Region/Countries: Europe, Poland Industry: Aviation / Aerospace Date: December 2019

Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Entering the market at its current stage, while global supply chains are still building, is a promising opportunity.

Continuous strong GDP growth GDP has characterized Poland’s economy for the past 25 years. In 2019, despite a broader slowdown, Poland ranked second in the EU in terms of GDP growth, with only Malta experiencing stronger growth. As a result of this growth, Poland is now the seventh-largest economy in the EU, with a GDP of $586 billion in 2019. Poland’s most important industrial sectors are machine building, iron and steel, coal mining and chemicals. However, in recent years aviation and aerospace has also gained momentum.

The Polish aerospace industry has seen consistent growth in recent years, due to increased demand for Polish manufactured goods overall, and specifically increased local demand for aviation goods due to investments in infrastructure and rising passenger numbers. 90% of the Polish aviation industry is located in the Polish Aviation Valley in the southeastern part of the country, the Podkarpacie region, where a striving ecosystem of large multinational companies, along with more than 120 innovative small and midsize enterprises, scientific research centers, and educational and training facilities, has developed. Having once served the Soviet market, former state-owned companies have been acquired by foreign companies such as Sikorsky Aircraft Company and AugustaWestland (now Leonardo), contributing to the industry’s modernization and development. Export volumes in the past 15 years have increased from $250 million to more than $2 billion. The products made in Poland for this industry include aircraft (agricultural, training, executive), helicopters, gliders, subassemblies (aluminum, composite, GRFP) and accessories—for both civilian and military purposes.

With strong investments in recent years, Poland’s aerospace industry is expected to continue to grow, especially the fields of avionics, composites, engineering, unmanned aerial vehicles, green engines and fuel consumption technologies, as well as niche manufacturing technologies and R&D. Entering the Polish aviation market at its current stage, while global supply chains are still building, is a promising opportunity for Wisconsin companies.