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Page history last edited by Brian D Butler 9 years, 11 months ago

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Table of Contents:





Poland is a country situated in Central Europe. Poland borders Russia, Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine in the north and east, the Czech and Slovak Republics in the south and Germany in the west. The capital of Poland is Warsaw, with other cities located in Cracow, Lodz, Gdansk and Wroclaw. Poland's workforce is one of the youngest in Europe with about 60% under the age of 40.


The automotive industry plays an important role in the East European economy and is home to some major auto manufacturing and component companies. Investors include Seat and Mecalux.



Investment Promotion Agency:


PAIZ, Al Roz 2

Warsaw, 00-559


tel: +48 (0) 22 621 62 61

fax: +48 (0) 22 621 84 27







"Before the Russian empire emerged, before the Hapsburgs organized southeastern Europe and before the rise of Prussia, Poland was one of Europe’s great powers, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth"..."The Poles know they once dominated the North European Plain. They are convinced that it will never happen again."   Read more: Geopolitical Journey, Part 7: Poland | STRATFOR 






location is important: North European Plain - between Germany + Russia


Strategic Location



"Look at where Poland is. It rests on the North European Plain, an open country whose national borders to its west and east are not protected or even defined by any significant geographical boundaries. To its east is Russia, by 1830 a massive empire. To the west were first the Prussians and after 1871 the Germans. To the south until 1918 was the Hapsburg Empire." Read more: Geopolitical Journey, Part 7: Poland | STRATFOR 







US, Russia, EU (and Iran?)


For Poland, the BMD system (ballistic missile defense) was of little importance. What was important was that in placing the system in Poland, the United States obviously was prepared to defend the system from all threats. Since the system could not be protected without also protecting Poland, the BMD installation-and the troops and defensive systems that would accompany it-was seen as a U.S. guarantee on Polish national security even though the system itself was irrelevant to Polish security. ... The Russians took the same view. They cared little about the BMD system itself; what they objected to was the presence of a U.S. strategic capability in Poland because this represented an American assertion that Poland was actively under the defense of the United States. Of particular note from the Russian point of view was that such a guarantee would be independent of NATO. The NATO alliance has seen better days, and the Russians (and Poles) perceive an implicit American security guarantee as more threatening than an explicit one from NATO." 


Russians view: "Poland in particular must become a neutral buffer zone between Russia and Germany. It can sign whatever treaties it wants, attend whatever meetings it wishes and so forth, but major military formations of other great powers must remain out of Poland. Russia sees the BMD system as the first step in militarizing Poland, and the Russians have acted accordingly."  read more here


To understand how Iran fits into this complicated geopoliitcal chess match, see the Stratfor.com article available here



Private Equity in Poland:


Trends in PE in Poland


Polish companies might have previously considered floating on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, but since it has corrected strongly over the last year, it has made the sale in the private market look like a better option at the moment.

While Russia and the former Soviet countries are still regarded as too risky, especially in light of the recent issues in Georgia, private equity firms are unlikely to keep pushing the Eastern frontier further.   But with debt still available in the less risky central European region and fast growth companies aplenty, more private equity firms are likely to look to there for deal flow.  "For mid-cap deals where debt tends to be syndicated regionally, debt is still available. The Polish and CEE debt markets are active," confirms Morali-Efinowicz.



PE players in Poland:

  • Candover
  • IK, formerly Industri Kapital, made its first direct play into the region as it moves to increasingly invest in Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and the Baltic States.
  • In 2007, Bridgepoint and Carlyle both opened offices in Warsaw.



Poland and the Euro?


Poland has shied away from setting a firm date for joining the euro, worrying that setting a date could unleash speculative attacks and destabilise the economy




Macro economic Profile



"Poland is doing extraordinarily well economically for the moment. Its economy is growing, and it is clearly the economic leader among the former Soviet satellites. But the period in which EU subsidies will flow into Poland is coming to an end, and problems with Poland’s retirement system are looming. Poland’s ability to maintain its economic standing within the European Union is going to be challenged in years to come."... Read more: Geopolitical Journey, Part 7: Poland | STRATFOR 





Amid the general Eastern European malaise, Poland’s economy has been a bright spot. In the first quarter, the economy posted positive real growth of 0.8% y/y, outperforming all other EU economies with the exception of Cyprus.


Why is Poland a stand-out? For starters, Poland’s economy did not boom to the same extent as its regional peers in the Baltics and Balkans, and therefore did not build up the same level of accompanying external imbalances, which helps explain its milder downturn. Second, as Eastern Europe’s biggest economy, Poland has a large domestic market, making it relatively less dependent on exports to ailing Western Europe. Third, the country’s flexible exchange rate and record-low interest rates have helped cushion the slowdown. Finally, Poland proactively distinguished itself from others in the region and boosted investor confidence in May by securing a US$20.5 billion Flexible Credit Line from the IMF – a special facility reserved for emerging markets with strong fundamentals. While Poland’s economy has weathered the global turmoil better than its regional peers, a rapid recovery is unlikely and the outlook is not without risks. In particular, Poland’s fiscal situation is deteriorating, which will likely push back the country’s planned euro adoption in 2012.


source: RGE Monitor Newsletter Aug, 2009




Slovakia, Poland & Czech Republic

Three countries have successfully withstood the current inflationary test—Slovakia, Poland, and the Czech Republic. Their present annual inflation is a moderate 4 to 7 percent, and their high growth rates continue. These countries all pursue inflation targeting, which means that their independent central banks focus on keeping inflation within a low target band, while maintaining tight monetary policy with positive real interest rates. Hence, their floating exchange rates have risen significantly in relation to the euro.




