Technology is rising sector in Poland, Country Profile reports
The colors of Poland’s flag are derived from the Polish emblem: a white eagle on a red field. Its flag is similar to those of Indonesia and Monaco, which have red on top, white on bottom.
Location: In central Europe, east of Germany, Poland is about twice the size of Georgia.
Total Population: 38.5 million
Government: Parliamentary republic
Religion: Catholic (87 percent)
Economy: With the sixth largest economy in the European Union (it joined in 2004), Poland has a reputation as a business-friendly country with largely sound macroeconomic policies. During the 2008-09 economic slowdown, Poland was the only EU country to avoid a recession, in part because of the government’s loose fiscal policy combined with a commitment to rein in spending in the medium-term. The country’s large population and well-educated workforce make it attractive to American exporters and investors, as does its geographic location affording broader access to the European Union market of 500 million.
News note: Poland is facing several systemic challenges, including road and rail infrastructure, a rigid labor code, government red tape, and a burdensome tax system, especially for entrepreneurs. Since 2015, Poland has implemented new business restrictions and taxes on foreign-dominated economic sectors, including banking and insurance, energy and healthcare.
GDP (official exchange rate): $524.9 billion
Currency: Poland Zloty (conversion rate at press time: 1 PLN equals $0.27 USD).
Franchising in Poland: Considered mature yet growing, the franchise market is made up of about 1,220 franchises with more than 71,400 stores and services. Most of those franchises—85 percent—originated in Poland, but major foodservice brands such as KFC, Pizza Hut, Subway and McDonald’s account for the largest U.S.-based segment. The retail segment presents opportunity, but American franchisors should be willing to raise brand awareness by committing resources to advertising and marketing and be prepared to make modifications to meet the demands of Polish consumers. The Polish Civil Code regulates franchise agreements.
Cultural notes: Conducting business in Poland is similar to doing business in the U.S.; however, although your business contacts may speak English, communication in Polish is recommended when dealing with the Polish government on official business. Also, women shouldn’t be surprised if a Polish man kisses her hand upon introduction, but American men aren’t expected to kiss a Polish woman’s hand; simply shake hands.
Ease of doing business ranking by World Bank: 27, no change from 2017 but down three spots from 2016.