Over 19 billion zlotys has been invested by entrepreneurs functioning in the Wałbrzych Special Economic Zone, and they have employed almost 41,000 people. Since the beginning of this year, the WSEZ has issued nine new permits. The zone is also planning to increase its territory by 318 ha. The first half-year was summarized during the 5th Business Breakfast of the WSEZ Self-government Members.
There are currently 176 entrepreneurs functioning within the Wałbrzych zone, who employ 40,800 people. Some of the firms have not completed their investments, and thus recruitment has not begun yet. According to the investors’ declarations, almost 7,000 employees will be hired by them in the next few years. Since the beginning of this year, the WSEZ “INVEST-PARK” has issued nine permits to conduct business activity in the zone. The newcomers will invest at least 300 million zlotys and employ 317 people.
“We hope that we will issue another three permits by the end of June because the procedures have already begun. Therefore a total of 11 new companies and a company that has decided to reinvest will have joined us by mid-year,” Barbara Kaśnikowska, President of the WSEZ “INVEST-PARK”, said during the meeting.
The Wałbrzych zone covers 2,650 ha of land in 44 subzones. Sixty-one percent of the land is being used by investors. The Council of Ministers is currently considering an application to incorporate new areas into the WSEZ (over 196 ha) and expand the existing ones (over 121 ha). The Wałbrzych zone is planning to acquire land in Książ Wielkopolski, Niemodlin, Dąbrowa, Lewin Brzeski, and Świebodzin.
“After the incorporation of the new land, ‘INVEST-PARK’ will cover a total area of 2,922 ha. We will be functioning in 49 subzones. The application to expand our territory is currently undergoing interministerial consultations. The final decision will be taken by the Council of Ministers,” explained Teodor Stępa, Deputy President of the Wałbrzych zone.
Representatives of local governments took part in a workshop on how to prepare an investment offer for foreign entrepreneurs. The WSEZ has participated in 20 events in Poland and abroad, including economic missions, fairs and conferences. As part of its sponsorship program, 30 sports and educational initiatives have been supported with a total amount of 113,000 zlotys. Among the beneficiaries were Middle School No. 6 in Wałbrzych, where the zone contributed financially to equipping the chemical lab, Polytechnic School Complex in Wałbrzych (purchasing parts to construct drones), Secondary School No. 2 in Wałbrzych, Youth Culture Center in Świdnica, and the Science and Technology Park in Opole.
In February, the “INVEST in EDU” Educational Cluster was established, which already gathers 76 entities, mainly vocational and technical schools and entrepreneurs. In September, two classes sponsored by Segepo-Refa from Świebodzice and GKN Driveline from Oleśnica will be launched, which will prepare the students to become cutting tool operators.
“INVEST-PARK” is also involved in a number of actions aimed at companies investing in the Wałbrzych zone. Three meetings of the HR Club have been held alongside five training sessions for the employees of companies from the zone. Thanks to the creation of a bulk purchase group, investors enjoy lower costs of electrical energy and gas. Eighteen companies have already joined the group, and another 80 have expressed their interest in it.
A new version of the zone’s internet portal was launched at the beginning of the year. It is intended to promote investing in areas offering tax exemptions. The portal is combined with an interactive map – a geoportal of the land covered by the zone, complete with a database of panoramic photographs of the subzones. Moreover, the Cooperation Platform has been launched, which can only be accessed by investors operating in the WSEZ. Its aim is to facilitate mutual contact between the entrepreneurs.