The state of foreign investments in Poland

Are you thinking about opening a branch or subsidiary of your company in Poland? You would not be the first one!

Poland is attracting more and more foreign investments in a wide range of areas, especially, since the country became part of the European Union in 2004.

There are many advantages to expanding your company to Poland. Probably, some of the main ones are the educated workforce that speaks many foreign languages, the lower salaries, the stable economy etc.

I could go on like this for a while but let’s actually look into some details of the situation in Poland according to official statistics published in 2017.


Foreign investments in Poland


As per 2017, there were over 22 000 entities with foreign capital operating in Poland. This number is already quite impressive but what is even more impressive is the number of capital that they brought to the country.

The Central Statistical Office (GUS) is estimating this amount to be 197 billion PLN! Over 50% of this value was generated by companies that employ more than 250 employees. The majority of them are trading companies or companies that operate in the automotive or manufacturing industry (38,4%).


Where do the majority of these companies operate?


Poland consists of 16 voivodships (provinces), however, not all of them seem to be as attractive for foreign investors. There are 5 main voivodships that attract a great majority of them.

The percentage structure looks as follows:

  • Mazowieckie (main city – Warsaw) – 46%
  • Wielkopolskie (main city – Poznań) – 12%
  • Dolnośląskie (main city – Wrocław) – 9%
  • Śląskie (main city – Katowice) – 9%
  • Małopolskie (main city – Kraków) – 8%

Together, they account for 84%. The remaining 16% was invested in the other 11 voivodships.


Main countries investing in Poland


Did you know that the capital invested in Poland comes from as many as 121 countries? The vast majority of it, as expected, comes from EU countries. Can you guess which country has the leading position here?

Your first guess probably was Germany. The country is Poland’s neighbour and for some time now there has been a really good collaboration between these countries. However, this is not the country holding the first position. The country that invested the majority of 197 billion PLN in Poland is The Netherlands (20% of the above-mentioned value). It is followed closely by Germany (nearly 18%) and France (nearly 14%).

How many employees work in these foreign companies?


All of these 22 000 companies employed nearly 2 million people in Poland! Not bad, right? Especially if you think that there are 38 million people living in Poland, where around 24 million people are eligible to work. That would mean that nearly 10% of employees in Poland work in an entity with foreign capital.

Over 68% of these employees work in 4 main voivodeships in Poland – Mazowieckie (32%), Wielkopolskie (16%), Śląskie (11%) and Dolnośląskie (9%). An average company from this group employed 87 workers.


So, what about the profits? Can foreign companies be profitable?


Yes, they can. The Central Statistical Office in Poland also gathers data about this information. In 2017 these companies reported revenues amounting to 1 538 313 million PLN! A great majority of this number comes from companies that employ more than 10 people (96%).

The number seems really good, however, you might be wondering about the costs. On average were they making money or the costs were much higher than the revenues?

For the total group, the costs of making business amounted to 1 459 433 million PLN which means that as a group the companies were profitable. Of course, we need to keep in mind that many of these companies in Poland exist as a Shared Service or R&D Centres, specifically set up as a cost location for overseas headquarters. On average, however, over 50% of foreign companies managed to run a profitable business in Poland (57.6% to be exact).


Final thoughts


I hope you enjoyed the article and most importantly that you found some useful information here. If you, however, would like to learn more about the topic, please do not hesitate to visit the Central Statistics Office article, from where the data for this article was taken.

If you are interested in opening your branch in Poland, we are here to help!

This is a guest post written by Dagmara Grabowiec. Dagmara is a Polish blogger who writes about Poland and Polish culture. Feel free to visit to read more from her.