Poland becomes attractive nearshoring destination

The disruption caused by COVID-19 has forced companies to review their outsourcing strategies. Nearshoring is on the rise again, and this is drawing the attention of many Western European investors, as well as those from other regions, to Poland.

The country is benefiting from the most attractive investment incentive schemes in Europe as well as a healthy labour market. And according to the ‘Onshore, Nearshore, Offshore: Unsure?’ report published by JLL and Hays, the country also has one of the most competitive and diverse office markets in Europe. According to the Investment climate in Poland report by the Polish Investment and Trade Agency (PAIH), Grant Thornton and HSBC, as many as 94 pct of foreign companies in 2019 declared that they would, once again, be willing to invest in Poland. The pandemic has only strengthened this trend.

What we have seen is that companies that provide business services from further afield, such as Asian countries, have faced incomparably greater disruption than those that had developed European hubs before the pandemic. This again is drawing the attention of many foreign companies to nearshoring, and increasingly to Poland, which is perceived as a safe bridgehead for many strategic business operations. As a result, just as after the global financial crisis, we can expect a significant inflow of new outsourcing investments, which in recent months is illustrated by the growing number of potential investors from Scandinavia, Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Switzerland

Mateusz Bonca, CEO, JLL Poland

Major changes to the government’s grant programme, include reduced market entry thresholds, a simplified qualitative assessment of investment projects, and a higher level of support in certain locations. Previously, the requirement for a business services centre to receive financial support was that it would create 250 jobs with an investment of at least PLN 1.5 mln. Now, a large investor making their first investment in Poland need only employ 100 people and commit to investing PLN 1 mln over a five-year period. Poland is one of the countries in the EU to offer the highest level of support to new investors, from 10 pct in Warsaw to up to 50 pct in four of the regions in the east of the country.

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