Since 1990, in the province there have been established a few thousand companies with foreign capital and hundred thousands of native enterprises. Both home and foreign companies can expect some support of investment processes. Greater Poland emphasizes its support for investment processes by creating a good investment climate, and propagating various investment incentives.
Potential investors in the province can be offered sites of an area from few to a few dozen or even few hundred hectares. There are about 200 sites from all over the province stored in the browser of sites prepared by the Polska Agencja Informacji i Inwestycji Zagranicznych (PAIiIZ, Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency)
In the region, foreign investors can rely on gratuitous help from COIE experts (Centrum Obsługi Inwestorów i Eksporterów - the Investors and Exporters Service Centre). First of all, at the Centre they will be provided with information on how to keep business in Poland. Secondly, for enterprises there has prepared some information on the economic potential in the region as well as materials pertinent to the effective legal and administrative provisions. Thirdly, the COIE keeps also a comprehensive data base of investment offers compiled by communes and counties of Greater Poland.
The COIE cooperates with the Main Information Point on European Funds in Posen (Główny Punkt Informacyjny Funduszy Europejskich w Poznaniu), Greater Poland Job Agency (Wielkopolski Urząd Pracy w Poznaniu) and Physical Planning Office (Wielkopolskie Biuro Planowania Przestrzennego w Poznaniu). In consequence, an investor will save time by contacting only one agency. On the national level, there is a strict cooperation between the COIE and PAIiIZ in the field of investor information service.
The regional Investor Service Centre (COI) operates as well at the Association of Greater Poland Communities and Countries ( Stowarzyszenie Gmin i Powiatów Wielkopolsk). First of all, the Centre deals with the service of investors’ inquiries which regard potential sites, availability of labor force. The COI organizes visits of investors and has at its disposal a data base with areas offered by local government. It helps in gaining information within the region, acts as a mediator in talks held with the authorities and searches for local partners and subsuppliers.
Greater Poland has succeeded in attracting big investors. It is sufficient to mention the recent decision of VW group, an automotive concern, on building a new plant in the region, worth 3.3 billion PLN. Greater Poland expects not only large enterprises, but also smaller companies and investors willing to restore old buildings. In such cases, apart from commercial advantages, investors would also take care of the social value of buildings.
The local government is open to prospective investors, and emphasizes that they also expects smaller business entities because even a dozen or so new jobs created by a private businessman means advantages for the region itself. An incentive for smaller investors should be business incubators in which can be located small enterprises which in normal market circumstances would not operate elsewhere.
One of investment incentives for the enterprises in Greater Poland is placing their investments within Special Economic Zones (SEZ). Each zone is an administratively separate part of Polish territory, allocated for the running of businesses on preferential terms. A business, on entering an SEZ has the assurance of tax benefits, and an additional benefit is the fact that entrepreneurs can begin trading on a specially prepared site, fully equipped with the necessary utilities and the entrepreneur does not pay income tax.
So far, in Greater Poland, investors have been able to make use of investment areas in 6 zones, viz. Kostrzyńsko-Słubicka (Kuestrin- Slubice) SEZ, Łódż SEZ, Słupsk (Stolp) SEZ, Small Enterprise SEZ, Wałbrzych (Waldenburg) SEZ "Invest-Park” and Pomeranian Special SEZ.
In Greater Poland, the Kostrzyńsko-Słubicka (Kuestrin- Slubice) (KSSSE) SEZ has a total area of 302 ha, and 148 hectares thereof is prepared for investors. In the subzone in Posen there is still more than 50 hectares to let, and at Swarzędz by Posen – almost 80 ha. The companies operating in Greater Poland have created in total 3,4 00 jobs in the KSSSE subzones.
As far as the Łódż SEZ subzones are concerned, in Greater Poland operate enterprises which employ more than 2,000 people, and the zone area is 121 ha. Investment sites are available, among others, at Turek, Przykonie, Ostrzeszow.The Small Enterprise SEZ includes areas situated at Ostrów Wielkopolski and Raczyca. In Greater Poland, the Pomeranian Special SEZ is present at Piła with a dozen or so hectares waiting for prospective investors.
The Wałbrzych (Waldenburg) SEZ "Invest-Park in Greater Poland consists of eight subzones of more than 520 ha, and 150 ha thereof is available to investors.The subzones are located at Jarocin, Kalisz, Kościan, Krotoszyn, Leszno, Rawicz, Śremi and in Września. The largest area of more than 100 ha is available in the Wrzesnia Economic Activity Zone, in which a new VW Group factory is under construction.
An enterprise which will be located in a subzone may be exempted from income tax calculated on its business within the zone.Those are not the only advantages in the zones. The sites offered within the zones are ready for investment projects and their prices are competitive.In addition, the zone staff helps gratuitously arrange formalities related to a project. Some communities where zones are situated offer exemptions from real estate tax.
Another incentive for investors in the region is access to preferential loans from the Union JESSICA initiative. To apply for such loans, entrepreneurs have to perform the social aspect of a project, e.g. by arranging a new town space or restoration of old buildings. Refundable aids are subject to additional conditions.
In Greater Poland, offers of cooperation and help for foreign inventors are obtainable in the largest cities. In Posen, in the Town Hall operates the Investor Service Office which offers assistance to investors who wish to be located in Posen and its agglomeration. In line with the town strategy, certain actions are aimed especially at investors from the priority branches, and in particular, from the sector of modern services, research, development and technologically advanced production.
