The Importance of Export Insurance in Poland in the 2000-2009 Period
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Publish date: 2011-06-30
Gospodarka Narodowa 2011;248(5-6):21–48
The article aims to assess the system for supporting Polish exports in 2000-2009, with a particular focus on exports to high-risk countries. The authors review the available support instruments and evaluate the work of Poland’s Export Credit Insurance Corporation (KUKE), an institution that plays a key role in this system. The authors rely on a method based on analyzing the contents of documents and legal regulations—enacted by Poland, the European Union, the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)—concerned with issues related to export support. The authors also examine statistical data, conduct in-depth interviews, and use information from publicly available reports on the activities of the Export Credit Insurance Corporation. The decade covered by the study is not a uniform period, the authors say. They divided it into two subperiods: the time from 2000 until Poland’s EU entry in 2004, and the EU membership years (2004-2009). In the latter subperiod, special attention was paid to 2008 and 2009, the years of economic crisis. The analysis of changes taking place in the official system for supporting exports with the use of Treasury guarantees shows the government’s role in the development of exports by Polish enterprises. The study also shows how the external environment, including Poland’s status as an EU member as well as international regulations and fluctuations in international markets, influence the system’s functioning. The authors conclude that the system has played an insufficient role in promoting Poland’s exports so far, particularly in the case of small and medium-sized enterprises. This was especially evident during the latest crisis, the authors say. The Polish export support system requires far-reaching changes, according to the authors. Most of the initiatives mentioned in official government documents are declarations and tentative proposals not followed byspecific projects. This approach did not even change during the recent crisis when the Polish government, unlike its counterparts in other EU countries, failed to markedly step up measures aimed at boosting exports. Not only proposals but also concrete and consistent steps—jointly taken by many institutions—are needed, the authors say. On the one hand, these should involve adapting the system to the needs of a wider group of businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); on the other hand, it is necessary to strengthen KUKE financially and take better advantage of opportunities linked with those activities of the Export Credit Insurance Corporation that are conducted on behalf of the Treasury, the authors say.