The Śląskie Voivodeship is a region with a high level of investment attractiveness. It is confirmed by the data of the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency, according to which, in 2004, the region accounted for 12.5% of all direct foreign investments in the country worth more than USD 1 billion, which means the best result in Poland (just behind the Mazowieckie Voivodeship).
Factors determining investment attractiveness of Silesia:
- Location in the centre of Europe, and
- Well-developed transport and communications infrastructure:
- Intersection of the two main routes – A1 and A4 motorways;
- “Katowice” International Airport in Pyrzowice;
- Rail transport – the so-called Broad Gauge Metallurgy Line (LHS), and
- Vicinity of the borders with the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
- Well-developed ICT infrastructure, and
- Highly qualified workforce:
- 37 universities (including 11 state-owned);
- Over 200 thousand students;
- Foreign languages: English – 77% of grammar school pupils, German – 50% of grammar school pupils, and
- Proper scientific facilities, such as: Silesian University of Technology, Częstochowa University of Technology and University of Economics in Katowice.
- High dynamics of development in the automotive sector in the region:
- 30% of share in the growth of sales in industrial processing in the region in 2004, and
- Employment in automotive industry is 10% of the average employment in the industrial processing in the region.
- Large potential for business co-operation with companies operating in the region, and
- Incentives for investors: Katowice Special Economic Zone. There are 392 locations of foreign direct investments in the region worth more than USD 1 Million. They come from 22 countries (country of origin of the investor) and included 158 investors. Companies with German capital is the most numerous representative group here, the next are investors from the United States, Italy, the Netherlands and France.
Large number of automotive companies with GM OPEL and FIAT AUTO POLAND in the lead are among investors which attracted a number of suppliers producing for the automotive industry, for example, plastics and electronic parts. Significant investments are also being made in the production of machinery and equipment. This sector is represented by such companies like Alstom, AEG Aktiengesellschaft, Heraeus Electro-Nite International N.V., Lucent Technologies Network Systems Netherlands B.V., NKT Cables A/S, Philips, Sylea Italia Srl., ICL, Siemens, SGL Carbon AG and such companies as: GE Power Controls Belgium BVBA, Caterpillar Inc., Sest SpA, Sutco Maschinenbau GmbH & Co KG. and Timken Company.
Another industry growing relatively fast is a production of glass, ceramics and construction products. The industry is presently represented by Ekocem, Guardian Industries Corporation, ROCA Radiadores, Saint Gobain, Uralita and Vitrum.
Investments in the region are primarily located in the Upper Silesian Agglomeration and the former voivodeship cities, namely Bielsko-Biała and Częstochowa. The choice of location for investments is linked, among others, to the functioning of the dispersed Katowice Special Economic Zone.