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Special economic zones report upturn in activity in January-May


Investment activity in the country’s 14 special economic zones is picking up, according to a survey by Rzeczpospolita. In the first five months of the year the zones approved 63 new investment projects between them, worth a total of PLN 2.7bn (approx. €680m). This is nearly 60% of the value of new investments in 2010 as a whole. The new projects are expected to create over 5,000 jobs.

In May alone projects worth over PLN 1bn (€252m) were approved. The largest one was a long-heralded investment by Green Source, a Spanish bioethanol maker, which will spend PLN 737m (€186m) until 2014 to build a factory of bioethanol in Kostrzyn (Lubuskie voivodship), in the Kostrzyn-Slubice Special Economic Zone (KSSSE). Talks about the project started back in 2000, but the breakthrough came last year when the government decided to award an investment grant for it. As a result, the zone has already exceeded the value of investment projects approved in 2010.

In three other zones: Tarnobrzeg SSE, Pomeranian SSE, and Kamienna Gora SSE, the value of new projects is also already above 2010 levels.

In the Walbrzych zone new projects approved so far this year are worth PLN 383m (€97m), up by 40% y-o-y. But the survey also points to an uptick of activity in smaller zones in Northern Poland.

It also confirms the dominance of reinvestments and a relative decline in greenfield projects, which means that the scale of job creation will be comparatively smaller.

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