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Investment values in SEZ down by 20% y-o-y in H1 but jobs and volumes on the up


In the first half of 2012 the country’s 14 Special Economic Zones (SEZ) secured new investment projects worth a total of PLN 2.55bn (approx. €618m), according to data collected by Rzeczpospolita. This represents a decline of about a fifth compared with the same period of the previous year, when new investments were worth PLN 3.22bn (€781m). However, the H1 2011 figure was flattered by a handful of very big investments, and in terms of project volumes and job numbers, this year has actually seen an improvement, the data show. Thus the zones finalised a total of 86 projects in January-June, up from 83 a year ago; and the total number of planned new jobs, at 2,900, is 12% higher than last year’s 2,600.

Half of the zones saw an increase in new investments (by value) in comparison with H1 2011. The Katowice zone remained the clear leader with new projects worth PLN 800m (€194m) in January-June, almost double the year-ago figure, and 700 planned new jobs; followed by Pomerania (PLN 329m or €80m; 244 jobs); Legnica (PLN 311m or €75.4m; 154 jobs); Walbrzych (PLN 246m or €59.6m; 180 jobs); and Lodz (PLN 155m or €37.6m; 294 jobs). The Kamienna Gora zone came 12th in terms of project values but attracted more new jobs than any other zone except Katowice (411).

The automotive sector remains the source of the biggest investments in the zones, but it is the BPO sector that is adding new jobs at the fastest pace.

According to observers, the zones might be hard-pressed to maintain the inflow of new projects at its current level in the remainder of the year, especially since the government is yet to approve a crucial decision to extend their lifetime beyond 2020.

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