Poland - Economic sectors

Agriculture is the smallest of Poland's 3 major economic sectors, contributing just 3.8 percent of GDP in 1999. The industrial sector is significant and wide-ranging and contributed 36.6 percent of GDP, but the largest and fastest-growing economic sector is services, which provided 59.6 percent of GDP in 1999.

The total labor force in Poland stood at 17.2 million at the end of 1999, an increase of 1.2 percent since 1995. Men make up 64.3 percent of the workforce as against 49.7 percent of women, and the share of the working population is slightly higher in rural areas (57.2 percent) than in urban areas (56.3 percent), reflecting some increase in

the number of farmers during the 1990s. In 1999, 1.434 million women and 1.207 million men were unemployed. Overall, 44.4 percent of Poles were employed in 1998, more than in Italy (40.7 percent) or Spain (41.6 percent), but less than in Germany (48.7 percent) or the United Kingdom (49.4 percent). The majority of Poland's workers—50.4 percent—were employed in the services sector in 1999, while 27.5 percent were employed in the agricultural sector and 22.1 percent in industry.

The value of foreign direct investment (FDI) amounted to US$26 billion in 1999, a 332 percent increase since 1995. Many foreign companies operate in

Poland. Hormel is investing in the meat processing industry, Coca-Cola and Pepsico have expanded their operations, and fast food chains including McDonald's, Burger King, Pizza Hut, KFC, Taco Bell, and Dunkin' Donuts are now familiar names. Other major international corporations operating in Poland include GM, Daewoo, Volkswagen, and Fiat in the automotive industry. Power generation, petrochemicals, and telecommunications are other sectors that attract foreign investors since demand is high. While economic restructuring had already modernized a number of industries (paper and packaging, for example), foreign direct investment has led to a sizable increase in imports of technologically advanced machinery and equipment designed to speed up modernization.

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