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Special Economic Zones report strong project numbers for January-September but expect slowdown in 2012


2011-10-04



Poland’s 14 Special Economic Zones (SEZ) have approved new investment projects worth a total of PLN 4.37bn (approx. €1.1bn) in the first nine months of the year, according to data collected by Rzeczpospolita. This represents an increase of more than 60% compared with the same period a year earlier, and is further evidence that 2011 is proving to be a very good year for the zones. In fact, half the SEZ have already attracted bigger investments so far this year than in the whole of 2010, and at least four anticipate the full-year figure to exceed PLN 1bn or €226m. In the Kostrzyn-Slubice zone this level has already been reached. Other top-performers include Walbrzych (PLN 798.5m or €180.6m), Katowice (PLN 600m or €135.7m), Lodz (PLN 520.6m or €117.8m) and Tarnobrzeg (PLN 422.6m or €95.6m).

However, this year’s projects are less labour-intensive that last year (many are reinvestments). The number of jobs to be created as a result of the new projects is 5,872, down from 8,616 for investments approved in January-September 2010.

Moreover, most of the new projects are the product of negotiations dating back to 2010, and the number of new queries has fallen in recent months, amid uncertainty about the economic outlook and about the future of the zones themselves (it is not clear if their lifetime will be extended beyond 2020). As a result, 2012 is set to bring a decrease in the number of investment projects, according to SEZ representatives quoted by the newspaper.



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