Poland represents a scenario of great interest not only on the side of bilateral trade exchanges, but also on that of direct investments in the country, confirming itself as one of the Member States that exercise the strongest attraction within the EU; Italy, in particular, is characterized by a significant presence of investors in Poland, especially in the automotive sector. With reference to foreign investments (and on this point the Polish legislation is fully aligned with the European one), the principle of equal treatment is fully applied, as there are no legal distinctions (in terms of limitations or additional permits) between investors from member countries and non-EU investors.
In general, the attitude shown by the country towards foreign investment is very open, as Poland has strongly focused on this element for its own economic development. With the primary purpose of attracting investors, the country has provided, since the 1990s, for the creation of fourteen Special Economic Zones (so-called "SEZ"), i.e., areas with infrastructures and spaces for activities, which, through the application of tax incentives for the businesses located there aim at creating advantageous conditions for starting new business activities or, precisely, to attract foreign investors. There are, by way of example, exemptions from income tax as a percentage of the investment made (or the cost of labor), or exemptions from property taxes for entrepreneurs who undertake to maintain possession of the properties themselves for a minimum period (usually five years). Moreover, in the most recent years (starting from 2016), in consideration of the satisfactory result of these measures, the country has decided to extend the SEZ regime also outside the territorial borders of the same and to extend it to the entire national territory, in order to further enhance its attractiveness in terms of investments. The support activity for foreign entrepreneurs who intend to invest in the country is entrusted, in particular, to Polska Agencija Inwestycij i Handlu (PAIH), or Polish Investment and Trade Agency, the main public body appointed for this purpose.
Even in this very open context, it should be noted that there are nevertheless limitations on the freedom to do business in relation to some sectors: in particular, investments in land and buildings are subject to restrictions against natural and legal persons not resident in the European economic area, while for certain sectors considered to be of strategic importance (such as air transport, energy, radio and television emissions, port and airport operations), it is expected that the share of foreign control cannot exceed the threshold of 49%.
To conclude on investments, it can be stated that, based on the assessments of the main rating agencies, the country is characterized by a low risk profile (both in terms of credit risk, as well as insurance risk and country risk), also receiving a positive opinion from the World Bank regarding the business environment (Doing Business index). The proximity to the main markets of Eastern Europe, as well as the presence in the country of skilled and economic labor, combined with the solidity of the banking system and the attractive measures implemented by the country, are all factors that contribute to favoring the choice to invest in the country.
In conclusion, Poland is certainly a country worth looking at carefully, presenting interesting characteristics for potential investors, both Italian and non-Italian.