Opole is a region with a favorable localization for investors - on the main national and European communication and transport routes, such as A4 motorway connecting the east and the west of Europe. The region has rapidly developing technical education provided by vocational schools and universities, modern and efficient agriculture, and diversified structure of the regional economy. In addition, the geographical location of the region provides access to the market of several million customers - due to the proximity of large regions such as Silesia and Lower Silesia, as well as the neighborhood with the Czech Republic. The most important sectors of the local economy are chemical, food and construction industries.
According to data from the Opolskie Investors and Exporters Assistance Centre (COIE), the Opolskie Region can offer nearly 5,000 hectares in hundreds of locations. The largest of the parcels - mostly belonging to the Treasury - reach up to 500 hectares.
As reported COIE operating at the Opolskie Economic Development Centre, the area of land plots still available in the subzones of the Opole province ranges from 0.5 to even 150 hectares - with the possibility of extension. As emphasized experts from the Investors and Exporters Assistance Centre, availability of vacant land in the Special Economic Zones - especially the large surface areas - is a major advantage of the Opole region, in comparison with the neighboring provinces where large investment areas are already developed.
COIE in Opole indicates that the maximum level of income tax exemption in the Opolskie Province for investors who have businesses in the special zones is 35 percent for large companies. The medium-sized companies can count on 45 percent, and the small and micro companies on 55 percent. Experts from COIE ensure that the standard of Opole investment areas is constantly improved.
Wałbrzych Special Economic Zone (WSEZ) located in the Opolskie Province is the largest and fastest-growing industrial zone in Poland. It was located on the 4th place in Europe and on 22nd in the world in the prestigious ranking of “fDi Magazine” belonging to the Financial Times Group, which examined 600 SEZ. Wałbrzych SEZ operates for 17 years. More than 170 companies operate in areas across Wałbrzych SEZ employing approx. 37,000 people. Capital expenditures have already exceeded the amount of PLN 16.7 billion. Already 23 companies have been established and 2,600 people employed in areas owned by the WSEZ in the Opole province. In the group of investors who found their place in WSEZ are such companies as Polaris, Pasta Food, GSS, OGI4, MRP and IFM in Opole; Donaldson and Aquila in Skrabimierz; ASPÖCK and Cosma in Kluczbork; Vasco Doors in Nysa.
Among the strengths of Wałbrzych SEZ “INVEST-PARK” listed in the “Analysis of investment attractiveness of the Opole region as a center of sub-region in the south-west Poland. Silesia 2015-2020” prepared for the Opole Economic Development Center are, for example: attractive investment land with infrastructure; modern production facilities (Wałbrzych, Kłodzko, Bolesławiec, Nowa Ruda); access to the professional labor market and friendly attitude of local authorities and residents of the municipalities covered by the zone.
It is worth noting that in September 2014, the WSEZ opened its office in Opole. The Office will attract new investors and help those already operating in the zone.
Katowice Special Economic Zone also offers its areas to businesses in the Opole province. According to the authors of the analysis prepared for the Opole Economy Development Center, since its inception, it has acquired more than 200 companies that have invested in its areas PLN 21.5 billion and created more than 53,000 new jobs. The document shows that 60.4 percent of these investments belong to the automotive industry, another 14.2 percent to metal industry, and 6.6 percent to manufacturers of glass products. The zone attracted investors from the USA, Italy, Poland, Germany and Japan. Katowice Special Economic Zone occupies a total of more than 2,348 hectares in more than 45 different areas.
According to the analysis, the Katowice Special Economic Zone - except for statutory activities - also provides additional services to support operators in the area and its surroundings, such as real estate agency in the zone surrounding areas, including the rental of office and warehouse space, consulting services and conducting database of potential service providers for the investment in KSEZ, “one-stop-shop” (full investor service), activities supporting cooperation in the region, personal counseling, training of personnel and services in the field of occupational medicine. The study reported that in the first half of 2014, Katowice SEZ attracted 58 new investment projects in comparison to 29 acquired throughout 2013. Businesses have declared the creation of 2,600 new jobs and the maintenance of the actual 13,000 jobs and capital expenditures are expected to reach approx. PLN 2.5 billion.
In the Katowice Special Economic Zone in Ujazd (Opolskie province) exist an automotive companies like Tru-Flex or Mubea. The area in Ujazd lies adjacent to the A4 motorway Wroclaw-Gliwice. It is located between junctions of Olszowa and Nogowczyce. Nearby - beyond the zone - FM Logistic group invested in the logistics center.
Starachowice SEZ has also a small, only several hectares area in the Opole province - in Tułowice. According to the Opolskie COIE, there are headquarters of such companies as Kaye Aluminium, Neo Plus Technology and Greenagro. Generally 52 companies that have invested a total of over PLN 1.8 billion and employ nearly 6,300 people are operating in the Starachowice SEZ.
