Poland is already a business services leader in Europe and is still going up. In the last two years, the market has grown by 50 per cent. Since the beginning of 2013, 66 new BPO centres have been established and 18,000 new jobs have been created in Poland, says the ABSL’s ‘Business services sector in Poland’ report. According to analysts, the total number of employees should increase from the current 128,000 to 150,000 people by the end of 2015.
Eighty-eight per cent of companies from France investing in Poland over the last 20 years are satisfied with their investments and 64 per cent are planning further development of their companies, says the ’20 years of French investment in Poland’ report by KPMG and the French Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Poland.
The CEE is still one of the cheapest regions in terms of property prices in Europe, according to the Deloitte Property Index 2013. Of the 15 European countries indexed, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic presented an overall decline in property prices, to match its either stable or decreasing number of initiated projects per 1,000 citizens in the residential market.
Between 2008 and 2011, the number of newly set up companies employing at least 10 people continued to grow. Only a few other countries, including Germany, Luxembourg, Austria and Sweden, can boast the same, according to Deutsche Bank and Eurostat. Apart from that small group, the economic slowdown had a negative impact on most countries: Spain and Portugal; Latvia, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Slovenia.
In 2015, growth in 25 countries, including Saudi Arabia, Chile and China; India, South Africa and the UAE, and of course the Czech Republic and Poland, will exceed 4.5 per cent, according to EY’s Rapid-growth markets report. This development will be enhanced by increasing investments in infrastructure, high technologies as well as a growing and ageing population.
Poland has become one of the best logistics markets in Europe. As a result, 2014 should see further growth in demand for warehouse space as the country strengthens its role as a logistics centre for the CEE region, according to CBRE’s Poland Industrial Destinations 2014.
Only 30 per cent of the top 100 global outsourcing companies are already in Central and Eastern Europe but there is still room for the remaining 70 per cent, says Collier International’s Outsourcing and Offshoring in CEE: A Rapidly Changing Landscape Report.
Following a slump in 2012, FDI flows are once again rising globally, according to the UNCTAD World Investment Report 2014. Of the 9 per cent increase in flows reaching €1.07 trillion worldwide, Europe remains the largest FDI recipient, while emerging markets are reaping some of the bigger benefits, reaching 54 per cent of that total and a new high of €575 billion.
Property in Central and Eastern Europe is becoming increasingly popular among investors. In Q2 2014, the total value of investment transactions in Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia and Hungary reached €1.14 billion and was 73 per cent higher than in Q2 2013, says a recent report by Cushman & Wakefield. Since the beginning of this year, the region has seen an investment of about €2.5 billion — 38 per cent more than in the first half of 2013.
Economic growth is expected to almost double in EU11 in 2014, continuing to strengthen into 2015, according to the latest World Bank report. Overall, GDP growth in Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, is forecast to strengthen from 1.4 per cent in 2013 to 2.6 per cent in 2014.
Europe hardly exists as a homogenous economic region and would be better off not being treated as such in further financial strategising. In particular, the great divergences between the countries of Emerging Europe on the three strategic axes – namely, smart growth, inclusive growth, and sustainable growth – and the 7 flagship initiatives that fall under them show that even those belonging to Central and Eastern Europe come as a mixed bunch, economically speaking.
While Emerging Europe as a whole drew 5 per cent fewer investment projects than 2012 in 2013 — particularly from Western European automotive companies and shared services outsourcers — R&D operations were the hottest area, with the number of projects increasing by 23 per cent that year. Poland is still perceived as the most attractive CEE location for FDI by 31 per cent of respondents, followed by the Czech Republic at 11 per cent, Romania at 9 per cent, Hungary at 8 per cent, as well as Latvia and Slovakia at 3 per cent and 2 per cent respectively.