About Poland

ICT

"Poland's information technology and telecommunications (ICT) sectors are said to follow general trends observed in Western Europe, though Poland tends to lag approximately 3 years behind in terms of the latest technology. While Poland has experienced an economic slow-down, the ICT sectors have been performing better than average. The IT market in Poland has a total value of USD 3 billion while the telecommunications market is estimated at USD 9.4 billion. The EITO (European Information Technology Observatory) estimates Poland's expenditures on information technology at 2.1% of GDP, compared to an average of 3.8% in Europe and 2.3% in Central Europe.

The dominating trend in the Polish ICT sectors is an integration of computer and telecommunications technologies. This trend can be observed from a perspective of an office with structural cabling systems or integrated office equipment. From an operator's perspective, there is a trend to use the same platform for providing voice service and data transmission. With one platform, operators can make savings while building the infrastructure and are in a position to offer wider range of services. Data transmission networks, traditionally treated as a part of an information technology infrastructure, have become increasingly used for transmitting voice, once the sole domain of telephone operators." (1)

General Information(2)

(All information provided below has been reflected from the CIA World Fact Book - Poland page)

Background
Poland is an ancient nation that was conceived around the middle of the 10th century. It's golden age occurred in the 16th century. During the following century, the strengthening of the gentry and internal disorders weakened the nation, until an agreement in 1772 between Russia, Prussia, and Austria partitioned Poland. Poland regained its independence in 1918 only to be overrun by Germany and the Soviet Union in World War II. It became a Soviet satellite country following the war, but one that was comparatively tolerant and progressive. Labor turmoil in 1980 led to the formation of the independent trade union "Solidarity" that over time became a political force and by 1990 had swept parliamentary elections and the presidency. A "shock therapy" program during the early 1990s enabled the country to transform its economy into one of the most robust in Central Europe, boosting hopes for acceptance to the EU. Poland joined the NATO alliance in 1999.
Geographic
Location:
Central Europe, east of Germany
Geographic coordinates:
52 00 N, 20 00 E
Map references:
Europe
Area: total:
312,685 sq km: water: 8,220 sq km land: 304,465 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than New Mexico
Land boundaries: total:
2,788 km border countries: Belarus 407 km, Czech Republic 658 km, Germany 456 km, Lithuania 91 km, Russia (Kaliningrad Oblast) 206 km, Slovakia 444 km, Ukraine 526 km
Coastline: 491 km
Maritime claims:
exclusive economic zone: defined by international treaties territorial sea: 12 NM
Climate:
temperate with cold, cloudy, moderately severe winters with frequent precipitation; mild summers with frequent showers and thundershowers
Terrain
mostly flat plain; mountains along southern border
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Raczki Elblaskie -2 m highest point: Rysy 2,499 m
Natural Resources
coal, sulfur, copper, natural gas, silver, lead, salt, arable land
Land use:
arable land: 46% permanent crops: 1% other: 53% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
1,000 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural Hazards:
flooding
Environment - current issues:
situation has improved since 1989 due to decline in heavy industry and increased environmental concern by postcommunist governments; air pollution nonetheless remains serious because of sulfur dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants, and the resulting acid rain has caused forest damage; water pollution from industrial and municipal sources is also a problem, as is disposal of hazardous wastes
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
Geography - note:
historically, an area of conflict because of flat terrain and the lack of natural barriers on the North European Plain
Population:
38,625,478 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 17.9% (male 3,535,701; female 3,361,515) 15-64 years: 69.5% (male 13,358,128; female 13,500,443) 65 years and over: 12.6% (male 1,860,274; female 3,009,417) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
-0.02% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
10.29 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
9.97 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
-0.49 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth:
1.06 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.62 male(s)/female total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
9.17 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est
Life expectancy at birth: total population:
73.66 years female: 78.05 years (2002 est.) male: 69.52 years
Total fertility rate:
1.37 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS -
adult prevalence rate: 0.07% (1999 est.) 9.97 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS -
people living with HIV/AIDS: NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
less than 100 (1999 est.)
Nationality: noun:
Pole(s) adjective: Polish
Ethnic groups:
Polish 97.6%, German 1.3%, Ukrainian 0.6%, Belarusian 0.5% (1990 est.)
Religions:
Roman Catholic 95% (about 75% practicing), Eastern Orthodox, Protestant, and other 5%
Languages:
Polish
Literacy: definition:
