The Polish information technology (IT) market reached $8.26 billion at the end of 2008. The first estimates show that, as a result of overall economic slowdown and delays in many public sector projects, the market has declined by 12% in 2009. Nevertheless, the prospects for the development of the IT sector in 2010 and the next few years are quite good. The dominant trends in Poland are technology convergence, digitalization and access to a variety of applications, and a rapidly growing and diverse access to services. These trends directly reflect on new market opportunities for suppliers of products and services.
Even though Poland continues to spend only 2.2% of its GDP on IT investments, these projects are eligible to obtain EU funds of up to 85% of the project’s value. EU funding is also available to private project sponsors investing in IT for greater competitiveness.
Financing and banking, telecommunications, and the public sectors all account for half of IT expenditures in Poland. Public sector investments are driven by the country’s “Digital Poland” plan and the development of e-government services required by the European Union. Individual users and small-to-medium sized companies have become major purchasers of computer equipment, with emphasis on low-end equipment.
The above official statistical data do not reflect the actual position of U.S. suppliers of American IT technologies. Nevertheless, while American companies are seen as the industry leaders in all segments of the IT sector, Poland’s major trading partners for these products are China, Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands.
December is repeatedly the most active month for Polish IT products’ imports, which could amount to approximately 15% of imports for the year. In 2009, storage units were the only group of HS 8471 products with increased U.S. exports.
Best prospects for American suppliers exist in all segments of the IT market and include all types of specialized software, Internet and e-commerce solutions especially for the security area. Good prospects also include networking equipment and computers, storage systems, components, and peripherals.
The 2012 European Cup Soccer Championships, to be held in Poland and Ukraine, are a driving force for the Polish economy in coming years and will enhance the demand for a variety of audio/visual products and services in the professional and consumer market segments. Also, the planned switch from analog to digital television signals by the end of July 2013 is expected to further increase opportunities for higher-end audio/visual technologies.
Public sector IT development projects are coordinated by the Ministry of Interior and Administration (MSWiA) The following are the projects in the pipeline:
? Broadband Internet Development Project for Eastern Poland;
? Central Register and Information on Economic Activities;
? Country-wide ITC network for the 112 emergency number;
? Further development of the Ministry of Justice electronic platform, including access and registration and providing services to the private sector;
? E-services platform for social security (ZUS)
? Information System for the public census
? A consolidated IT system for public healthcare