160 companies, 270 people, more than 900 business meetings over a period of two days – this is the Automotive CEE Day in numbers. The event took place on 14-15 April in Opole. The Wałbrzych Special Economic Zone was one of the co-organizers.
The Automotive CEE Day is one of the most important B2B meetings in Central and Eastern Europe. The event attracts representatives of the automotive industry and related industries. This year’s edition was held at the Exhibition-Conference Center in Opole.
“Opole is a city of innovations, young people and a thriving industry. If you look out of the window, you will see the Wałbrzych Special Economic Zone, which still has plots of lands available to tenants,” Arkadiusz Wiśniewski, Mayor of Opole, encouraged potential investors during the opening ceremony.
The Wałbrzych Special Economic Zone became involved in the preparation of the Automotive CEE Day because of the crucial role played by the automotive industry in it. There are more than 180 companies functioning in the WSEZ. Their capital expenditure has reached almost 22 billion zlotys, which translates into 44,000 jobs.
“The Wałbrzych zone is a prime spot for locating investments. The varied offer of carefully selected areas coupled with tax exemptions and the support of our experts guarantees the success of any venture,” said Maciej Badora, President of the WSEZ “INVEST-PARK”. “We also have almost 20 years of experience in dealing with business, especially investors from the automotive industry. Almost 50 firms representing this industry have trusted us. They include corporations like Volkswagen or Toyota as well as small and medium-sized firms. The fact that they have spent over 11 billion zlotys proves that they feel good in the zone,” he emphasized.
Each participant attended up to several dozen meetings with potential business partners. Polaris, an Opole-based producer of vehicles and quads, received 60 invitations to talk.
“Our brand is increasingly recognizable. Meetings like this are useful in establishing business contacts that can evolve into permanent cooperation. A growing number of our products is made in Europe, and for this reason we are looking for suppliers here, including Poland,” said Krzysztof Zapora of Polaris.
“The effects of the talks are not immediately visible, but they sometimes lead to fruitful cooperation,” said Maria Trawińska of Mahle, a company based in Krotoszyn that produces cornets and pistons. “We spent the whole two days on meetings. There were so many of them that we had to turn some invitations down,” she added.
One of the solutions used during the event was an interactive platform for arranging meetings between companies. The participants could schedule talks and choose partners by themselves.
“This meeting helps in finding partners, which can be extremely time-consuming when we do it on our own. Participation in the previous editions enabled us to establish very satisfying cooperation,” said Justyna Kołodziejska-Kwiecień, Procurement Manager at GKN Driveline. The British company based in the Oleśnica subzone produces sideshafts and drive shafts used in passenger cars.
“This event is an opportunity to attract clients and win orders. In the past we managed to establish such contacts during similar meetings. What is more, we also promote our brand – apart from the scheduled talks, the participants can also visit our stand,” said Małgorzata Koba of Log-Tech, a Syców-based producer of steel constructions used in transporting car parts.
The Wałbrzych Special Economic Zone “INVEST-PARK” has 1,300 ha of land available to investors. Tax exemptions oscillate between 25% and 55% of capital expenditure or labor cost of new employees in the first two years. The exemptions depend on location and company size. The zone also offers additional services, such as free training, participation in trade fairs, B2B meetings and a bulk-purchase group, which decreases the cost of buying energy. In recognition of the quality and comprehensiveness of investor care, the WSEZ received a commendation in the prestigious ranking compiled by the fDi Magazine of the Financial Times group. The zone is among the most recommended destinations for investors in Europe.