Patrick Ney: What does Poland have to offer UK exporters? - Export Britain

Export Britain

Patrick Ney: What does Poland have to offer UK exporters?

Patrick Ney, Director, British Polish Chamber of Commerce

Poland is the sixth largest economy and population in the EU and is by far the biggest player in the new EU member countries from the 2004 Accession Period. Other competitors, like France, Italy, Spain & next-door Germany have established significant market shares – just 2.6% of Poland’s imports of goods come from the UK – and international markets like China, Korea and Japan are all establishing greater shares of Poland’s imports.

Poland is most famous for being the only EU market to retain GDP growth throughout the financial crisis, maintaing an uninterrupted economic growth pattern which has seen significant improvements in its transition to a modern European democratic economy.

At BPCC Trade, we work with new to market exporters all the time and the one thing we always see is how pleasantly surprised people are on their first visit to Poland. Surprised at the rapid development of its economy, the significant improvements in its investment and surprise at the entrepreneurial nature of its people, with more microbusinesses than anywhere else in Europe.


A recognised European centre for logistics, BPO & SSC outsourcing, and competitve value production. Poland is the Central & Eastern European location of choice for international companies choosing to headquarter in market.  The country’s 14 Special Economic Zones offer programmes of support for international companies choosing to produce locally, but so far few UK companies have taken advantage of this, whereas Germany companies frequently base their production supply chain across a country which – thanks to significant EU funding – now has a significantly improved road network.

EU Funding

Poland’s remarkable transition to a modern economy has been supported by significant EU funding to develop structural capacity and redress the very poor state that Communism left both Poland and other former Soviet satellite states. For the next spending round, from 2014 – 2020, Poland will receive almost 50bn Euros of funding to support development in infrastructure and environment, innovation and ICT, higher education improvements and other skills and competitveness enhancing projects.

There is strong evidence to show that UK companies have failed to understand the potential to benefit from the significant business opportunities arising from major contracts and supply chain opportunities.


Poland’s population are highly mobile and well-educated – with over 70% of young graduates speaking A-level English. With well over 700,000 Poles, many working in small and medium companies, in the UK companies looking to export to this market should consider using the talents of their existing staff to understand their export market potential.


There are more low-budget flights from the UK to Poland than there are internal flights between Polish cities, driven largely by the very high numbers of Poles working in the UK. That means that exporters can fly in from Liverpool, Glasgow, Bristol, Luton and other cities and be in Polish cities for a full day of meetings before returning the same day, for less than £100.

In Brief

To get in touch with the British Polish Chamber of Commerce and find out more about how they can help you export email:

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