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Special Economic Zones report increase in new investments in January-October but forecast weaker 2012


In the first 10 months of 2011 Poland’s 14 Special Economic Zones (SEZ) approved new investment projects with declared value of over PLN 5bn (approx. €1.1bn), which is more than in 2010 as a whole, according to data collected by Rzeczpospolita.

A total of 137 new permits were issued by the SEZ in the 10 months to the end of October, for projects that are expected to bring more than 7,100 jobs. The Walbrzych zone is the leader in terms of the value of new projects, which exceeded PLN 1.1bn (€249m) as of the end of last month, and by total jobs to be created (2,131), both figures helped by an excellent October. Only one other zone, Kostrzyn-Slubice, also attracted investments worth over PLN 1bn since the beginning of the year (PLN 1.08bn or €245m). In terms of jobs, however, it came sixth with 549, behind Legnica (1,129), Lodz (825), Katowice (820) and Tarnobrzeg (562). The Katowice and Lodz zones top the list in terms of project numbers (16 each), followed by Mielec and Walbrzych with 15 and Tarnobrzeg with 14.

At the same time, however, the level of activity by potential investors has weakened in recent months amid uncertainty over the economic outlook, zone officials say. The situation is exacerbated by the uncertain future of the zones themselves, which are due to disappear by 2021.

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