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Wroclaw impressed the judges of the fDi Polish Cities of the Future 2017/18 awards with its multi-platform strategy for attracting investment, while Lublin shot up 10 places to come third behind Katowice. Cathy Mullan reports.

Wroclaw in south-west Poland has topped the FDI Strategy category of this year’s fDi Polish Cities of the Future 2017/18 ranking, with Katowice holding firm in second place. Most impressively, however, Lublin has climbed 10 places to third.

In an effort to keep investors fully informed of what is happening in the city, Wroclaw Agglomeration Development Agency maintains a dedicated investment promotion website, offering an economic handbook with advice on doing business in the city, as well as publications for foreigners living there. Information is also published for high school students to encourage them to study and live in Wroclaw, and another website offers information to tourists to attract them to visit the city, which could lead to more investment. Further bolstering the city’s digital offering, a mobile app – Invest in Wroclaw Region – helps investors with their site-selection decisions.

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Wroclaw is undergoing some major infrastructure developments, including street reconstruction, public transport upgrades (including the development of a park-and-ride system) and the construction of a major sports stadium. A 300-hectare special economic zone is operational in Wroclaw, which offers real estate exemptions for six years, or 15 years for R&D operations, one of the agency’s key target sectors. According to the Wroclaw Agglomeration Development Agency, the city has the highest number of R&D entities in Poland, supported by key facilities such as Wroclaw Technology Park and Wroclaw Research Centre, which offers dedicated office and lab space for tech-focused investors. Such figures are a major factor behind the city’s aim of becoming a technology hub for central and eastern Europe.

Katowice communication drive

Katowice has remained the judges’ choice for second place, thanks in part to its social media and marketing strategy. The city’s investor website runs alongside pages dedicated to the promotion of Katowice and another for the Convention Bureau Katowice, which promotes the city as a key destination for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions. To that end, key facilities have been established, including the International Congress Centre and the Silesian Museum, offering meeting and conference space. Katowice city centre has also undergone redevelopment, to include 24 hectares of mixed-use development facilities. The investor relations department at city hall remains at the service of investors who locate in the city. An annual marketing campaign is conducted by city hall for companies looking for new employees, while the city's authorities work to foster deeper integration and relations between academia and business.

Lublin, in south-east Poland, come in third for FDI Strategy. Lublin city hall works to develop investment clusters in the city, establishing the Lublin Medicine-Medical and Wellness Cluster and Lublin Cluster of Advanced Aircraft Technology. The city also focuses on attracting investment in the automotive sector, and has more than 10,000 students registered in related courses, providing investors with a reliable workforce. The first hydrogen-powered car in Poland was created by scientists at the Technical University of Lublin in 2012. The city is working to establish better connections from municipal facilities to the special economic zone in the city. For practical support, companies in the city can hire trainees without having to provide a contract, boosting the availability of workforce for investors. 

Click on the link below for a PDF version of the complete results: 

This article is sourced from fDi Magazine
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