Poland overtakes Italy in trade with Germany - ministry

Poland has overtaken Italy and become Germany's fifth biggest trade partner, the Development Ministry said on Tuesday, adding that bilateral trade rose by 6.6 percent in the first two months of 2020, which brought the trade balance to PLN 21 bln (EUR 4.7 bln).

Germany has been Poland's biggest trade partner for the past two decades. Exports to Germany accounted for 27.59 percent of Poland's foreign sales in 2019 and the proportion of German goods and services in the country's imports stood at 28.21 percent, the ministry said, quoting preliminary data.

In the first half of 2019, bilateral trade eased due to the worsening condition of Germany in global trade and the fact that Polish industry was largely a subcontractor for German businesses. A further deterioration in trade occurred in the first quarter of 2020, due to the coronavirus crisis, the ministry said.

Germany's share in the total foreign direct investments in Poland stood at 17.5 percent as of end-2018. The country was the second biggest investor in Poland after the Netherlands, which was responsible for 21.3 percent of total investments.

There are 5,415 companies with German capital registered in Poland, including 680 with capital exceeding USD 1 mln. In all, they employ some 361,000 people, the Development Ministry reported.

According to German data, some 1,800 Polish companies have invested in Germany, employing 21,000 people.

Germany's economy is the world's fourth largest, after the United States, China and Japan.