Poland’s excellent employees and political unrest

Poland attracts investors by its highly-qualified em-ployees, wide availability of local suppliers and the Eu-ropean Union membership.

Whereas the lowest-scoring factors according to foreign companies were the political and social stability, and the predictability of economic policies – these are the results of the 12th Economic Survey of the German-Polish Chamber of Industry and Commerce, carried out in cooperation with thirteen other bilateral chambers in Poland, op-erating within the International Group of Chambers of Commerce. The survey was carried out among 369 for-eign companies operating in Poland.

EU membership, qualified staff and local suppliers as factors driving Poland’s attractiveness

The survey was based on a total of 21 investment attractiveness factors. Similarly to last year, the EU membership and employees’ qualifications are the highest-rated factors according to foreign companies operating in Poland. The quality and availability of local suppliers is getting better results year by year, and this time was ranked third. Position number four in our survey is held by the ade-quacy of higher education, and the last top-five factor is the productivity and motivation of employees.

Better transparency of public tenders, worse evaluation of legal safety and legal flexibility of employment, less available employees

In comparison with last year, the 2017 survey shows a better evaluation of the transparency of public procurement law (which moved four positions up in our attractiveness factors’ ranking) as well as the effectiveness of fight against cor-ruption and economic crime. Comparing to last year, the score of legal safety dropped significantly. In the open question, the entrepreneurs pinpoint that the laws, including the laws regulating the functioning of sectors, are passed too quickly and without reliable consultations with the business.
The factors of legal flexibility of employment and availability of employees also scored less in 2017.

Worst evaluation for political and social stability as well as predictability of eco-nomic policies

Similarly to 2016, the lowest-scoring factors are the political and social stability as well as the predictability of economic policies in Poland. The political and social stability used to be ranked 6th among the investment attractiveness fac-tors in 2015, then fell to 20th place in 2016, and is still going down in the ranking with only 2.39 out of five possible points, in the eyes of foreign investors operat-ing in Poland. Similarly to last year, the 21st and last position is held by the pre-dictability of economic policies, with 2.24 points.

Current condition of the economy and future perspectives

A vast majority of the 2017 Economic Survey respondents see the current condi-tion of the Polish economy in a positive light. Over a half (54.3%) assessed it as satisfactory, and 32.1% as good. A negative opinion was expressed by 13.6% of surveyed companies.

In the opinion of over a half of respondents (54.6%), the prospects for the Polish economy will remain unchanged in comparison with 2016. One fifth of respond-ents (21.7%) assessed the prospects as good, and 23.6% as bad.

Companies’ revenue and investments, employing staff

The majority of surveyed foreign companies in Poland (59.1%) predict that their turnover in 2017 will increase in comparison with last year. One third (32.0%) foresee no changes, and almost 9% forecast a decrease in their turnover.

45% of the companies plan to increase employment. For almost a half of the companies (49.1%), the number of employees will remain similar to last year. In comparison with 2016, there is a considerably lower percentage of companies that plan to reduce employment (9.4% in 2016 vs. 5.7% in 2017).

What is more, the entrepreneurs predict a salary increase of 5% on average in 2017.

The percentage of companies declaring higher expenditure on investment dropped by 3.5pp, from 36.0% to 32.5%.

Poland second in the European ranking

For 369 foreign companies operating in Poland, Poland is the regional leader when it comes to investment attractiveness. Apart from foreign investors operat-ing in Poland, Poland and other CEE countries were evaluated by 1365 German investors operating in 15 other markets of the region. In 2017, similarly to 2016, Poland ranked 2nd in the European ranking (behind the Czech Republic) with a score of 4.09 out of six possible points, which means that the distance to the Czech Republic that scored 4.13 points has shrunk to as little as 0.04 points. The remaining top-ten countries are: Slovakia, Estonia, Slovenia, Latvia, Croatia, Lith-uania, Hungary and Romania.

About the survey
The Economic Survey was conducted in February 2017 by the German-Polish Chamber of Industry and Commerce in cooperation with thirteen other bilateral chambers in Poland, operating within the International Group of Chambers of Commerce: American, Austrian, Belgian, British, Canadian, Dutch, French, Irish, Italian, Portuguese, Scandinavian, Spanish and Swiss. 369 foreign capital compa-nies operating in Poland participated in the survey. In the “Polish sample”, 235 investors come from Germany, 16 from Scandinavia, 15 from the U.S.A., 13 from Italy, 11 from France as well as from Austria, and 9 from Switzerland. The rest of respondents were investors from Spain, the Neth-erlands, Belgium and Great Britain, among others. There was a European survey conducted at the same time, with participation of 1365 German capital companies operating in the 15 other ECC countries, associ-ated in German bilateral chambers. The survey respondents evaluate the Central and Eastern European countries on the basis of 21 investment attractiveness factors (on a scale from 1 to 5 points) and assess directly the 20 CEE economies on a scale from 1 to 6. They also com-ment on the current condition of the economy, as well as on the situation of their companies and the prospects for development.

Keywords business survey