Q: What is Lublin province's 'elevator pitch'? 

A: We have a very solid vision of economic development and we are supporting certain interconnected fields. First, we are increasing the accessibility of our region. It is hard to even talk about the region's economic development if it is difficult to get there. In 2012 we opened a brand new airport and we have two low-cost airlines operating out of there already. In two years we will have a new bridge connecting with central Poland and in 2013 we will also open a new expressway from Lublin.

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We are preparing the ground for new investments, not just by creating special economic zones, but also by opening science and industrial parks so we can connect academia with business. We are creating business incubators and, finally, we are promoting our region so the information about the changes in Lublin province is out there.

Q: What sectors is Lublin province promoting as the most attractive for crossborder FDI?

A: From this year we will be rolling out hundreds of kilometres of optical fibre, which will enable us to provide broadband internet access. We are definitely interested in attracting IT-related businesses. Furthermore, as we have well-educated and qualified graduates from local universities, we would like to attract investments in business process outsourcing [BPO] activities.

We are also developing our car and aviation industries, as well looking at renewable energy. Investments in the alternative energy sector have immense potential here and they can include research conducted by the Lublin-based Institute of Agrophysics, manufacturing, and direct involvement in setting up photovoltaic farms and biogas plants.

Q: Is the newly opened airport intended to serve the province or also nearby western Ukraine?

A: It is mainly instrumental in improving transport links with Lublin. But there are no low-cost airlines in Ukraine and plane tickets over there are more expensive, so we are in very advanced talks with the Ukrainian region of Rivne so the airport can become the gateway to and from eastern Europe.

Q: Other places in Poland, such as the cities of Wroclaw, Kraków, Poznań and the Pomerania region, have been successful in attracting FDI, especially in the BPO sector. Is it too late for Lublin province to fight for investor attention?

A: I do not think so. It is much cheaper to run a BPO centre here than anywhere else in Poland. And we are also aware that investment decisions are not based purely on the price of labour, but also the location's accessibility and skilled labour pool. We have both.

The same is true with renewable energy; we have adequate academic programmes at the Lublin Polytechnic, the University of Life Sciences of Lublin and at the Maria Curie Sklodowska University. It also has to be noted that we have one of the fastest growing economies in the country.

We know how to facilitate investment projects, all the way from the first leads to their launch. We are there to help after the venture is in operation as well. We are very determined to welcome all entrepreneurs in a no-nonsense, effective way. This region is still waiting to be discovered and there is a big anticipation of new business activities.