IT Outlook 2020: Why Foreign Businesses Are Moving to Poland in Record Numbers.

The number of foreign companies registered in Poland has doubled in the last few years, drawing investors from such companies as Twitter, Uber, and Salesforce. These successful entrepreneurs have joined established giants like Microsoft, Google, and IBM in choosing Poland as the ideal place to operate in Central Europe.

In 2019, a whopping 8,820 firms were incorporated in Poland with foreign capital—a 12% increase from 2018. This represents a solid trend that is expected to increase going into 2021, with the number of tech companies rising 5-10% each year leading up to 2024. So, what is it about Poland that attracts so many high-profile enterprises and investors?

 

Stability

 

As a stable, secure, and democratic member of the EU. Poland has not experienced an economic recession in the 28 years preceding the Coronavirus crisis. As the only country in Europe to preserve growth during the financial crisis of 2008, Poland is meeting the new challenges presented by the pandemic with a seasoned approach.

The World Bank and the European Commission both estimate that Poland will experience a shallow decline in GDP (-4.3%) compared to the average in the Eurozone (-9.1%), and is 1 of only 3 EU countries predicted to fully recover its pre-Coronavirus GDP by the end of 2021.

While important social issues are freely debated in Poland, the country has not experienced destabilizing protests or widespread social unrest. The country has one of the lowest crime rates in Europe and is listed as a high-income country by the World Bank, ranking 21st worldwide by GDP.

 

Quality of Life

 

The attributes that make Poland a premiere tourist destination also make it a great choice for businesses looking to offer a high-quality lifestyle. The finer things are simply cheaper, and the ability to enjoy them is everywhere. From seaside resorts to first-class skiing, to scenic cities filled with history and exciting nightlife, Poland offers an executive lifestyle at a quarter of the cost.

The quality of medical care in Poland rivals that of its Western neighbors, and the educational system is ranked 5th best in Europe, according to the Pearson/Economist Intelligence Unit. In all major cities, there are premiere English speaking schools (K-12) that offer internationally recognized Bacclerate programs, and universities that offer valuable degree programs taught in English.

On the topic of communication, English is a common language in Polish cities and it’s normal for Polish job candidates to have a strong command of it. Foreign investors will find it easier than expected to communicate with employees and city locals and find assistance with documents and procedures.

 

IT Talent

 

Over 80,000 new Polish students enroll in software development degree programs each year. In the worldwide Developer Skills Report (2018), Poland is ranked in 4th place, with over 7% of Polish programmers learning to code before the age of 10.

Polish programmers earned a 3rd place ranking in HackerRank for success in contests and the country is listed in 5th place for programming skill level by TopCoder. In short, Poland is rich in high-level developer talent, with labor costs well below the European or American standards.

In part, this is due to the investment made by the Polish government to encourage IT studies starting in early education. The government plans on extending those investments substantially through 2024, creating more K-12 and university level programs for programming and tech development.

 

IT Infrastructure

 

Since its formation in 2015, the Ministry of Digital Affairs has been responsible for approving hundreds of millions of Euros worth of investment into Poland’s digital infrastructure. In June of 2020, the EU DESI ranked Poland in 23rd place on the digital economy and society ranking—with connectivity exceeding the EU average. The country is growing its competitive edge with high data rates and 4G networks, with more than adequate infrastructure support for the latest technology (cloud, AI, IoT, etc…)

Now, with tech hubs located in all major cities in Poland, the government is aggressively moving forward with further investment, expecting the share of the nation’s GDP attributable to digital services to double (from 112 billion złotych) by 2025.

 

IP Protection & Security

 

As a member of the EU, Poland adheres to both EU and US standards of IP protection as a matter of law and is currently building a cyber-security foundation according to its 2019-2024 plan. The new security plan includes measures to protect Polish citizens and businesses against the threat of cyber-attacks and ensures the security of new technology such as cloud and 5G.

 

Location

 

Poland is ideally located in Central Europe, within 2.5 hours of flight distance from London, and less to Vienna, Brussels, Zurich, or Berlin. It is close to major European financial markets, and time-zone friendly for most of the US and the Middle East.

 

Moving versus Outsourcing

 

While Poland has become a popular country for IT services outsourcing, relocating or establishing a corporate office in Poland has many advantages, the most important of which are the ease of doing business and the question of technology and corporate identity ownership.

Since the quality of life is high and the costs of living are lower, many of the most talented Polish developers prefer to remain in the country, so the best opportunity to retain premium talent is to be located in Poland.

A local presence also allows management to reinforce corporate culture and to keep control of the technology that is developed on-site. Polish employees have a high work ethic and are largely honest and genuine. At the same time, it’s easier to manage a private team and ensure both the quality and security of projects in development from a local office.

 

How We Can Help

 

At NTIATIVE IT Recruitment, we take a personal and experienced approach to finding exceptional IT talent. Working with companies such as Shell Energy, NetEnt, Point72, AdColony, Protean Software, and more, we understand the value of matching the right person with the right team, and we handle all of the processes required to open a Polish location. We can file the paperwork, find the offices, and build the team you need to succeed.

Are you considering a move to Poland to boost your competitive edge? We invite you to call or message us anytime. We’re always willing to help.