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Economy of the Greater Poland

Send Print Download added: Dorota Kazimierczak | 2015-04-01 16:57:35
poland, greater poland, economy

As far as economy is concerned, Greater Poland (Wielkopolska) belongs to the most developed regions in Poland.

10% of Polish GDP is generated exactly in that region; its value is approx. 142 billion PLN, which would be sufficient to build three nuclear power plants. In the Wielkopolska Region, the GDP per capita is over 40,000 PLN.

There is a good employment structure in Wielkopolska. More than half of 3,4 million inhabitants live in towns. Instead, about 15 % of Wielkopolska population is employed in agriculture. The services sector gives jobs to more than a half of population, wheeras industry - to more than 30%. The working age population amounts to 2.2 million, and about 1.4 million of those people are of the so-called mobile age, viz. aged 18-44.The average gross monthly remuneration in Wielkopolska is about 3,200 PLN, and in the SME sector – around 3,500 PLN,; yet, both of them are below the all-Poland average\.

There are around 1.4 million people employed in the region.The unemployment rate is the lowest in Poland, and recently has fallen below 10% (In September 2014, in Poznan {Posen}, this rate was 7.9%).However, the regional employment structure is diverse – in Posen which is the capital city of the Wielkopolska Region, the unemployment rate is around 3.5%, while in several districts is of several dozen or so percent.

The private sector is predominant in the region.In Wielopolska registered are around 400,000 of so-called national economy entities, viz. various types of companies or enterprises. It is emphasized that the power of the province are family businesses (SME sector), which guarantee the stability in the region despite economic fluctuations. Wiekopolska’s potential can be also corroborated by numerous investors from all over the world – it is estimated that there are around 4,000 companies with foreign capital. The region has so far attracted, among others, the capital from the United States, Germany, Japan, France, Ireland, England or Corea. The total 2012 year sale volumes in the entire Wielopolska industry sector attained 125.1 billion PLN.

According to the report of the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency (Polska Agencja Informacji i Inwestycji Zagranicznych) on the investment attractiveness of the respective regions in Poland, Greater Poland is one of the best provinces in Poland in view of economy. As the report has it - ‘it distinguishes itself with a high concentration of foreign capital involved in Poland as well as with a high investment outlay per capita’.

This is corroborated by investments made by such companies, like Volkswagen, Amazon, Glaxo Smith Kline, Exide, Bridgestone, Philips, Jeronimo Martins, Beiersdorf, Wrigley Company, Imperial Tobacco, Nestle, Pratt & Whitney, MAN, Samsung, SABMiller, Dalkia, Franklin Templeton, Unilever, etc.

The capital city of the region and the leading industrial centre is Posen (Poznan).The largest towns of Wielkopolska are Kalisz, Ostrów Wielkopolski, Piła, Konin, Leszno, Gniezno (Gnesen).

For being situated in the central western part of Poland, the region is crossed by the roads and railway lines connecting Berlin with Warsaw. From east to west, the province is crossed by A2 motorway. Either under construction or intended are two dual carriageways to connect the northern and southern edges of Wielkopolska. Other assets of the region are a dense railway network as well as the airport of Poznań-Ławica which offers domestic and international flights.

Due to renowned university level schools and the proximity of transport routes, most investments are sited in the central part of the Wielkopolska. Recent spectacular projects in that area are the logistic centre of Amazon, an US company, and the construction of a new factory of the Volkswagen Group.

Since 1990, the strongest magnet for investments has been the Posen agglomeration. Only in Posen operate more than 100,000 business entities; instead, the number of companies with foreign capital exceeds 3,000, and is one of the highest Poland. After 1990, for almost a 20 years’ time, the total value of direct foreign investments in Posen has reached 6.6 billion USD.

The main assets of the province include, among other items, an even economic development with an appreciable degree of industrialization and high level of technology. Wielkopolska’s attractiveness can be as well confirmed by high-potential human resources, which results from the university level schools sited in Posen and ranked among the best in Poland, among them, the Poznan University of Economics, Poznan University of Technology, Poznan University of Medical Sciences or University of Life Sciences. Human resources for the economy are also provided by the Adam Mickiewicz University in Posen, the largest school in the region, with a yearly number of graduates totaling almost 40,000.Instead, in the entire Wielkopolska region there are about 140,000 students learning in almost 40 schools.

An important centre on the regional economy map is the Poznan International Fair (PIF); trade events have been held since 1921. In 2013, there were organized more than 60 fair events with 10,000 exhibitors, and one fourth of them were from abroad. There were almost half a million visitors from over 80 countries. Due to Fair events, Posen has also become an important conference centre – in the Fair area located are the largest conference facilities ever erected in Poland. In 2008, in Posen was held the UN Climate Change Conference –COP 14, with a dozen or so thousand of participants, which confirmed that the city was well prepared as a host in view of the infrastructure, hotels and accommodation.

