The Republic of Poland is located in Central Europe with its territory stretching from the coastlines along the Baltic Sea to the Sudetes and the Carpathian Mountains. It covers a land area of 312,696 square kilometers and is partitioned into 16 administrative provinces. It neighbors Lithuania, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Slovakia, Germany, and the Czech Republic. Poland’s population is about 38.5 million, making it the fifth-most populated European Union country.
The country has a strong economy with a flexible monetary system. Since 1990, it has strived for political liberalization. Poland has a low unemployment rate as well as debt. It is the sixth-largest economy among the European Union countries and its economy is the only one in Europe that withstands the 2008 recession. Although its GDP per capita is below the EU average, it is at par with the other Baltic states.
Poland is challenged by the rising demand for health care funds, state pension, and education that led to a 7.9% increase in the public sector budget deficit in 2010. Additionally, the private sector fails to perform to its full potential due to an incompetent commercial court system, an onerous tax system, and a strict labor code.
Poland’s banking sector is the largest with the Polish zloty as the most traded currency in Central Europe. Introduced in 1919, the zloty replaced the Polish markaa. In 1945, the National Bank of Poland was established. It issued banknotes that bear the national emblem and guilloches. Three years later, another set of notes was released. These paper bills depict random Polish people on the obverse and vignettes of economic activities on the reverse. Recent issues of Polish zlotych banknotes are equipped with security features by Giesecke & Devrient including Omron rings, RollingStar cube security thread, and Omron rings. These banknotes are designed by Andrzej Heidrich featuring rulers of the country.