Poland has become the destination of choice for companies operating in the business process outsourcing sector in CEE, according to the report “BPOland Potential and Prospects” prepared by CBRE in cooperation with recruitment company Hays and the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency (PAIiIZ).
Poland boasts over 110,000 people employed in 400 BPO centers, and the market has been growing steadily by over 20 percent annually 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 the expansions by existing companies such as State Street, Hewlett Packard and HSBC, and also thanks to new investors coming to Poland.
“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,” said Sławomir Majman, president of PAIiIZ.
Top and emerging locations
In May 2013 there were 25,400 jobs in the sector located in 43 centers in Kraków, Poland’s top outsourcing destination (growth of almost 31 percent since January 2012). Warsaw had 18,900 jobs (33 percent increase over the same period) in 55 centers, while Wrocław had 18,400 jobs in 38 centers (46 percent increase). Wrocław, located in southern Poland, is becoming increasingly popular as a BPO destination, especially with manufacturing and high-tech companies establishing R&D centers 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.
“In 2012, both Polish and international companies, including BPO investors, leased over 600,000 sqm of office space in Warsaw and over 350,000 sqm in regional cities, not including renegotiations,” said Joanna Mroczek, head of research and consultancy at CBRE in Poland.
“Currently there is over 1 million sqm [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.
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