With Germany and France returning to economic growth in the second quarter of this year, the recessionary gloom appears to be clearing as the global economic crisis begins to subside. In a few countries however, this gloom has been no more than a slight haze.
Poland, for instance, has remained relatively unscathed from the global recession. The momentum behind its incredible economic growth leading up to the widespread banking collapse has enabled the country to continue its development well into 2009.
Whilst it is true that annual growth in Poland has slowed this year, there is nevertheless growth! Indeed, Poland was the only major European economy to have expanded in the first three months of 2009 according to the latest Financial Times economic weather map. In contrast, neighbouring Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine and Lithuania all suffered a significant decline in GDP over the same period.
Furthermore, the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies last month suggested that Poland will be the only Central and Eastern European economy to completely avoid recession in 2009, expanding by 0.8%.
High domestic demand is the principal reason for such affluence, while its banking system has avoided the collapses witnessed in the US and other major European countries. Poland is also benefiting from receiving the highest amount of EU funding in the seven years to 2013 of all EU member states. In addition, the upcoming 2012 European football championship has created numerous construction projects – including six new stadiums, 300 hotels, 800km of roads, five airport terminals and the refurbishment of national transport infrastructures.
Despite such a differing financial outlook to the rest of Europe, Poland nevertheless retains strong links with its neighbouring economies and the Eurozone – which it hopes to join within the next five years. In fact, since its admittance to the EU in 2004, Poland has become the UK’s largest export market.
Combine this with a highly skilled workforce with an excellent knowledge of the English language, low labour costs and a falling unemployment rate (a decline of more than 6% in the past five years), it is easy to see why Poland provides an exciting prospect with outstanding potential for UK businesses to explore.
The trick is to carefully assess the target market, competition, culture and legal framework to ensure such a move is a success. Find out more here about how Hilton-Baird can assist with entry to the Polish market.