A quick end to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine could provide Poland with an opportunity to boost its investments in Ukraine, according to Polish Economic Institute’s (PIE) expert Dawid Sułkowski.
Sułkowski estimated that Poland’s direct investments in Ukraine could increase by as much as 25 times within five years of the war’s end.
He told the Polish Press Agency (PAP) that the conflict had little negative impact on the Polish economy last year and refugees from Ukraine have driven economic growth through their consumption of basic goods. However, he added that recent months had seen some of these refugees return home, which is expected to reduce Polish economic growth by 0.5 percent over the next two years.
Around 25-30 percent of companies report both an outflow and inflow of workers from Ukraine, while industrial and construction companies report losing workers, migrants still take jobs in the hospitality sector.
Ukrainians are also increasingly moving or starting businesses in Poland, particularly in the trade, construction, and transport sectors.
The Polish Economic Institute expert noted that the prolonged war in Ukraine has made it difficult for Polish companies to operate. According to surveys by Statistics Poland (GUS), one in five Polish companies faced severe issues in April due to increased costs and supply chain disruption. Additionally, industrial companies reported frequent termination of contracts with eastern partners.
Despite this, Sułkowski believes that the prolonged war shouldn’t affect foreign investments in Poland, as concerns about conflict’s escalation have diminished. European companies have relocated their production from Asia or Eurasian markets to geographically closer and politically safer countries like Poland due to supply chain issues during the pandemic and sanctions against Russia.
A Maersk survey ranks Poland as one of the best countries for relocating production. “This effect is stronger than the concern about the conflict ongoing near to Poland’s border,” Sułkowski added.