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The Warsaw Voice » Other » April 16, 2008
XV ECONOMIC FORUM IN TORUŃ
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Economic Potential of Kujawy-Pomerania Province
April 16, 2008   
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Kujawy-Pomerania province is an average Polish region in terms of size and population, but it has enormous economic potential and is pulling out all stops to develop it. The province is well situated, well serviced by transport links and has a great deal of human capital, including more than 100,000 students.

The province contributes significantly to the Polish economy with its food processing, chemical, machine engineering, wood, paper and electronics industries. It is a major pig breeding region and has 93,000 farms and an efficient farming sector. Grains, sugar beet, potatoes, fruit and vegetables, rape and fodder plants are the major crops. The relatively unspoiled natural environment is ripe for tourism.

The provincial government wants Kujawy-Pomerania to join the ranks of Europe’s most competitive and innovative regions. To this end it has been setting up industry and technology parks in Toruń, Bydgoszcz and Grudziądz and industrial parks in Solec Kujawski and Świecie.

Big names move in

Crystal Park in the Pomeranian Special Economic Zone in Łysomice commune near Toruń is a case in point. Sharp will be producing LCD displays there while the province has attracted a raft of other companies including Orion Electric, Sumitomo Chemical, Tenscho Electric Industries, Tokai Pressing and Okaya & Co., Sohbi Kohgei and Hanwa, Kimoto, Nyklogistics and U-Tec. These are expected to create 10,000 jobs by 2010.

Nestle, Unilever, Lafarge, Lucent Technologies, Bonduelle, Azko Nobel, Framondi, Lobbe, Rieber & Son, ThyssenKrupp, British Sugar and Nordzucker are some of the other multinational investors to have settled in. Other major investors include Henkell & Sohnlein, Azko Nobel and Provimi.

The province government has been actively supporting economic development. In 2001, they became the first province government to adopt a regional innovation strategy. The government has founded a Regional Innovation Center in Bydgoszcz and a Technology Transfer Center in Toruń. They have created a system for supporting businesses, including a Credit Guarantee Fund, a Loan Fund and a Regional Export Center. The province government has also started to build a broadband information network with access points in every county.

Human resources for the future

Kujawy-Pomerania has a highly-developed secondary and tertiary education system, and is home to several respected academic centers, including the Nicholas Copernicus University in Toruń. Named after the city’s most famous native son, this is the largest and most prestigious university in northern Poland. Among the province’s other important schools are the Kazimierz Wielki University in Bydgoszcz, the Ludwik Rydygier Collegium Medicum in Bydgoszcz, the Toruń School of Banking, the University of Economy in Bydgoszcz and the Kujawy and Pomorze University in Bydgoszcz.

The London-based Center for Economics and Business Research ranked Kujawy-Pomerania as the EU’s 25th most attractive investment destination in 2004, largely on account of its large workforce and low labor costs.

Tourist attractions

The medieval old town of Toruń is a UNESCO world heritage site. Biskupin, a settlement dating back almost 3,000 years, can be found close to Bydgoszcz. The cities of Ciechocinek and Inowrocław are famous for their saltwater baths and the Bory Tucholskie forest and the Pojezierze Brodnickie lake district are popular recreational resorts.

At the crossroads

Transport infrastructure is a top priority for the province. The province government supports the extension of Bydgoszcz airport with a Eurocargo terminal. The A1 freeway will link Scandinavia with southern Europe via Gdańsk and Toruń. The S10 (Szczecin-Warsaw via Bydgoszcz and Toruń), S15 (linking Poznań with the Warmia and Mazuria regions, via Toruń), and S5 (from Gdańsk to Poznań and Wrocław via Bydgoszcz) express roads will form part of an expanded national highway network. The authorities are also planning to develop the E70 waterway from Western Europe to Kaliningrad via the Oder River, the Bydgoski Channel and the Vistula River although this is a long-term project that will require damming the Vistula near Ciechocinek-Nieszawa.

The province government is also planning to transform the urban concept that encompasses Bydgoszcz and Toruń into a “metropolis” of European significance. This is going to require developing the province’s scientific and research potential, providing rapid transit between the two city centers—via fast train for example—and providing top notch services.

Kujawy-Pomerania is opening up to the world. The environment is friendly and attractive and the developmental prospects are promising. The province has a policy of developing extensive links with other regions in Europe and beyond.

Leading industries

Kujawy-Pomerania is a strong industrial center specializing in the chemical, agricultural, machine engineering, electronics and food processing industries. The province produced 15 percent of Poland’s nitrogen fertilizers in 2005. Anwil and Zachem are among the chemical companies to have set up there.

Kujawy-Pomerania is one of the country’s major agricultural provinces and its access to water and primary produce have made it a major food processing center.

The electronics industry is becoming more prominent due to the province’s strong educational base and the amount of research and development being carried out there.

Special Economic Zone
The Pomeranian Special Economic Zone has boosted the province’s economic development. The zone has four sub-zones. The Crystal Park sub-zone was set up in Ostaszewo Dec. 2, 2006. The initial area of 134.95 hectares has since been expanded to 177.61 ha. Japanese companies have already invested nearly zl.500 million here and are employing 3,422 people. The Frydrychowo sub-zone was set up on private land in Kowalewo Pomorskie commune. Toruńskie Zakłady Materiałów Opatrunkowych is extending its factory there.

Kujawy-Pomerania is making the most of the fact that it is Poland’s fourth most attractive investment destination.

Wojciech Romanowicz


Kujawy-Pomerania Province by Numbers

Population
Total (September 2007)—2.066 million (5.4 percent of national total).

Bydgoszcz—383,000 (30 percent of the urban population of the province and 19 percent of the total province population).

Toruń—205,000 (16 percent of the urban population of the province and 10 percent of the province total).

Włocławek—123,000 (9 percent of the urban population of the province and 6 percent of the total)

Grudziądz—102,000
Inowrocław—79,000

Area

Total—18,000 square kilometers
Farmland—65 percent
Forest—22.3 percent

Businesses

Total businesses (January 2008)—188,573
Public sector businesses—3 percent
Private businesses—97 percent
Average gross business sector salary (January 2008)—zl.2,500.68
Sold industrial production (January 2008)—zl.3,059.7 million
Average revenue from sale of goods and
services per employed person (2007)—zl.276,300 (8.3 percent up on previous year).

Employment

Business sector employment—5.5 percent of national total
Unemployment (January 2008)—15.5 percent

Breakdown of employment

Industry—127,648
Construction—14,716
Trade and services—34,655
Real estate and company services—18,043
Restaurants and hotels—2,008

Climate

Temperatures - +28ºC in summer, -25ºC in winter
Rainfall—580 mm in northeast, 450 mm in southwest. These are some of the lowest figures in Poland.

Miscellaneous

Residential units completed (January 2008)—716
Farms—93,000
Pigs (end of November 2007)—2,090,700
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