Q: For those who don’t know Opole, what makes it interesting and unique compared with other Polish cities?
A: We are the fastest developing medium-sized city. There are 16 provincial capitals in Poland and Opole is among them, and it is the capital of the smallest region that is growing very fast. We’ve attracted a lot of companies from all over the world, in business services and automotive production, as well as technology companies in our healthy IT environment. We’ve given a lot of attention to the Science and Technology Park, and on the creation of the jobs that ensure we grow in the long term. We are academic city, and this is our selling point among medium-sized cities.
Q: Are there any particular sectors that you would like to see investment in?
A: There is a lot of noise nowadays about IT, artificial intelligence, big data and science and data science. I am happy about that because over the past few years we’ve been working on that topic on those sectors before they became fashionable. Today, we are focusing on attracting companies to these sectors and have received big businesses such as France’s Danone. This year we held a worldwide hackathon of IT solutions in Opole. So this is what we are focusing on and we succeed in this field. As a medium-sized city, we have the opportunity to co-operate closely with both companies and universities.
Q: What FDI challenges are you overcoming?
A: A good example is areas for new investment. We are developing at the fastest rate among other cities in the region, thus we have a lack of investment, so we’re enlarging the city. As the city grows, real estate opportunities are growing. For example, in recreation we’ve built an aqua-park, stadium and a science exhibition centre, which is also for industrial and other businesses, so we have a lot to show here.
Q: Any closing thoughts on why investors should consider Opole?
A: We have the best investment services among Polish cities; we have been working for few years to build the group of people who are good at what they are doing and we are really keen on foreign and Polish investments. So this is our advantage among other cities: we have a group of people in investor services which are simply the best.