So all countries -- USA, Germany, France, etc. -- are dominated by non-native capital to the same extent that Poland is
Well, yes, and even more.
According to Forbes, the top 8 companies in Poland are, in that order, PKO BP, PKN Orlen, PGE, PZU, KGHM, PGNiG, Tauron, Grupa Lotos. All those companies are controlled by the Polish government. Compare this to the Dax 30 (Germany's 30 top companies) which is more than 60% owned by foreign investors, or the CAC 40 (France) which is 50% owned by foreigners.
It is true that in 2 sectors, retail and banks, foreigners dominate the polish market. But there is a good reason for this: lets' start with retail; there was no modern distribution in Poland in 1990 as such, and the Carrefour, Tesco, Auchan did not buy existing polish assets, they brought expertise and capital in the country. And they are not making and have never made big profits (reason why some players like Metro/Real decided to exit) and "modern" distribution control a much smaller share of the polish market (around 45pc) compared to other countries where they operate (80 pc or more in the UK or France)
In banking, the biggest bank is Polish owned. And the polish regulator KNF, one of the most difficult in Europe, makes sure that polish interests are preserved at all time. It is, to my knowledge, the only banking regulator in Europe demanding that the CEO of a Polish bank speaks the local language, hence introducing a biais in favor of Polish nationals. During the subprime crisis, one of the largest banks in Poland, subsidiary of a big european player, put a multi billion euro deposit with its parent to shore up the latter's liquidity which had been thin following the crisis. Within 2 days, KNF ordered the deposit to be brought back to Poland, which the bank complied with. And last but not least, there is still plenty of room for a Polish entrepreneur to start a bank and make it thrive , look at the success the franco-polish Zalewski family had with Alior which they started less than 10 years ago( of which the control has just been sold to PZU).
Just heard Siemens is scrapping its manufaturing facilities and is evovlving into orchard (esp. apple and plum) production.
Well, maybe not Siemens right now, but that's exactly what Preussag did at the turn of the millenium . Preussag was one of the main steel makers and shipbuilding companies in Germany; they had been losing ground for some time and decided to transform themselves in the early 2000's into...TUI, one of the Europe's leading tour operators.