(The Economist) – After years of steady growth at home, firms are venturing abroad
NOWY STYL, a Polish company that is Europe’s fourth-largest maker of office furniture, recently bought two small German rivals. The firm’s boss, Adam Krzanowski, was asked by a German friend if he was pleased with his purchase. “I told him that I was not happy with the quality of the workers. His jaw dropped,” says Mr Krzanowski, with a grin. He had to send a team from his factory in Poland to bring his new German workers up to speed on the latest manufacturing methods.
Polish firms have grown in size and confidence along with the economy, which after years of expansion is twice the size, in real terms, that it was when democracy was restored in 1989. Now, at last, some of its firms are looking beyond the domestic market and going global. InPost is rolling out its automated parcel lockers in nine countries, including Britain (see picture), to grab a share of the rapidly growing business of making deliveries for e-commerce firms. Comarch, a Polish IT firm, has set up two data-processing centres in Germany.