Japanese entrepreneurs functioning in the Wałbrzych Special Economic Zone have so far invested almost 5 billion zlotys. It means that they have incurred the largest capital expenditure of all the national groups in the WSEZ.
Companies with Japanese capital are not the most numerous in the Wałbrzych zone. There are eleven firms from this country, which means that they come “only” fourth, after Polish (60), German (29) and Italian (19) investors. However, the Japanese have already invested as much as 5 billion zlotys in the construction of plants and expansion of operations. They have created almost 4,000 jobs. Only the Germans (6,700) and Americans (5,600) employ more people.
All the 11 Japanese firms are connected with the automotive industry and operate in Lower Silesia. Four of them are based in Żarów near Świdnica: AKS Precision Ball, which manufactures steel balls for bearings; Daicel Safety Systems Europe, a producer of airbag inflators; Yagi, a maker of bearings and components used in air conditioners and gearboxes; and Bridgestone, which produces parts used in tracked vehicles and construction equipment. In Wałbrzych, Japanese capital is represented by NSK Steering Systems, which makes car steering mechanisms; POLST, a producer of aluminum alloys; Toyota Motor Manufacturing Poland, which produces engines and gearboxes; and Toyota Tsusho, which provides warehousing services and coordinates orders. The last-mentioned company also has a facility in Jelcz-Laskowice, where another factory belonging to this corporation functions – Toyota Motor Industries, which makes diesel engines. There is one more company from the land of cherry blossom – Sumika Ceramics, a manufacturer of diesel particulate filters. Nifco operates in Świdnica and produces components for the automotive industry. The firm has already carried out four investment project in the Wałbrzych zone.
“Japanese investors are extremely reliable partners. Their presence translates not just into stable jobs, but also a number of initiatives for the local communities,” emphasized Barbara Kaśnikowska, President of the WSEZ.
The third Meeting of Japanese Investors functioning in the zone has recently been held in Wałbrzych. This time, the main subject under consideration was the support of research and development projects offered within the Regional Operational Program and the Innovative Economy Operational Program. Current issues connected with the functioning of Japanese firms in Poland were also discussed.
“One of the effects of the previous meetings was a workshop about employing foreigners in Poland. The investors also raised the issue of the lack of parking spaces for trucks in Wałbrzych. To solve it, the municipal authorities built a car park. The WSEZ was also involved in this investment – we constructed the plumbing system and co-financed the renovation of the lighting system near the car park,” said Mrs. Kaśnikowska.
The meeting of the Japanese investors was held in the “Old Mine” Science and Art Center in Wałbrzych. The guests had an opportunity to visit an exhibition in the former coal mine “Julia”, which presents the history of mining in the city.
The visit of the Japanese investors was another in the series of meetings for investors representing particular nationalities, which was initiated by the Wałbrzych zone in 2013. So far, meetings for entrepreneurs from the USA and Germany have been held.
The WSEZ “INVEST-PARK” is the largest of the 14 special economic zones in Poland. It has almost 3,000 ha in 48 subzones. At present, 178 companies function within it, which have invested almost 20 billion zlotys and employ more than 41,000 people.