Investing in Poland
Poland offers many opportunities to international companies looking for the best location for their investment. It is one of the leaders in attracting foreign direct investment, not only in the CEE region, but also in Europe and even globally.
According to the 2021 Economic Survey of the German-Polish Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AHK Poland), Poland is the 3nd most attractive investment destination in the CEE region, after Estonia and the Czech Republic. When it comes to greenfield investment, UNCTAD 2021 World Investment Report ranked Poland 5th globally and 2nd among all EU countries, right behind Germany, in terms of the value of greenfield investment projects announced in 2020, which amounted to $24.3 billion. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Polish economy proved relatively resilient and FDI inflows to Poland remained on a fairly stable level, reaching $12.3 billion in the first half of 2021 with 27.4% YoY-increase (OECD). Moreover, two Polish cities – Wrocław and Warsaw – were named among the TOP 25 destinations for FDI in the fDi’s Global Cities of the Future ranking 2021/22, scoring the 15th and 20th place, respectively.
AHK Poland provides comprehensive assistance to investors considering Poland at all stages of their investment project:
- economic and sectoral analysis
- information on financial incentives
- tailor-made proposals for possible investment locations in Poland (greenfield and brownfield)
- organization of site visits to selected regions and potential sites / real estate
- communication with the owners of short-listed investment sites and coordination of the site review process
- legal assistance (such as establishing a company, investment permits, and labor law)
- personnel recruitment
- support for vocational training of prospective employees
- assistance with selection of a general contractor and/or other construction issues
- proposal for potential suppliers
According to the World Bank and OECD databank, Poland is the 6th largest economy in the European Union in terms of GDP. With a population of nearly 38 million, it is the largest consumer market in the CEE region. Since joining the bloc in 2004, Poland has experienced uninterrupted and dynamic economic growth (on average 3.7 % in 2004 - 2017). Poland is centrally located, at the crossing of important logistical routes between the East and the West, with well-developed and further improving road, rail and airport infrastructure. It is the top recipient of EU funds (82.5 bln EUR in 2014 – 2020, and 76 bln EUR planned EU funds in 2021-2027) to support infrastructure development and concrete investment projects in manufacturing, services, and R&D.
According to the foreign companies operating in Poland surveyed by AHK Poland, employees’ qualifications, the quality of higher education, and employees’ productivity and motivation were among Poland’s top investment attractiveness factors. Wage growth visibly accelerated in 2017 and the labor costs in Poland are not the lowest in the CEE region anymore. However, they remain almost three times more competitive, on average, than in the EU-28, and 3.6 times more competitive as their western neighbor’s, Germany. According to EUROSTAT, in 2020 average hourly labor costs amounted to 11 EUR in Poland, compared to the 28.5 EUR in the EU and 36.6 EUR in Germany. At the same time, productivity levels in Poland are steadily increasing, with 81.7% of the EU average in 2020, showing much promise for further growth. These are some of the reasons which make Poland an attractive destination for international investment projects, including (but not limited to) sectors such as electronics, home appliances, automotive, metal and plastics processing, R&D, IT or BPO/SSC.
One of the consequences of the positive development of the Polish economy is one of the lowest unemployment rates since the political and economic transformation in the early 1990s. Both local and international investors in Poland, as in other CEE countries and countries in Western Europe, are faced with the challenge of securing skilled and sufficient workforce. The labor market in Poland is both regionally and locally (and in some parts, significantly) diversified. Conducting a thorough analysis to identify a long-term prospective investment location, especially in regard to workforce availability, becomes crucial to the project’s success.
AHK Poland supports international investors by developing tailor-made assistance throughout the entire site selection process, including the initiation of the investment project according to the investor’s individual preferences and priorities. All data provided by the investor remain strictly confidential. This support includes relevant information on the economic and legal investment environment in Poland, and preparation of proposals for concrete investment sites (land plots, production halls, office buildings). AHK Poland assists with the organization of site visits by maintaining extensive contact networks with both public institutions and private companies. As the largest bilateral commercial chamber in Poland, with approx. 1,000 members, AHK Poland offers international companies the opportunity to gain practical insights into investing and conducting business in Poland.
As part of our investor support, AHK Poland offers a preliminary assessment of investment incentives for the given project, available from different sources (EU funds, Special Economic Zones, public financial aid provided by the Polish government). It is worth noting that in the recent years, the system of investment incentives in Poland underwent some important changes, the most important of them being the suspension of geographical restrictions on Special Economic Zones. In other words, since 2018 the entire territory of Poland became a Special Economic Zone, offering tax breaks for investors that meet certain criteria throughout the whole country.