Poland: the only European country to avoid a 2009 recession ©Getty Images
Poland: the only European country to avoid a 2009 recession ©Getty Images

Country spotlight: Poland

11 October 2019

Population
38,386,000

Area
312,679km2

The helicopter view
Europe’s ninth largest country is bordered by seven countries and the Baltic Sea to the North.

Economic outlook
A booming labour market, dynamic exports, and investment support from EU funds have contributed to Poland’s strong economic performance over the past decade. It was the only European country to avoid a recession during the 2009 financial crisis.

Biggest Investors
The country has become a solid choice for foreign investors in the automotive, electronics, food processing and business service sectors. FDI inflows to Poland rose to US$11.5bn in 2018.

Strengths
An advantageous location combined with a skilled workforce make Poland an attractive place to do business. 60% of investments are made outside the capital Warsaw, which reflects the strength of the economy.

Supply Chain Issues
The country may be well-placed to service Europe, but establishing production outside the EU to connect with fast-growing markets in Asia, Africa and Latin America would create further opportunities.

Challenges
A lack of skills required for innovation threatens to limit growth, while an ageing population could cause labour shortages. Around 900,000 Polish citizens are now living in the UK, but this could change if Brexit prompts them to return.

Bottom line
Poland ranks seventh as a foreign investment destination in Europe, surpassing Sweden, but continued investment in higher education and R&D is needed to stay ahead of the game in emerging hi-tech industries.

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