American investments in Poland are growing. More and more of them are based on cutting-edge technologies

2018-05-18  |  05:50
Says:Jerzy Kwieciński, Minister of Investment and Economic Development
Krzysztof Krawczyk, Partner, CVC Capital Partners
John Armstrong, Economic Counsellor to U.S. Ambassador
  • MP4
  • Economic cooperation between Poland and the United States is flourishing. 2017 was a record-breaking year in terms of trade, which reached 12.7 bn dollars. The value of American investments in Poland is estimated at nearly 42 bn dollars. Foreign investments are growing in terms of numbers and seeing improvements in quality. They are increasingly often based on latest technologies which find their first use in Poland. Polish companies, too, are becoming bolder and bolder overseas. More than 70 Polish companies and businesses with Polish capital operate in the United States, with a total investment value of more than 2 bn dollars.

    “Poland has become a very attractive market for many foreign partners and investors. There are not only more and more foreign investments in Poland, but also their quality is markedly improving. These are the top global investors implementing high-tech projects, which often see here one of their first uses in the world. This is the type of investments we care about the most. What we find extremely pleasing is the fast-growing economic cooperation with the United States,” Jerzy Kwieciński, Minister of Investment and Economic Development, highlighted in his interview for the Newseria Biznes information agency.

    A report by Colliers International shows that Poland is the leader of Central and Eastern Europe in terms of investments, ahead of the Czech Republic and Hungary. The increasing investment levels are confirmed by the Polish Investment and Trade Agency (PAIH). At the end of 2017 PAIH serviced 175 investment projects with a total value of 5.65 bn euros (a 30% increase y/y).

    At the end of 2017 the portfolio of projects successfully completed with the aid of PAIH was worth more than 2 bn euros (a 300 m increase in annual terms).

    Our country is a very interesting market for international investors. It is one of the largest economies in Europe with nearly 40 m consumers, and a very entrepreneurial nation. The surge of enterprises created in late 1980s and early 1990s today makes up 70 percent of Poland’s GDP. What is more, the young generation does not want to work for corporations, they want to establish their own businesses. This is the second wave of entrepreneurship in our country. This explains interest in Poland,” explained Krzysztof Krawczyk, Partner at CVC Capital Partners.

    Most investment projects originated in the United States (57) and Germany (14). In terms of investment outlays, the leading players are China (1.26 bn euros – and a nearly twofold increase) and the USA (1.14 bn euros). The USA also leads in terms of the number of projects successfully implemented with the aid of PAIH (14).

    “The American Chamber of Commerce estimates American investments in Poland since 1990 to be at a total of 42 bn dollars. As regards Polish investments in the USA, it is a relatively new phenomenon, with first such investments appearing after the end of the communist rule, but their pace is now growing,” said John Armstrong, Economic Counselor to U.S. Ambassador.

    Polish investments in the USA are still relatively scarce, but their number is steadily increasing. At present, there are more than 70 Polish companies or enterprises with Polish capital which operate in the United States. The total investment value exceeds 2 bn dollars.

    The Americans invest in Poland mainly in the automotive, pharmaceutical and computer industries. A significant part of investments is also made in financial and insurance markets, as well as in wholesale and trade operations.

    “The United States for years has been one of Poland’s three key partners and, more importantly, this position has remained unchanged for many years. This partner is interested in becoming involved in Poland. In my opinion, this is, among other things, because of cultural similarities. Poland is a Mini-America. For Poles, where there is a will, there is a way. We are an extremely entrepreneurial nation, just like Americans,” Krzysztof Krawczyk argued.

    EY’s Attractiveness Survey Poland indicates that foreign investors value not only the low labour costs. The most valued characteristics include the competence of the local workforce and the potential for productivity.

    “Polish employees are very high-skilled, the geographic location is good, local governments and the central government are open to dialogue, and the regulations are clear. All this makes Poland a very attractive market for American investors. There are also another factors – companies communicate with one another, and the successful ones advertise other investments,” John Armstrong explained.

    The potential for mutual investments is much greater. It is facilitated by very good governmental relations. There are also investments related to improving Poland’s security, including energy security. The first supplies of American LNG are underway to the terminal in Świnoujście.

    “One example of cooperation in the field of security is the agreement between our governments concerning the application of the Patriot anti-missile system. It is the most advanced system, with its first application in the USA and Poland. We will also gain access to the latest technologies in the world,” Jerzy Kwieciński highlighted.

    Our trade is also increasing. According to data from Statistics Poland, in 2017, trade between Poland and the United States reached 12.7 bn dollars, which means a 22 percent increase in annual terms (10.5 bn dollars in 2016). Exports from Poland to the USA amounted to 6.1 bn dollars (a 28 percent increase), and imports from the USA equalled 6.6 bn dollars (a 16 percent increase).

    “This trend continues this year, as in the two first months of 2018 we are seeing a 20 percent increase in exports. We export more than we import, so we have a positive balance of trade. This means that Poles are starting to conquer the American market. Trade is greatly diversified, with not a single sector or company dominating. Our goal is to further grow this trade in the years to come,” Mr Kwieciński announced.

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