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Poland Table of Contents


The End of the Soviet Era

In 1990 Poland's trade balance with the Soviet Union was almost 4.4 billion transferable rubles. At that point, some Polish exporters took the risk of continuing their exports to traditional Soviet markets, hoping that they would eventually be paid either by the importers in the Soviet Union, who were very anxious to get Polish goods, or by the Polish government. In the first quarter of 1991, the value of these exports was about US$130 million. Only about US$20 million was received, however, because the Soviet government was prepared to pay only for imported foodstuffs, which received highest priority in its import policy. The Soviet government refused to pay the bill for Soviet importers who had purchased machines, pharmaceuticals, electronics, textiles, and clothing from Poland.

The sudden collapse of Comecon in 1990 increased short-term obstacles and accelerated changes in the geographic direction of trade. The share of Poland's trade occupied by the Comecon group declined to 22.3 percent in 1990 and 14.4 percent in 1991. On the export side, its share declined to 21.4 and 9.8 in the respective years.

Data as of October 1992