It is my sincere pleasure to welcome you, on behalf of the World Bank Group (WBG), to the launch of the Doing Business in Poland 2015 report. In preparing this report, the WBG has partnered with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Development and the Polish Development Bank (BGK). It has been our honor to work with such respected partners.
You may be familiar with the global Doing Business report, one of the WBG’s most popular and influential publications. It provides quantitative measures of the business regulation environment of 189 economies around the globe. Poland has done well in the rankings in recent years. In 2015 it was again a regional leader in Doing Business reforms, ranking 32nd.
The report we are discussing today goes beyond that. In the Doing Business rankings, in most countries data are only drawn from the capital cities. The report we are launching today applies the Doing Business approach beyond Warsaw, examining conditions in 18 cities representing all 16 voivodships in Poland. It thus captures local differences in business regulations and the implementation of national laws. This has the potential to help policy makers identify – and address - the problems faced on a daily basis by Polish entrepreneurs.
We at the World Bank find that sub-national Doing Business (SNDB) studies motivate regulatory improvements over time. Peer-to-peer learning plays an important role in this. Since 2005, the World Bank has done SNDB in a number of large decentralized countries such as Mexico, Indonesia, Italy, Philippines and Nigeria. Since 2005, SNDB has recorded over 389 business regulatory reforms. In Mexico, each successive round of SNDB studies documented an increase in the number of states improving their regulatory environment in each of the four indicator sets included.
As my colleagues will discuss in greater detail, the report launched today identifies significant regulatory differences across cities in Poland. As such, the report uncovers many good practices. Spreading such good practices from one city to the next can have major payoffs and can help empower local entrepreneurs. If Poland is able to aggregate the best practices in each city in each of the rankings, the country’s overall Doing Business ranking would improve from 32nd to 24th place – by 8 positions higher than Poland’s current ranking. This would place Poland ahead of France and the Netherlands.
Poland’s economic growth over the last 25 years has been spectacular. But past success does not guarantee future success. Maintaining the impressive growth record and fully catching up with Western Europe will continue to be a challenge. We trust that this study can form the foundation to encourage peer learning, promote intergovernmental cooperation, and provide policy makers actionable recommendations for areas requiring further improvement.
In closing, I would like to thank the local government officials and members of the judiciary throughout Poland who participated in the project, as well as private sector representatives—such as the Polish Confederation Lewiatan and other professional associations—who made valuable contributions during the data collection and review process. Thank You.