Polish business versus the pandemic. PAIH sums up 2020

by   CIJ News iDesk III
2021-01-13   11:49

In 2020, the Polish Investment and Trade Agency (PAIH) handled nearly 200 foreign investments. The total value of supported projects by the end of the year approached EUR 9 billion. COVID-19 did not stop Polish exporters who, with the help of the Agency, entered new global markets. We can already see today that 2021 will bring new opportunities. We are working intensively on new support tools and preparing for various scenarios related to the pandemic - says Grażyna Ciurzyńska, PAIH President.

PAIH sums up the year:
By the end of 2020, PAIH handled nearly 200 investment projects, the total value of which was almost 10 percent. higher on an annual basis and amounted to over EUR 8.5 billion (i.e. almost PLN 40 billion). In terms of investment value, the largest players are, among others South Korea and the United States. Most projects concern the business services industry (44), electromobility (18) and the automotive industry and R&D (15 each). It is worth noting that when it comes to projects that were located in the Polish Investment Zone in the first half of 2020, for 75 percent. Polish companies corresponded to their total number. Companies registered in Poland are also an important group in the PAIH portfolio. However, the last quarter of 2020 was the most intense, rich in talks with foreign investors, and the effects of these activities will be visible already in the first quarter of the new year.

According to fDi Markets data, Poland is the third preferred location in Europe for foreign investments. In the first three quarters of 2020 alone, over 300 greenfield projects were announced in our country. This is more than in Spain and France. Only Great Britain and Germany are ahead of Poland. We note that this is due to three significant sources of investment: the electromobility industry, renewable energy sources and the broadly understood IT sector - underlines p.o. PAIH President, Grażyna Ciurzyńska.

According to UNCTAD data, due to the pandemic, global flows of foreign direct investment fell by 49% in 2020. compared to the same period in 2019. The rebound predicted by the organization is not expected to take place until 2022. The pandemic slowed down investments, especially at the end of the first quarter of 2020. The reason for this phenomenon was largely the uncertainty of investors, as well as restrictions on free movement. In response to the pandemic, PAIH introduced new solutions to its offer. As part of PAIH24, a 24-hour hotline was launched. Among the solutions introduced, very effective turned out to be e.g. virtual site visits.

- Several companies from the BSS sector decided to locate investments in Poland, even though the pandemic did not allow investors to come to the country in person. Everything happened remotely. In the case of the service industry, it is so easy because the standard of A-class office space is the same all over the world. It does not change the fact that making a decision to invest at a distance is very difficult. However, we adjust our actions to the current conditions. We see the effects in the form of decisions made by subsequent investors - says Monika Grzelak from the PAIH Investment Center.

Stable and COVID-resistant value of the PAIH portfolio:
In 2020, PAIH's account included 58 completed projects (compared to 56 in 2019). Their value exceeds EUR 2.7 billion (i.e. over PLN 12 billion).

- The agency is taking steps to maximize its competitive advantages and attract high-potential investments to Poland. Based on historical data, forecasts and in-depth sectoral analyzes, we have distinguished priority industries for the Polish economy as part of attracting FDI. These include biopharmaceuticals, medtech, electromobility, electronics or aviation and defense. But also advanced chemicals, i.e. a synergistic sector for biopharmaceuticals and medtech, and the ICT industry, which is a driving force for R&D - lists Grażyna Ciurzyńska.

PAIH sums up the year:
PAIH's market experts monitor the situation in the world - in terms of changes and the resulting opportunities for expansion. The Polish Investment and Trade Agency informs about the successes of domestic companies on a regular basis. This year, the most popular destinations turned out to be the United States, Kazakhstan, Germany, Israel and the United Kingdom. The potential in the USA was used by, among others Polish brand Saddar, offering innovative ecological solutions, incl. for the construction industry. The Polish brand DAKO is strengthening its position in Canada. One of the largest window manufacturers has opened a showroom in Ontario and is gaining new customers in British Columbia. Polish food, in turn, found its way to Singapore and Vietnam. Malaysia and Spain are successfully conquering Polish cosmetics. PAIH also supported a large IT contract in Australia and the export of sports equipment, including to Hungary or Denmark.

Polish entrepreneurs have gained a competitive position both in the potential increase in exports and in the use of such phenomena as nearshoring - as geographically close suppliers of components and semi-finished products.

- Nearshoring of business processes is a noticeable trend. Companies are resigning from outsourcing the most advanced and key functions for business stability to Asian countries in favor of locating them in more stable regions. Poland is more and more often the target country for such investments. Foreign investors are attracted to our country by highly qualified employees, their creativity and efficiency - says Monika Grzelak from the PAIH Investment Center.

New perspectives:
PAIH experts emphasize that a gradual easing of economic restrictions may take place after the first quarter of 2021. During this time, there should be a recovery, the driving force of which will be private consumption, investments and, traditionally, exports.

There is a growing demand for ecologically produced products, products of plant origin or those whose ingredients strengthen immunity, and above all meet the highest standards in the field of environmental protection. This means that the Polish agri-food industry can expect further growth in 2021. They will also grow in strength the cosmetics and furniture industry as well as window and door joinery. Artificial intelligence and augemented reality technology will be of great importance. The development of smart city and smart home, e-learning and digital health areas, i.e. telemedicine, chatbots, but also diagnostic tools based on artificial intelligence is expected - summarizes p.o. PAIH President Grażyna Ciurzyńska.

PAIH is also working on the presence of Polish entrepreneurs on the promising markets of Southeast Asia. In 2023, trade between ASEAN countries and the EU may increase to $ 22 billion. Polish companies can benefit from this.