age 15 and over can read and write total population: 99% male: 99% female: 98% (1978 est.)
Country name: :
conventional long form: Republic of Poland, conventional short form: Poland, local short form: Polska, local long form: Rzeczpospolita Polska
Government type:
republic
Capital:
Warsaw
Administrative divisions:
16 provinces (wojewodztwa, singular - wojewodztwo); Dolnoslaskie, Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Lodzkie, Lubelskie, Lubuskie, Malopolskie, Mazowieckie, Opolskie, Podkarpackie, Podlaskie, Pomorskie, Slaskie, Swietokrzyskie, Warminsko-Mazurskie, Wielkopolskie, Zachodniopomorskie
Independence:
11 November 1918 (independent republic proclaimed)
National holiday:
Constitution Day, 3 May (1791)
Constitution:
16 October 1997; adopted by the National Assembly 2 April 1997; passed by national referendum 23 May 1997
Legal system:
mixture of Continental (Napoleonic) civil law and holdover Communist legal theory; changes being gradually introduced as part of broader democratization process; limited judicial review of legislative acts although under the new constitution, the Constitutional Tribunal ruling will become final as of October 1999; court decisions can be appealed to the European Court of Justice in Strasbourg
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Aleksander KWASNIEWSKI (since 23 December 1995) elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 8 October 2000 (next to be held NA October 2005); prime minister and deputy prime ministers appointed by the president and confirmed by the Sejm head of government: Prime Minister Leszek MILLER (SLD) (since 19 October 2001), Deputy Prime Ministers Marek POL (since 19 October 2001), Jaroslaw KALINOWSKI (since 19 October 2001), Grzegorz KOLODKO (since 8 July 2002) cabinet: Council of Ministers responsible to the prime minister and the Sejm; the prime minister proposes, the president appoints, and the Sejm approves the Council of Ministers election results: Aleksander KWASNIEWSKI reelected president; percent of popular vote - Aleksander KWASNIEWSKI 53.9%, Andrzj OLECHOWSKI 17.3%, Marian KRZAKLEWSKI 15.6%, Lech WALESA 1%
Legislative branch:
bicameral National Assembly or Zgromadzenie Narodowe consists of the Sejm (460 seats; members are elected under a complex system of proportional representation to serve four-year terms) and the Senate or Senat (100 seats; members are elected by a majority vote on a provincial basis to serve four-year terms) elections: Sejm elections last held 23 September 2001 (next to be held by September 2005); Senate - last held 23 September 2001 (next to be held by September 2005) election results: Sejm - percent of vote by party - SLD-UP 41%, PO 12.7%, Samoobrona 10.2%, PiS 9.5%, PSL 9%, LPR 7.9%, AWSP 5.6% UW 3.1%, other 1%; seats by party - SLD-UP 216, PO 65, Samoobrona 53, PiS 44, PSL 42, LPR 38, German minorities 2; note - SLD-UP has split: SLD has 200 deputies and UP has 16; Senate - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - SLD-UP 75, AWSP (an electoral alliance of some 36 parties) 15, PSL 4, Samoobrona 2, LPR 2, independents 2 note: two seats are assigned to ethnic minority parties
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court (judges are appointed by the president on the recommendation of the National Council of the Judiciary for an indefinite period); Constitutional Tribunal (judges are chosen by the Sejm for nine-year terms)
Political parties and leaders: Citizens Platform or PO [Maciej PLAZYNSKI]; Democratic Left Alliance or SLD (Social Democracy of Poland) [Leszek MILLER]; Freedom Union or UW [Wladyslaw FRASYNIUK]; German Minority of Lower Silesia or MNSO [Henryk KROLL]; Law and Justice or PiS [Lech KACZYNSKI]; League of Polish Families or LPR [Marek KOTLINOWSKI]; Polish Accord or PP [Jan LOPUSZANSKI]; Polish Peasant Party or PSL [Jaroslaw KALINOWSKI]; Samoobrona [Andrzej LEPPER]; Solidarity Electoral Action of the Right or AWSP [Marian KRZAKLEWSKI]; Social Movement-Solidarity Electoral Action or RS-AWS [Jerzy BUZEK]; Union of Labor or UP [Marek POL]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
All Poland Trade Union Alliance or OPZZ (trade union); Roman Catholic Church; Solidarity (trade union)
International organization participation:
ACCT (observer), Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS, CCC, CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, EU (applicant), FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA (observer), IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MINURSO, MONUC, NAM (guest), NATO, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNIKOM, UNMEE, UNMIBH, UNMIK, UNMOP, UNMOT, UNOMIG, UPU, WCL, WEU (associate), WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Przemyslaw GRUDZINSKI chancery: 2640 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009 FAX: [1] (202) 328-6271 consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York telephone: [1] (202) 234-3800 through 3802
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Christopher R. HILL embassy: Aleje Ujazdowskie 29/31 00-540, Warsaw P1 mailing address: American Embassy Warsaw, US Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-5010 (pouch) telephone: [48] (22) 628-30-41 FAX: [48] (22) 628-82-98 consulate(s) general: Krakow
Flag description:
two equal horizontal bands of white (top) and red; similar to the flags of Indonesia and Monaco which are red (top) and white
Economy - overview:
