Warsaw, Poland – Poland has moved up from the 25th to the 13th place in HSBC Expat’s Annual League Table of Best Places to Live and Work, overtaking countries like Hong Kong, France, India, Sweden, Thailand, Mexico and the US. Now in its 12th year, the survey is designed to explore the attitudes, opinions and experiences of people living overseas. Switzerland, Singapore and Canada take the top three spots.
The survey was completed by 18,059 expats from 163 countries and territories through an online questionnaire in February and March 2019, conducted by YouGov and commissioned by HSBC Expat. A minimum sample of 100 expat respondents is required for a country or territory to be included in the league table, with 33 qualifying in 2019.
An attractive prospect for expats
“Poland’s popularity as a business destination is growing as more people recognise the potential of the country’s people and its economy,” concludes the survey. “A strategic location for trade, its relatively low cost of living, breathtaking scenery and rich history come together to make this central European nation an attractive prospect for expats.”
At nearly half a million, the number of foreigners living in Poland has indeed reached its highest level in recent years.
While only ranked 22nd when looking only at the “Living” criteria, encompassing quality of life, well-being, political stability and other factors, and 17th according to the “Little Expat” criteria, which looks at expats’ attitudes and opinions about family life in their adopted city, Poland ranks 2nd globally in the “Ambitions” category focusing on career and financial factors. Indeed, one of Europe’s fastest-growing economies reporting among the EU’s highest GDP growth rates in recent years, the country is also quickly rising to become one of the most attractive destinations for foreign investors in Europe.
In fact, not only is Poland the sixth best country in the world to invest in this year, according to a recent U.S. News ranking, it also stands out as the tenth best country in the world to start a career.
“Poland has become Europe’s growth champion,” even says Arkadiusz Regiec, CEO of the equity trading platform Beesfund, in a recent interview to Kafkadesk, before adding that “Warsaw is the best city to launch your business”.
Hints and tips for expats in Poland
As part of its survey, HSBC compiled a list of hints and tips for expats in Poland by respondents:
“Bring warm clothes for the winter. Summers are very pleasant. Make sure that you get an expert company to calculate your tax return if you get paid from outside of the country, since taxes are quite complicated and tax offices very bureaucratic,” says one British expat.
“If moving from North America be prepared to find that the locals aren’t very warm and inviting on first meeting. You need to approach them in a friendly manner and let them warm up to you,” suggests a Canadian expat. Indeed, Poland ranks only 29nd in the “cultural, open and welcoming communities” category.
“Talk to strangers. Whether its in the grocery store, on a train or at a cafe table beside you. Stepping outside your comfort zone (and fear) creates an opportunity for friendship, advice & connection,” adds another.
“Find out from other parents which school to choose. Don’t rely on just talking to the schools,” warns another British expat.
“Read as much as you can before coming here in blogs, Facebook or any other sources. Also, ask for recommendations from foreigners or expats who might give you a little glance of this culture, habits and lifestyles in general,” says a last one… forgetting to mention Kafkadesk…