We asked the Head of Industrial Agency, Central & Eastern Europe in JLL.
warehousefinder.pl The last year’s great investments – Volkswagen and Amazon – show that large international companies are willing to invest in Poland. Is it a sign of our strength?
Tomasz Olszewski, Head of Industrial CEE, JLL: The strength of an economy does not originate from the presence of the largest companies, but from the huge amassment of medium and large-sized investments. However, these transactions set the direction and cause a lot of talk about Poland.
And what is said about Poland if international corporations want to invest there? What does attract them?
In the case of the two companies, there are two major differences. When it comes to Volkswagen, its main purpose is production, while for Amazon it is logistics. Both of these companies had different justifications.
Let us start with Volkswagen, a manufacturing company. What drew it to Poland?
Firstly, it was the availability of workforce, not only in terms of price, but above all, in terms of the price to value ratio. Poland is not the cheapest labor market – in this respect, countries such as Romania and Bulgaria are more attractive. The workforce is much cheaper there, and charges, such as taxes or insurance premium, are lower. Poland has a different, very important asset. We have the highest price to work quality ratio.
What is more, our Labor Code is quite flexible and entrepreneur-friendly. The investors view it as an asset. It shows that for Western investors, the labor market is one of the major reasons to relocate their production to Poland.
And what else?
Another argument in our favor is the huge improvement of road infrastructure. At last, one can reach many places quickly and conveniently. Importantly, the new infrastructure creates new locations, which some 10 years ago were not seen as good places to invest. Thanks to the presence of highways and express roads, investments can be made in entirely new areas.
The next point in favor of our country is the cost of investment. Poland offers attractive land prices and has a competitive construction market. For that reason, the cost of building a plant is much lower than in other countries.
And another thing worth mentioning is quite good public aid offer. Companies can benefit from government grants, tax exemptions and operate in special economic zones on preferential terms.
We have Amazon in Poland, a flagship example of a logistics company. Why do we attract logistic operators?
Some arguments are similar, bu they have a different weight. Amazon itself has admitted that the main reason for choosing Poland was cheaper and more effective workforce. Apart from that, what clearly matters is infrastructure. It is enough to compare the highway maps of Poland from 10 years ago and the current one in order to see how much things have changed here.
This shows that Poland can offer a comprehensive approach to investors: the most modern and conveniently located spaces in a competitive price, as well as availability of high quality workforce.
Let us also remember that locations such as Wrocław and Poznań attract investors, who wish to distribute their wares in western and southern Europe. We cannot forget that the parcels from all of the Amazon centers in Poland are not addressed to Polish recipients. The purpose of these centers is to serve mainly the German market, as well as the western Europe in general.
Can Poland, thanks to its location, become not only the default place for international business activity, but also a logistical base?
We already are a logistical and production base for many Western companies, but we are not seen as such yet.
Because of the lack of PR actions, which should be conducted by the Polish government on a large scale. Unfortunately, we do not advertise the attractiveness of our market abroad.
We do not boast about Polish successes enough, and we do not show the success stories of our clients – these who decided to invest in Poland. They are the best ambassadors of Poland. In their everyday work, JLL’s consultants witness constant appreciation of our country. It is evident that Poland’s brand is developing.