Lodz SEZ the best SEZ for SMEs in Europe30.01.2016
For the second time in a row, Lodz SEZ was titled the best Zone for SMEs in Europe in fDi Free Zones of the Year 2015 ranking published by fDi Magazine (Financial Times Group).
By the end of 2014, 43% of Lodz SEZ’s investors represented the sector of small and medium enterprises. The number of SMEs increased by 13% comparing to 2013.
apart from the title, Lodz SEZ was also commended in the ranking for: reinvestment in 2014, strategy and commitment in Polish-Chinese cooperation, facilities upgrades and skills training and activity within vocational education.
Since the beginning of 2014, Lodz SEZ has issued 43 business permits, 25 of which are reinvestment projects. “We are glad presenting these numbers because it means that investors feel good in the Zone, and this is the place where they want to develop their business”. – says Tomasz Sadzyński, President of Lodz SEZ’s Board. These projects include BSH, Ceramika Paradyż, Interprint Polska or Fujitsu Technology Solutions, which declared increasing its employment rate by 250 new workers. Trust of Lodz SEZ’s investors was appreciated by the jury, and the Zone commended for reinvestment.
fDi Magazine commended Lodz SEZ for its facilities upgardes. It involves, among others, development of two investment sites (Lućmierz and Łódź, ul. Stokowska). Lodz SEZ’s plans for the future involve construction of a new office space located in the historic Complex of the Zone (22/24 Tymienieckiego St.). The aim of the project is to meet the expectations and needs of dynamically developing innovative companies and adjust to the historic character of the place – the area of 19th century buildings. In 2015 Lodz SEZ initiated the project connected with the new S8 expressway. Lodz SEZ and three other Polish SEZs are planning to act together and prepare the investment sites along S8 expressway ready for SMEs.
Skills training is another aspect appreciated by fDi Jury. For many years, Lodz SEZ has been supporting and promoting vocational education in the region. “We would like our investors and business partners to find suitable employees with made-to-measure skills.” – adds Tomasz Sadzyński – “Hence, since 2014, we have been organizing HR Zone meetings with HR departments of companies located within the Zone to discuss the HR trends, challenges and problems investors meet with to find the best solutions.” In 2015, the Zone has cofounded “Lodz Educational Cluster” including most important institutions, schools and companies that will work together for educating potential employees to meet the standards of companies locating their business in the region.
During the last 12 months, Lodz SEZ put a great emphasis on cooperation with Chinese companies and authorities. Only in June 2015, we hosted five delegations from various Chinese provinces (among others 60 companies from EUPIC). The Zone has been strongly promoting Lodz-Chengdu cargo train connection among Polish companies and investors helping them to export their products to Chinese province. Lodz SEZ’s strategy and commitment in Polish-Chinese cooperation was distinguished by fDi Magazine.
“Nowaydays, investors look not only for investment incentives, but mostly well-qualified employees, developed infrastructure, friendly business environment, new possibilities for their businesses as well as openness of local authorities. These aspects added to the state aid guarantee the increase in investment projects for regions and special economic zones. Hence, we are constantly looking for new activities to stand out from the crowd”. – says Tomasz Sadzyński – “And of course behind successful Lodz SEZ, there is a whole team of committed employees.”
Full report by fDi Magazine available here.