It should be noted that apart from tax exemptions to investors related to their presence in the Special Economic Zones, also many municipalities of the Opole province offer the property tax exemption for companies investing in their areas.
Business facilities that potential investors can count on in the Opole province also include the infrastructure and facilities offered by existing or constantly emerging science and technology parks. Among them: Science and Technology Park in Opole; Kędzierzyńsko-Kozielski Park Przemysłowy Sp. z o.o. (Kędzierzyn-Koźle Industrial Park); Innovation and Technology Park in Przywory; Nysa Regional Industrial Park; Metalchem Industrial Park in Opole.
The foundation stone of the Science and Technology Park in Opole was laid in March 2014. It is created next to the newly built and already operating Exhibition and Congress Centre. Two buildings of the Park, which will be part of a business incubator and laboratory, are to be built in a year. The cost of the investment is PLN 14 million.
The Science and Technology Park in Opole will be a place of cooperation between business and science. Ultimately it will consist of five parts. In the first stage there will be two buildings, each with approx. 1,700 sq. m. In one of them it will be located a three-storey business incubator with conference halls. There will be place for IT industries. The second one will host experimental laboratories, including four implementation halls.
It is worth noting that although the Park is still under construction, the company appointed by the city of Opole, which will be responsible for the construction and operation of the Park, is now acquiring partners for cooperation, including universities from the Opole region, Poznan and Gdansk. Representatives of the Park together with companies and universities have already developed several projects.
Metalchem Industrial Park in Opole assemble in turn several companies operating in Metalchem, the industrial district of Opole, for years regarded as the industrial heart of the capital of the region. The park created there works to improve the technical and communication infrastructure of Metalchem. Its constituent companies also cooperate in the promotion of their potential.
The mission of Kędzierzyn-Koźle Industrial Park is to create jobs by providing favorable conditions for the functioning of businesses, effective management of production assets and the provision of infrastructure and consulting services together with the financial support system. The aim of the company is, however, to increase the municipality’s socio-economic potential by supporting small and medium-sized enterprises; increase the competitiveness of the region and stimulate regional and local development and improve the investment attractiveness of the Kędzierzyn-Koźle region. Its shareholders are the Kędzierzyn-Koźle municipality, JPM Holding SA and the Azoty Group, Zakłady Azotowe Kędzierzyn SA.
It is also worth noting that in the Opole region there are a number of business environment institutions, such as chambers of commerce, business incubators, chambers of crafts. Their objectives include increasing the competitiveness of the region and contributing to the economic growth of the region. Companies investing in the Opole region can also benefit from the support of institutions such as the Regional Employment Office or local employment offices, as well as R & D institutions, to mention just the Institute of Heavy Organic Synthesis “Blachownia”, which is a research unit of the organic chemical industry; the largest technical university in the Opole region - Opole University of Technology with modern facilities and the Department of Building Materials Engineering, formerly the Institute of Mineral Construction Materials, which supports the cement and lime industry for years. Department of Building Materials Engineering specializes in the development and implementation of new technologies for manufacturing of building materials from waste materials.
Increasingly popular among the entrepreneurs already active in the Opole region, and those who join their group is to get together in the cluster initiatives. The authors of the aforementioned “Analysis of investment attractiveness of the Opole region” pointed out that at least a dozen clusters and cluster initiatives were established in recent years in the Opole province – mostly in the tourism, construction and eco-construction sectors. For example, the construction and interior design sectors cluster, whose purpose is the acquisition of EU funds for the development of companies, exchange of knowledge, promotion of the Opole region's economy and cooperation with the local government. The initiators of the creation of the cluster are: Opolskie Centre for Economic Development (OCRG), Institute of Ceramics and Building Materials and the exhibition center domEXPO.
There are also food, chemical, automotive industry clusters as well as senior cluster, who has, among others, to develop innovative solutions for the creation of a comprehensive offer of health and personal care services for the elderly people.
There is also Club 150 operating in the Opolskie Province that brings together companies with the greatest importance to the local economy. Among the many initiatives taken by the Club 150 there is a purchasing group. Club 150 was created by the Opolskie Centre for Economic Development (OCRG). It has almost two hundred companies from different industries, which are of utmost importance for the economy of the Opolskie province. The aim of this initiative was, inter alia, to improve the conditions for the functioning of companies, diagnose their problems or create the clusters.
Opolskie Centre for Economic Development has created the KRUPI platform (Capital of Investment Process Participants Relations) for cooperation between the administration and the business environment institutions. The aim of this initiative is to effectively attract investors, to shorten the time required to complete the equipment of the investment areas, promote the Opole province as a business-friendly region and to warm business relationship with the administration.
In the last two years the Opolskie province was striving mainly for investors from the automotive segment, and directionally - for American capital. The next segments, on which the Centre will focus, will be the food industry, as well as furniture, metal and machinery, building materials and furnishings sectors.
More actuall data you will find on www.coi.opolskie.pl