Last year the country came 39th globally in the ranking issued by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal.
Among its European peers, Poland dropped to 21st place, down from the previous year’s 18th.
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,” Tomasz Wróblewski, the president of the Warsaw Enterprise Institute, said on Wednesday during the presentation of the index.
“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,” Wróblewski added.
The authors of the report wrote: “Poland’s economy has demonstrated a fairly high degree of macroeconomic resilience. Structural reforms that have included trade liberalisation, implementation of a competitively low corporate tax rate, and modernization of the regulatory environment have facilitated the transition to a market-oriented economy.”
A comparatively high budget deficit is still a barrier to the economic freedom of Poland, the report added.
“Fiscal consolidation and prudent management of public finance are ongoing concerns. The government needs to further reduce the budget deficit and curb the growth of public debt. In 2016, an additional tax on financial-services companies was imposed to help finance increased social spending. Continued reform, particularly in strengthening the independence of the judiciary and eradicating corruption, is needed to ensure greater economic dynamism.”
At the top of the ranking were Hong Kong, Switzerland and New Zealand. (rg/pk)