The Śląskie Voivodeship belongs to the economically strongest regions of Poland.
It produces 13.1% of gross domestic product (GDP), what makes the voivodeship second in the country.
A clear change in the structure of the gross value added produced here is the expression of the transformations taking place in the regional economy. The share of market and non-market services accounts for nearly 60% and 33% of industry, giving it the first position in the country.
The Śląskie Voivodeship has many natural resources, such as: deposits of coal, zinc, lead, methane, natural gas, marl, limestone, aggregates, as well as therapeutic, thermal and mineral waters. The largest industrial district in the country was created here basing on the existing supply area.
Coal mining and iron-steel metallurgy were subjected to thorough restructuring processes. The effect of changes taking place in the mining sector is employment reduction and efficiency improvement. There have been major changes in ownership and management structure in steel industry. The result of these changes is almost the total privatisation of the industry.
The entire fuel and energy complex is also being restructured in parallel to these changes. Due to the high concentration of industry, the Śląskie Voivodeship is the first producer of electric power in the country (around 20% of domestic production).
Basing on the traditional restructured industry branches in the Śląskie Voivodeship, sectors related to its operation have developed and mainly include modern machine-building industry with a proper park and experienced staff of engineers. After difficulties of the transformation in the early nineties, the industry appeared in many foreign markets and today it is an important component of the economic landscape of the voivodeship.
The restructuring processes, which have been taking place for several years, lead to systematic changes in the economy of the voivodeship. The share of mining and metallurgy, until recently prevailing in the economy of the voivodeship, is reducing throughout the industry, and the position of eletromechnical, IT and power engineering industries is increasing; the fastest growing sectors here is the automotive industry (the region is the largest producer of cars in the country) and the food sector.
There are more than 451 thousand businesses registered in the Śląskie Voivodeship. Individuals running business activities and commercial law companies form the greatest group among them. State-owned enterprises is the smallest group.
Out of the total number of businesses operating in the region, 96% represent the private sector.