Regions & Places in Poland:




Wroclaw is the capital of the Lower Silesian province in Poland. It has 640.000 inhabitants. The city is linked to Germany and the Ukraine by a highway network and direct rail connections offer access to cities such as Berlin, Frankfurt, Budapest and Moscow. The local airport offers daily flights to Copenhagen, Warsaw and Frankfurt and connections to Vienna three times a week.


To attract companies into the area, the city authorities established "The Wroclaw Technology Park"


Companies located in Wroclaw include Alfa Laval, ABB, Cadbury, Cussons, Siemens and Volvo.


There are 16 Universities and Academies with approximately 70,000 students in the area. Wroclaw is therefore a strong center of academic education and boasts a qualified and experienced workforce.




Lodz is located in the center of Poland in Central Europe. Its position means easy travel to the main urban areas in Poland and also to cities such as Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest. By rail, there are frequent and fast connections to the capital city of Warsaw (1 hour 40 minutes), and with other cities in Poland.

The Lodz Lublinek Airport was recently modernized and expanded to cope with growing demand for international travel. The airport can be reached within 10 minutes from the city center.


Education is important in Lodz, as can be shown by the number of education institutes in the area - seven state universities, eleven private universities, and over 40 institutes and research units. The two largest are the University of Lodz and the Technical University of Lodz. There is also a strong medical academy and an academy of film, television and theatre.


Altogether there is a student population of about 58,000 students spread across 66 faculties in all schools.




Warsaw, a city with a population of nearly 2 million, is Poland’s largest university and research center. It is a major financial center in Eastern Europe and has become a focal point for foreign investment. Warsaw International Airport, just 10 km from the city center operates 60 regular air routes world-wide, and domestic links with the largest cities in Poland. Long-distance passenger traffic is served by four train stations. Among them, the Central Station offers direct links to 36 European destinations including 10 capitals.


The services sector in Warsaw employs over 70 percent of the total working population. The biggest growth in recent years has been in banking and finance. Private financial institutions are concentrated in Warsaw as is the National Bank of Poland and the Warsaw Stock Exchange. 24 foreign banks have commercial operations in the city.


Another important service sector is that which involves the professional community of lawyers, consultants, surveyors, auditors and accountants, computer services and human resources agencies.


Warsaw's higher education establishments count over 130,000 students on their registers; a number which is growing rapidly. Warsaw University, Warsaw University of Technology, the Main School of Farming and Central School of Commerce are the biggest and most renowned schools. The presence of so many students and their teachers makes Warsaw a city of young and educated people.




Krakow is located in Poland and lies halfway between Paris and Moscow. By rail, Warsaw can be reached within 2.5 hours and the international railway network enables travel to Berlin, Budapest, Bratislava, Dresden and Frankfurt. The John Paul II International Airport Krakow-Balice offers regular flights to select European cities and direct flights to New York, Chicago and Montreal.


Within Krakow seven areas have been identified for investment attraction. One of the areas is the Krakow Special Economc Zone which is a technology park designed for production based on advanced production technologies, especially in the areas of computer science systems, telecommunication networks, materials engineering, healthcare, medical and genetic engineering, biotechnology and environmental preservation. By locating in the zone the investor benefits from financial incentives for a period of up to 12 years.


Companies located in Krakow include Philip Morris, Coca-Cola, Can Corporation, Motorola, Tishman Speyer Properties, Carrefour, Bahlsen and Donnelley Polish.


The investor also benefits from a high standard of education. Almost 18% of residents in Krakow have graduated from university. The two largest technology universities are the Krakow University of Technology and the Academy of Mining and Metallurgy. Plans are now under way for the construction of a technology park which will house laboratories and the Institute of Natural Sciences, which is just one of almost 90 private research institutes in the region.




Bialystok is the largest city in north-eastern Poland and the economic and scientific center of the region. The city’s neighbouring states are Belorus, Lithuania and Russia. Domestic and international travel is facilitated by the railroad route Berlin-Warsaw-St Petersburg-Moscow which runs through the city and other motor and rail links which connect Western and Eastern Europe.


The major sectors in the area are produce processing, electrical and technical machinery, timber, synthetic materials and specialised building.


Investors who have located in the city include UNP Holdings, Philips, Akerlund & Rausing, Orkla Media Newspapers, Altrad Technologies, Texaco and British Petroleum.


Bialystok is also the academic center of north-eastern Poland. 39,000 students attend 15 institutions of higher education such as the Bialystok Medical Academy and the Technical University. A number of non-state schools are in operation across the region including the School of Finances and Management and the School of Mathematics and Applied Computer sciences.




External Links




Library of Congress: Country Studies


Excellent source of historical information about a country; "The Country Studies Series presents a description and analysis of the historical setting and the social, economic, political, and national security systems and institutions of countries throughout the world.





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