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The Warsaw Voice » Real Estate » February 25, 2011
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Making Inroads for Business
February 25, 2011   
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Wojciech Seremet, president of Tarnowski Klaster Przemys這wy SA (Tarn闚 Industrial Cluster), talks to The Warsaw Voice.

The government’s road and freeway construction program is expected to improve the quality of road transportation in Poland. Do you think it will also lead to a major change in where businesses decide to invest?
Good roads stimulate economic growth, prompting higher outlays and better capital and workforce productivity. The benefits result from lower costs of deliveries and distribution, which become prompt and more reliable. Good roads also facilitate joint projects and extended business contacts. As far as Poland is concerned, one might even expect an economies-of-scale effect to be present. Prices of land near new freeways and those which are still under construction are going up and yet such land is an increasingly sought-after commodity. Local governments are preparing land for new projects, selling plots with full infrastructure which are frequently located in special economic zones. An extra benefit of such locations are tax exemptions. The government road construction program aims to take advantage of Poland’s location as a transit country. This is a tremendous opportunity for the eastern part of the Ma這polska region where the A4 freeway currently ends. The real benefits will come when the freeway has reached Tarn闚 and then continues on to the Ukrainian border.

Investors have so far been most keen to locate their projects near big cities. Once the freeway network is built, will they opt for smaller cities as well?
They will, but the appeal of a site depends on the scale of external network effects, most notably opportunities to increase business. The proximity of a metropolitan area presents such opportunities. With a freeway passing nearby, the impact of a city extends to a much larger area. Industrial zones in smaller cities with good access to a freeway are key to boosting investment in such cities. The benefits for the investor include “fresh blood” and low start-up and business costs. Smaller cities and towns know how to prepare for a visit by a potential investor. Exits from freeways should thus to lead to medium-sized cities, as those are a good alternative to big urban areas.

A production facility needs people to start operating. Can investors find qualified staff in local areas?
The development of infrastructure will encourage people to move from agriculture to other sectors of the economy. Our region has a strong industrial tradition dating back to the period between the two world wars. Professionals are easy to find and local governments are considering providing an education in professions that are bound to become much sought after on the labor market. Ma這polska province has launched a special program to upgrade vocational education and adapt it to the needs of employers. They should be able to influence the type of education provided to those who will be working for them in the future.

Investment in the Ma這polska region is well worth considering. A decision made today will pay off in the future.
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