Poland: Regional 2024 Doing Business In Update

Published on May 16, 2024

2024 Poland Regional Update

Firm Name: Sołtysiński, Kawecki & Szlęzak
Author: Piotr Plesiński

1. How is the political environment impacting business in or with your country?

Despite high polarization on the Polish political scene, the Polish economy remains solid, and foreign investors remain active in the Polish market. That is mainly due to the well-educated workforce, lower costs of labor (in comparison to Western European countries), and a diversified economy with a strong SME share.

A slowdown in M&A activities can be observed in the last two years; however, the same trends are noticeable globally. As reported by Reuters, 2023 is the worst year globally for M&A in the last decade. In Poland, a slowdown might additionally be impacted by the proximity of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

As to the upcoming years, it is worth noting that, following the recent change of government in Poland, the European Commission has decided to unblock funds from the Polish recovery and resilience plan. The maximum amount that can be used is approx. EUR 60 billion (approx. 25 billion in grants and 35 million in loans). These funds will be used in particular for the green and digital transition.

Moreover, the plan for a new central airport in Poland, which will also comprise a large railway component, is now being considered. If the Polish government decides to proceed, it will be the largest investment project in Poland's modern history.

The above influx of EU funds, as well as potential investment into the central airport, should have a significant impact on boosting the business in Poland in the upcoming years.

2. Which countries have you previously collaborated with and do you see potential for future collaboration with on cross-border matters within the region?

We regularly cooperate with law firms and major corporations from most European jurisdictions, the USA, and the largest Asian markets.

Our cooperation with clients from Germany, France, and the Netherlands can be singled out in the EMEA region. This corresponds with the general structure of foreign investments in Poland, as, apart from companies from the USA, entrepreneurs from these countries invest the largest funds in Poland.

As Poland is currently tightening its relationships with Scandinavian countries (which are already active in Poland), we see potential for collaboration on cross-border matters with law firms from Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Finland.

3. What legislation has recently changed or is changing that a potential international client should be aware of?

Looking at the changes in legislation in the previous year, it is worth focusing on employment-related matters, as it is important to note that some foreign investors are drawn to invest in Poland because of access to a Polish workforce (working for lower wages in comparison to the western economies but, at the same time, well-educated).

On the one hand, the provisions regarding remote work were introduced in 2023, giving more flexibility in structuring the employment relationship in Poland and potentially lowering certain costs (e.g., office rent due to lower necessity for office space).

On the other hand, the cost of employment has become higher due to the increase of the minimum wage in recent years, including 2023 and 2024. Between 2021 and 2024, the minimum [monthly] wage has increased from approx. EUR 650 to approx. EUR 1000. Such an increase indirectly impacts the overall wage increase in Poland.