8 października 2015
Business opportunities in Poland
Poland has emerged as one of the fastest growing economies among the former Eastern Bloc countries in Central Europe. Since joining the European Union in 2004, many reforms were implemented to boost the economy in order to make Poland relevant on the international scene. It is one of the Polish government’s goals to make the country more appealing to foreign investment as it provides a great opportunity for growth.
The global financial crisis had a tremendous effect on countries all over the world, many of them failing to avoid recession. Every member of the European Union has suffered from the crisis except for one country. The stability of Polish economy and adjustment to the economic situation resulted in Poland avoiding the recession and increasing its GDP in 2009. An achievement like that made Poland the largest economy in Central and Eastern Europe. Moreover, Poland’s economy is sixth in Europe and has great potential to grow, as evidenced by the country’s economic boom.
To make it more clear for potential investors, we have made a list consisting of the three most important reasons underlining why Poland is the perfect place for companies seeking expansion:
Poland is located in the heart of Europe, in the intersection of all major trade routes, providing a great connection to the other countries in the European Union. One of Poland’s main investments is to improve its infrastructure. After the Euro 2012 football tournament, many roads were built and some of those projects are being expanded to provide better links to other cities. The Ministry of Infrastructure and Development has stated that it is focusing on expanding the road network. From the years 2007 to 2013 the budget for new roads was around 16 billion euros, resulting in over 1413 kilometers of roads being built. However, there are still more funds available and it is expected that from 2014 to 2023, an additional 22 billion will be spent. Improving infrastructure is a major step forward as more roads will decrease transit time and will make it easier to reach out to major cities in Poland or to neighboring countries.
Infrastructure makes it possible for businesses to take advantage of a huge consumer base. Poland’s population of 38 million makes for a great consumer market. In a 1000 km radium, companies can reach up to 250 million consumers in other countries belonging to the European Union. A great consumer base is not the only thing that Poland has to offer. With 44 universities in the country, offering high standards of education, Polish students account for 10% of students in the entire European Union. In the latest OECD education ranking, Poland placed 5th in Europe and 11th in the world. Graduates of Polish universities are equipped with all the necessary skills to be competitive in today’s market. English is a mandatory language at school and many employees are bilingual. The Polish society is known for its high standard of work ethic, as people believe that hard work results in success. It is fair to say that Polish employees are one of the hardest working in the world.
Special Economic Zone (SEZ)
These zones are made to encourage companies to expand in the area where they are built through differences in laws that are in force there. Today, there are fourteen special economic zones in effect until December 31st, 2026. Moreover, this year the government has increased the limitation of zones to 25 k ha. Companies residing in those areas do not have to pay corporate income taxes and are offered other public benefits, which help to save money. The biggest save, however, is made on salaries as it is no secret that it will take a while for the salaries in Poland to match that of other countries in Western Europe.
These three reasons outline Poland’s attractiveness to foreign investors. Behind each one there are more opportunities hidden that are only waiting to be explored. Poland has been undergoing many changes to follow its path to success. As a Polish company, we feel responsible to encourage other businesses to come to Poland. We do believe in the potential that this country has to offer, therefore we have done a series of posts dedicated, in our opinion, to the most attractive cities in Poland. We recognize that each place is unique, thus it is important to point out the strengths of each city to present comprehensive information about the various business opportunities.
Tekst: Mariusz Jarosz
8 października 2015