In the early 1990s, it was hard to imagine that within a couple of decades Poland would be playing such a prominent role within the EU, the World Trade Organisation, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and NATO. However, due to the country's political, economic and social transformation, Poland has become a key player within most major international economic and political organisations.

In 2009, Poland was the only European country to record economic growth, and it is likely that this year it will post one of the highest GDP growth figures within the continent. Furthermore, the growth of Poland's economy is based on solid macroeconomic fundamentals, and both short- and medium-term projections point to this development being sustainable.

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When looking at any key economic figures, Poland is performing well, particularly when compared to Western economies. And the Polish economy continues to grow – the second quarter of 2011 saw its economy expanding at 4.3% (according to the Polish Central Statistical Office) in annual terms, much higher than market expectations. Forecasts by the National Bank of Poland for 2012 predict that the country's economy will grow by 3.2% next year, though some Poles are confident that this figure will be even higher.

Increase in projects

Despite the current uncertain global economic situation, Poland’s FDI attractiveness – and the way in which companies are looked after once they establish operations within the country – has led to an increase in the number of projects coming into Poland when comparing 2011's figures with 2010. The value of projects successfully closed by PAIiIZ (the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency) within the first eight months of 2011 rose by 64% on 2010 figures – from €585.5m last year to €961.8m this year. Also, the average value of a single closed project rose substantially – from €15.8m in 2010 to €27.5m in 2011. The number of jobs created by projects supported by PAIiIZ rose by 2% (from 8158 in 2010 to 8296 in 2011).

As of October 2011, 45 investment projects had been successfully completed with the support of the Polish government, worth a total of €1.06bn. These projects created 8996 jobs throughout the country.

Rising confidence

As Poland's economy matures, companies that have already invested in the country are feeling confident about adding more complex services to their operations. More emphasis is being placed on developing IT and R&D activities. Shared services centres are turning into centres of excellence, while manufacturing projects are increasingly developing in-house R&D operations. This is largely due to the high quality of the Polish labour pool. This is exemplified by the fact that Polish students are winning major international competitions in fields such as mathematics, IT, R&D and aviation, among others.

This special report on Poland provides a guide for those looking to invest in Poland, and is also a summary of the day-to-day work, research and and meetings undertaken by key decision makers. I hope this independent report prepared by fDiMagazine is going to help you make the right decision: invest in Poland.

Bolesław Gryzel is minister counsellor and head of the trade and investment promotion section at the embassy of the Republic of Poland.

Information presented in this special report on Poland prepared by fDi Magazine, Financial Times Ltd, in co-operation with Embassy of the Republic of Poland in London – Trade and Investment Promotion Section is provided as a general information guide only. The Embassy accepts no responsibility for any loss or damage caused to any person or company as result of any error, omission or misleading statement in the information in this report, or due to using the report or relying on that information. The Embassy is not responsible for the contents or reliability of the articles within it and does not necessarily endorse the views expressed within them.