Warsaw, Poland

After being reduced to rubble during the Second World War, Warsaw has emerged as an international hub for modern business services.

A flourishing metropolis that was reduced to rubble during the Second World War, Warsaw is now globally recognized and becoming more popular among the international companies in the modern business services sector.

The capital of Poland lies in the centre of the Mazowieckie (Masovian) Voivodship, or province, near the centre of the country.

The business process outsourcing and shared service centre sectors are developing quickly in Poland, and Warsaw has the largest number of modern business centres of the 40 locations spread throughout the country. According to the Polish Agency for Information and Foreign Investment, 160 shared service centres are currently operating on the Warsaw market.

In the past few years the city has built at least three new centres where business services include analytical and financial services, R&D, information technology outsourcing and call centres. These centres have attracted foreign companies such as Procter & Gamble, Google, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Xerox, Citibank, Credit Suisse and Siemens from countries such as the US, Switzerland and Germany.

BUSINESS ETIQUETTE

1. Greetings and salutations. Formally address your hosts using Mr. or Mrs. and their surname; only use first names if invited to do so. A firm handshake is customary during introductions. When greetings involve different genders, the man will wait for the woman to extend her hand first.

2. Small talk. Poles are known to be straight-talkers but are diplomatic when expressing opinions. Expect the first or second meeting to focus on getting acquainted before business conversations take place.

3. Gift giving. It is customary for gifts to be given at the first meeting and at the signing of a business contract.Gifts are opened immediately. Souvenirs representing the country you are from such as Canadian whisky and premium Canadian maple syrup are a good idea, but stay away from branded gifts with your company’s logo.

4. Worth the wait. Business is usually conducted slowly with strict adherence to protocol. It’s best to exercise patience and not appear anxious.

FACTS FOR INVESTORS

1. Warsaw ranks 88th out of 500 cities on the Innovation Cities Index 2016 - 2017: Global.

2. Warsaw ranks 41st out of 88 cities on the 2017 Global Financial Centres Index 21.

TRAVEL TIPS

1. Almost a quarter of Warsaw is made up of historic parks, former royal residences and lush gardens, perfect for taking a break from the office. Take a stroll through Łazienki and Wilanów parks, a mix of sanctuary and history.

2. Get a bird's-eye view of the city from the Palace of Culture and Science, one of the largest structures in Warsaw. The building supports the tallest four-faced clock tower in the world and is the largest of its kind in Europe.

3. Wander the streets of Old Town, which dates back to the 13th century. During the Second World War, the area was almost completely destroyed but thanks to restoration efforts it was granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 1980. With a 500-year-old castle located at its entrance, Old Town is a lively place full of cafés, restaurants and monuments.

Warsaw, Poland chart