The Polish economy has recovered quickly following the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions and the number of transactions is fairly consistent across various industries, reports Radoslaw Biedecki, Partner at Noerr in Poland. The country is pushing for further digitalization of its public services, but draft legislation on media ownership has him concerned.
According to Biedecki, the inflation rates are higher than expected and the government is planning to increase taxes on companies and entrepreneurs by 9%. Despite that, the economy is recovering fast and there is plenty of economic activity to be seen. He reports a significant number of deals have taken place across multiple sectors. In the real estate sector, for instance, Biedecki points to an increase in interest by foreign investors in the market and singles out Heimstaden Bostad’s forward acquisition of 2,500 apartments from CP Developer (as reported by CEE Legal Matters on June 11, 2021) as one of the more notable deals.
Furthermore, Biedecki says that Poland’s e-commerce sector is booming and the country is becoming the logistics hub of Eastern Europe. He attributes this to the burgeoning logistics and infrastructure projects connecting Poland and Germany, and to competitive labor and land prices. However, Biedecki explains, the logistics sector may soon face difficulties due to a new EU Directive that aims to equalize the remuneration of Polish truck drivers with the remuneration paid to drivers in the countries of delivery. “So when a driver delivers goods to Germany or France, he would be paid as much as a German or French driver, which would increase transportation costs significantly,” he notes.
In addition, there are some interesting developments in the TMT sector. Biedecki lists Cellnex Poland’s PLN 7 billion acquisition of Polkomtel Infrastruktura as an example (as reported by CEE Legal Matters on March 2, 2021). But not all developments are positive, he reports, as the Polish government is preparing draft legislation that would forbid non-EU entities from owning media companies in the country. He explains that if passed, the law would force US-based Discovery to sell the TVN television station, which is quite critical of the Polish regime, to a state-owned entity, thus effectively placing it under government control.
Finally, according to Biedecki, Poland has taken another step in the digitalization of services provided by governmental bodies. “From July onwards, all submissions to the Company Register are done exclusively in electronic form,” Biedecki says. He also points out that the digitalization of construction-related administrative services is also underway, with around 20 types of applications already available online (as reported by CEE Legal Matters on June 11, 2021).