The future’s bright, the future’s Poland, says World Economic Forum report

Poland ranks first for macroeconomic stability in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2018, and has been identified as one of North-east Europe’s rising stars. Andrzej Rybczyński/PAP

As Poland gears up to celebrate it’s 100 years of independence, a new report says the country’s future is brighter than ever.  

According to the World Economic Forum, Poland’s successes since the collapse of communism have made it one of the most impressive growth stories in the world. 

The report entitled ‘100 years after Polish independence, 5 reasons to be cheerful for the future’ says that since 1989 when communism fell, Poland has enjoyed unprecedented growth in the private sector due to state and EU legislation.

This has allowed Poland’s domestic market to strengthen and thrive which, say the report’s authors, explains why the country wasn’t affected by the 2008 recession.  

A new initiative from The National Center for Research and Development will also help continue business growth in Poland. 

The new initiative, intends to create around a dozen Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) and Venture Capital (VC) funds which will not only invest €200 million of public money into SME technology companies, but also verify startup ideas.

Entrepreneurial spirit and innovation is another factor adding to Poland’s sunny outlook.

According to the report, the continued school of thought will help Poland become leaders in industry. 

Taking an example from gaming giant CD Projekt’s, by the end of 2017, CD Projekt’s video games 'The Witcher', 'The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings' and 'The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt' made it to the top of the world’s best-seller lists.

“CD Projekt has challenged every dominant logic in the industry. It created its own online content distribution platform, and it created a retail ecosystem for its games,” the report says. 

In trailblazing new paths in business, Polish companies are also setting themselves up to become global industry players.

The report goes on to stress that Poland’s wildly active startup ecosystem is continually setting up the potential for future growth. 

The Witcher video game developed by CD Projekt RedCD Projekt Red

“Ninety-six per cent of Poland’s 1.7 million registered businesses have fewer than nine employees - the highest proportion in Europe, where the average is 92 percent [...],” the report adds. 

With a new generation of entrepreneurs being inspired to create fast-growing and successful technology companies, such as Booksy, Codewise, Docplanner, Pracuj and NetGuru, the report continues: “Developer hubs, such as Business Link and Daftcode, are helping aspiring entrepreneurs with co-working spaces and support to build businesses throughout Poland.”

Combined with this a recent shift in the quality of education has seen a significant transition in the labour market, with more institutions churning out graduates accredited with high-demand technology skills. 

The report says: “[Poland] ranks third for best computer programming talent, ahead of the US and India, in a ranking published by website HackerRank.

“Test scores for the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) show that Poland’s increase in the quality of its education was one of the fastest among OECD countries in the last decade. 

“Combined with a strong flow of foreign investment, these circumstances have made it easier for talented people to launch startups in a variety of disciplines.”

Established Polish companies will also have their part to play in the future of the country by driving success through a collective approach to business. 

According to the report: “In 2018, six of Poland’s major banks came together to create BLIK, a mobile payment system and scheme. It was one of the first on the European market, with a unique model of cooperation between banks, payment acquirers and merchants.”

It adds that this was “born in spite of competition.”

The report concludes, “Poland needs to showcase deeper value creation through innovation, R&D and design content, instead of providing simpler manufacturing and service capabilities. 

“But we believe that Poland has the resilience, drive and ambition to achieve the desired change and transform itself into an innovation economy.”