Poland ranked 45th on Index of Economic Freedom

Poland has been ranked in 45th place in this year’s edition of the Index of Economic Freedom prepared by the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal. A year ago it came 39th and in 2015 it claimed the 42nd spot. Poland’s economic freedom indicator was calculated to be 68,3 points, in comparison to 69,3 points last year.

According to the Warsaw Enterprise Institute, the Polish partner of the report, Poland’s economic freedom levels – which are one point lower than they were a year ago – are in large part a result of the growth dynamics of other countries, which have allowed them to overtake Poland.

The average level of global economic freedom has increased by 0.2 points in this year's index, reaching a record level of 60,9 points. The average for Europe was 68.0 points.

"In terms of points, Poland’s position this year is higher than the global average and above the European average. (…) In relation to 2013, when the methodology changed, we grew by a total of 2.3 points. Since 2008, every few years, Poland experienced minor hiccups on the road to full freedom. This was the case in 2009 and 2012. Often such small deviations were not a result of events in Poland, but related rather to our surroundings. (...) What is significant is the growth trend which has lasted since 2009,” Tomasz Wroblewski, the president of the Warsaw Enterprise Institute, said on Wednesday during the presentation of the index.

In the property category in this year's ranking we occupied 59th place, receiving 60.8 points, which is 4.2 less than last year.

“Here we felt the legislation restricting the turnover of agricultural land and forests. Regardless of the intentions of the legislature it had to affect the reading with regard to property rights," Wroblewski said. In the “Corruption Levels” category we were ranked in 37th place, receiving 55,5 point, which is 5.5 points less than in last year’s index.

According to the Warsaw Enterprise Institute, special attention should be given to the labour market reading, which is 3.5 points higher this year.

"This is mainly due to the extension of contracts to 33 months," Wroblewski said.

The fiscalism reading rose by 0.6 points and the public spending indicator edged 0.4 points higher. In the openness of the market category we saw a decline only with regard to trade  - and only by a marginal 0.1 points.

According to the report, the top five countries in the world in terms of economic freedom are: Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia and Switzerland. In Europe, the top three are: Switzerland, Estonia and Ireland.

Poland’s Deputy Minister of Development Jadwiga Emilewicz, who attended the presentation, said that our dip in the ranking is marginal and Poland continues to enjoy a decent position in the ranking. She noted that in this year's ranking we are ahead not only of Belarus, Ukraine, Slovakia, and Hungary, but also Italy, France, Spain and Belgium.

"We are not satisfied with our position in the ranking, we want more. We hope that legislative interventions, which the Ministry of Development introduced in the form of the Constitution for Business and the so-called 100 improvements for companies, will allow us to record higher point indicators next year,” Emilewicz added.

The Index of Economic Freedom covers 180 countries, including 44 in Europe. The ranking has been prepared by the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal for over 20 years. The objective of the Index of Economic Freedom is to assess countries according to solutions, policies in order to increase economic freedom and thus promote development and increase the prosperity of nations.

The Index of Economic Freedom analyses the rule of law (property rights, corruption); the size of the public sector (fiscal policy, public expenditure); regulatory efficiency (business conditions, monetary policy, the labour market) and market openness (trade, investment, finance).