Wednesday, September 27, 2023

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US-Poland ties that bind in hard times

On June 28, 2023, a conference organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in Poland and the Warsaw School of Economics took place in Warsaw. 

“In the strategic context the US-Polish special relationship is especially important. Business and strategic interactions are now crucial,” US Ambassador to Poland, Mark Brzezinski, said.

“The Polish-US friendship has never been stronger, driven by business and addressing global challenges that need to be faced by working together,” Brzezinski said.

There are several key tenets, he said: defence and security, humanitarian aid, business, energy security, democracy and values.

A report by the American Chamber of Commerce in Poland and the Warsaw School of Economics noted that2021 and 2022 saw record investment inflows, with nearly $30 billion flowing into the Polish economy each year. American companies are currently the second largest, after German investors, a group of foreign enterprises in the country, and their capital amounts to 12% of foreign capital located in Poland.

Currently, there are 1,576 companies owned by American companies in Poland, which have invested $26 billion, and the value of their assets is estimated at nearly $59 billion. The value of investments of American companies in Poland corresponds to 4.1% of the value of Polish GDP.

American companies in the world invest twice as much in services as in industrial production, but in Poland the majority of their investments (48%) are in industry. It also differs from other foreign investments in Poland, which in over 70% concern services. The largest assets in the industry are held by companies from the automotive and aviation industries. On the other hand, the IT sector is the most numerous, with 137 enterprises.

American investors have created over 325,000 jobs. The impact of the created jobs existing on the basis of employment contracts on the Polish economy is significant. Not only are the vast majority of these positions on permanent employment contracts, but these full-time jobs also support the same or more subsequent jobs in Poland.

“This report clearly shows that in today’s world no entity can function independently, that cooperation between countries directly translates into well-being, well-being and security, both economic and social, of its inhabitants. Poland was, is and will be in such a geostrategic position that it must base its functioning on the foundations located in the western hemisphere – in the European and transatlantic community. This is the Polish raison d’état,” said Tony Housh, Chairman of the Board of Directors American Chamber of Commerce in Poland.

“Poland is an important place on the map of American business locations in Central and Eastern Europe. In some industries, Poland took over all investment projects of American investors located in this part of Europe (e.g. food production, metal production),” said Piotr Wachowiak, Rector of the Central Business School in Warsaw.

According to the Polish Investment and Trade Agency (PAIH), in 2021 new entities of American origin started operating in Poland, and numerous reinvestment projects were carried out in industries with high development potential, e.g. energy (Westinghouse Electric) , business services (Stryker, Knight Frank), IT (Scylia Technologies), medical devices (Align Technology) and logistics (TJX Poland).

Jo Harper
Jo Harper
Jo Harper is a British national with a 20-year freelance journalistic career in Poland, Germany and the UK, writing for Deutsche Welle, Politico, the BBC, the Daily Mirror, Gazeta Wyborcza, Polityka, New Eastern Europe and Forbes. He is a published author of books on Polish affairs and holds a PhD from the London School of Economics.