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Business Opportunities Warsaw

Warsaw, the capital city of Poland, is one of the fastest developing cities in the European Union and the most attractive region for investments in terms of GDP per capita. Since the vast majority of people are visiting the city with their main focus set on seeking business opportunities, it became an obvious choice for the location of our latest branch.

Therefore, with in-depth market research conducted in the central-eastern region of Poland, we will attempt to present you results and observations behind our studies. However, while discussing Warsaw we will take under consideration the whole Mazovian region which together with the capital city brings many opportunities to Polish and European economy.

People

The estimated population is 1.74 million residents, making the city the 9th most populated capital city in the European Union and ranking it as one of the most liveable cities in Central Europe. Polish people are known for their fundamental hard-work ethic. According to Iwona Chojnowska, the director of foreign investment agency PAIZ, the UK economic downturn led to the return of many qualified Polish emigrants. Therefore, Warsaw has recently welcomed approximately 20 per cent skilled white collars who are now returning with acquired skills gained abroad and often working as managers for foreign businesses. It is said that prodigious work ethic is especially noticeable among the younger Polish generation as they are devotedly keen on learning new things. In addition, Forbes Magazine has stated that the Polish nation is ranked in the top 10 English speaking countries in the world, exceeding Germany, Switzerland and Belgium.

Location

It is worth highlighting that the main advantage of the city is its location, mainly the intersection of traffic in the trans-European transportation. Thanks to international airports and continuous development of railways it enables setting the connection to the majority of polish cities and other parts of the world. It is said that Warsaw Chopin Airport is able to handle approximately 50% of the whole passenger traffic and maintains around 100 regular plane connections with domestic and foreign airports. Fast and easy movement of residents allows to establish the multinational corporations and their headquarters in central part of the continent, bridging developed Western part of Europe with still developing Eastern. Therefore, Poland with focus on Warsaw, is seen as the ideal gateway to the emerging markets of the Central Eastern European region. In comparison to the high rate of productivity and relatively high level of wages of qualified and specialized people, the costs of living in Warsaw remain low.

Opportunities

Moreover, one of the characteristic features of the Mazovian region is booming tertiary sector such as financial intermediation, business services, telecommunications and education. Despite the great deal of national institutions and government agencies, it has recently become a destination for domestic and international companies. It is said that the largest investments were made mainly by Procter and Gamble Operations Poland and ATM S.A. In 2013 the region took the 1st place in Poland in terms of accumulated share capital in the companies with foreign capital participation (an 49% share of its total value in all region). Therefore, it has made the capital city of Poland the most attractive location for business opportunities.

Cooperation as the key to success

Successful cooperation in partnerships of companies in different sectors of the economy is based on several crucial factors. The increasing demand for innovation leads companies to struggle with high level of risk, strong competition and complex process of product development. As a result, corporations in order to achieve multinational recognition, seek for global strategic relationships. Economic effectiveness is nowadays mainly based on tight cooperation between business and science and particularly improved access to sources of funding and availability of unconventional solutions for financing innovative projects. As being part of “Europe 2020” strategy, introduced by European Commission, Warsaw is able to maintain the economic growth and successfully confront global competition. Thanks to huge investments made by government and private investors, the city has become a destination for venture capitals and private equities.

Warsaw is a role model of rapidly developing capital city in Central Europe that buries the outdated Cold War clichés and is open for external visitors. It has become a desirable place for globetrotters and potential investors. Both the influence of Western Europe and strong marketing strategies have made this Polish city worth considering as a business opportunity.

Tekst: Mariusz Jarosz

Business opportunities Katowice

The previous post on business opportunities was broadly focused on the reasons why Poland is an appealing place for companies that are seeking expansion. I have limited them to three: location, people and special economic zones (SEZs). As the topic allows for further exploration, we have decided to pick four cities which, in our opinion, are the most attractive for investors.

A more focused approach allows us to explain the strengths of each region. As different parts of Poland are unique, there is no need to trivialize the culture and opportunities by throwing them all into one post. By combining three general reasons, we have provided a broad example into what truly is a sea of opportunities waiting for those that are willing to invest.

The four cities that we want to focus on are Katowice, Krakow, Wroclaw and Warsaw, with the first and the last one being cities where our offices are located. Each city is unique in its own way; therefore, it is crucial to separate them into separate posts as part of our business opportunities in Poland series. There is sentiment associated with Katowice and the Silesian region, as that is where our company was created. We want to celebrate the vast opportunities in Katowice, hence the first post is about the city where everything started.

As in the post about business opportunities in Poland, we have made a list of reasons that clearly indicate Katowice’s attractiveness:

Location

Katowice is located in the south of Poland, so naturally it has many links with other important cities in Europe. Cities like Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest or Bratislava are within reach, allowing businesses to benefit from low employment costs and highly skilled workers whilst still maintaining connections to international market. Nevertheless, the local market of the Silesian region is a good starting point for those that want to expand their business all over Poland.

Katowice is part of an agglomeration, where around 2.7 million people live, placing it as 9th in Europe and 1st in Central Europe, as well it is one of the most populated regions in Poland. It is fair to say that people in the city are highly skilled as there are many universities located in the area, including polytechnics where around 182 000 students are enrolled. Basing on the provided information, it might seem that Katowice is a busy city with a lot of traffic. Quite the opposite, thanks to a well-built infrastructure, Katowice has the lowest traffic congestion when taking into consideration other major cities in Poland. On top of this, there are airports and train stations for those that prefer other ways of transportation.

Investments

Katowice, was once known as an industrial city where mining was the main source of income. Through monetary investments, local authorities are trying their best to change the image of the city. The city has changed its image into “the city of gardens” and is now known as a cultural hot-spot thanks to the many investments in that area. The most recent investments are: the Katowice Convention Bureau, the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra building, the reconstruction of the City Centre the new train station, the Silesian Museum and many more. For companies seeking to save their costs, Katowice has its own Special Economic Zone (SEZ) where located companies do not have to pay corporate taxes and have other public benefits.

Foreign presence

It is important to indicate that there are foreign companies that have already decided to invest in Katowice. They see the city as a great place for outsourcing due to available human resources. FDI magazine marked Katowice as the best in the FDI strategy in Eastern Europe and the Silesian Metropolis was ranked first in cost effectiveness in Europe. Such accomplishments attracted many foreign companies such as Capgemini, PwC, Deloitte, IBM and others. There are many business parks built for foreign companies, with A4 Business Park being the most recent. Katowice is attractive for foreign companies; thus they decide to expand their influence. One of the examples can be IBM, which is employing around 400 people and is seeking to expand that number to 2 thousand. Furthermore, the University of Economics in Katowice on order from IBM created a major focusing on IT and communications, after which graduates successfully seek employment at IBM.

These three reasons show only some of reasons why Katowice are attractive for investors. The city is currently working on its position in the world, thus local government is doing their best to attract as many investors as possible. Despite being in the European Union, the costs are way lower than in the most cities in Europe; therefore, right now is the best moment to invest in the city before it establishes itself on the globalized market.
Tekst: Mariusz Jarosz

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:

Location

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.

People

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

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