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The Warsaw Voice » Regional Voice » April 28, 2011
Special Section - Eastern Poland
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Investors Urged to Look East
April 28, 2011   
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A project called “Creating and Developing a Cooperation Network for Investor Services Centers,” led by the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency (PAIiIZ), may play a key role in attracting foreign investors to Poland’s five eastern provinces.

PAIiIZ and the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development signed an agreement Dec. 29, 2009 on funding the project as part of the Development of Eastern Poland 2007-2013 Operational Program. The total value of the project exceeds zl.19.3 million while funding from European Union sources is expected to reach zl.17.4 million, or 90 percent of the total value. The remaining 10 percent will be contributed by project partners—seven investor services centers from eastern Poland. The project will be carried out from Jan. 1, 2010 to June 30, 2015.

The partners of the project are the Office of the Lublin Province Chairman, the Rzesz闚 Agency for Regional Development, the Office of the Podlasie Province Chairman, the municipalities of Bia造stok and Kielce, the Office of the 安i皻okrzyskie Province Chairman, and the Warmia-Mazuria Agency for Regional Development. Each of them operates an investor services center.

The main objective of the project is to develop a cooperation network for investor services centers in eastern Poland. Of key importance will be active support for the process of enhancing the economic potential and investment attractiveness of the five provinces, which—as those responsible for the project believe—will be possible thanks to building a regular cooperation platform and an integrated system of services for foreign investors.

The target group for the project are all those who in the future may invest in a given area or work together to create a favorable investment climate—especially potential foreign investors, with a special focus on multinational firms investing in European regions which have similar geographic, economic and human resources characteristics as eastern Poland. Obviously, the project is also targeted at foreign investors who are already present in Poland, but not yet in the east of the country, Polish companies with a well-developed network of regional offices, and institutions providing services to business, for example local government units operating at regional, county and local level. Another target group are international opinion shapers, including economists, foreign investment experts and specialists in locational marketing. Foreign and bilateral chambers of commerce and business associations should also show interest in the project. International consultancies, which have been present in Poland for years providing services to foreign investors on a regular basis, will also be targeted.

A network of investor services centers operating to uniform standards and working effectively with each other will be developed under the project. The centers will be supported in such activities as the purchase of fixed assets, vehicle lease, organization of seminars in Poland and abroad, and training courses and workshops for staff providing services to foreign investors, preparation of evaluations concerning investment opportunities in eastern Poland and updates of databases run by investor services centers.

The support is aimed at helping the centers in their efforts aimed at standardizing investor services, establishing a system of regular cooperation and sharing experience and information with each other, especially about areas designated for investment activity, and creating a joint database of such areas.

Under the guidelines for the project, participants are expected to set up a single network of cooperating institutions operating regionally to support and enhance the investment attractiveness of individual provinces of eastern Poland. Smooth cooperation requires developing a system for sharing information about cooperation with investors and working out uniform investor services standards. Activities associated with collecting information about investment opportunities in individual provinces and with monitoring the state of investment on a current basis will make it possible to evaluate changes in the inflow of investment to eastern Poland and to create and run a database with investment opportunities in the five provinces.

An appropriate platform for the exchange of information and coordination of activities will allow the centers to render high-quality services associated with support for investment processes and provide advice. Combined with promotional activities carried out by the network, this will be successively translated into an improvement in the competitiveness and investment attractiveness of eastern Poland.

The Creating and Developing a Cooperation Network for Investor Services Centers project complements the Program for the Economic Promotion of Eastern Poland, carried out as part of the Development of Eastern Poland Operational Program. It is designed to contribute to creating and promoting a common image for the five eastern provinces—Lublin, Podlasie, Podkarpacie, 安i皻okrzyskie, and Warmia-Mazuria provinces—as an attractive investment location, and to support enterprise in eastern Poland. The provinces are now regarded by experts as areas of low investment attractiveness. An inflow of foreign capital is necessary for economic development. It brings in modern technologies and know-how, which are indispensable in building a knowledge-based economy, and consequently supporting innovation in eastern Poland, building an information society and removing differences in development opportunities between eastern Poland and the rest of the country.

