Brexit: Welcome to Poland

Sylwester Biernacki chairman of the board of ATM S.A. (Atman)
Sylwester Biernacki chairman of the board of ATM S.A. (Atman)

Britain’s decision to leave the EU means that a portion of the City will be seeking new locations within the EU. This offers a great opportunity for Poland as a European competency hub. We have a lot to offer to foreign investors – our ever improving infrastructure, highly qualified specialists and a modern technological base.

by  Sylwester Biernacki chairman of the board of ATM S.A. (Atman)

Although it’s difficult to judge the economic consequences of Brexit today, it is clear that some of the businesses operating in the UK will be relocated to the EU. J.P. Morgan Chase, HSBC, Citigroup or Goldman Sachs are only a few examples of companies which are considering relocating a portion of their business outside of the City. Foreign investment in Central-Eastern Europe is growing. Poland plays a special role in this region. According to the Ministry of Development, foreign companies had invested €171 billion up to 2014. And the stream of foreign investment is not slowing down. Some 211 new investment projects were implemented in Poland last year (60 percent growth.)

Apart from Russia, no other country has enjoyed such excellent growth. Poland remains the regional leader, ranked by EY as one of the five most attractive investment locations in Europe. Investors are attracted to Poland by its security, costs (lower than in Western Europe), competences, and the improving infrastructure, including ICT, which is indispensable to modern business. Although the Polish economy’s digitization index is lower than in the Czechia, Slovakia or the Baltic States, it is higher than in Greece or Romania, and similar to the French. The contribution of private companies is priceless; thanks to their investments, the digitization index grew by an impressive 74 percent in 2008-2014, making Poland one of the five countries with the highest digitization dynamics.

Digitization is one of the most important factors that has transformed Poland from a European assembly plant into an equal player in those areas where competences are crucial. It is not a coincidence that state-of-the-art business service centers are among the investment leaders in Poland. We are becoming an outsourcing center, e.g. in the scope of IT. The total revenues from exports in the companies participating in this year’s ITwiz Best 100 ranking exceed PLN 1 billion. Technology is a driving force for Western companies, however they are suffering an increasing shortage of local specialists. Therefore, competency and technology outsourcing is their best solution, providing security and cost-effectiveness. Server colocation is an excellent example – it can be several dozen percent less expensive than maintaining one’s own infrastructure. Although Brexit offers an opportunity to boost foreign investment, we don’t need to worry about its inflow. Poland has many trump cards, and foreign investors seem to recognize this better than anyone else.

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