Trade Partner Poland: Arrived in the EU? (original publication in German)
The article focuses on the changes in Polish trade patterns which have occurred in the course of transition and integration into the European Union since the early nineties until EU full membership in May 2004. The statistical analysis and a gravity model of Polish trade relations show that the country has been successfully integrated into the EU Common Market although the degree of integration with the other members varies substantially, notably for Polish exports. Germany is the by far dominant partner among the former EU-15 countries; furthermore, close trade relations exist with the Visegrad partners. In addition, a significant share of trade with the CIS remained thereby indicating that Poland still acts as a gateway towards the markets of the Russian Federation and other CIS members. The product mix of Polish trade flows also reflects the countries’ successful integration into the international division of labour. Apparently, the role of Polish enterprises is not confined to that of a mere workbench of labour-intensive standardized products. Instead, the analysis reveals that the technology content of Polish trade has increased significantly, indicating the Polish participation in advanced production networks.