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Digital Poland

When I met with Poland’s Chargé d’Affaires Jarosław Szczepankiewicz early this year, we talked about possible areas of digital cooperation between the Philippines and Poland.

In the 2022 edition of the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI), Poland ranks 24th of 27 European Union (EU) Member States. But it is starting to catch up, considering that between 2017 and 2022, Poland’s aggregate DESI score grew slightly more than the EU average.

Digitalization, together with simplifying legislation and improving the quality of regulations to support the business environment, remains among the key priorities of the Polish government.

In fact, digital transformation is an important part of Poland’s National Recovery Plan, which sets out the objectives for rebuilding and creation of Poland’s socio-economic resilience following the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Among the government’s investments include €420 million to digitalize public administration; €2.6 billion to ensure access to high-speed internet and 5G network deployment in Poland; €1.4 billion in digital infrastructure and equipment for schools, as well as in digital skills of teachers; and €443 million to strengthen the State’s cybersecurity capacity.

It has set out targets for its digital transformation efforts, such as: 931,000 households will have broadband Internet access of at least 100 Mbps; 1.2 million computers with software will be provided for teachers and students in schools; 100,000 classrooms with access to high-speed Internet and devices for remote learning; 16,000 schools and educational institutions equipped with artificial intelligence (AI) and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) laboratories; 380,000 citizens will be trained in digital competences; 4,200 base stations that provide 5G services in rural areas, among other targets.

Poland’s government is intent on removing all obstacles that hinder investments in high-speed Internet and e-services. Its investment in information technology solutions are geared towards popularizing access to wired and wireless Internet in the so-called white spots. 

Strengthening cybersecurity is also a priority. In fact, it has the Cybersecurity Strategy of the Republic of Poland 2019-2024, which identifies the strategic objectives and appropriate policy and regulatory measures to be implemented to ensure the resilience of information systems, operators of essential services, operators of critical infrastructure, digital service providers, and public administrations to cyber threats. 

The primary objective of the Strategy is to increase the level of resilience against cyber threats and the level of information protection in all sectors, including the public, the military, and the private sector. 

Poland’s ranking among EU states in terms of digitalization and its continuing efforts to contribute to achieving the goals of EU’s Digital Decade can serve as inspiration to the Philippines as we also undertake solid measures towards the country’s digital transformation as well as in keeping our commitments to ensuring a sustainable digital future for the Southeast Asian region. 

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