Poland has steadfastly pursued a policy of liberalizing the economy and today stands out as one of the most successful and open transition economies. GDP growth had been strong and steady in 1993-2000 but fell back in 2001 with slowdowns in domestic investment and consumption and the weakening in the global economy. The privatization of small and medium state-owned companies and a liberal law on establishing new firms have allowed for the rapid development of a vibrant private sector. In contrast, Poland's large agricultural sector remains handicapped by structural problems, surplus labor, inefficient small farms, and lack of investment. Restructuring and privatization of "sensitive sectors" (e.g., coal, steel, railroads, and energy) has begun. Structural reforms in health care, education, the pension system, and state administration have resulted in larger than expected fiscal pressures. Further progress in public finance depends mainly on privatization of Poland's remaining state sector. The government's determination to enter the EU as soon as possible affects most aspects of its economic policies. Improving Poland's outsized current account deficit and reining in inflation are priorities. Warsaw leads the region in foreign investment and needs a continued large inflow.
GDP:
GDP - purchasing power parity - $339.6 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 1.5% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $8,800 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 4% industry: 32% services: 64% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line:
18.4% (2000 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 3.2% highest 10%: 24.7% (1998)
Distribution of family income -
Gini index: 32.7 (1998)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
5.3% (2001 est.)
Labor force:
17.6 million (2000 est.), Labor force - by occupation: industry 22.1%, agriculture 27.5%, services 50.4% (1999)
Unemployment rate:
16.7% (2001 est.)
Budget:
revenues: $49.6 billion expenditures: $52.3 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1999)
Industries:
machine building, iron and steel, coal mining, chemicals, shipbuilding, food processing, glass, beverages, textiles
Industrial production growth rate: 4.3% (1999)
Electricity
production: 135.161 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 98.1% hydro: 1.54% other: 0.36% (2000) nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption: 119.327 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports: 9.663 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports: 3.29 billion kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
potatoes, fruits, vegetables, wheat; poultry, eggs, pork
Exports:
$30.8 billion (f.o.b., 2001)
Exports - commodities:
machinery and transport equipment 30.2%, intermediate manufactured goods 25.5%, miscellaneous manufactured goods 20.9%, food and live animals 8.5% (1999)
Exports - partners:
Germany 34.9%, Italy 6.3%, France 5.2%, Netherlands 5.1%, UK 4.5%, Czech Republic 3.8% (2000)
Imports:
$41.7 billion (f.o.b., 2001)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and transport equipment 38.2%, intermediate manufactured goods 20.8%, chemicals 14.3%, miscellaneous manufactured goods 9.5% (1999)
Imports - partners:
Germany 23.9%, Russia 9.4%, Italy 8.3%, France 6.4%, UK 4.5%, US 4.4% (2000)
Debt - external:
$57 billion (2000)
Economic aid - recipient:
$NA
Currency:
zloty (PLN)
Currency code:
PLN
Exchange rates:
zlotych per US dollar - 4.0144 (December 2001), 4.0939 (2001), 4.3461 (2000), 3.9671 (1999), 3.4754 (1998), 3.2793 (1997) note: zlotych is the plural form of zloty
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Railways:
total: 23,420 km broad gauge: 646 km 1.524-m gauge standard gauge: 21,639 km 1.435-m gauge (11,626 km electrified; 8,978 km double-tracked) narrow gauge: 1,135 km various gauges including 1.000-m, 0.785-m, 0.750-m, and 0.600-m (2001)
Highways:
total: 381,046 km paved: 249,966 km (including 268 km of expressways) unpaved: 131,080 km (1998)
Waterways:
3,812 km (navigable rivers and canals) (1996)
Pipelines: crude oil and petroleum products 2,280 km; natural gas 17,000 km (1996)
Ports and harbors:
Gdansk, Gdynia, Gliwice, Kolobrzeg, Szczecin, Swinoujscie, Ustka, Warsaw, Wroclaw
Merchant marine:
total: 19 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 382,518 GRT/641,657 DWT ships by type: bulk 14, cargo 3, chemical tanker 1, roll on/roll off 1 (2002 est.)
Airports:
122 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 83 over 3,047 m: 3 2,438 to 3,047 m: 29 914 to 1,523 m: 6 under 914 m: 3 (2001) 1,524 to 2,437 m: 42
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 39 2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 1,524 to 2,437 m: 4 under 914 m: 21 (2001) 914 to 1,523 m: 13
Heliports:
3 (2001)
Military branches:
Army, Navy, Air and Air Defense Force
Military manpower - military age:
19 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 10,415,598 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 8,120,098 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 344,781 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$3.5 billion (2002)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
1.71% (2002)
Disputes - international:
none
Illicit drugs:
major illicit producer of amphetamine for the international market; minor transshipment point for Asian and Latin American illicit drugs to Western Europe

SOURCES

(1) Kowalska, Maria. Trends in the ICT Sector. US Commercial Service - American Embassy in Warsaw. http://exportit.ita.doc.gov/ocbe/ForeignM.nsf/679c088699b484498525674e0000eb9f/392591742c5b4d0d85256c4800815b25!OpenDocument Last accessed December 9, 2002.

(2) CIA World Fact Book. 2002. http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/pl.html

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