Trade policy review of Poland, 2000

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    Poland emerges from the Trade Policy Review (TPR) in impressively sound health, and for the most part any identified problems or shortcomings are associated with aspects of the Polish economy that are not solely concerned with trade. Amongst these problems are the likely implications of Poland's accession to the EU, the continuing saga of restructuring key sectors, mostly in heavy industry, and the design of an effective industrial policy to suit Polish conditions. Alongside these 'large-scale' problems is a host of lesser ones, often of a detailed technical character. These include the use of Polish technical standards in some fields, the retention of some national preferences, the need to extend freedom of establishment in services, the need for new laws covering designs and patents, and the excessive red tape associated with Poland's SME policies. As part of Poland's adaptation to the acquis communautaire, one can expect these and other issues to be dealt with quite soon. It is worth remarking, however, that many of Poland's economic policy shortcomings are the normal problems of a normally functioning economy, and very few issues can any longer be regarded as issues peculiar to a transition economy per se. Given this, it is pertinent to ask why the EU apparently expects so much of the acquis to be in place prior to Poland's accession to the EU (cf. Spain, Portugal and Greece, where the requirements were much less demanding). As regards the WTO, it can be expected with some confidence that the next TPR carried out for Poland will scarcely need to mention the country's communist past and the difficult transition of the 1990s.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1179-1204
    Number of pages26
    JournalWorld Economy
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - 2001


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