EY Report: Poland - a true special economic zone

EY Report: Poland - a true special economic zone

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The activity of Polish special economic zones (SEZs) to date has resulted in investments worth over EUR 20 billion and the creation of 186,000 new jobs. However, experts point out that the best conditions for investments will be available only until 30 June 2014. According to the latest EY report “Poland: a true special economic zone”, following that date the EU will change the rules of granting state aid to less favorable ones.

As the operations of Polish zones have been extended until the end of December 2026, the perspective for new investment projects in the SEZs definitely improved. Over 6 thousand hectares of land are waiting for development by entrepreneurs. Still, the first half of 2014 is the last moment for investors to submit applications for permit to operate in the SEZ on more favorable terms. From July 1, 2014, the European Commission will change the conditions for granting state aid in the EU, which will reduce the intensity of support for investors.

Forecasts are consistent – a growth of over 3.0%

According to EY analyses, the cumulative GDP growth in Poland in 2008-2012 amounted to 18.1% - by far the highest result among all EU countries. During this time, the entire EU economy shrank by 0.8%. One of the reasons for this growth was the constant inflow of investments into our country. Special economic zones are among the key instruments used to attract investors, with tax exemption perceived as the most important benefit for businesses. EY and Oxford Economics forecasts coincide with those of many independent financial institutions. These are positive for Poland, with an expected GDP growth of 3.5% - 3.6% in 2016. However, as of July 1, 2014, the European Commission will amend the provisions relating to state aid in the European Union, and thus in Poland. These will also affect the operation of SEZ investors. The changes referred to above will be unfavorable for investors. Therefore, in order to secure SEZ support under the existing rules, investors must obtain a permit to conduct activity in the zone by the end of June 2014.

Poland as an investment zone

Polish special economic zones have recorded a steady growth and expansion during the 18 years of their operations. They occupy an area of nearly 16,000 ha, issued almost 1,600 permits and resulted in over 186 thousand new jobs and investments of a total value over EUR 20 billion (as of December 31, 2012). Over 6,000 ha are still waiting to be used by investors, and the total SEZ area can be increased even further by 4,000 ha (the current limit is 20,000 ha).

High ratings of Polish SEZs in the world

Five out of 14 Polish SEZs were classified in the global ranking of top 50 special economic zones prepared by the fDi Magazine of the Financial Times. The Katowice Special Economic Zone achieved the best results, coming 2nd in Europe and 11th in the world. Other SEZs included in the ranking are: the Łódź, Wałbrzych, Pomorska and Starachowice SEZ. European SEZs are distinguished from other zones especially by the high quality of infrastructure and an extensive transport network.

For more information, please visit EY Press Office (Polish).