkable experience in how it has transformed institutions.”

NBP plans to keep the discussion flowing and act as a facilitator on future debates on global development, said NBP’s Director of International Development Pawel Samecki.

“We are a partner with the World Bank and that is why we want to facilitate some debates between academia, between NGOs, major players in the business circles and of course public administration. We are a kind of focal point, which can bring different actors, different stakeholders to discuss issues important for global development,” said Samecki.