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Polish economy – the story of a major transformation

International trade and commerce factored heavily in Poland’s economic growth and prosperity since its political transformation in 1989. Since then Poland has harnessed change for competitive advantage and built the largest Central European economy by responding to key global challenges.

After transformation, as Poland became more integrated into global supply chains, it continued to embrace foreign investments as a source of capital, growth and knowledge, making great use of various technological transfers and an emerging R&D base. All of this contributed to its prominent position amongst the most attractive FDI destinations in Europe. Between 1990-2019, Poland recorded one of the highest GDP per capita growth rates in the OECD and EU countries, and was the only economy in Europe to stave off the recession in 2008. It should come as no surprise then that in the years 1990 – 2018 Polish economy grew by 381%.

From local to international

Here are examples that illustrate the transformation that Poland has undergone over the last three decades. Nowadays, Poland is a well-known hub for electromobility. After Ochang in South Korea, Naning in China, Holland and USA, LG Chem chose Wrocław to be a part of its global production system. 68 km from there, in Jawor, Daimler AG, one of the world’s leading car manufacturers, launched its engine production facility, specialized in the production of four-cylinder engines. Korean SKC Group, in turn, chose the city of Stalowa Wola, near A4 expressway and Rzeszów-Jesionka Airport, to be the centre of its European base of operations. Each year Poland attractiveness increase in terms of the FDI. Including the above mentioned examples, in 2021 Poland attracted 423 new FDI projects, many of them in STEM and green energy fields.

But there is a much larger story behind this success. Stalowa Wola is part of the Tarnobrzeg Special Economic Zone, one of Poland’s 14 special economic zones spread across the country. This, as well as the other Zones, are aided in their mission and endeavours by the Polish Investment and Trade Agency, which cooperates with both local and international institutions. Through its network of over fifty Foreign Trade Offices, PAIH promotes Poland and the Polish economy abroad, supporting export from the country and attracting FDI. Foreign investors are provided with reviews of macroeconomic and microeconomic factors and cost drivers at each location. Investors, who decided to visit Poland, are supported by a Project Manager that will arrange all necessary meetings in public administration and with owners of selected sites, as well as prepare itinerary of a trip. Large multinationals like LG Chem, smaller enterprises and entrepreneurs alike can rely on the PAIH’s professional consultants helping them find partners, suppliers or an adequate site for their investment. Currently, PAIH is providing assistance in multiple projects across a variety of sectors, including BSS, electromobility, automotive, food processing, R&D, and others. Entrepreneurs from South Korea, USA, Belarus, Germany and China, constitutes the biggest group of beneficiaries of the projects supported by PAIH.

Since its inception, PAIH has finalized projects worth over 30 billion EUR in total, which in turn contributed to the creation of over 250 thousand new workplaces. Since 2016, the agency had supported dozens of investment projects in the electromobility sector alone worth more than 6 billion EUR. Thanks to these projects, over 13,000 jobs for highly qualified workers and engineers were created.

Why Poland?

Poland is the largest country in Central and Eastern Europe and the 6th largest in Europe. 60% of its the population is at working age, which means a workforce of 23 million people. Human capital and cheap skilled labour costs attract foreign entrepreneurs to invest in Poland. Each year Polish universities turn out 37,500 engineers, which places us second behind Germany in the EU. Talented and well-educated employees as well as a healthy environment for start-ups attracted the most Venture Capital investments in the CEE region. It is worth mentioning that Poland has one of the highest levels of public support for new investments, which can reach up to 70% of the investment costs!

Thanks to the country’s stable, predictable and diversified economy, Poland was the only country in Europe to avoid the financial crisis of the years 2007 – 2008. Polish companies figure strongly in the European production chains. Owing to its strategic location in the heart of Europe, Poland provides excellent connection to both Eastern and Western countries, which translates to unlimited access to the EU market of 446 million inhabitants that can be reached overland, by flight or freight.

As part of a larger EU budget for the years 2021-2027, Poland will be spending 8.6 billion Euros on development of research and innovations. This programme is going to follow five major thematic objectives set out by the EU, focussed on smarter, greener and carbon-free Europe in accordance with the plans for future sustainability. As the cooperation between the business and science strengthens, support for large investments in the so-called “priority sectors”: automotive, electronics, aviation, biotechnology, and modern services: IT centres, BPOs and telecommunications will continue to increase. These also happen to be some of the sectors Poland is most renowned for.

Are you thinking of investing abroad? Why not invest in Poland? Our investment team would be delighted to help you and there is a plethora of investments incentives waiting for you! Get in touch with PAIH via the contact form at: https://www.paih.gov.pl/contact.  

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