5 grudnia 2015
Business opportunities Katowice
The previous post on business opportunities was broadly focused on the reasons why Poland is an appealing place for companies that are seeking expansion. I have limited them to three: location, people and special economic zones (SEZs). As the topic allows for further exploration, we have decided to pick four cities which, in our opinion, are the most attractive for investors.
A more focused approach allows us to explain the strengths of each region. As different parts of Poland are unique, there is no need to trivialize the culture and opportunities by throwing them all into one post. By combining three general reasons, we have provided a broad example into what truly is a sea of opportunities waiting for those that are willing to invest.
The four cities that we want to focus on are Katowice, Krakow, Wroclaw and Warsaw, with the first and the last one being cities where our offices are located. Each city is unique in its own way; therefore, it is crucial to separate them into separate posts as part of our business opportunities in Poland series. There is sentiment associated with Katowice and the Silesian region, as that is where our company was created. We want to celebrate the vast opportunities in Katowice, hence the first post is about the city where everything started.
As in the post about business opportunities in Poland, we have made a list of reasons that clearly indicate Katowice’s attractiveness:
Katowice is located in the south of Poland, so naturally it has many links with other important cities in Europe. Cities like Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest or Bratislava are within reach, allowing businesses to benefit from low employment costs and highly skilled workers whilst still maintaining connections to international market. Nevertheless, the local market of the Silesian region is a good starting point for those that want to expand their business all over Poland.
Katowice is part of an agglomeration, where around 2.7 million people live, placing it as 9th in Europe and 1st in Central Europe, as well it is one of the most populated regions in Poland. It is fair to say that people in the city are highly skilled as there are many universities located in the area, including polytechnics where around 182 000 students are enrolled. Basing on the provided information, it might seem that Katowice is a busy city with a lot of traffic. Quite the opposite, thanks to a well-built infrastructure, Katowice has the lowest traffic congestion when taking into consideration other major cities in Poland. On top of this, there are airports and train stations for those that prefer other ways of transportation.
Katowice, was once known as an industrial city where mining was the main source of income. Through monetary investments, local authorities are trying their best to change the image of the city. The city has changed its image into “the city of gardens” and is now known as a cultural hot-spot thanks to the many investments in that area. The most recent investments are: the Katowice Convention Bureau, the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra building, the reconstruction of the City Centre the new train station, the Silesian Museum and many more. For companies seeking to save their costs, Katowice has its own Special Economic Zone (SEZ) where located companies do not have to pay corporate taxes and have other public benefits.
It is important to indicate that there are foreign companies that have already decided to invest in Katowice. They see the city as a great place for outsourcing due to available human resources. FDI magazine marked Katowice as the best in the FDI strategy in Eastern Europe and the Silesian Metropolis was ranked first in cost effectiveness in Europe. Such accomplishments attracted many foreign companies such as Capgemini, PwC, Deloitte, IBM and others. There are many business parks built for foreign companies, with A4 Business Park being the most recent. Katowice is attractive for foreign companies; thus they decide to expand their influence. One of the examples can be IBM, which is employing around 400 people and is seeking to expand that number to 2 thousand. Furthermore, the University of Economics in Katowice on order from IBM created a major focusing on IT and communications, after which graduates successfully seek employment at IBM.
These three reasons show only some of reasons why Katowice are attractive for investors. The city is currently working on its position in the world, thus local government is doing their best to attract as many investors as possible. Despite being in the European Union, the costs are way lower than in the most cities in Europe; therefore, right now is the best moment to invest in the city before it establishes itself on the globalized market.
Tekst: Mariusz Jarosz
5 grudnia 2015