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The Warsaw Voice » Business » May 7, 2015
Business & Economy
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Poland Still Attractive to Investors
May 7, 2015   
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Poland is the top destination in Central and Eastern Europe for foreign investors, according to an annual business climate survey conducted by the Polish-German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (AHK Polska) for the 10th time this year.

Poland scored 4 points of a maximum of 6 in the survey. The Czech Republic, with a score of 3.1 points, was the runner-up, like a year earlier. Estonia was third with 2.97 pts., narrowly ahead of Slovakia with 2.96 pts.

Michael Kern, general manager of the Polish-German Chamber of Industry and Commerce, said, “Notably, 96 percent of the companies surveyed said that they would again choose Poland as an investment destination if they were to make such a decision today. This level of satisfaction with investment in Poland has remained stable in the study since 2011.”

The survey was conducted among foreign-owned companies in Poland in February by AHK Poland together with nine other bilateral chambers of commerce operating in Poland: the Belgian, British, French, Spanish, Irish, Canadian, Portuguese, Swiss and Italian chambers.

Commenting on the results of this year’s study, Sławomir Majman, head of the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency (PAIiIZ), said, “Acquiring fleeting popularity is no big feat. Staying popular takes hard work. Poland has succeeded in doing this for many years, which is confirmed by the report by the Polish-German Chamber of Industry and Commerce. Investors surveyed by the chamber once again identified Poland as the No. 1 investment destination in Europe and nearly 100 percent of them would invest here again.”

Countries were ranked based on 21 factors determining their appeal in the eyes of investors. The five highest rated factors did not change compared with last year’s survey. Once again, the companies surveyed gave Poland the highest ratings for its being a member of the European Union (an average score of 4.49 pts.) as well as “HR” factors: work-force qualifications (3.76 pts.), quality of university education (3.69 pts.), and productivity and employee motivation (3.60 pts.). Compared with last year, a sense of political stability advanced from eighth to sixth place among the key factors behind Poland’s investment attractiveness. The quality of infrastructure (transportation, communications, IT, and energy) advanced from 10th to eighth place; the fight against corruption and crime advanced from 16th to 13th place; the quality of vocational education moved from 18th to 16th place; and the transparency of public procurement moved from 20th to 18th position.

The predictability of economic policy dropped from 15th to 17th place, and a sense of legal certainty fell from 11th to 14th place. As last year, the tax system and institutions as well as public administration efficiency were the worst rated investment appeal factors in Poland’s case.

Meanwhile, 94 percent of the surveyed companies do not expect the Polish economy to worsen over the next year (49 percent said it would improve, and 46 percent said it would remain unchanged). Likewise, 95 percent of companies assessed their current condition as either good or satisfactory (60 percent said it was good, and 35 percent said it was satisfactory). Notably, 88 percent of companies are planning to either increase their investment expenditure in Poland or leave it unchanged. Forty-three percent of respondents plan to hire more employees over the next year, and 24 percent plan to increase exports of goods or services.

Among economic policy priorities for 2015 in Poland, 32 percent of those surveyed mentioned the need to improve the efficiency of public administration and streamline its costs; 31 percent listed a further expansion and modernization of transport infrastructure; 20 percent listed public finance reform; and 13 percent ticked stabilization of the zloty or alternatively adoption of the euro in Poland.

Poland’s attractiveness as an investment destination is confirmed by the Western Europe “Banking” on Poland? Poland as a Destination for Delivery of Complex BFSI Industry Processes report published recently by the Everest company. According to the report, Poland is the largest market in Central and Eastern Europe for services for institutions from the Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance (BFSI) sector. Foreign-owned service centers operating in the financial sector employ an estimated 33,000 workers in Poland, and the number of jobs in this sector is increasing by more than 20 percent every year. According to Everest, those providing services to the BFSI sector have doubled their number of employees in recent years.

“This is the best result throughout the CEE region,” says Jacek Levernes, Board Member of HP Europe and President of the Association of Business Service Leaders in Poland (ABSL), the largest professional organization in Central and Eastern Europe bringing together major investors in the modern business services sector. According to Levernes, “the dynamic development of the market, combined with access to highly qualified staff and the transition toward more advanced services, is an opportunity for Poland to join the ranks of the world’s largest centers dedicated to services for the financial industry.”
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