Poland is a large Central European country with the population of 38,5 mln and GDP of 480 billion USD (2015).
Poland is member to European Union and NATO.
Poland’s shoreline (Baltic Sea) of about 770 km accommodates 4 major sea ports and significant shipbuilding industry capable of delivering complete, advanced ships. Relatively low labor costs matched with very good competences of the employees makes Polish companies a valuable partners and encourages foreign investors (incl. global brands like Damen, Rolls-Royce, Wartsila, Lockheed-Martin, Kongsberg, Siem, Arcelormittal, Thales).
Poland is also home to one of the biggest yacht & pleasure vessel industries in Europe.
One of the highest rates of development, experienced currently in Poland, supports import of advanced solutions for the maritime industry (cargo handling equipment, shipyard equipment, on-board equipment etc.) to Poland.
GOVERNMENT PLANS, LEGISLATION & INVESTMENTS
Maritime sector development is a priority of the Polish Government. Several new legislative initiatives and projects aiming at shipbuilding industry development, new ships’ orders, development of harbor infrastructure, inland waterways, oil & gas handling & transport infrastructure and maritime security are proceeded.
Among them, a special taxation policy coming into power on January 1st, 2017, will allow for significant development of shipbuilding industry & cooperating branches.
Polish Government also aims at facilitation of access to Polish ports, including inland waterways and railways, to increase Poland’s role as a logistics hub for the Central & Eastern Europe.
Among significant state investments, those related to maritime energy infrastructure are particularly interesting, including offshore wind, oil & LNG terminals, oil & gas mining from beneath the seabed and pipeline connecting Poland to Denmark & Norway.
SHIPBUILDING & SHIPREPAIRS
New ships are being ordered and delivered for the Polish shipowners, incl. bulk cargo vessels and large (over 220-meter long) ferries.
The total income of the shipyard sector in Poland in 2015 is estimated at approximately 2757 million USD, of which 1004 million USD in newbuilding & repair yards.
According to Forum Okrętowe Association of Polish Maritime Industries (member of SEA Europe), Polish shipyards have delivered 7 fully completed ships (with gross tonnage of 100 and over), with total CGT of 33564.
In 2015, 610 ships were repaired in Polish shipyards (growth of 1,8%)
In 2014, there was over 5200 business entities in Poland involved in various shipbuilding related activity, incl. yachts production & equipment.
HARBOUR DEVELOPMENT & LOGISTICS
There are four main harbours – Gdańsk, Gdynia, Szczecin & Świnoujście. The cargo handling capacity of Polish harbours – primarily when it comes to container terminals and developing oil & gas handling facilities, with total cargo operations in 2015 of about 69,7 million tons – makes Poland future logistics hub for the region.
Poland is one of the most rapidly developing countries of Central & Eastern Europe when it comes to transport infrastructure, due to the vast public & private investment programs within harbour infrastructure, railways, highways and inland waterways.
The Polish Government supports development of this sector within numerous investment projects, including new shipping route through Vistula Spit and new LNG terminal which has just been completed in Świnoujście. Special legal regulations also facilitate harbour operations and encourage shipowners and agents to direct their cargo through Polish harbours. The total estimated value of harbour investments by 2020 exceeds 2,8 billion USD.
SAFETY & SECURITY OF PORTS AND NAVIGATION
Due to the increasing importance of maritime transport to Poland’s economy, there is strong political will and support towards modernization of the Polish Navy, as well as increase of harbour and navigation protection measures.
Within the Polish Armed Forces modernization program, there are 22 projects for the Navy estimated at over 3,25 billion USD and aimed at obtaining total of over 30 vessels of various classes & purpose (incl. 3 modern submarines), according to the declarations made during the annual National Maritime Security Forum in January 2016 (more at www.fbm.ztw.pl).
On the other hand, Polish Maritime Authorities undertake numerous projects aimed at non-military security of harbours and navigation (clearing of the waterways, navigation aids etc.)
ENERGY SECTOR – MARITIME DIMENSION
Crude oil and gas mining beneath the seabed, along with transportation of oil & gas using tankers or pipelines is a very up-to-date topic to discuss within the North- and Baltic- Seas context, as both economic- and political- based declarations make significant further investments in this sector inevitable. Additionally, other related issues – particularly general offshore infrastructure and its’ security – fuels several sectors of the economy. Not only highly specialised cable layers and offshore wind farm construction vessels are produced in Polish shipyards, but also number of public investments in seaborne infrastructure of energy sector makes it promising for foreign companies – investors, equipment producers etc. – to take a careful look into business opportunities in Poland.
NETWORKING & BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES
BALTEXPO International Exhibition and Conference is the biggest and the oldest networking event in Poland, among economic events related to broadly understood maritime economy: shipbuilding industry and its related parties, ports and logistics associated to the use of the maritime and inland waterways transportation and the security of coasts, ports and navigation. The nearest BALTEXPO will be held on 09-11 September 2019.
BALTEXPO gathers approx. 300 companies and over 4000 visitors from 19 countries (2017), with the exhibition space up to 12.000 sq.m..
In connection with the new Polish economic development program, special emphasis is placed on the development of maritime industries, shipbuilding, offshore - extraction of oil and gas from under the seabed, the development of ports and port services as well as energy security in the maritime dimension. Exhibition and Conference is an excellent place to exchange views and establish economic relations aimed at economic cooperation between the countries.