• English
  • Polski
economic industry

Changing pressure of challenges: outlook for 2024 (II)

economic industry

Changing pressure of challenges: outlook for 2024 (II)

Who will build it all – or the enormous scale of investment

According to the Spectis report, projects under construction in our country are worth approximately PLN 152 billion. In turn, projects currently in the tender, design or concept stage amount to as much as PLN 713 billion[1]. These are not only construction or infrastructure projects, but also industrial projects.

It is worth noting that rail infrastructure investments alone, planned for 2024-2030 under several public investment programs, amount to nearly PLN 250 billion[2]. But this amount is more than double the capacity of the Polish railway construction industry. And the industry already needs thousands of workers to handle ongoing investments. A well-managed process of integrating ethno-cultural minorities could fill talent gaps and spur business development, economically empowering these groups and benefiting the economy and society at large. It takes time and determination, but it is rational and driven by the needs of business and people. At stake in this game is the development of Poland and the realization of many important investments.

According to the Manpower survey, this year 33% of companies plan to expand their teams, 16% expect to cut jobs, and 47% of companies want to keep the number of employees the same. We already have 29 shortage occupations where finding an employee is like finding a needle in a haystack. Occupations such as warehousemen, electricians, electricians, locksmiths, welders, and auto mechanics are in the worst shape. The group of shortages will also expand to include kindergarten teachers and uniformed service workers[3].

Challenges and opportunities from the least expected side

Europe is preparing for a major shift in the mining industry – but it’s not about coal mining. This time it will be rare earth deposits. Let’s start with the facts, and they can be shocking. At the beginning of the last century, Europe accounted for about 40% of world mining production. Today that figure has fallen to 3%. Meanwhile, China’s growing dominance in the production and supply chain of batteries and rare earth minerals poses a constant threat to Europe, making us increasingly dependent on Asia. The consequences of abandoning our own continent and being completely subjugated could be unimaginable. And not just the risk of a loss of competitiveness for the European economy and the loss of critical technology and industrial innovation[4]. Hence the growing emphasis on recycling. The EU’s SUSMAGPRO project, which focused on recycling rare earth magnets used mainly in wind turbines, electronics and electric car engines, has produced the expected results. Poland’s Elemental Holding SA remains one of the world leaders.

Meanwhile, the search for deposits of critical raw materials in the Suwałki region has begun by the National Geological Institute – National Research Institute. Recall that iron ore deposits, including rare titanium and vanadium ores, were discovered there more than 60 years ago. However, there was a lack of technological capacity and political will to start exploiting them. At the same time, according to media reports, preparations are underway to search for uranium and rare earth deposits. We have knowledge, competence and experience that is incomparable to the resources and capabilities of any European country. Let’s use it. This is also an opportunity for us, for Silesia, within its historical borders. Because in this area, especially in the Sudetenland, there are many resources that are crucial for the future.

The outlook for 2024 is an ongoing topic that we will systematically return to. In upcoming articles we will write about AI in industry and the opportunities and threats of robotization and automation. We will look at the economic consequences of war, as well as the industrial strategy of the defense sector in the EU and its possible impact on Poland.

[1] https://portalprzemyslowy.pl/przemysl-gospodarka/gospodarka-produkcja/przed-tymi-3-wyzwaniami-stoi-branza-przemyslowa/, access: 18.03.2024.

[2] https://spectis.pl/news/427/5/Ograniczone-zdolnosci-wykonawcow-hamulcem-dla-rozpedzajacych-sie-inwestycji-kolejowych, access: 18.03.2024.

[3] https://portalprzemyslowy.pl/przemysl-gospodarka/gospodarka-produkcja/pracownik-w-branzy-przemyslowej-poszukiwany-jak-dotrzec-do-niego-w-internecie/, access: 18.03.2024.

[4] https://www.euronews.com/business/2024/03/12/heres-why-europe-needs-to-revive-its-mining-sector, access: 18.03.2024.

Check out our offer


We have been organizing Europe’s largest International Fair EXPO KATOWICE for 40 years.

Conferences industry

We offer comprehensive conferen ceorganiza tionserviceza other industry events..

Missions abroad

We offer professional preparation and handling of economic missions.