The market for sporting goods in Poland has been in a pattern of constant growth for the past few years and research has shown that the Poland population prefers U.S. brands of sporting goods due to the U.S. image. For this reason, Hockey Town USA, Inc. has decided to open a store in Poland, which in turn will give us the needed foreign market experience that will be beneficial in the future decisions to expand globally. Poland also has 40 million consumers making it the largest economy in Central Europe and it has a market larger than the Czech Republic and they are rapidly growing. The average GDP growth is 4.5% within the last ten years and listed below is the economic results of companies for 2002:
*Cost level ratio - 98.5%
*Gross turnover profitability ratio - 1.5%
*Net turnover profitability ratio - 0.4%
*1st degree cash-flow ratio - 18.2%
*Inflation rate in 2002 comparing to 2001 was 1.9%
Poland is located in Central Europe and is a member of the EU (European Union), which is the most important trade partner for Poland. Over 70% of exports are sent to the EU and 60% of imports originate in EU countries. Poland is also a member of the WTO, OECD and CEFTA as well as other bodies (Polska, 2002). Poland has received over $50 billion in direct foreign investment since 1990, although Germany remains Poland's most dominant trading partner. Other close trading partners are Hungary, the Czech and Slovak Republics, and Slovenia, all members of the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA). (http://www.stat.gov) Most products from EU countries now enter Poland duty-free, although U.S. products continue to fall under the EU common external tariffs. Recently Poland has agreed to lower tariffs on selected U.S. products to encourage the...