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CEE Summit: REITs on agenda as Poland gets back on track

Tadeusz Kościński.

After this year’s setback due to the coronavirus epidemic the Polish economy will get back on track and the real estate market with it, Tadeusz Kościński, Poland’s Minister of Finance and Minister of Development Funds and Regional Finance, told attendees at today’s CEE Summit 2020, staged by Real Asset Media on the REALX.Global platform.

“We’ll be rebuilding the economy and expect positive GDP growth of 4% for 2021,” Kościński said. “Poland will be one of the first economies in Europe to be back on track and will be one of the winners in the global supply chain, a world leader in shared services, which will create good quality jobs that in turn will boost the real estate sector.”

Poland’s government is about to announce a package of measures to attract foreign investors and to develop local capital markets. Long-delayed legislation to introduce REITs could be next, Kościński said.

REITs bring liquidity to the market, make it less reliant on international capital, make local projects viable and introduce transparency. However, Poland’s parliament has not yet approved the relevant legislation.

“REITs will be part of our plan to develop the Polish capital markets,” the minister said. “We see a significant amount of liquidity in the market and many companies are investing in property. There clearly is a demand and there’s not enough supply. REITs are already on our radar, but I would suggest that if the real estate industry makes enough noise they could become top of the agenda.”  

Poland is on a mission to attract more investors and to clamp down on tax evasion.

No corporate tax for foreign investors

“We have no plans to increase taxes to finance our public debt,” Kościński said. “But we want a level playing field and will crack down on financial engineering schemes and will close down loopholes. On the other hand, we want companies to invest in Poland and our message is that if you invest here, you don’t have to pay corporate tax. That’s something the real estate sector should look at.”

Before Christmas Poland’s government will announce new support measures aimed at international investors in addition to existing ones, such as the whole of Poland being an investment zone and R&D projects only paying 5% corporate tax.

“We’re looking to offer as much as possible to international investors, but also to Polish expatriates to encourage them to come back with incentives and tax breaks,” Kościński said.