Prof Orłowski started his statement by summarising Poland's economic achievements since the beginning of the political transition in 1989. He considers Poland as a country of undoubted economic success. In his view, particular attention needs to be paid to the increase of Polish export since Poland's accession to the EU. The value of Polish export increased from $60 billion in 2004 to about $250 billion after ten years of the EU membership. Prof Orłowski also referred to the Polish public debt which though considered too high is still much lower than in many Western countries such as Italy or Ireland where it exceeds 100% of GDP.
While discussing economic effects of the Ukrainian crisis, Prof Orłowski admitted that the Russian-Ukrainian war significantly impedes Poland's economy, spoiling previous forecasts that indicated Polish GDP growth this year could exceed 4%. Furthermore, hestated that poor investor sentiment in Germany also badly influences the Polish economy. In his view, this echo of German economic unrest is usually noticeable not only in Poland but also across other European countries.
Prof Orłowski's lecture gave rise to a follow-up discussion with entrepreneurs from Małopolska who had attended the conference. They indicated the urgent need for improving the PR surrounding the 'Brand Poland' abroad. According to business, more effective promotion of Polish goods will contribute to maintaining Poland's constantly rising export rate in a long-term perspective.
Jacek Bielawski of Krakow Technology Park initiated a lively discussion on perspectives of Krakow's development in the coming years. As Prof Orłowski stated, Krakow is doomed to success – given its academic and tourist resources. However, he also stressed the need for Krakow to reach out to more affluent tourists in order to uphold the long-term development of this sector.