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Poland able to buck economic downturn

Update: November, 11/2014 - 10:42
Poland's National Independence Day, embassy Deputy Head of Mission Szymon Wudarski
Signature bird: The iconic Polish stork. — Photo Mariusz Cieszewski

On the occasion of Poland's National Independence Day, embassy Deputy Head of Mission Szymon Wudarski states why the country remains an attractive destination for foreign investment.

Poland has been rising in economic and investment rankings. The same is true about its national brand, which for the second time in a row was ranked 20th. This was an excellent result in the prestigious Bank Finance 2013 survey. Poland outranked Austria and Belgium and is far ahead of other Central and Eastern European countries.

A year ago, our national brand saw a 75-per-cent increase in value. The reason, according to the report's authors, was simple. Poland was the only country in Europe to have resisted the effects of the economic downturn.

"Our economy's resistance to the crisis is indeed an incentive for foreign investors. However, it is not the main reason why Poland has moved up in the rankings of business attractiveness. Poland is a clear leader in the region in terms of the number of jobs created by foreign investors," Pawel Tynel, Tax Manager at EY (formerly Ernst&Young) said.

In a report published by EY, European Attractiveness Survey 2013, Poland emerged as a clear leader in Europe and the region. It ranked first in Central and Eastern Europe in terms of investment attractiveness and became a leader among countries attracting the greatest number of investment projects in 2012. Poland ranks third in Europe in terms of the number of jobs created by foreign investments.

Facts about Poland

Poland, which 25 years ago started a transformation from a centrally planned system, now boasts the largest economy in Central Europe, the sixth in the European Union and the 19th or the 21st (depending on the measurement method) in the world. Government in Warsaw managed to avoid the mistakes that plunged other countries into the economic crisis. It is the only state in Europe that avoided recession during the crisis. For 20 years, Poland has enjoyed steady economic growth.

According to OECD indicators, annual GDP per capita is US$12,708. The economic growth boosts international trade. Since 2000 Poland recorded a threefold increase in trade turnover, reaching in 2013 a record surplus of 673 million euros ($840 million).

With a skilled workforce and industrial traditions, Poland is the centre of the agro-industrial sector in Europe and a major supplier of high-quality food products, electrical machinery, furniture, vehicles and aircraft.

Nearly 40 million population combines in an unusual modernity with respect for tradition. Poles quickly adapted to the new economic reality. At the same time Poles do not forget their identity and tradition, religion and family values still play a leading role in their lives.

Tynel said that more than 100,000 people in Poland were employed at shared services centres offering such services as: accounting, IT, payroll and human resources. Poland has more than 400 such centres.

"The significant scale of this business attracts new investors, so we are witnessing a snowball effect which makes our position as a European leader even stronger," says Tynel.

"The second element of our investment attractiveness is the manufacturing sector, but here competition between the countries of the region is balanced. Still we have a relatively strong position in the automobile, chemical and aviation industries.

Poland also fared very well in a World Investment Report, an important ranking prepared by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). In the UNCTAD annual questionnaire, in which investors were asked to name the most attractive countries in terms of investment in 2013-15, Polska ranked fourth in Europe and 14th in the world. The report's authors underscore that Poland managed to avoid the most painful effects of the economic crisis.

Poland scored somewhat lower in reports analysing national business environments. In the world's competitiveness ranking World Economic Forum, a document highly appreciated by foreign investors, Poland ranked 42nd in 2013.

In turn, in the World Bank Doing Business 2014 ranking, Poland ranked 45th among the 185 countries surveyed. Poland came ahead of Spain, the Czech Republic or Luxembourg, jumping as many as 10 places. This was Poland's best result ever and also a promotion to the position of a leader in Central and Eastern Europe. The previous leader was Slovakia. — VNS








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