Poland - Export Britain

Export Britain

Poland

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Capital
Warsaw

Largest city
Warsaw

Administrative divisions
16 provinces

Currency
Zloty (PLN)

Area
312,679 km2

Population
38,544,513 (2012)

Calling code
+48

Official language
Polish

Latest Business Opportunities

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Ease of trading across borders

Importing a standard container of goods into Poland requires:

5documents
16days
£1025

Introduction

Currently, Poland has one of the fastest growing economies in the EU. With a strong domestic market, low private debt, a flexible currency, and not dependent on a single export sector, Poland is the only European economy to have avoided recession between 2008 and 2013. Although the Polish economy has been developing consistently many challenges lie ahead, such as enhancing innovation and moving away from being a low labour cost, low value-added economy. A notable task on the horizon is the preparation of the economy to allow Poland to meet the strict economic criteria for entry into the eurozone. There is no current timetable for joining the single currency; the earliest theoretically possible date would be mid-2018. Poland will again be the biggest recipient of EU funds in the current 2014-2020 financial perspective.

Economic snapshot (% annual growth rate)

201120122013-16
GDP 4.5 1.9 3.5
Exports of goods and services 7.9 4.4 5.6
Import of goods and services 5.5 1.3 4.6
Inflation 4.2 3.7 2.1
Short-term interest rates (%) 4.8 6.6 3.5
Exchange rate (per £) - 5.16 -
Population 0.4 -0.01 0.02
Unit labour cost -4.2 1.8 1.4
Source: Oxford Economics

Economic outlook

GDP continued to accelerate, growing by 3.2% year-on-year in the second quarter of 2014. The Russian embargo on EU food products has hit Polish producers, pushing inflation into negative territory. While the value of Polish exports to Russia represents less than 5% of the total, many Polish manufacturers form part of the supply chain for German manufacturers, so continued trade sanctions against Russia may slow down Poland's growth rate. The Ministry of Finance revised its GDP forecast for 2014 downward from 3.8% to 3.4% in September, as the EU's sanctions and Russian counter-sanctions deepened. Poland is expected to continue growing faster than the economies of Western Europe until at least 2030.

Trade outlook

The bulk of Poland’s goods exports will continue to be bought by large European countries like Germany, the UK, France and Italy as a result of the EU single market. In the short term at least, trade with Russia is being hit by sanctions and counter-sanctions. Although they are likely to remain a small proportion of total exports, the most dynamic trade relations will be with emerging Asia and with Africa. China may displace the US among Poland’s principal non-EU export destinations in the longer term, although the US fully appreciates the potential of Poland as a trade partner.


SWOT analysis

Strengths
Consistently strong GDP growth
Well-diversified economy.
Weaknesses
Lack of transparency of government regulation. Inefficient bureaucracy and public procurement process.
Opportunities
EU-funded programmes
infrastructure development
advanced manufacturing.
Threats
Ongoing euro-zone crisis (destination of 53.4% of Poland's exports)
worsening economic relations with Russia (destination of 4.4% of Poland's exports)

Poland's trade with the UK

Sector segmentation growth

Sectors to watch:
  • Food
  • Utilities
  • Metal products

Manufacturing

  • Computers & office equipment,
  • Medical & surgical equipment
  • Motor vehicles

Fastest-growing exporters into Poland

Rank2012
1 India
2 Vietnam
3 Korea
4 Mexico
5 Hong Kong
6 Saudi Arabia
7 Brazil
8 Turkey
9 Indonesia
10 UAE

Total merchandise trade - Leading import partners

Total merchandise trade - leading import partners
Opportunities for UK businesses

Investors tend to choose Poland because of its location at the heart of continental Europe, part of the trans-European road network, within the Schengen zone, and with easy access to 250 million consumers within a radius of 1,000 kilometres. Poland is a significant market of 38 million consumers offering opportunities for UK businesses in particular opportunities within the following sectors, engineering, electronics, software, life sciences, transport, retail, food and environmental sectors.

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