KPMG, a global network of professional firms providing audit, tax and advisory services, prepared a guide for companies which consider investing in special economic zones. Moreover, the guide presents results of a survey conducted among investors operating within the zones. According to the findings, the Katowice Special Economic Zone (KSEZ) was ranked the second best zone in Poland.
The companies which took part in the KPMG survey were asked to provide an overall assessment of the operation of their zones on a scale from 1 to 5 (very poor, poor, moderate, good, very good). In the same way, the respondents rated four subcategories related to the conditions of business within their SEZ: infrastructure (e.g. network of roads and motorways, railway network, technical development of lands), business environment (e.g. proximity to logistics centers, presence of subcontractors, availability of extra services, e.g. legal or financial ones), the quality of collaboration with the management of the SEZ (services provided by the SEZ to support companies operating on its territory, the quality of investor services) and human resources (quality and availability of workforce in the zone and its vicinity).
In case of the Katowice Special Economic Zone, the overall assessment is 4,46 – the second highest amongst all the zones. The average rating for all zones is 4,2. Also, the zone received the rating above 4 in the four subcategories: infrastructure was assessed at 4,23, business environment – 4,27, perceived quality of co-operation with KSEZ management – 4,42 and workforce – 4,23. The highest rating was obtained by the Tarnobrzeg Special Economic Zone in the overall category (4,48), however the zone was assessed below 4 in three out of the four subcategories.
Apart from the ranking and a description of available incentives and reliefs the report contains essential information on each of the 14 zones operating in Poland. The publication describes the Katowice SEZ as the region of rich industrial traditions which facilitate the implementation of investment projects, especially those with a manufacturing profile. Another advantage lies in the access to highly skilled workforce as the region has numerous comprehensive and technical secondary schools, vocational schools and universities. Moreover, many R&D institutes are located in the region. Most investment territories are located in the vicinity of international transport routes (east-west and north-south) and the hub of two motorways: A1 and A4. The Katowice SEZ turned out to be particularly attractive for investors from the automotive sector and has evolved into one of the centers of this industry in Poland.
The Katowice Special Economic Zone was established in 1996. As of December 2013, 1 114,9 ha of the zone’s land were occupied, which constituted 55,6% of its total area. The majority of the land is concentrated in the Silesia voivodeship but the zone also covers areas in the Opolskie and Małopolskie voivodeships. The total investments in the zone are worth over PLN 21,1 billion. 250 valid investment permits were issued for companies operating in the KSEZ. The management estimates that there will be 54 000 employees by the end of this year.