Poland is located within Central Eastern Europe (CEE) whose vast territory covers some 312,679 km2 (120,733 sq mi) making it the ninth largest land area in Europe.
The country is then bordered by Lithuania and Kaliningrad Oblast of Russia to the north-east, Belarus and Ukraine to the east, Slovakia and the Czech Republic to the south, and Germany to the west.
It is this geographical location and shipping routes into the Chinese ports of Shanghai, Xingang, and Qingdao that makes Poland the key gateway between Asia and Europe, which attracts investors in huge numbers from the United States and South-East Asia.
In July 2004, Poland formerly joined the European Union (EU) as a full member state adopting the same rule of law as all other countries in Europe.
Whilst subsequently joining the Schengen Area in 2007, resulting in the country’s borders with fellow European Union countries being dismantled, allowing for full freedom of movement.
The country’s international security is guaranteed via its participation in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) having entered the alliance in 1999 along with the Czech Republic and Hungary.
The political stability offered by EU membership alongside this robust security makes Poland a credible and important business partner for foreign investors.
A land of striking beauty, Poland is punctuated by great forests and rivers, broad plains and tall mountains. Warsaw (Warszawa), is the country’s capital, and features a rich blend of modern buildings with historic architecture. Sadly, most areas were heavily damaged during World War II but have now been faithfully restored in one of the most thoroughgoing reconstruction efforts in European history.
With a population of nearly 38.5 million people, Poland is the fifth most populous member state of the EU. Other major cities include Kraków, Łódź, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk, and Szczecin.
Investors may ask “Why Poland?” the Polish Investment and Trade Agency (PAIH) answer this question perfectly through presenting the ‘Five Best Reasons to Choose Poland’.
1. Economic Stability and Investment Potential
The economy of Poland is an industrialised, mixed economy with a developed market that serves as the sixth largest in the European Union (EU) and the largest among the former Eastern Bloc members of the EU.
Since 1988, Poland has pursued a policy of economic liberalisation and today proudly stands as the greatest success story of all the post-communist states within Europe.
Its economy was the only one in the EU to avoid a recession through the 2007–08 economic downturn, and as of 2019 the Polish economy has been growing steadily for the past 28 years, a record high in the EU and only surpassed by Australia in the world economy.
2. Strategic Location
Poland is already the main logistics hub linking Western Europe with the east via rail links to Belarus and Russia then onward to China as well as its shipping routes to critical ports such as Shanghai, Xingang, and Qingdao.
However, this reputation will soon be enhanced even further as Poland becomes a key player in the ‘New Silk Road’ project.
The initiative, which was formerly announced in 2013 is being lead by the Chinese government. The land “Belt” is to connect China with Central Asia and Europe, and the sea “Route” will link the Far East with the Middle East and Africa.
Łódź located in central Poland is a main terminal along the New Silk Road and has been operating a regular cargo rail connection with the Chinese city of Chengdu since 2013.
The ease of access for delivering vital components alongside the gateway into Europe offered by Poland has resulted in a huge amount of investors from South-East Asia.
3. Human Capital
One of the factors behind Poland’s success story is highly educated and competent ‘Human Capital’. Up to 92% of citizens aged between 25 to 65 have at least secondary education, which is well above the OECD average of 78%.
There are currently 285 universities with 1.3 million students studying, placing Poland fourth in Europe for number of students.
However, what makes the Polish higher-education system stand out is the large number of students majoring in STEM faculties (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).
Unemployment is amongst the lowest in Europe at just 3.5% in 2019, well below that of neighbouring countries. This, along with an aging workforce, has resulted in many companies often struggling to recruit manpower.
4. An Innovative Nation with a Large Domestic Market
Poland shipped US$264 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2019. That dollar amount reflects a 35.8% increase since 2015 and a 0.8% uptick from 2018 to 2019.
The top Polish exports are Vehicle Parts ($14.6B), Cars ($6.8B), Seats ($6.14B), Other Furniture ($5.49B), and Computers ($5.05B), these goods were exporting mostly to Germany ($68.4B), Czech Republic ($15.4B), United Kingdom ($15.3B), France ($14.7B), and Italy ($11.9B).
Imports totalled $262 billion with 12.3% of those coming from China signalling Poland’s importance as a gateway for companies wishing to access the EU market place.
Benefits derived from not being a Euro Zone member, instead preferring its own currency, Polish Złoty (PLN), which stably trades on international markets.
The strength and reliability of the Zloty compared to other major currencies is an important point for our investors, as it ensures both their guaranteed profits and principal sum repayment upon loan maturity.
5. Expertise in Many Sectors of Industry
For more than 20 years, Poland like no other country within Central Eastern Europe (CEE), has managed to attract a great deal of foreign capital, totalling EUR 176bn, ranking Poland second for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Europe, surpassing even Germany in terms of jobs created.
Those taking advantage of the favourable conditions for investors and the ease of doing business in Poland include; Microsoft, Google, Dell, LG Chem, Ford, SPAR, Samsung, Goldman-Sachs and Mercedes-Benz to list just a few household names.
There has been a heavy focus on ‘high-tech’ investments alongside a high number of ‘Deep-Tech Start-ups” which has lead to Poland being called the ‘Silicon Valley of Europe’.
The country has also developed into a leading video game exporter. CD Projekt’s Witcher series was a big hit, based as it was on a series of best-selling Polish books, which were also the basis for a Netflix show.