The project leaders believe that the active promotion of eastern Poland, both at home and abroad, is the most important factor in the process of attracting domestic and foreign investment to the region. The network of investor services centers in eastern Poland is a natural continuation of this process. The project will contribute to enhancing the economic and territorial cohesion of eastern Poland and accelerating the pace of sustainable social and economic development there.

There are plans to put forward 282 new projects for investors across eastern Poland. A database will provide a catalogue of such projects—an indispensable tool for information and promotional purposes. Catalogues with the most attractive sites will be distributed among chambers of commerce and the promotion and trade departments of Polish embassies across the world. The uniform investor services standards for eastern Poland and the rest of the country will help introduce the same level of services across the macroregion. A method for evaluating this level has been designed. In order to maximize the effectiveness of advertising sites for investment projects in eastern Poland among prospective investors, evaluations and analyses will be carried out to show how the investor services system develops in eastern Poland and whether and to what extent standards are applied.

Seminars, conferences and meetings to discuss activities pursued by investor services centers in eastern Poland will be held. They are aimed at increasing the competence of organizations and institutions directly involved in the process of acquiring foreign investors. There are plans to organize 12 seminars/workshops whose participants will have an opportunity to improve their investor services skills and receive assistance in conducting investment processes in cooperation with investors, local government and institutions providing services to business.

Twelve economic and investment forums will also be held as platforms for sharing experience in investor services.

PAIiIZ: Mission and Methods

The Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency (PAIiIZ) is a public institution established to stimulate Poland’s economic development through efforts aimed at ensuring a faster inflow of foreign direct investment to the country. The Agency began operating on June 17, 1991. Its mission is to raise Poland’s profile internationally.

As part of its tasks, the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency provides comprehensive information and consulting services to foreign enterprises that are considering or carrying out investment projects in Poland, with a special focus on the new technology sector. The Agency also organizes conferences, symposiums and other events, including trade events and ones aimed at the general public.

The Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency has vast experience in working out economic promotion strategies together with the government administration, local governments, business associations, international organizations, nongovernmental organizations, promotion agencies, the media, academic circles, experts and Polish diplomats abroad. With years of experience and technical resources at its disposal, the Agency has organized and carried out promotional campaigns, many of them together with organizations and businesses at the center of these campaigns.

The Agency works to promote Poland as an attractive destination for foreign investment. It also educates the public on the benefits of foreign direct investment in Poland. In doing so, the Agency:
- organizes and takes part in seminars and conferences intended for foreign investors;
- organizes business missions abroad targeted at foreign companies interested in investing in Poland;
- prepares and publishes information materials for foreign investors;
- runs a website with information needed by foreign investors;
- organizes trips for foreign journalists to Poland.

Investor Services Centers: Project Partners

Lublin Province Marshal’s Office
Lublin Province Investor Services Center
4 Graniczna St.
20-010 Lublin
Tel. +48 81 537-16-11
Fax +48 81 537-16-37

Podkarpacie Province Investor Services Center
Rzesz闚 Regional Development Agency SA
51 Szopena St.
35-959 Rzesz闚
Tel. +48 17 852-43-76
Fax +48 17 852-43-74

Podlasie Province Investor Services Center
Podlasie Province Marshal’s Office
1 Wyszy雟kiego St.
15-888 Bia造stok
Tel: +48 85 749-74-95
Fax +48 85 749-74-40

Bia造stok City Administration
Strategy and Development Department—Investor Services Center
1 S這nimska St.
15-950 Bia造stok
Tel: +48 85 869-61-54
Fax +48 85 869-62-11

Kielce City Administration
Investor Services Center—Structural Projects and Urban Strategy Department
6 Strycharska St.
25-659 Kielce
tel. +48 41 367-65-57, 367-63-56
Fax +48 41 367-65-52

安i皻okrzyskie Province Investor Services Center
安i皻okrzyskie Province Marshal’s Office
63 Sienkiewicza St.
25-003 Kielce
Tel. 48 41 365-81-90
Fax. 48 41 365-81-91

Warmia-Mazuria Province Investor Services Center
Warmia-Mazuria Regional Development Agency SA in Olsztyn
Gen. J霩efa Bema Square
10-516 Olsztyn
Tel. +48 89 521-12-82
Fax +48 89 521-12-60
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