Despite the war in neighbouring Ukraine, Poland continues to demonstrate extraordinary resilience.
Poland is home to rapidly developing cities – and with a population of almost 40 million people, it has a high demand for innovative and smart solutions to tackle pressing global issues, particularly around the sustainability agenda.
This growing market offers many opportunities to Irish exporters.
Since Poland joined the European Union in 2004, its economy has gone from strength to strength – and the number of Irish companies exporting to Poland has grown every year.
The more established sectors such as engineering continue to provide stable and growing export markets, and relative newcomers such as life-science products account for 25pc of Irish exports into Warsaw and beyond.
As demand rises across Poland’s 900 public hospitals and 500 private hospitals, the healthcare sector will continue to grow – and will continue to offer significant opportunity to Irish exporters.
Like so many other countries and markets, the ever-growing demand for innovative sustainable solutions also provides opportunities for Irish businesses. Earlier this year, Enterprise Ireland organised an event connecting Irish green and smart solutions to Polish buyers and cities.
The event was well attended, with representatives of 20 Polish cities meeting Enterprise Ireland client companies.
Warsaw was the first city to join the Green Cities initiative from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and has since been followed by many other cities in Central and Eastern Europe. With over €3bn in funding, the Green Cities programme builds on the EBRD’s proven track record in helping cities to invest in sustainable municipal infrastructure.
Poland is the largest European producer of electric car batteries, and the fifth largest producer in the world. In fact, sales of lithium-ion batteries and their components has exceeded 2pc of Poland’s total export market. It’s also the European leader in the export of electric buses.
Given its position in the vanguard of electric transport, Poland is a huge potential market to the manufacturers of key electric vehicle components.
Enterprise Ireland client PPI Adhesive Products is an active player in this market and has just opened a new office in Warsaw.
Many other Irish companies are also offering new and innovative sustainable solutions in Poland. These include Solar AdTek, which produces solar-powered advertisement displays and lighting systems, and PEL, which supplies its innovative BriteBins and compaction systems for reducing waste and litter disposal costs.
Novum, the Irish manufacturer of freezing cabinets, has been active in Poland for more than two decades and recently introduced its innovative LEAP technology to the Polish market. This ensures significant energy savings, which can be as high as 50pc.
Construction and engineering is another key sector of interest for Irish firms – and PM Group has led the way, delivering complex projects for world-leading client companies. In 2022, it marks 25 years in Poland and it continues to grow, employing a team of over 400 people.
PM Group has invested in new offices in Wroclaw and doubled the size of its Warsaw office. It’s now one of Poland’s leading architecture, engineering and construction services firms.
Cybersecurity is another promising sector for Irish firms, with companies such as Stryve and Smarttech 247 successfully engaged in the market.
Poland is the largest market in Central and Eastern Europe, so it’s a great place to start in the region. Its significant domestic market alone holds appeal for Irish exporters, but it can also act as a stepping-stone for other regional markets.
Enterprise Ireland in Warsaw supports client companies enter and scale in the Polish market as well as in Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania.
Tonia Spollen is manager of the Poland and Baltic States desk at Enterprise Ireland, Warsaw. More information at https://globalambition.ie/markets-opportunities/