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Country Snapshot: Poland

Marc Jarrett
When Poland first joint the European Union in 2004, many workers there left to work in other EU countries — particularly the UK — because of high unemployment; which was the second-highest Europe at that time.

However, with the advent of the credit-crunch overseas and rapid growth of the salaries and booming economy 'back home,' the exodus of Polish workers seems to be over: thus far in 2008, people who came back to Poland outnumbered those leaving the country.

The Poles have a justified reputation for working hard and demonstrate a keenness of spirit which seems to be sorely lacking in the U.K. and elsewhere.

Poland has a population of 38.5m, some 14m of which — or 36 percent — have access to the Internet at this time. Whilst the percentage of Polish Internet users is still lower than in Western Europe, it is growing at a fast and consistent rate.

Furthermore, the Polish payment card market is small but growing quickly. However, Polish consumers tend to primarily use their payment cards as cash acquisition tools, rather than for paying for goods and services directly at a POS terminal or over the Internet.

This might help explain the popularity of Password by Phone's phone billing solution, which communicates with these surfers in their native language of Polish — and because Poland has its own domestic pay-per-call infrastructure, payouts from there are higher than from most other countries.

Poland is considered to have one of the healthiest economies of the post-communist countries. Since the fall of communism, Poland has steadfastly pursued a policy of liberalising the economy and today stands out as a successful example of the transition from a state directed economy to a privately owned market economy.

To capitalize on this growth, you should include marketing to Poland as part of your globalization strategy.

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