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Aug 7, 2017


Strong demand for business services in Central Europe

CBRE has released a new report: “Business Services Destinations in Central Europe 2017”, which aims to develop a comprehensive profile of the Business Services Sector in Central Europe with an outline of economic situation, investment incentives, the labour market and office market in the Central European countries. The study is especially dedicated to foreign investors interested in establishing their business activities in the CE region.

Globalization, outsourcing, offshoring & nearshoring are common and progressive trends in the modern economy. These contemporary trends have a direct impact not only on the development of the real estate market but also on the labour market. Companies’ cost sensitivity supports the decision to move part of the business i.e. back- or mid-office to cost-effective countries. This trend has boosted the development of the Business Services (BPO, SSC, R&D & ITO), and the CE region, with its well educated workforce and competitive cost base, is one of the main beneficiaries.

“We obviously have seen over recent years a huge amount of outsourcing moving from Western Europe to CEE. Some have feared that this process might gradually come to an end. However, the reality is that the seed and amount of outsourcing seems to be ever increasing all and there is definitely no end in sight yet. In some areas of CEE some have expected labour shortage to become a problem for BSS. But again we have been surprised by the mobility of young people to move to locations where interesting jobs are being offered. Therefore BSS should remain a big force for CE over years to come” commented Andreas Ridder, Head of CEE, CBRE.

The main destinations for Business Services Sector are currently the following countries of CE region: Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The high number of students, which ensures well-educated labour force and relatively low cost office market are the main advantages of this region. There are more than 1,400 centres in the CEE region, but the majority of them is currently located in Poland – more than 900 centres.

Poland, however, has strong competition from other CE cities, not just the capitals but also the regional ones as well. Cities such as Brno or Cluj are as recognizable as Krakow or Wroclaw. Moreover, when comparing the investment incentives offered by individual countries, the award criteria are much sharper in Poland than in the Czech Republic or Romania.

New players are the Baltic countries, which position themselves as the best location for the development of Scandinavian companies. The situation in Slovakia is similar. The support for new investments is not as developed as in the neighboring countries, but they are also active in attracting new businesses, and the introduction of the euro and simplified procedures and taxes are very important assets.