Lower Silesia is one of the most rapidly growing regions of Poland. The area’s advantages make an ideal location for businesses of all sizes operating in various sectors.
Lower Silesia is among the most economically robust areas in the country – it accounts for most of Poland’s Gross Domestic Product, it has one of the lowest unemployment rates and one the highest GDP per capita. Household income and local demand keep growing significantly year-on-year. The good economic situation translates into a continuous business growth, which attracts new investment projects and employees.
The province is a leader as regards the optimum use of EU funds. According to the data of the Central Statistical Office, the total value of projects co-financed from structural funds and the Cohesion Fund for 2014-2020 was over PLN 8 billion as at the end of 2016.
Lower Silesia attracts investment and innovation. It tops the ranking of provinces with the highest level of attractiveness for investment, outperforming Mazovia. A region with strong industrial heritage, it has considerable appeal for industrial investors, offering them a host of benefits.
The key advantage of the region is its location and the proximity of western border along with a highly developed transportation infrastructure (still in the process). What attracts and sustains foreign investment is a combination of investment areas, human resources and a robust local economy.
It is worth mentioning that Lower Silesia is home to three Special Economic Zones (SEZ), where businesses are offered preferential financial treatment and incentives. These areas include:
The largest zone, Invest-Park, received recognition in a prestigious ranking held by fDi Magazine (the Financial Times Group). The total area allocated for business operations in the zone spreads across 3800 hectares.
The flourishing of Lower Silesia means investment in R&D sector. These activities, performed by scientific and business institutions, are intended to enhance the level of know-how and extend the range of application of cutting edge technologies in the industry. Product, process and technology innovations are created as a result, which are required by the economy to keep growing at a fast pace. Over PLN 1 079 million has been allocated for this purpose in 2016 only, which means as much as PLN 372 per resident of the province. The effect of these activities is already seen in the Lower Silesia. One industrial enterprise engaged in innovative activity accounts for as much as PLN 9.4 million expenditure incurred on research & development, which is the highest level of this kind of expenditure in Poland.
Six smart specialisations showing development potential on a regional scale have been designated as part of the Regional Innovation Strategy for the Lower Silesia Province. In Lower Silesia these specialisations are closely linked with industrial infrastructure – the industry branches of prime importance in terms of production output. They include:
The designation of a regional economy’s sector as smart specialisation implies a transfer of public funds into this sector, also the funds obtained from the EU. It means investments and an implementation of related projects.
The implementation of the Regional Innovation Strategy for the Lower Silesia Province is the responsibility of the Working Groups of Lower Silesia Marshal’s Office – one group per specialisation. They are composed of the representatives of regional Business Environment Institutions (IOB), enterprises, universities, scientific and research units and the province government authorities. Their tasks include, among others: initiating and giving opinion on projects which support innovation in particular specialisations as well as monitoring the projects’ progress. The composition of the group and the current information on the projects related to smart specialisations in Lower Silesia can be found at UMWD website.
As regards the potential for further growth, information and communication technologies are one of the most promising sectors of the Lower Silesia economy. Very favourable environment for business make the region a genuine Polish IT hub.