fDi Magazine, a division of the Financial Times, has released its inaugural Global Free Zones of the Year Awards for 2014. The ranking mentions the best 32 free zones from around the globe including the Katowice Special Economic Zone (KSEZ).
fDi invited free zones, government and investment promotion representatives to complete a short survey detailing their zone’s attractiveness, facilities and incentives offered to investors. In total, 45 entries were received from free zones across the world. fDi judged each location. Free zones were ranked within their region, and each region was presented with „Best Zone for Large Tenants” and „Best Zone for SMEs” awards. Additionally, some locations which were particularly outstanding but which did not win overall awards have been acknowledged with honourable mentions and bespoke awards.
One of four honourable mentions for Europe was given to the Katowice Special Economic Zone. Apart from the KSEZ, the mentions went to zones located in Turkey, Lithuania and Russia. As can be read in the report, the Katowice zone houses only large tenants, with 63% of those from the automotive industry. The zone has had a big impact on the economic prosperity of the region, accounting for the creation of 53 000 jobs. A further 150 000 jobs have been created locally due to companies co-operating with those enterprises operational in the zone.
Free zones in the Middle East have dominated fDi’s Global Free Zones of the Year awards, with Jebel Ali Free Zone crowned the Global Free Zone of the Year 2014 for Large Tenants, and Dubai Multi Commodities Centre awarded within the SME category.
In 2012, the Katowice Special Economic Zone was named the second best economic zone in Europe and eleventh worldwide, according to the fDi Magazine’s Global Free Zones of the Future 2012/2013.