An investor applying to the Office will be provided with indispensable information and data, assistance at selecting a site or office space. The Office staff organizes meetings, helps in establishing contacts and organizes visit of investors to the town. They can prove also useful in explaining the role of the respective offices and agencies and civil service institutions and facilitate contacts with clerks, university level schools and colleges, real estate agencies, recruitment agencies etc. Key partners may expect custom-made service and assistance from an ‘Investment guide’. The guide will help throughout the procedure of preparation and completion of a project.
The Office in Posen offers, too, its help in recruitment employees, inc. cooperation with university level schools in order to elaborate an appropriate syllabus for students, aimed at an enterprise’s needs. Through agency of the Office one can also contact the County Job Office. An investor will also receive updated information on tax exemptions and related rules.
At the city office of Kalisz operates the Office of Investor and Social Partner Service which prepares information on the town and investment documents for prospective investors as well as about the base of investment sites; the Office offers assistance in obtaining indispensable licenses and investment documents and making use of financial support instruments. The Office helps in talks with the authorities and utilities companies. Kalisz offers to investors exemptions from real estate taxes. Enterprises may be also assisted in the subzone of the Wałbrzych (Waldenburg) SEZ "Invest-Park. Investments may be also located within the Dobrzec-Zachód Economic Zone of an area of almost 75 ha.
In Kalisz predominant are companies focused on aerospace industry – in the agglomeration operates the Wielkopolska (Greater Poland) Aviation Cluster, and recently, there has been inaugurated the Centrum Doskonałości Badań Kół Zębatych (Center for Cogged Wheels Perfection Research ), a research facility to support the local aerospace companies, incl. Pratt & Whitney Kalisz, WSK PZL-Kalisz. Then, in the city operates also the Food Cluster.
Ostrów Wielkopolski helps investors through the Investor Service Office. The town has at its disposal investment areas, and a part of them belongs to the subzone of the Kamienna Gora (Landeshut) Special Small Enterprise Economic Zone.The local government wants as well to attract investors with tax exemptions.
At Piła operates a subzone of the Pomeranian Special Economic Zone which is to attract investors with an offer of refunding a part of the capital invested. Assistance for companies wishing to start their business in the subregion is offered by the Invest-Park Piła. The zone area is around a dozen or few hectares. In Pila, companies may expect a yearly exemption from the real estate tax, which may be extended in for the successive years according to the number of new jobs created. The city has also in its portfolio other tax exemptions, like exemption from the tax on the means of conveyance. In addition, a company located in the subzone has also a possibility of using regional public aid.
For prospective investors in Leszno, there have been prepared VASA Industrial Zone and I.D.E.A. Investment Zone. In total, the town offers around a 40 ha area to entrepreneurs, and a part thereof belongs to the Wałbrzych (Waldenburg) SEZ (WSSE) .If a company should be located within the WSSE, businessmen can expect assistance of the zone staff throughout the investment procedure. Leszno also offers exemptions from the real estate tax, income tax reliefs for entrepreneurs. In the city operate the Lesczynski Klaster Budowlany (Leszczynski Construction Cluster) and the Food Cluster. In addition, entrepreneurs are assisted by the Leszczynskie Burins Centre.
In Konin, in order to facilitate contacts with business partners there was established the Investor Service Office which promotes the town business potential and supports home and foreign investors, helps in establishing relations and selecting an investment site, presents an offer of tax reliefs and provides consultations throughout the investment procedure, incl. application for permits and licenses. The city supports those entrepreneurs who create new jobs. In Konin, companies can expect tax and rates’ (local tax) reliefs even for a 10 years time.
Advanced technology companies will find an appropriate infrastructure in Greater Poland. There are around 40 university level schools and a few research and technology parks operating within the province; they will enable a rapid development of companies due to a support from R&D establishments.
The Posen (Poznański) Science and Technology Park (PPNT) was the first establishment of this kind to have been set up in Poland. It was founded in 1995 within the Adam Mickiewicz University Foundation. The park consists of the Advanced Chemical Technology Center, Complex of High Technology Incubators , Technology Incubator (InQbator) and other laboratories. Within the PPNT operate almost 70 innovative companies, spin-offs and start-ups, and this place is ideal for the commercialization of research and technology results in the economy.
In the regional capital city operates as well Nickel Technology Park Poznań – its hitherto activity has been focused on ICT, BIO and life science. In turn, the Poznański Park Technologiczno-Przemysłowy (Posen Science and Industry Park) and the Eureka Technology Park are intended , among others, for the companies which start their business; in Lubon by Posen there has been established the Luvena Technology Park operating at the chemical works.The most recent institution of this kind is the Nobel Tower Centrum Zaawansowanych Technologii (Nobel Tower Center of Advanced Technologies), inaugurated at the end of 2014.
In the southern part of the region, in Kalisz, operates the aforesaid Centrum Doskonałości Badań Kół Zębatych (Center for Cogged Wheels Perfection Research), and the Kaliski Inkubator Przedsiębiorczości (Kalisz Businss Incubator) whose part is the technology Incubator. In turn, in Ostrow Wielkopolski there was founded the Delphi Polska Technology Park. The Park is a R&D centre implementing innovative technologies and products related, among others, to heat exchangers. The Park consists of research laboratories, a prototype division and a tool room.
Then, there are also more than 20 research institutes dealing, for example, with biotechnology, bioorganic chemistry, energy/power technology, molecular physics, genetics, logistics and plastic working. In addition, at university level schools operate centers for technology transfer and innovation.