Poland - Commercial Guide
Market Overview

Discusses key economic indicators and trade statistics, which countries are dominant in the market, the U.S. market share, the political situation if relevant, the top reasons why U.S. companies should consider exporting to this country, and other issues that affect trade, e.g., terrorism, currency devaluations, trade agreements.

Last published date: 2020-10-11

Poland is an important and dynamic market located in the heart of Central Europe.  American exporters and investors are drawn to Poland due to the country’s large population, well-educated and competitive workforce, strong prospects for economic growth and location affording broader access to the European Union market of 500 million.

With 38 million people, Poland is the largest single market among the “new” European Union (EU) states.  Poland joined the EU in 2004, and its adoption of EU legislation has led to economic reforms that have improved the environment for business and boosted economic growth. 

With an estimated 2019 GDP of USD 592 billion Poland is the EU’s tenth largest economy (6th by PPP). Poland’s economy has performed consistently well in the period from 2014 – 19 with real GDP growth averaging over 4 percent a year.   According to the World Bank, Poland’s 2019 GDP growth was 4.1 percent.  Growing exports, household consumption, low unemployment, rising wages and EU funds spending are the driving forces fueling the country’s strong economic performance.  In addition, infrastructure spending and capital investment (with EU support) have contributed to the growth. The EU budget for 2014 - 2020 has allocated EUR 104 billion (121.6 billion USD at current exchange rates) funds for Poland— 86 billion EUR of which are Structural and Investment Funds--thereby making Poland the biggest net EU funds beneficiary among all the member states.  Poland’s exports and imports were both valued at Poland’s exports valued at USD 264 billion in 2019.  Poland’s chief export markets are: Germany 27.6%, Czech Republic 6.1%, UK 6%, France 5.8%; Italy 4.6%, and the Netherlands 4.4%, Russia 3.1% and USA 2.9%.  In 2019, total bilateral trade in goods hit a new record totaling USD 14.33 billion, a 6.5% increase from 2018.  U.S. exports in goods also hit a new record, increasing year-on-year by 11% to USD 6 billion with Polish exports to the U.S. accounting for approximately USD 8.4 Billion.  Poland now ranks as the United States 38th largest export market.  There remains abundant potential for U.S. firms.  Poles continue to demonstrate a strong affinity for the United States and its products.  This, in addition to the size and location of the domestic market, and the access it affords to the larger EU market, makes Poland a very promising export market for American firms.

Poland is open to foreign investment, and American companies represent one of the largest groups of foreign investors in the country.  Official statistics put the stock of U.S. FDI in Poland at nearly USD 13 billion, but the volume could be closer to USD 63 billion when considering the amounts routed through U.S. subsidiaries in other EU countries.  U.S. companies operate in a wide range of industry sectors.  Leading sectors have historically included automotive, aerospace, information technology hardware and software, food products, transportation and pharmaceuticals, paper production, appliances and financial services.  Investment and export opportunities exist in the energy sector as Poland seeks to diversify its energy mix, as well as in defense and digital technologies. Poland is also a popular location for business processing centers, including call centers, shared services centers and research and development operations.

Poland is an important and dynamic market located in the heart of Central Europe.  American exporters and investors are drawn to Poland due to the country’s large population, well-educated and competitive workforce, strong prospects for economic growth and location affording broader access to the European Union market of 500 million. 
With 38 million people, Poland is the largest single market among the “new” European Union (EU) states.  Poland joined the EU in 2004, and its adoption of EU legislation has led to economic reforms that have improved the environment for business and boosted economic growth.  

With an estimated 2019 GDP of USD 592 billion Poland is the EU’s tenth largest economy (6th by PPP). Poland’s economy has performed consistently well in the period from 2014 – 19 with real GDP growth averaging over 4 percent a year.   According to the World Bank, Poland’s 2019 GDP growth was 4.1 percent.  Growing exports, household consumption, low unemployment, rising wages and EU funds spending are the driving forces fueling the country’s strong economic performance.  In addition, infrastructure spending and capital investment (with EU support) have contributed to the growth. The EU budget for 2014 - 2020 has allocated EUR 104 billion (121.6 billion USD at current exchange rates) funds for Poland— 86 billion EUR of which are Structural and Investment Funds--thereby making Poland the biggest net EU funds beneficiary among all the member states.  Poland’s exports and imports were both valued at Poland’s exports valued at USD 264 billion in 2019.  Poland’s chief export markets are: Germany 27.6%, Czech Republic 6.1%, UK 6%, France 5.8%; Italy 4.6%, and the Netherlands 4.4%, Russia 3.1% and USA 2.9%.  In 2019, total bilateral trade in goods hit a new record totaling USD 14.33 billion, a 6.5% increase from 2018.  U.S. exports in goods also hit a new record, increasing year-on-year by 11% to USD 6 billion with Polish exports to the U.S. accounting for approximately USD 8.4 Billion.  Poland now ranks as the United States 38th largest export market.  There remains abundant potential for U.S. firms.  Poles continue to demonstrate a strong affinity for the United States and its products.  This, in addition to the size and location of the domestic market, and the access it affords to the larger EU market, makes Poland a very promising export market for American firms.

Poland is open to foreign investment, and American companies represent one of the largest groups of foreign investors in the country.  Official statistics put the stock of U.S. FDI in Poland at nearly USD 13 billion, but the volume could be closer to USD 63 billion when considering the amounts routed through U.S. subsidiaries in other EU countries.  U.S. companies operate in a wide range of industry sectors.  Leading sectors have historically included automotive, aerospace, information technology hardware and software, food products, transportation and pharmaceuticals, paper production, appliances and financial services.  Investment and export opportunities exist in the energy sector as Poland seeks to diversify its energy mix, as well as in defense and digital technologies. Poland is also a popular location for business processing centers, including call centers, shared services centers and research and development operations.