Overview of best prospect sectors, major infrastructure projects, significant government procurements, and business opportunities.
As a member of NATO, Poland continues to meet its commitment to spend at least two percent of GDP on defense and 20% of defense spending on equipment and infrastructure. The Polish Ministry of National Defense estimates that annual defense spending will reach 2.4 % of GDP in 2022. A new comprehensive defense law passed in 2022 commits Poland to spending three percent of GDP starting in 2023.
Poland is a very active user of the U.S. Government’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. In 2022, Poland and the United States signed an agreement worth an estimated total value of $6.0 billion for M1A2 SEP V3 Abrams main battle tanks. Other recent, significant military purchases include the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, PATRIOT missile system, Javelin anti-tank missiles, and the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS).
The 2021-2027 EU budget provides €75 billion for Poland (in current prices), thereby making Poland the biggest net EU fund beneficiary. Current plans are to use funds to support infrastructure development, including improving internet access and developing smart cities; innovation, encouraging companies to conduct R&D in Poland; the energy sector; entrepreneurship; environmental protection; and education (Portal Funduszy Europejskich).
Digital technologies are an important and growing sector in Poland. There is strong demand for information technology and solutions to support advanced manufacturing, smart cities, the internet of things (IoT), cloud computing and cybersecurity – all of which offer potential for U.S. exporters.
As Poland seeks to diversify its energy sources and to modernize its electricity generation and distribution systems, U.S. companies will find opportunities in the energy sector (e.g., natural gas, nuclear, hydrogen, photovoltaics, and offshore wind). The construction of new power plants to replace older, less efficient coal burning plants, modernization of the electrical grid, including smart grid technologies, and the development nuclear power and offshore wind also hold potential.
Poland continues to devote sizeable resources to improving its transportation infrastructure. Many projects to improve the country’s roads, railways and waterways benefit from EU funds. This increased investment has also led to the rapid development of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS), which have become an important part of Poland’s highway and road infrastructure projects. From 2014–2023, the government plans to spend $12 billion to improve safety standards as well as roads management, which in large part would be spent on ITS. Further, the Ministry of Infrastructure will allocate approximately $75 billion for investments in new road construction programs until 2030.
Engineering and green building services firms may find opportunities in Poland’s need for premium office space and retail sector expansion. Firms with experience in “zero emission” buildings and LEED ratings will find the greatest opportunities due to application of EU standards. Additional opportunities exist for firms offering products that improve energy efficiency. These top prospects are covered in depth under “Leading Sectors for U.S. Exports and Investment.”
Other important sectors are agricultural products, machinery, and equipment, as well as environmental technologies.
While the United States’ share of Poland’s import market remains small, at approximately 3% (Statistics Poland), U.S. exporters have found considerable success targeting competitive niches, using effective market-entry strategies, and diligently following up with marketing and sales support.