The Economy of Poland
Since 1989 Poland’s economy has experienced a rather steady growth. It is considered to be one of the healthiest of the post-communist countries and is currently one of the fastest growing within the EU. In 2009 Poland had the highest GDP growth within the European Union. It is also worth noting that so far Poland has not been strongly affected by global financial crisis.
The economic growth of Poland is partly driven by local and foreign investors, establishing their own firms and enjoying the relatively new market-based economy. According to Polish Statistical Office, there are around 1.700.000 active companies in Poland, with overall amount of firms putting Poland on 5th place within the EU.
This can be associated with many possibilities of financial help, provided by both Polish government and European Union. It has to be noted though, that the level of business survival in Poland is amongst the lowest in Europe, partially due trying to run a company without decent business help, planning and donations because of the lack of knowledge.
Taking a closer look into private firms shows us that the most of them are focused on business in trade (37.7%) and services (35.4% – for details please check the chart below). The rest is divided between architecture (15.3%) and industry (11.6%). While the latter rates are slightly higher than in European Union (which points out to the main difference between growing and developed economy structure), there is a noticeable difference in companies focused on services, which Poland lacks in many fields. Between years 2003-2011 the overall amount of newly created firms was higher than the amount of closed ones, with the latter number growing slightly faster at that time.
Relatively large interest in opening up a business of their own has to be accounted for the fact that there are many possibilities of receiving financial help from either government or EU – while it is not a hard task to perform it may happen to be quite tiresome. It is usually recommended for new investors to hire someone to take care of all the paperwork and information searching – and there are companies ran specifically created for this purpose.
Use of such help is most recommended for foreign investors wanting to open up a business in Poland. There are many possibilities of saving money while investing in Poland, most of them available in Special Economic Zone. Starting a business in SEZ will allow investors to run it free of Income Tax, receive free help regarding formalities, purchase land for lower price or earn exemption from Property Tax.
Besides that, if such business concerns the automotive, electronics, aviation, biotechnology, modern services or research and development markets, it can apply for a donation from “Program to support the investments of high importance for the Polish economy”. It has to be noted though, such investments have to show signs of possible gain for Polish economy in foreseeable future, but it is rather easy to make a good case for it, all things considered.
Foreign investors are already taking advantage of it; with FDI level being on the rise since 2010 (Ernst&Young European Attractiveness Survey 2010). Poland as the most often considered country for Foreign Direct Investments. On the graph below you can notice how joining the EU improved trust in Polish economy among other countries. While between 2007 and 2010 FDI took a little slump, last two years have once again shown that Poland is considered to be a country worth investing in.
With all that in mind, we have to remember that there is still a lot of work to be done, with regards to Poland’s infrastructure, services available to polish citizens or even products on the market. There are many areas where polish economy, while strong and constantly growing, simply does not provide enough options. This is exactly where we need private firms to come in. Foreign companies have a lot to offer for the Polish economy and are more than welcome to help that economy grow even further.