A large market, European funds and special economic zones

Opportunities in agro-food and automotive, but also in luxury goods and textiles

For Italian companies Poland has been and is a great opportunity for development: as an outlet market and as a production base. Today in the country, Italian-based companies are more than 1,300 and have about 90,000 employees. In many such as Indesit, Ferrero, Brembo, Mapei or Unicredit, they came with the great transition from communism to the market economy in the nineties. Others have decided to invest in the country along with the 2004 enlargement of the European Union’s East: Marcegaglia and Ilpea. Some, such as the Zignago Vetro group, Astaldi or Salini Impregilo, have found growth in Polish land in the recent years of the great international crisis. Fiat, which produces 500 in the Tychy plant, has relationships with Warsaw that have been going on for over eighty years.

A big east market

Poland’s strengths are mainly the size of the internal market, logistics and access to public funding. Poland is a natural bridge between Western Europe and the Eastern markets; has proven to be able to make best use of Community funds (it can count on 80 billion euros from 2014 to 2020, which will become more than 100 if agricultural funds are added); and continues to support productive investment with its government resources through specific initiatives such as special economic zones or innovation funds. “For Italian investors, Poland is the most attractive country in the whole region and in the coming years its attractiveness will increase,” says Andrea De Gaspari, the Italian desk manager at Kpmg in Poland.

Tax breaks for businesses

The company’s income tax in Poland is 19 per cent. In the 14 special economic zones , whose existence has been extended until 2026, businesses can benefit from strong tax breaks. The order of magnitude of the concessions changes from region to region: in some (Lubelskie, Podkarpackie, Podlaskie, Warminsko-Mazurskie) the benefits for small businesses reach 70%, while for big companies the abolition of taxation is 50 per cent. In other areas the benefits are smaller: 45% for small businesses and 25% for large companies (Dolnoslskie, Wielkopolskie, Slskie) or 35% and 15% respectively for Warsaw (until 2017; 30% and 10%).

The Polish Pil continues to run

Solidity Over the last 25 years, the Polish GDP is practically fivefold. Thanks to the size of the domestic market – with almost 40 million inhabitants – Poland is considered the country of reference of the area. Poland has handled the transition phase with courage, having gained democracy in 1989 after the Soviet bloc’s dissolution, and made the best use of the European structural funds to support economic development following the accession to the Union in 2004 Today Poland is the 24th world economy considering the nominal GDP and 22 th considering the GDP as purchasing power, according to data provided by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Poland has also overcome the great global economic crisis, continuing to grow when all of Europe was in recession. Even tensions from Ukraine and Russia have stopped growth, which this year – according to the latest European Commission forecasts – should reach 3.7 percent.

Why choose Poland?

“There are great connections between Italy and Poland. First of all, a fabric of very small and medium sized businesses, “says ICE president Riccardo Maria Monti. “Poland – said Monti – has been able to use EU funds intelligently and with great certainty. And there are still large spaces and great opportunities for investment in services, aerospace, biotechnology, and information technology. In addition to infrastructure, machinery manufacturing, fashion and food. ” To push Italian companies to Poland is also the cultural affinity that in the delocalisation choices becomes an obvious advantage to Asia. “For us, we count on logistics, we need to be close to car manufacturers and Poland in this gives us great benefits. But the characteristics of Polish laborers are very well adapted to our way of doing business, “explains Alberto Bombassei, President of Brembo. “I believe that Italy and Poland,” adds Bombassei, “can work together because they can be complementary.” Other elements of undoubted advantage are political stability and security, in spite of everything; legislation aligned with Union standards; a labor cost that remains competitive with western countries, especially with regard to skilled labor. despite everything; legislation aligned with Union standards; a labor cost that remains competitive with western countries, especially with regard to skilled labor. despite everything; legislation aligned with Union standards; a labor cost that remains competitive with western countries, especially with regard to skilled labor.

Spaces and areas of further development

Italy is the fourth supplier of Polish market goods and the fifth buyer of products coming from Poland. Even during the European crisis, Polish demand for made in Italy has always been above the seven billion euros, with an exchange rate of over 16 billion euros. Italian investment stocks in Poland reached 10 billion euros. According to Kpmg’s analysis, agro-food, automotive, luxury goods, textiles and footwear, and tourism are the areas where the cooperation between Italy and Poland can be developed the most. “Today, 22% of the luxury products in Poland come from Italy,” explains De Gaspari. Huge routings have been made in infrastructure, but highways and railways have yet to be improved: a handicap for the area but also an opportunity for Italian construction companies. Poland also has the urgent need to renew and modernize its predominantly coal-fired power plants and 70% older than more than thirty years. The conservative Warsaw Government in the newly launched Sustainable Development Plan has identified aerospace, armaments, automotive, shipbuilding, chemistry and agri-food as areas where there may be even closer cooperation between Italy and Poland.

EasyBalkans Team