Trading with Poland: where the opportunities lie

Withstanding the 2009 recession and the recipient of the largest allocation of EU funds in the current programming period, Europe’s sixth largest economy is in pole position…

Trading with Poland

Poland has one of the fastest growing economies in the EU. Its strong domestic market, low private debt and flexible currency contributed to its achievement as the only European economy to avoid the recession of 2009. In fact, Poland was the best performing economy in the EU in 2010 with 3.8% growth.

Developing twice as fast as Western Europe this strong, dynamic economy with a population of 38 million presents opportunities for British businesses in a range of sectors from infrastructure to healthcare, consumer goods to traditional and advanced engineering.

UKTI have identified the six key sectors and examples of growth potential for UK expertise in Poland:

Healthcare and Life Sciences

Poland is the second-largest volume per capita healthcare market in Europe and the sixth-largest retail market, estimated at €30bn.


At least £6bn in funds will be available for railway development alone between 2014 and 2020. 

Defence and Security

Public security, worth £2.5bn annually by 2015, is high on the Polish government agenda. Defence improvements from 2009-2019 are worth at least £6bn.

Financial Services

A sector in its infancy, which has strong potential to grow in line with market development.


Nuclear programme worth £11bn over the next 20 years. Also Shale (up to £4bn) and renewable (£3bn).


20th most attractive market globally (CBRE) and seventh-largest retail market in Europe.

Currently, the vast majority of Poland’s trade is within Europe; as a member of General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the European Union, there is no customs clearance required in Poland and goods can move in or out freely.

As the stablisation of the Eurozone strengthens, the trade outlook looks promising.  But the opportunities don’t just lie in Poland itself. Situated at the heart of Europe, part of the trans-European road network with easy access to 250 million consumers within a radius of 1000 kilometres, Poland makes a great springboard for UK companies planning to expand into other parts of Central and Eastern Europe.

Its plans to adopt the euro currency will further accelerate Poland’s integration with the EU. According to the Polish foreign minister, Radosław Sikorski, the country could join the Eurozone before 2016.

Strengths of the market, identified by UKTI:

  • A strategic location (gateway to the east)
  • A strong dynamic economy (Poland has been developing twice as fast as Western Europe)
  • The largest allocation of EU funds in the current programming period
  • A huge domestic market of over 38 million consumers
  • A young, well educated work force
  • Vast experience in trade with Eastern Europe
  • English is increasingly spoken, particularly by the younger generation.

Find out more about trading with Poland in UKTI’s Doing Business Guide or DHL / British Chamber of Commerce’s Quarterly International Trade Outlook.

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