While browsing resources for businesses and investors thinking about expanding to Poland, I came across a range of useful publications and reports on doing business in Poland. In this post I provide an overview of the most recent publications, with particular attention to what is being said about language and proficiency in English. Click on the title to open the report.
Business in Poland: 1. Poland: The Market. The People.
This very concise (10 slides) presentation prepared by UK Trade & Investment gives a brief introduction to the emerging Polish market and its opportunities. It outlines six key sectors of growth: healthcare, financial services, energy, infrastructure, security and retail.
The publication mentions that one of the challenges is the fact that “some sectors dominated by older, non-English speaking professions”.
Business in Poland: 2. Opportunity Poland.
Another short publication by UK Trade & Investment outlining the benefits of investing on “low risk, high growth potential market” in Poland. Apart from providing basic facts about Poland, the report showcases a case study of a British company investing in Poland.
Business in Poland: 3. Doing business in Poland
A concise guide for companies considering exporting to Poland, this 17-page-long document from UK Trade & Investment outlines the main areas for consideration when planning to start exporting to Poland, with many useful resources mentioned.
The report states that “English is widely spoken by young people but interpretation may be required for business meetings, particularly outside Warsaw and other major cities.”
Business in Poland: 4. Poland. Open for business.
A publication prepared by Ozog, a tax specialist company, and Invest in Poland, concentrates mostly on taxation in Poland. In this guide, you’ll learn about direct taxes (personal and corporate), indirect taxes (such as VAT or excise), social insurance and tax planning.
Business in Poland: 5. Legal aspects of doing business in Poland 2012
In a 128-page-long document prepared by GLN in cooperation with the British Polish Chamber of Commerce and Invest in Poland, you’ll find detailed information about the legal aspects of doing business in Poland. From real estate and public procurement, through environmental protection to consumers, competition and IP, the guide offers a wealth of legal information.
Business in Poland: 6. Investor’s Guide – Poland. How to do business.
Prepared by JP Weber and PAIiIZ, this guide offers a comprehensive introduction to the Polish market. You’ll find information about political and legal stability, resources and main industry clusters, features of the labour market, as well as the first steps to set up a business.
The report points out that “Most educated Poles, especially in the business community, speak at least one foreign language, with English the most popular. In addition to this, German and Russian are also spoken frequently, due to the geographical closeness of these countries.”
Business in Poland: 7. Investment in Poland.
A very comprehensive, 150-page-long guide prepared by KPMG, offers a well-grounded overview of the country and its economic situation. It then goes on to discuss business opportunities in Poland, as well as the forms of business entities. Plenty of attention is given to the financial aspects, including accounting and reporting.
The report gives an honest overview of the English competence in Poland: “Knowledge of foreign languages can be rather limited, except in Poland’s main cities. This situation is slightly better in organisations which have frequent contact with foreigners. However, language problems may arise in local institutions and industrial enterprises. English is best spoken in the major cities and by the younger generation, whereas German predominates amongst older generation and in Western Poland. The older generation, especially in the east part of the country, knows Russian.”
Warsaw Business Journal’s guide to Investing in Poland provides detailed insights into the 16 regions in Poland (called “voivodships”). You’ll also get plenty of information regarding Special Economic Zones in Poland. The real highlight of the series is the Trendbook Poland which contains an overview of the major business trends for each year.
2014 edition concentrates on the upcoming trends in Poland: trading with Africa, energy, IT, outsourcing, pharmaceuticals and R&D.
All reports state that while English is usually spoken in bigger cities and by younger professionals, it can still cause difficulties when communicating.
Business in Poland: 9. Doing business in Poland 2013
A publication by Waryński and Partners, a Lex Mundi member firm, provides general information about legal and business infrastructure in Poland. The publication outlines state aid, financial facilities, exchange controls and the business lifecycle. It also gives space to immigration requirements.
The guide states that “The official language in Poland is Polish. Among foreign languages, English has become predominant, particularly among managers and other professionals. German, French and Russian are also often encountered.”
Business in Poland: 10. Doing Business in Poland. Country Commercial Guide 2012
A US-centred guide prepared by U.S. Commercial Service and U.S. Embassy Warsaw provides a very thorough overview on doing business in Poland for American companies. On 159 pages, you can learn how to sell U.S. products and services in Poland, as well as what are the leading sectors for U.S. export and investment. It is worth noting that the guide contains a large section on business travel, including business customs, travel advisory and visa requirements.
The guide provides a piece of very honest advice when comes to language in Poland: “Communication in the Polish language is recommended if the seller would like to receive a speedy reply to correspondence and inquiries. U.S. companies should ensure that translations from English into Polish are performed only by professional translators who are fluent in modern business Polish and grammar. When conducting business in Poland, a qualified Polish-language interpreter is recommended.”