Poland Country Guide

Poland is the standout economic success story of the new EU member states. It has the largest consumer market of 38 million people located in the heart of central Europe, sharing borders with both new and old EU countries and markets was well as Ukraine, Russia  and Belarus to the East. 

It has enjoyed continual economic growth (the only EU country to avoid recession since the downturn began) and is also the biggest recipient of EU funds, receiving €67.2bn for 2007-13 and more for the period 2014-20. With a young and well-educated labour force Poland, offers huge potential for exporters.

Current Key Sectors


Poland is now implementing a national programme for water and waste water treatment aimed at both the municipal and industrial sectors. This requires the construction of around 30,000km of new sewage networks plus the construction of 180 new WWT plants and the modernisation of 560 existing plants.

On the Industrial side, Poland has many process industries that are now compelled to upgrade their treatment of water to comply with new directives and according to DIT, the sector offers considerable opportunities for consultant engineers, contactors, manufacturers and suppliers of specialist machinery, equipment and materials.

Mining & Power

Poland has resources totalling 44.2 billion tonnes of hard coal and 60 billion tonnes of lignite.

However, it is estimated that Poland’s hard coal and lignite reserves (the portion of known resources that can be profitably mined and marketed with today’s mining techniques) total about 16.9 and 14.9 billion tonnes respectively; with hard coal mainly located in Upper Silesia and in the Lublin basin.

Power generation from both hard coal and lignite accounted for almost 90% of Poland’s total power consumption by 2010. Worldwide, this put Poland second only to South Africa in its reliance on coal-fired power as a percentage of total power generation, just above China in third place.

More than half of Polish power stations are over 25 years old, a quarter having been in operation for over 30 years and must be refurbished to meet EU environmental standards.


Poland’s railway network is one of the biggest in the EU and significant investment is taking place to meet European standards and to cope with significant passenger increase over recent years.  With financial assistance from the European Union as well as the state budget, Rail infrastructure is also systematically being improved. 

Defence & Security

Since joining NATO in 1999, the Polish Defence market has grown significantly and improvements aimed at meeting NATO goals, worth at least £6bn annually, will continue until 2019. Public security and compliance with the EU Common European Security Policy is a high priority and this sector will be worth £2.5bn annually by 2015 according to DIT.

Poland's military is undergoing significant change, designed to restructure it into compatibility and interoperability with other NATO forces. This covers every area of operation: force structure, staff organisation, training, doctrine, security procedures as well as systems and equipment.

Public security and crime reduction are key government priorities and Poland’s 1,100-kilometer eastern border is now the longest external border in the EU. Strengthening border control has been one of the Polish government’s major objectives since 2008, in compliance with the EU Common European Security Policy.

Poland receives one third of NATO funds allocated for the development of defence infrastructure projects and will receive significant EU investment until 2020. In The Polish government allocates approximately 2% of GDP, an amount equal to about GBP 6billion, for defence expenditures. The Security market in Poland is expected to be worth £2.5bn annually by 2015.

There are significant opportunities in both sectors for foreign suppliers and support and assistance is available.