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The mayor of Poland’s Toruń, Michal Zaleski, tells Sebastian Shehadi about the city’s foreign investment opportunities and improving ease of doing business.

Q: For those who do n0t know, what makes Toruń attractive to foreign direct investment?

A: Toruń is one of the most recognisable cities in Poland. That fame has been built on its long history, well preserved monuments and the very expressive characters influencing the creation of historical and contemporary image of the city. The strategic localisation and fruitful co-operation with partner cities are other crucial factors which increase the city’s attractiveness. Thanks to all these advantages and good political decisions, Toruń has achieved a high-quality labour market, modern technical infrastructure and attractive climate for investors.

Toruń has an interesting investment offer. It includes, among others, more than 10 different plots of total area of almost 1 sq km. The potential of the proposed locations allows the realisation of new investments and collaboration with entities already operating in Toruń. Thanks to business activity, international contacts with private business and numerous council investments, Toruń is currently a modern and important centre in the region.

Q: In what sectors would you like to see more foreign investment?

A: Toruń is open for undertakings related to the sectors of services, culture and tourism, especially related to the hotel and hi-tech industries, which are environmentally friendly. Within the city limits there are many areas in which manufacturing, logistics and service activity can be carried out. Particularly dynamic growth has been observed in six areas: pharmaceuticals, the food industry, metals, chemicals and the BPO/SSC sector.

Additionally, there have been many projects realised including those supporting the development of entrepreneurship and innovation, and simplifying the transfer of up-to-date technologies

Q: What is inspiring more investment in Toruń ?

A: Out of concern for ssafeguarding co-operation with current and future investors in Toruń, a number of actions have been taken to create a business-friendly climate. The process of continuous improvement of the city’s investment attractiveness is influenced by the gradual introduction of changes in the development of infrastructure and systems supporting new investments, as well as improvement of communication systems with investors. This makes Toruń one of the strongest economic centres in Poland. The city creates ideal conditions for conducting business activity both for international corporations and enterprises from the SME sector. Investors feel comfortable here because the Business Support Centre in Toruń, which works for them, makes every effort to simplify administrative procedures related to the implementation of new investments.

Q: How are you making Toruń better for business?

With a view to creating conditions for locating new foreign investments, developing entrepreneurship and creating new places, the Entrepreneurship Support Programme in Toruń for 2014 to 2020 has been developed. The Business Support Centre in Toruń has undertaken a number of actions aimed at implementing the strategic objectives contained [in the programme], including in particular ensuring full co-ordination of activities of the Toruń City Hall and Business Support Institutions and increased emphasis on deficit competence education. We focus education on the needs of the economy, increasing the intensity of co-operation between universities, the city and entrepreneurs or creating entrepreneurial attitudes. The local government also undertakes a number of measures to stimulate the local labour market and to create a climate conducive to the development of entrepreneurship, which results in a continuous decrease in the unemployment rate (in August 2018 it fell to 4.8%). The city also offers different forms of support for business activity, including tax concessions for investors, municipal investment offerings and access to information concerning investment locations and facilitation of administrative procedures.

This article is sourced from fDi Magazine
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