Since moving to Warsaw with my Polish wife Justyna in 2009, I have witnessed firsthand the economic explosion that has ignited across CEE, in particular, in Poland.
Poland now sits as the 6th largest market in the European Union with GDP growing at an average of 6% per annum over the last 20 years. With a population of 38 million people, there is a growing appetite for success and modernisation within this hard-working and industrious nation.
In 2020 Poland imported $228 billion of goods, much of it being in the form of machinery, intermediate manufactured goods, chemicals and transport equipment. The largest component of the Polish market is the service sector followed by industry.
My particular observations have focused on the fast rise of the commercial property market, especially to supply the growing needs for warehousing as Poland becomes one of the Europes most important logistic hubs.
This has been assisted with the massive infrastructure works in sophisticated roading schemes, coupled with efficient and modern rail systems. As of 2020, there were over 4,000km of motorways and expressways in use. Similarly, focusing on my area of expertise in the venture capital space, the total assets managed by VC companies operating in Poland is estimated at EUR2.6 billion with a total value of investments invested into Polish startups sitting at EUR209 million.
In this relatively new market, there has been a vast uptick of interest and across all of the major cities, tech-hubs and incubators have proliferated.
As a New Zealander in Warsaw, I have been able to benefit from the interest the Poles take in “premium economies” such as they view New Zealand. Our products are looked upon as being well made with a focus on quality and sustainability. Their confidence is such that they are willing to pay top-end prices for a product that they view as exclusive, high-grade or luxurious. As such it is a straightforward process to set up meetings and capture interest in New Zealand produce which generally has a positive outcome. Therefore I am excited to find new opportunities whilst I am back here in New Zealand to bring back to my adopted homeland in CEE.