A few days ago, the Polish Central Statistical Office (CSO) released provisional data on Poland's foreign trade in goods in 2020, from which two important pieces of information broke through to the public.
Firstly, Poland achieved a huge surplus in foreign trade in goods amounting to as much as EUR 12 billion - 10 times higher than last year. It did this in a year when, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, both our country and most of the world were in recession. Second, quite unexpectedly, we became the 4th exporter to Germany, Europe's largest economy, ahead of France and Italy, the European Union's second and third economies.
According to analysts, our exports should be decreasing, but instead it continues to grow
It should be stressed that the achievement of such a high surplus in goods trade in 2020, as well as coming fourth in exports to Germany, took place against a backdrop of recession in the global and European economies, and especially in the case of our largest trading partner, Germany, where the GDP decline reached 5%.
The most surprising in these very good results of Polish foreign trade in 2020 is the fact that, according to the analyses of many analysts, as a result of the recession in our western trade partners, our exports should decrease, while they continue to grow. Moreover, the Polish economy is less and less import-intensive, since 2017 we have a clear upward trend in the ratio of exports to imports expressed in euros, for every 1 euro of imports we have already used 1.3 euros of exports (when constructing this indicator the value of exported and imported goods and services was included together).
Poland exported goods worth 68.6 billion euros
To Germany in 2020 we exported goods worth 68.6 billion Euros, and as I already mentioned, we overtook France and Italy, and more to Germany, of course, sells China as well as the Netherlands and the United States (to overtake the U.S. we are only a few billion Euros short). On the other hand, in 2020 Germany exported to us goods worth 49.3 billion euro and we are already the 6th largest market for them, ahead of Italy and Austria.
All in all, not only do we have a high trade surplus with Germany of 20 billion euros, but with a turnover of almost 120 billion euros in 2020 we became Germany's fifth trading partner, behind China, the Netherlands, the United States and France, and ahead of Italy.
Handelsblatt writes about an economic miracle in Poland
At the same time, the German economic daily, Handelsblatt, published an article about the economic miracle in Poland. The newspaper points out that the attention of German entrepreneurs is directed primarily at China and the United States, and "the country where the discrepancy between the lack of attention paid to it and its economic significance is particularly large is Poland. Meanwhile, "the resilience of the Polish economy - and above all its good prospects in Europe - is astonishing". What's more, "the Polish economy also comes through the coronavirus pandemic as easily as no other EU member state."
As the newspaper writes, for many German companies "the largest country in Eastern Europe, despite all the political friction, is an important location and has long been more than just an extended workshop."
As the German business paper points out, "the Polish economy is characterized by two features: diversity and flexibility, which served it particularly well during the coronavirus pandemic."
The newspaper also points out that according to the EBRD's as well as the European Commission's forecasts, Poland's economic growth in 2021 will amount to at least 3 percent of GDP, which means that at the end of this year it will be the only country in the EU to have reached the pre-crisis GDP level (Poland's GDP decline in 2021 amounted to 2.8 percent).