Foreign Direct Investment in Poland 2020

  • 13 stycznia 2021


For many years, Poland has been an attractive country for foreign companies that have had a significant impact on the economic changes taking place in our country since the beginning of the economic transformation. Foreign companies have contributed considerable capital, technology, cooperative networks, organizational culture, and business structures. Today, they are an essential part of the Polish economy. 

The value of foreign direct investments corresponds to 40% of Polish GDP. At the end of 2018, it comprised $228.5 billion, and a year later, it reached $236.5 billion. The amount of employment in companies with foreign capital operating in Poland amounted to almost 2 million people at the end of 2018, i.e., 15% of the total number of employees in the private sector, which means that a foreign investor has created every sixth job position. In 2010-2018, there was a 2.5-fold increase in the number of jobs at those companies. As indicated in the report prepared by the International Group of Chambers of Commerce in Poland (IGCC), nearly 25,000 enterprises operate on our market with capital from 107 countries. Poland's most prominent investors are from Germany, the United States, Great Britain, and France.

The IGCC report states that foreign companies have invested a quarter of the capital invested in the entire region of Central and Eastern Europe in our country.

Over 2/3s of the foreign capital invested in Poland has been invested in the services sector. These investments are visible in real estate services, telecommunications, the IT industry, and business services. Their development primarily transfers some of the international corporations' activities, including research and development, engineering, accounting, and software development. In Poland, some centers provide several services for the network of enterprises in their capital group (shared service centers, R&D, and engineering centers) and specialized BPO service providers (business process outsourcing).

The industry branch in which foreign companies have invested the most is the production of motor vehicles, trailers, and semi-trailers - this is a total of 27% of industry investments. The remaining industries with the highest foreign investments are steel production and production of rolled products (8% of industrial investments), production of confectionery (6% of industrial investments), and production of beverages (6% of industrial investments).

The assets of entities with foreign capital are also growing dynamically. Since 2010, they have increased by 70%, reaching $415 billion at the end of 2018. A record 20% annual increase in assets' value in 2010-2018 distinguished the IT industry. Property resources disclosed in the form of assets are the real effect of the inflow of foreign investments, as well as the development of enterprises' activities thanks to reinvestments - claims Dr. Eliza Przeździecka, Head of Economic Research at the American Chamber of Commerce in Poland. UNCTAD estimates that the pandemic will cause global investment capital flows to decline by 45%. The economic slowdown related to the COVID-19 pandemic will undoubtedly reduce the value of FDI inflow to Poland. It is worthwhile to act effectively now, shaping the domestic investment climate, before the Polish market experiences a collapse in FDI inflows. It is crucial to recognize the role of foreign companies in the Polish economy and define the priorities of economic policy in terms of attracting foreign capital. This will result in Poland's sustainable economic development - says Tony Housh, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the American Chamber of Commerce in Poland.

Experts emphasize that the crisis caused by the coronavirus may exacerbate the phenomenon of reshoring, i.e., returning production to home countries or locations close to the target sales markets or the investor's origin. Poland is expected to have a relatively optimistic forecast concerning its economy. They estimate that there will be a slight decline in Polish GDP this year, and a relatively quick rebound is expected next year. Investment interest in Poland may increase, among others, due to its cooperation within supply chains with German manufacturers in the automotive industry. American investors are also considering Poland as the center of their CEE market activities, comments Dr. Eliza Przeździecka.

According to Tony Housh, we have observed an economic slowdown globally. However, many new investment projects related to cloud services, renewable energy, telecommunications technologies, and real estate will be launched in Poland, the implementation of which began before the outbreak of the pandemic. 

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