This paper considers the nature of Polish foreign trade, both before and after the economic transformation in 1989. The paper discusses the context of trade within the COMECON and state central planning systems, which confined trade to specially designated foreign trade organizations (FTOs) and placed it under the direction of the bureaucracy or nomenklatura. The paper discusses the impetus for reform that occurred after 1989 in the Balcerowicz Plan, its major macro strategies, the derivative traits of the command-and-control economy, and the concrete actions undertaken in the economy as a whole and specifically in the conduct of foreign trade. The paper considers these issues within two important ďchangeĒ contexts: Polandís impending membership in the European Union and the virtual collapse of the Soviet Unionís market and its currency which brought about significant currency exchange difficulties. The paper concludes with a discussion of the positive changes that have occurred in Polish trade in both imports and exports in the context of developed, EU, and developing nations.
ISSN: 1792-7552 (Online)