Poland is a major destination for foreign direct investment in the European Union as International companies trust its skilled labour force, lower production costs, and a business-friendly environment.
But what about Polish companies?
The company Ursus, located in the South East city of Lublin, builds both buses and tractors for both the national and international market. With 1000 employees, the company produces about 6000 tractors a year, and 100 buses for Poland alone, nearly all of which are electric. Export destinations include countries in Europe and Africa.
With a portfolio of “electric buses, trolley buses and traditional buses”, Ursus’ Vice-President Monika Kosko says “One of the company’s latest models is a bus that runs on hydrogen and with other prototypes in the works, it’s heading for a breakthrough in innovation.”
The firm also produces tractors which is also seeing successful growth: “Last year we signed a contract in Zambia, for $100 million. Our strategy is to produce the durable, reliable tractors, with lower cost of maintenance and lower cost of spare parts,” Kosko says.
Poland’s Aviation Valley, in Mielec has been the centre of Poland’s aircraft production for over 80 years. The company by the same name, has been bought by Lockheed-Martin’s Sikorsky subsidiary, combining Polish and American aerospace knowledge. With about 1800 employees, numerous international companies have invested here.
Vice President James Katzen explains why the company choose to invest in the region: “The Aviation Valley dates back to the late 1930s, when the Polish government decided to put its aerospace industry in this region of the country. Now, we have more than 150 different companies that are related to the aerospace industry located here. Our factory currently employs almost 1,800 employees, supported by several hundred local suppliers. We’re very excited as we see positive economic growth in Poland. The aerospace industry continues to grow, both in commercial and military sectors.”
With 30 offices around the globe, the Polish Investment and Trade Agency plans to more than double that to 70 by the end of 2018.
Wojciech Fedko, Vice President of the Polish Investment and Trade Agency explains: “We do have a few things that historically, Poland has always excelled in. Machinery, electrical equipment, IT, ICT and gaming products are a few examples of markets we have seen successful growth in. Our mandate now is to encourage a lot more companies, especially small-medium enterprises in Poland to excel worldwide. We’re working very hard as an implementation arm of the Ministry of Economic Development, that has instituted a one-stop shop concept. The Polish Investment and Trade Agency is the distribution channel of all of the government’s incentives as well as a lot of the financing products for foreign direct investment in Poland. So this is our new integrated approach.”
Why is it worth investing in Polish labour?
“Brexit as had a huge impact as a lot of Polish labourers are coming back from the UK, and from other European countries. There’s a huge talent pool of people who have grown up here and understand our culture and industries. With a large number of talented labourers, Poland is really encouraging international businesses to come and invest here.”