Thursday, June 20, 2024

Deloitte: Poland enters the phase of economic expansion

The divergence of economic moods in Poland...

Two Years On: War in Ukraine and Its Global Impact

On February 24, 2022, a full-scale Russian...

Poland is the Seventh Most Difficult Country in Europe to Conduct Business

BUSINESSPoland is the Seventh Most Difficult Country in Europe to Conduct Business

Poland ranks seventh in Europe and 12th worldwide among the least business-friendly countries. It also performed the worst in this regard compared to neighboring countries, including war-torn Ukraine. Greece is the most challenging country to conduct business in. These conclusions come from the eleventh edition of the annual Global Business Complexity Index report by TMF Group, a leading provider of compliance and administrative services.

The authors of the TMF Global Complexity Index 2023 examined 79 jurisdictions, accounting for 93% of the world’s GDP and 88% of net foreign direct investment. They compared 292 annually monitored indicators regarding key aspects of business operations, administrative regulations, and legal compliance for entrepreneurs planning to conduct business in a selected market. For the first time, Saudi Arabia appeared in the ranking, taking the 37th position.

Poland, considering European countries, ranked seventh in the index, three places better than the previous two years.

“We observe progress in digitizing processes in Poland. This is a significant convenience for investors and businesses along the Vistula River. An example is the ability to perform all financial reporting activities in an IT service. Another example is the growing interest in the simplified joint-stock company (PSA), introduced just over two years ago, which requires only 1 PLN of capital and has straightforward management and liquidation rules. The turmoil related to the introduction of the Polish Deal has also passed, which is welcomed by businesses and improves sentiment.” – explains Joanna Romańczuk, Director of TMF Group for Central and Eastern Europe, highlighting positive changes in conducting business in Poland.

At the same time, Poland performs the worst regarding ease of doing business compared to neighboring countries (excluding Belarus, not included in the ranking), including Ukraine.

“The position of a country in the ranking is determined by the complexity of internal business rules and how other countries in the ranking handle such issues. While we see positive signals in Poland, our neighbors are better at facilitating business establishment and operation, even war-torn Ukraine. Ukraine has the status of a candidate country for the European Union. Therefore, the government is introducing many business facilitations, and the pace of reforms is very rapid. For example, no penalties are imposed for self-corrected tax returns. Additionally, attractive solutions for businesses, such as favorable tax conditions and automatic intellectual property protection, are being implemented in the IT sector.” – adds Joanna Romańczuk.

TMF Group experts point out that entrepreneurs in Poland are burdened by the necessity of repeatedly reporting the same information to various institutions and the long-standing variability of regulations, such as the announcement of the National e-Invoice System (KSeF), followed by the postponement of its implementation, which caused significant costs for many large organizations to adapt to its introduction.

Among the countries where it is most difficult to conduct business, European countries dominate – Greece, which swapped places with France for the top spot this year. They are followed by Colombia, Mexico, and Bolivia. In Europe, it is also more difficult to conduct business in Italy, Belgium, Spain, and Croatia than in Poland.

The Cayman Islands (a British Overseas Territory), Curaçao (a Dutch Overseas Territory), Denmark, Hong Kong (a Special Administrative Region of China), and New Zealand are the best in the world at eliminating business obstacles.

In Europe, besides Denmark, which has consistently held top positions in this category for years, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Malta, and Ireland are the most business-friendly countries.

“Last year, I gave examples of Denmark, which has long been a global leader in business-friendliness, and the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Malta. This year, the Czech Republic also shows that Europe can be very business-friendly, competing even with the United States. No one doubts that it would be beneficial for Poland to join the ranks of leaders in this field in the coming years,” concludes Joanna Romańczuk.

In addition to analyzing business conditions in 79 jurisdictions, the authors of the TMF Global Complexity Index 2024 (GBCI) also identify key topics shaping the global business landscape and regulatory environment:

Impact of Global Regulatory Compliance on Foreign Investments

The authors of this year’s GBCI emphasize that representatives of most jurisdictions expressed confidence in the stability of regulations over the next five years, continuing a trend of increased stability compared to previous years. For example, in 2020, representatives of only 35% of jurisdictions predicted no significant regulatory changes. This sense of stability has grown yearly, reaching 58% of jurisdictions in 2024.

Experts suggest that the number or complexity of regulations is not the biggest challenge, but the speed of regulatory changes is the real difficulty.

Geopolitical Factors and Bridge Economies

Geopolitical instability has an obvious impact on the flow of trade and investment worldwide. While energy prices remain high, supply chain disruptions and trade barriers also pose significant challenges for global players. As a result, many companies are reevaluating their potential growth plans and long-term expansion goals.

However, while geopolitical issues may disrupt supply chains or create trade barriers for some jurisdictions, others benefit from global shifts. Due to their neutrality on global issues, countries known as “bridge economies” can capitalize on their unique positions. For these countries, their newly established roles in the global supply chain have become a crucial way for international companies to manage their risks during periods of international instability.

Uncertain Times and Success Strategies – Technology and Retaining Employees

Although jurisdiction representatives cited various factors influencing growth, IT and technology topped the list as the most influential. Technology offers growth opportunities in multiple ways, providing development possibilities where countries have technological expertise in production and can increase market share through production. The use of technology to increase productivity has also been identified in terms of streamlining work. In many jurisdictions, including New Zealand and Hong Kong, companies automate office, basic, and part-time work using artificial intelligence to keep the workforce size low and focus on higher-value tasks.

At the same time, the vast majority of jurisdictions face challenges in attracting and retaining talent (78%), with this figure even higher in the EMEA (90%) and APAC (79%) regions.

The ability to respond effectively to demand in this area largely depends on two factors: local labor laws and the potential of regional talent. Jurisdictions with restrictive labor laws and a strong presence of trade unions – or those with a shortage of available talent – are naturally much less able to flexibly adjust employment levels.

Check out our other content
Related Articles
The Latest Articles