As foreign investors develop their operations in Poland, more and more of their subsidiaries’ earnings is remaining in the country as reinvestment, helping drive further development of these companies and the economy as a whole.
As indicated in the report of the International Group of Chambers of Commerce in Poland (IGCC), the greenfield investments in Poland increased by 14 percent y/y in 2019. In the first half of 2020, 165 such projects were announced. In 2010-2018 the value of assets held by companies with foreign capital operating in Poland increased by 70 percent, reaching $415 billion. The largest investor countries are Germany, the U.S., France, and the UK, which together hold 48 percent of foreign companies’ Polish assets.
Foreign companies employ a total of about 1.9 million people, more than 15 percent of total private-sector employment. Companies with German capital employ almost 330,000 people; those with U.S capital more than 267,000; and with French capital more than 191,000. In total, these countries provide about 41 percent of employment in companies with foreign investors
Foreign investment in Poland totaling $236.5 billion accounts for 24.5 percent of the capital invested by foreign companies in all of Central and Eastern Europe. Foreign companies provide almost one-third of all investment outlays in Poland.
At the end of 2018, 24,395 companies with capital from 107 foreign countries were operating in Poland. Small and micro companies, i.e. those employing up to 49 people, were predominant (65 percent of the total). Medium-sized firms accounted for 23 percent, and large ones 12 percent. This differs from the structure of companies in the Polish economy as a whole, with small and micro companies making up 99.1 percent, medium-sized 0.7 percent, and large only 0.17 percent.
The dominant sectors by asset value are real estate services and producers of motor vehicles and accessories. Poland is an attractive investment location not only due to the size of its market and central location. Other advantages include a large pool of highly qualified labor: Poland is third in the EU and first in CEE by the number of tertiary education graduates and by the number of graduates in the hard sciences, mathematics, IT, engineering, manufacturing, construction per 1,000 people aged 20-29.