Q: What specific investments are hoping to attract at the moment?
A: Our goal is to show off our city and of course to gain new investors for building new hotels. We have two properties in an area of 7500 sq m. Those properties are in the centre of our city at the main crossroads and we are trying to gain new investors to build high-class hotels. Our masterplan allows investors to build very high buildings so we hope that investors can make a big profit from this area.
Q: What is making Katowice an attractive location for foreign investment, more generally?
A: Our government and our parliament established a metropolitan area around Katowice. There are about 30 towns joined to us and Katowice is the centre of this metropolitan area. We have more than two million inhabitants and we have a very good position on the roadmap of Poland because we are at the crossroads of two highways, A1 and A4. Around Katowice there are three airports within less than 100km; Katowice, Krakow and Ostrava. I think we offer good conditions for making business because there are more than 20 universities. There are more than 100,000 students. And we have a unique attitude towards jobs and towards work. The cost of jobs is still low in our market.
Q: How could you make Katowice more attractive to FDI?
A: It is true that between big cities there is big competition. We try to gain new investors by making good conditions for employees who want to work in these areas. We are going to improve our quality of life. We have rebuilt our infrastructure – that was the first very important stage. Now we are trying to improve the living conditions for young people. We have about 20 investments connected with improving the quality of life like new swimming pools, new tramway lines, parks and places and many different others. Investors say that Katowice is a good region for investment because we have almost 20,000 places for jobs in the IT sector within the economy.
Q: Do you believe the national government’s policies are helping Katowice or making it more difficult for Poland and your city?
A: At the beginning our government established the metropolitan area in our region. It’s the first metropolitan area and it makes better conditions for doing business in this region. We gain almost €100m a year for the development of the metropolitan area. It’s a real sign that our government wants to develop our region.
Q: Lastly, you attract a lot of German, US and UK investment. What do you think brings those countries in?
A: We have over 100,000 students. Their knowledge of foreign languages both German and English is quite good. The cost of jobs is lower in our region and we have a specific tradition of employees connected with our history. Katowice is mixed with three cultures: Polish, German and Jewish. Katowice has only 150 years of history but these three nations gave us a lot and we can build our future on this history and on this tradition; tradition connected with good experiences connected with high appreciation for jobs and work.