Country Focus Data: Poland
June 01, 1997
by Mindy Dake
In eastern Europe, Poland's capital is Warsaw.
Demography: Population 38.6 million (July 1996 estimate), 0.14% growth rate, 62% urban; Polish language; Roman Catholic religion.
Geography: mostly flat plain, mountainous in south; temperate climate.
Government: Republic. Chief of state, President Aleksander Kwasniewski; head of government, Prime Minister Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz.
Official agricultural agencies: Ministry of Agriculture and Food Economy.
Economy: Poland was among the first Eastern European command economies to begin the transition to a market system. Like the others, Poland initially suffered from negative growth and hyperinflation. In the past several years, the economy has rebounded, experiencing healthy annual increases in gross domestic product, as well as lower inflation. Poland has made so much economic progress that it will join the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development in July and hopes to accede to the European Union around 2000. Agriculture accounts for 7% of G.D.P. and employs 26% of the workforce.
G.D.P. per capita: U.S.$5,800; growth rate 6.5% (both 1995 estimates).
Currency: Zloty. April 29, 1997 exchange rate: 3.16 zloty per U.S. dollar.
Exports: U.S.$22.2 billion (f.o.b. 1995), intermediate goods, machinery.
Imports: U.S.$23.4 billion (f.o.b. 1995), machinery, chemicals, fuel.
Major agricultural crops/products: Wheat, rye, barley, potatoes, hay.
Wheat: Five-year production has averaged 8.1 million tonnes, in a range of 7.4 million to 8.7 million; use has averaged 8.6 million, in a range of 8.3 million to 9.4 million.
Coarse grains: Five-year production averaged 15.1 million tonnes, in a range of 12.6 million to 17.2 million; use averaged 15.8 million in a range of 14.7 million ton 17 million. Rye makes up the largest percentage, with average production at 5.2 million tonnes and consumption at 5.3 million. Barley also is important, with production averaging 3.1 million tonnes and use at 3.4 million.
Transportation: 367,000 km roads, 64% paved; 25,166 km railroads, mostly 1.435-m gauge; Gdansk, Gdynia, Gliwice, Kologbrzeg, Szczecin, major ports.