Poland reoriented its trade when the ruble-based COMECON trading bloc collapsed in 1991. By 1996, the country had strengthened its trade ties with EU members and its 70% of the trade was conducted with these countries. Poland’s leading trading partner is its neighbor Germany.
Before joining the EU in May 2004, Poland was conducting trade using the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA), which included Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Slovenia.
The recession marred the high trade amount that Poland managed in 2008 at $49.41 billion. In 2009, the exports fell by about $10 billion to $38.1 billion.
Following are the products that feature prominently in Poland exports:
- Machinery and equipment
- Textiles and footwear
- Metals and metal products
- Minerals and fuels
- Agricultural products
The major export partners as of 2008 are Germany, Italy, France, Turkey, Hungary and Bulgaria.
As far as imports are concerned, the trends show a decrease. This is a positive sign that has helped Poland reduce the trade deficit in 2009. The import volume fell from $76.17 billion in 2008 to $49.2 billion in 2009.
Most of Poland's imports are capital goods required for manufacturing purposes and industrial retooling. Since the imports are not for direct consumer consumption, trade deficit should be regarded as positive.
The main products that are imported are:
- Fuels and minerals
- Textile and products
The main import partners for Poland as of 2008 are Germany, Italy, Hungary, Russia, France, Turkey, Austria, Kazakhstan and China.
Opportunities for trade and investment in Poland continue to exist across all sectors. The American Chamber of Commerce in Poland, which was founded in 1991 with seven members, has more than 300 members now.
More US and other foreign companies have started doing business with Poland because of the country’s EU membership, immense economic growth potential, an extensive domestic market and a highly stable political system.