Coronavirus (COVID-19) has accelerated the online presence and integration of digital solutions, reducing physical human contact. The internet has played an unprecedented role in daily lives during the pandemic and is projected to further fuel demand for innovations and internet-based technologies. With an abundant pool of IT and tech graduates, well-developed digital landscape and relatively competitive wages, Eastern Europe is being eyed by potential investors as the next Silicon Valley. How can Poland secure its leading position in the region and face the challenges that lie ahead on the way to becoming a future tech hub?
Eastern Europe in strong position to become major tech hub due to its highly educated yet affordable labour
The largely post-communist Eastern European region has achieved major economic improvements over the past couple of decades. Generous funding from the EU such as the Structural and Cohesion Fund has allowed new member states including Poland, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia to greatly improve their social, transport and communications infrastructure as well as to invest in advanced higher education programmes. Moreover, membership to the EU and reforms implemented on the way to becoming members fostered institutional improvements, allowing the development of a more attractive business environment.
Improved bureaucratic procedures, higher government integrity and political stability, and better corruption perception ranking create a more attractive business environment compared to Asia Pacific or Latin America. Moreover, despite noteworthy improvements in Eastern Europe, elevated higher education attainment rates and a tech-savvy labour force, Eastern European countries offer lower hourly wages compared to Western Europe or North America, hence creating a perfect destination for potential investments in high-value added industries, including high-tech, e-commerce and data science.
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