Wiekopolska’s economy is rated as diversified, which can guarantee a stable development. Distinguished in the Greater Poland (Wielkopolska) Province are three branches with best outlooks. The first of them is the automotive sector focused upon manufacturing utility and public transport vehicles. The leading regional manufacturer and simultaneously the largest employer is the company Volkswagen Poznań. VW Group has been present in Posen since 1993, when it established a company with the factory of agricultural cars (Fabryka Samochodów Rolniczych Polm) which used to make Tarpan cars at the plant in Antoninek. Due to a series of investments totaling 1.4 billion EUR, nowadays, the plant manufactures almost 170,000 utility vehicles a year -. Caddy and Transporter T5 VW Poznań Company employs around 6,800 people, and in 2014, VW Group has declared to intensify its presence within the region. Nearby Wrzesnia (around 30 miles from Posen) under construction is a VW factory intended to manufacture a new VW Crafter model (a project worth 800 million EUR).This greenfield investment is to be commissioned in 2016. According to VW Poznan, in 2018 they will manufacture 280,000 vehicles a year in the works at Wrzesnia and Posen and will employ around 10,000 people.

Solaris Bus & Coach is a Polish family business which makes urban transport vehicles – buses, street cars and trolley-buses. The production at Bolechow by Posen started in 1996, and since then Solaris has manufactured more than 10,000 vehicles driven in 28 countries worldwide.

In turn, at Sady by Posen operates a MAN company factory which manufactures urban transport buses and employs around 900 people. However, the concern has decided to move the production to Starachowice (Province of Holy Cross/świetokrzyskie) before 2016. Other entities operating in the automotive file are Bridgestone - a Japanese tire concern, Gestamp company which makes metal parts and structures for cars ,and Mahle company - a manufacturer of pistons, sleeves and valves.

One of the leading branches in the Greater Poland Region is investments in the BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) and SSC (Shared Services Center) fields. In Posen and its neighborhood, the employment in this sector exceeds 9,000, and every year there appear a few new companies of this sector which are interested in opening an agency in Wielkopolska. Flagship projects of this kind are centers of joint services of Carlsberg and MAN.

Both the geographical situation of the region and the A2 motorway seem to have engendered the logistic branch . The most spectacular project of this type was the construction of Amazon logistic centre nearby Posen. There has been completed a 100 million EUR worth facility, as large as 13 soccer pitches, and there should be employed as many as 5,500 people in the period preceding Christmas.

Raben Grou, seated nearby Posen, can be taken as an example of a logistic company. With its 6,000 means of transportation, employment of 7,500 and one million m2 of warehouse area, the company operates in 10 countries.

Greater Poland is as well an agricultural region with a farming level conforming to West European standards. The area of the so-called well cultivated arable land in the province is around 1 779 thousand ha. The annual crops are as follows: 4 431 thousand tons of cereals (15 % of all-Poland crops), 1 106 thousand tons of potatoes (12 %) and 642,000 tons of vegetables (14 %). The crop per hectare rate is by a dozen or so percent higher than the all-Poland average, which also implies a thriving processing industry, food industry and the related trade sector.

In the province registered are such companies, like: Jeronimo Martins Polska (the owner of one of the biggest chain stores network in Poland), Imperial Tobacco Polska, Kompania Piwowarska (belongs to SABMille), Lidl, Eurocash, Żabka, Grupa Muszkieterów or Selgros.

Companies from Greater Poland are also publicly traded companies listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange; there are about 30 of them, e.g. Amica Wronki that manufactures household appliances, Colian holding which makes confectionery and chocolate products as well as Eurocash company, already mentioned.

One of the largest regional companies, also listed on the Stock Exchange, is Enea included in the WIG30 index; its market value exceeds 7.8 billion PLN. This company deals with the production, distribution and sale of electricity in the western and north-western part of Poland, has 2.45 million customers and a 12.5% share on the Polish market of electricity. The power grid of Enea covers 20% of national territory, and its employment in a few provinces is around 10,000.

Another company operating in the power sector within Wielkopolska, listed on the Stock Exchange, is the Group of Power Plants Pątnów-Adamów-Konin (PAK), the second largest national producer of lignite-generated electricity. The power installed in the PAK is 2512 MW – approx. 8,5 % of electricity generated in Poland.

There are also some strong industry branches in the Kalisz –Ostrow agglomeration. A famous company operating in that area is the food manufacturing factory Winiary , nowadays belonging to Nestlé. Yet, Kalisz is famous for aerospace industry – in the city operates the Greater Poland Aviation Cluster (Wielkopolski Klaster Lotniczy). Its member company is, for example, Pratt & Whitney Kalisz which manufactures aircraft engines parts and employs about 1,500 people; most products are exported. In this city is also seated Wytwórnia Sprzętu Komunikacyjnego PZL-Kalisz, which, among other things, makes aircraft engines. In turn, Delphi company – a manufacturer of cooling systems used, among others, in cars - has been operating in Ostrow Wielkopolski for a dozen or so years.

In Leszno seated are the enterprise Przedsiębiorstwo Przemysłu Fermentacyjnego (Industrial Fermentation) „Akwawit” and LOB – a leading manufacturer of construction fittings – rim locks, mortise locks, door lock cylinders, cylinder padlocks.

A major factory in the town is Leszczyńska Fabryka Pomp (Leszno Pump Factory), whereas in Pila the leading company is Philips Lighting Poland which makes sources of light.

Greater Poland is acknowledged as a well-managed region, open to business and investors. Its assets are an intensified investment-targeted activity of local governments which make use of European funds, and, among other things, improve the infrastructure and prepare land investment strategies The industry in Greater Poland is efficient, with a large market share of private business.



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