Poland counts a population of 38.17m and is the largest market in Central Europe and the sixth biggest in the EU. These 38.17m consumers drive an annual retail market growth of 10%.
The Polish economy is developing much faster than the economy of the whole Euro zone and about 1.5% more than the average of all 27 EU members together. With a GDP growth of 6,1% in 2006 it is projected to reach 6,5% in 2007. Poland's growth has been driven to a significant extent by export growth, industrial production and investments. Employment is also steadily increasing. In 2006 the unemployment rate has dropped by 4% in comparison to 2005.
Since 2000 high dynamics of export turnovers have been observed. In 2006 for example the rate reached 18.5%. This is due to improved competitiveness of Polish goods and just a slight increase in domestic consumption. Polish companies are more interested in exporting their goods; many market leaders are exporting not only to the EU markets but also to Russia and Asian countries. Polish exports are based on several key industry sectors: food, furniture, automotive parts, ships and plastic goods.
Among Poland’s major trade partners the highest export turnovers are attributable to Germany (27.2%), Russia (9.7%) and Italy (6.7%), while Poland’s main import partners are: Germany (27.2%), Italy (6.4%) and France (6.3%).
After 15 years of courageous economic and political reforms Poland has strengthened its position as one of the fastest growing countries of Central and Eastern Europe. As a member of the EU, NATO and OECD, the country is a trustworthy and reliable partner for international business. It offers exceptional business and investment opportunities.
According to the AT Kearney Report of 2006 the environment for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of Poland is very positive and dynamic. Global communications investors ranked Poland first in the world in terms of attractiveness for FDI. The outlook for dynamic development of services in the new technology market is also very optimistic.
There are many reasons why foreign investors are attracted by Poland as area for investments, e.g. in respect of the size of the Polish market, its economic growth and the availability of qualified human resources. Moreover, the government offers many incentives to investors, such as availability of EU structural funds, investment incentives in 14 Special Economic Zones and local districts, industrial and technology parks and access to a complex database of brownfield and greenfield locations.
European Union Structural Funds support investments not just directly but also indirectly, e.g. by supporting construction and modernization of existing infrastructure. A Special Economic Zone (SEZ) is a designated area in which manufacturing or distribution activities can be conducted on preferential terms. The management of each zone issues permits to do business in the given SEZ and helps in the investment process, e.g. by facilitating contacts with local authorities or central administration in such areas as purchase of land.
Other investment incentives for potential investors are the Special Zones “Technology” and “Industrial parks”. The first one is a group of designated areas of real estate provided with a technology infrastructure, created to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and technologies between scientific institutes and business entities. The second one is a group of selected areas of real estate with an infrastructure from restructured or closed enterprises. This type of park has been created in cooperation with the local government in order to provide favorable conditions for business activities, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises.
The foreign direct investment inflow to Poland in 2006 was at an all time high of over 11bn EUR. Approximately 83% of total foreign direct investment came from EU countries, mainly from Germany, UK, Spain, France. The most significant investors apart from EU are from Switzerland, South Korea, Japan and USA. The main greenfield investors in 2006 were Bridgestone, Dell, Sharp, Toyota and Toshiba.
Poland is becoming an attractive destination for companies active in business processes outsourcing services, such as financial services, logistics and IT. In 2006 over 20 new BPO Centres had been established, including ACN Capgemini, Shell, GE Money Bank, Deutsche Bank.
Polish sectors of huge potential attract many international corporations which are to be locating their subsidiaries or to investing capital in Poland. Just to name some of them: R&D (ABB, Alstom, Avon, IBM, Philips, Volvo, Oracle), automotive components (Volvo, GM, Toyota, MAN), aviation (PZL Mielec, PZL Rzeszów, Pratt & Whitney, WSK Rzeszów, Stamet), white goods (Electrolux, Whirlpool, LG, Indesit, BSH), agriculture industry (Rolnik, Morliny, Hortex, Maspex Wadowice, Żywiec, Okocim), yacht building (Balt Yacht, Delphia Yachts, Galeon, Ostróda Yachts and Ślepsk).
