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2008 OECD Economic Surveys: Poland 2008

image of OECD Economic Surveys: Poland 2008

Poland has been catching up with the rest of the OECD more quickly in the past two years, but the short-term outlook is clouded by strong excess demand pressures and rising inflation.  This 2008 edition of OECD's periodic survey of the Polish economy examines key challenges Poland faces including monetary and fiscal policies, reforming the tax system, bridging the housing gap, and rapidly improving transport infrastructure.

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The challenge of rapidly improving transport infrastructure

Following many years of underinvestment, renovating and building new transport infrastructure is an important policy priority that would increase labour mobility and improve Poland’s competitiveness. This goal is all the more feasible given that the country is going to benefit from substantial EU structural and cohesion funds over the programming period 2007-13. On top of the limited timeframe for the absorption of EU funds, the European soccer championship that Poland is going to co-host with Ukraine in 2012 imposes an additional time constraint on many investment projects. The country is heavily reliant on road transport but is lacking an efficient high-speed road network. It needs important renovation investments both in the rolling stock and infrastructure network of the railway sector. It also faces the challenges of revitalising maritime transport as well as extending and upgrading airport facilities to cope with the fastest growing air market in Europe. However, many obstacles remain and hinder the implementation of investment plans and thus need to be resolved rapidly. From the macroeconomic perspective, these are related to rising prices of scarce labour and intermediate inputs, while from the microeconomic standpoint the main difficulties lie in the area of the regulatory framework underlying the provision of physical infrastructure.

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