Mateusz Morawiecki, the Polish deputy Prime Minister, announced a plan for boosting the nation’s economy and innovation today. A total of $250 billion (one trillion PLN) will be invested in key industries throughout the next 25 years.
Yes, you got it right, that is about 250 billion dollars. The goal is to build and strengthen the so called “Polish champions”, improve the efficiency of administration (with digitalization as a core tool in this process), narrow the gap between Poland and the most developed countries, such as Germany or Sweden and, finally, escape the middle income trap.
The capital needed to fuel these investments will be provided mostly by EU funds, the National Treasury reserves and Polish banks. Cooperation with international organizations, such as Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, is also in progress.
Digital revolution fuels growth
For us at Netguru, the single most important fact is that one of the main sectors to be strengthened by this plan is broadly defined as “the digital revolution” (digital transformation)- and this means software.
As Morawiecki informed earlier, Poland’s participation in digital revolution is an essential point of the plan.
Due to partitions of Poland [in the 18th century] we missed the first industrial revolution - the rise of steam engines. We also missed the second industrial revolution - electricity, because at the time, Poland was fighting for independence. The third - IT revolution - passed us by as well because of the communist times. Today, we’re witnessing the fourth industrial revolution, often called digital. We want to be right in the eye of the storm of digital revolution. We want to build an industry which will be the industry of the future, and which will create added value as high as possible to build a loyal, beautiful society, both for employees and employers.
According to TVN’s (Polish leading TV broadcaster) information, the plan also incorporates creating the „Enigma” cyberpark responsible for cybersecurity (a tribute to Polish contribution to the famous WWII project), opening the Polish Biotechnology Center as well as launching the Organic Poland program supporting ecological food producers.
Will this work?
Bartek Gola, General Partner CEO. SpeedUp Venture Capital Group, comments:
It can work. It is like a breath of fresh air. Such long-term vision is rarely seen among contemporary politicians. The goals set are a good reaction to the challenges of modern economy. However, the key point not mentioned in the program yet is the execution.
The whole plan is based on public money (for instance public procurement) to boost small innovative companies. This might be the biggest risk. Working with startups is based on high risk, while the public sector managers always tend to seek security and predictability.
Once again, this is a huge chance for the Polish digital industry and this could be another stimulant for the fast growing sector driven by the entrepreneurial spirit already existing in the Polish tech community.
Wiktor Schmidt, Netguru CEO, adds:
If the Polish government follows through, this can be a huge boost for the economy. IT capabilities are as important as traditional infrastructure like roads and power plants. It's one of the opportunities for Poland to gain advantage in the global markets.
Software development - booming industry
For many multinational companies and startups looking to invest in overseas software development, this investment by Polish government strengthens an already thriving industry.
It is worth noting that Poland is currently booming in the new, digital economy ecosystem. Polish products, such as Witcher 3, LiveChat or DocPlanner are storming global markets, with a great deal of success.
The business services sector is also strong. A large part of the reason why Poland has enjoyed steady economic growth in recent years.
According to The New York Times, there are now about 110,000 people working in the ‘business services industry’ in Poland, and this number is growing. According to many forecasts, in just a few years business services could overtake the automotive industry in Poland, which currently employs around 140,000 people.
Poland’s high advantage in the tech industry is the staff. Qualified and passionate developers, fluent in English, understanding and being a part of the Western culture. The economy is very stable in Poland, and is set to keep growing, especially as the business services sector continues to rise. Poland is also in a favourable time zone, meaning that all teams can work together, albeit remotely, at the same time, in the same language, with the same understanding of one another.
What is also worth mentioning, Polish companies rank in top 10 of Technology Fast50 Central Europe contest by Deloitte. Last year’s Polish laureates were SkyCash, Traffic Trends, and Netguru, hitting the top 5 for the second year in a row. Read more about the award and find out about the quick development of the Polish technological industry.