One of the key factors that make Poland one of the most attractive areas for FDI is undoubtedly the structure of its society. According to a survey among foreign investors - commissioned by Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency - youth, ambitiousness and high skills are the most crucial characteristics of the Polish society that render Poland such an attractive investment area.
Poland has the largest working population in Central Europe. It possesses also one of the youngest populations on the continent: 50% of the Polish society is under the age of 34 and 35% is under the age of 25 years. This means an approximate number of 13m young and well-educated people that will enter the labor market in the near future.
Poland provides a nationwide network of 427 centers of higher education. It consists of 126 public higher education academies including 17 universities, 18 universities of technology, as well as 301 private schools of tertiary education. Every year an approximate number of 211,000 students graduate in social sciences, business and law, 43,000 in engineering, manufacturing and construction, 22,000 in science, mathematics and computing. There are 20 information and telecommunication academic centers (ICT) and each of them counts a number of more than 2,500 students and more than 150,000 IT, computer science and telecommunication students overall.
Polish Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) education centers and specialists are highly recognized worldwide. They have been continuously winning in the prestigious Top Coder ranking and also achieving high positions in the worldwide Google Code Jam Competition (1st place in 2005) and the IBM Linux Scholars Challenge (1st place in 2005). Polish IT specialists are employed by the largest IT companies in the world. They also constitute major parts of managers responsible for research and development (R&D) activities in multinational corporations such as Microsoft and Nokia.
The level of foreign language knowledge of young Polish is rising steadily and very fast. The most popular foreign language is English, followed by German and Russian. A 44% of Polish society is able to communicate in a foreign language, 33% speak at least two foreign languages. A significant number of 80% of all students do speak English.
Foreign investors highly rate the skills and commitment of Polish employees. In many cases the Polish subsidiaries of foreign companies were considered to be the most successful units worldwide according to their management. In the 2005 Ernst & Young Report, Poland is placed fifth after Germany, UK, France and Scandinavian countries considering the level of labor skills. Rotation between various companies is common, thus professionals are very versatile regarding skills from many sectors.
Due to rapid economic development and an increasing number of foreign investment in Poland the need for qualified production employees and engineers is contemporaneously rising. The labor market is stabilising and the average income is also increasing. In 2005 the average monthly salary in the business sector for example added up to approximately EUR 592, while in February 2007 it reached an amount of about EUR 702.
According to law in Poland there are 12 monthly salaries to be paid per year, whereas more can be agreed upon as bonus or commission. The income tax is on a gradual basis: 19%, 30%, 40%. The social security contributions are to be partly paid by the employer (19.83% and 22.72%) and partly by the employee himself (18.71%).
It is estimated that the UEFA EURO 2012 event will boost the Polish economy and especially the labor market. The FDI inflow of at least EUR 3bn within one year will create at least about 370 thousand jobs in the sports sector, the entertainment and leisure sector as well as in the road, rail and air traffic sector.
HILL International Poland has been present on the Polish market since 1992 and was one of the first HR consultancies in the country. Amongst our clients are domestic and international companies whereas the biggest part of our target clients consists of mostly multinational companies. For more than 15 years we have been engaged in business with clients of almost every economical sector such as IT, telecommunication, banking, electric manufacturers, insurance, FMCG, pharmaceutical and steel.
Our clients benefit from the extensive knowledge and experience of the highly educated, multilingual team of psychologists and sales experts with broad experience in different business branches.
Elżbieta Tomczuk Managing Director
As one of the most recognized personnel consultancy in Poland we offer complex and actual HR services, such as recruitment projects, Assessment Centers / Development Centers, Personal Audits, Outplacement Coachings, Outplacements, Individual Coachings, first and foremost the HILL Competence Analysis©, and many more.
HILL Poland is assisted in this process by the experience and expertise of the HILL Group. Over 30 years of personnel and management consultancy, scientific methodology, and an extensive network in Europe and central Asia enables HILL to provide successful consultancy in the areas of personnel and management for numerous firms in diverse branches.