For business expansion in Europe, smart investment is moving east. As the largest economy in Central and Eastern Europe and sixth strongest market in the European Union, Poland is one of the key markets of EU member countries and part of the Schengen area. Not only that, but the Polish economy is the only one to have avoided recession during the global downturn of 2009, establishing itself as one of the most reliable in CEE.
It is predicted that the economy of Poland will join the G-20 list of those largest in the world by as soon as 2022. It’s not difficult to see how, seeing the country has almost doubled its GDP over the last two decades. Between 2008 and 2011, the country enjoyed a cumulative growth of nearly 16 per cent, while, according to the European Commission, the region’s GDP is due to increase by over 1.4 per cent in 2014 and 2 per cent in 2015. That means an expected economic growth in Poland of 2.5 per cent and 2.9 per cent over the next two years. EU accession has significantly contributed to the rapid transformation of the region, particularly due to EU Cohesion Funds, the greatest portion of which was awarded to Poland. For the period of 2014 to 2020, the country will have access to a huge 82.3 billion EUR –20 per cent more than the 67.3 billion EUR of the previous round.
According to the EU funds report, the biggest investment in Poland will continue to be in infrastructure and the environment, smart growth, knowledge, education and digital and technical development. Upgrades to roads will connect between voivode ships and the capital of Warsaw. This will generate greater ease of transport and thus ease in doing business in Poland and ultimately boosting the already thriving economy. Further to optimising the effectiveness and efficiency of the region, public investment will also concentrate on Poland’s strengths, namely in BPO & SSC, IT & ICT, along with significant investment in R&D.
Offering one of the biggest domestic markets, with an efficient and low-cost workforce, doing business in Poland means working with a leader in both cost-effectiveness and business friendliness. In addition to that, the economy in Poland has undergone extensive privatization of state-owned companies since the 90s, while deregulation has developed the private sector significantly.
According to the HSBC Global connections report, a direct consequence of these additional funds will be an increase in infrastructural modernization and upgrades in the area, the demand for related goods and materials along with it. That means that investment in Poland’s relatively poor infrastructure, upgrading transport networks –which include the introduction of high-speed railways between its largest cities –as well as an update to the inefficient coal-fired power plants for generating electricity is essential.
Another crucial sector for investment in the Poland economy is nuclear energy. In January 2014, the Polish government announced Polish Energy Group will be sourcing a location for the country’s first nuclear plant with building scheduled to start in 2019. It’s a 19 billion EUR program that has the support and public acceptance that a lot of countries don’t. That means optimum room for growth in the sector, along with the joint R&D, equipment exports and exchange in intelligent electronics, management and control systems.
According to the World Bank’s Doing Business Report 2014, the country ranked ten places higher than 2013, moving up to 45th position, in terms of ease with doing business. There has been widespread economic reform and deregulation, along with 14 Special Economic Zone (SEZ) locations, offering aid and exemptions that make business in Poland as attractive to foreign investors as possible.
The option of investing in Poland becomes all the more appealing when you consider its favourable location, next to Germany and as a gateway to south-eastern Europe and Russia.