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Speeches & Transcripts

Poland: Launch of Doing Business in 2013

October 23, 2012

Xavier Devictor Doing Business 2013 Warsaw, Poland

As Prepared for Delivery

Introductory remarks by Xavier Devictor, World Bank Country Manager for Poland and the Baltic Countries

Excellency Mr. Prime Minister,
Excellency Mr. Deputy Prime Minister,
Excellency Mr. Minister of Justice,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is both an honor and a pleasure to welcome you here today for the launch of our Doing Business in 2013 report.

I would also like to thank the Warsaw Stock Exchange for having accepted to host this important event – important for Poland, and important for the private sector. 

The Doing Business report is an annual publication of the World Bank. It provides an assessment, year after year, of the investment climate in 185 countries across the world. It measures what it takes in terms of administrative processes to create and develop a company – for example, how much time it takes to file taxes, how many steps are needed to enforce a contract, how much it costs to register a property. And to get this information, it goes right to the source by asking local experts about their actual experience and by aggregating these “real life data” into a set of specific indicators that are easy to compare across countries and across time. 

Let me immediately add that this is not about less regulations – this is about better, smarter regulations. This is not about a “free for all”, this is about measuring the Government’s effectiveness in developing a regulatory environment that can facilitate, rather than hamper, the development of a vibrant private sector.

Is this relevant? A recent study has shown that there is indeed a strong correlation between the performance under Doing Business on the one hand and international competitiveness and medium-term economic growth on the other hand. In other words, those countries which perform the best under Doing Business tend to be also those who make the most progress in growing competitive firms that can provide jobs across the economy.

In a time of global economic uncertainty, and of European crisis, this matters.

So against this backdrop, let me turn to Poland’s achievement. To put it simply, Poland’s performance over the last year has been remarkable.

Poland is the country in the world that has made the most progress in improving its business environment over the last year. Not only one of the “top ten” countries, as we call them, one of the ten countries that are highlighted in this report as having made the most progress. Not only one of the “top ten” – but the “top one”. In other words, Poland is the global leader in improving the business environment. 

Mr. Prime Minister,
Mr. Deputy Prime Minister,
Mr. Minister of Justice,

Please accept our congratulations for this truly remarkable performance. 

We know first-hand through our day-to-day partnership with you that the performance we are celebrating today is not a miracle. It is the result of hard work, of determined and patient efforts, which have been sustained over the years since the Government first took office. 

Because improving the business environment is not a sprint, it is a marathon. This is not about adopting a few new regulations, making small changes here and there. This is about a systematic effort across the board to cut red tape – to review which regulations make sense and which could be simplified, to revamp the underlying institutional systems and administrative processes, to implement smart regulations effectively. This is an endeavor that has to be sustained over years to yield its fruits. 

And this is what we see in Poland today.

So, is this it? Has Poland completed the reform process? 

Of course not. In a world of global competition, staying put is backtracking – because others are moving forward.  Continued efforts are needed to get to the top – and to remain there. Poland has made huge progress but still has some way to go. In fact the Government has already identified the few areas in which to focus efforts in the coming period to sustain this year’s achievements – and it is already working on some of them. This bodes well for the future. 

On our side, at the World Bank, we are very much looking forward to continue to work with the Polish authorities to help design the next generation of reforms by sharing global good practices – and also to help other countries learn from Poland’s experience in addressing some of the problems they are facing.

Mr. Prime Minister,
Mr. Deputy Prime Minister,
Mr. Minister of Justice,

We are not only the World Bank, we are your bank. You are one of our shareholders, one of our important shareholders – as indeed are the other countries ranked in this report. You own us, and we are here to serve you. 

We are very proud of the strategic partnership that we have developed with Poland over the years. We are delighted to be working with you to improve the business environment, and more generally to design and implement the economic policies that can best advance shared prosperity in these difficult times. We also see across the world a growing number of countries who are interested in learning from Poland’s experience, in Poland’s success in developing its economy. We believe this is an opportunity for Poland to further enhance its international stature, and we are committed to working with you in disseminating such “Polish lessons”.

Let me conclude by highlighting a last finding of the Doing Business report, which I believe says a lot about Poland’s role as one of Europe’s champions of good economic management. Poland is the EU country that has made the most cumulative progress over the last five years towards the global best performers. This is yet another remarkable achievement. 

I would like now to ask my colleagues, Ms. Johns and Mr. Piatkowski, to take us through the main findings of the report and next steps.

Thank you.

 


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