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Poland has become the destination of choice for companies operating in the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), according to the report “BPOland Potential and Prospects”. The report was prepared by real estate company CBRE Group, in cooperation with recruitment company Hays and the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency (PAIiIZ).
Poland currently has over 110,000 people employed in 400 BPO centres, and the market has been growing steadily by over +20% per annum since 2008. Over the past year, Poland outpaced India in the rate of job creation and project expansions in the BPO sector. Employment in the sector has grown mainly as a result of expansions by existing companies; such as State Street, Hewlett Packard and HSBC, but also thanks to new investors coming to Poland.
Sławomir Majman, president of PAIiIZ, commented: “Statistics comparing the pace of BPO growth in Poland and India, where the number of new establishments is decreasing, show that companies are increasingly choosing CEE and above all Poland as the destination for their investments”.
In May 2013 there were 25,400 jobs in the BPO sector located in 43 centres in Kraków, Poland’s top outsourcing destination, equating to growth of almost +31% since January 2012. Warsaw had 18,900 jobs (+33% increase over the same period last year) in 55 centres, while Wrocław had 18,400 jobs in 38 centres (+46% increase). Wrocław, located in southern Poland, is becoming increasingly popular as a BPO destination, especially with manufacturing and high-tech companies establishing Research & Development centres there.
While leading Polish regional cities attract the largest numbers of investors, new destinations in smaller cities are emerging as significant locations. The growing office stock in smaller cities; such as Olsztyn, Bydgoszcz, Opole, and Rzeszów, means that over the past four years they have been able to meet BPO requirements from international companies across diverse sectors.
Joanna Mroczek, head of research and consultancy at CBRE in Poland, added: “In 2012, both Polish and international companies, including BPO investors, leased over 600,000 square meters of office space in Warsaw and over 350,000 square meters in regional cities, not including renegotiations,” said.
“Currently there is over 1 million square meters [of] modern office space under construction of which 45 percent is being developed in regional cities. Ready-to-use office space is essential to attract foreign investors, who once they decide upon a location, cannot wait long to move,” Ms Mroczek added.