Lublin employs one of the best strategies aimed at attracting foreign investors in Europe. The city took the third place in the category “Foreign direct investments strategy in the small cities with population between 100 000 and 350 000” in the prestigious “European Cities and Regions of the Future 2016/17” ranking which is published every year by the fDi magazine belonging to the Financial Times group.
The ranking was created on the basis of the FDI Strategy Index data derived from the oldest comparative panel of cities and regions in Europe. The fDi Magazine has been presenting an overview of cities' and regions' potential for over 10 years creating the map of the most attractive business locations which serves as a source of information while deciding on investments.
This year's overview included 481 locations which were evaluated in terms of the economic potential, cost effectiveness and conditions for running business. Only 4 Polish cites, namely Warszawa, Katowice, Poznań and Wrocław were short-listed in the ranking apart from Lublin.
The prominent place of Lublin in the ranking results from the well-conceived, long-term investment strategy based on focusing on given branches, providing the high quality infrastructure and space for business, the effective promotion of the city's economic potential and offering corporate standards when servicing investors. It is yet another important distinction for the city, suffice it to mention that Lublin took the fourth place in the last year's ranking prepared by the fDi magazine in terms of quality of life among Polish cities. Furthermore, Lublin was described as a driving force of Eastern Poland in the report Poland's Golden Age prepared by the Economist weekly newspaper – says Krzysztof Żuk, Mayor of the City of Lublin.
The strategy designed to attract investments to Lublin brings tangible effects. The direct result of the strategy implementation, which is under way since 2010, is the growth in the number of direct foreign investments which is a novelty in the whole economic history of the city. Fifty three new companies have been established in Lublin within past 5 years. Twenty new investors were attracted to Lublin in 2015 which made that year a record one in terms of the new investments. The steady growth in the number of investors and the interest on the part of the new ones makes Lublin one of the most interesting investment destinations.
Focus on specific branches
The economic image of Lublin is determined by the development of priority and auxiliary branches. The industry which makes the city distinctive is the modern business service which is connected with the availability of human resources provided by the academic environment. Lublin is regarded as the key destination for BPO/SSC sector and ICT branch in Eastern Poland for the time being which makes the city one of the six greatest IT centres in the country. Other relevant industry sectors in the city are: automotive industry, mechanical industry, biotechnology industry and food processing.
The Authorities of Lublin attach enormous importance to global promotion of the investment potential and establishing relations with carefully customised business partners. Key consultancies such as Deloitte, Jones Lang LaSalle, PWC and Cushman & Wakefield are among them. The main aim of marketing is to provide professional, comprehensive management information, technical support and cross linking. The Authorities of the City make use of standards, forms and communication codes of the world of business during dialogues with partners. A special unit which serves as an investment agency where Account Managers specialised in a given field support an investor during every stage of the process, from carrying out an insight into the market to starting the business in Lublin, operates within city's structures – says Mariusz Sagan, Head of Strategy and Investor Relations Department.
Infrastructure for business
Lublin has good communication links with Poland and Europe. The Lublin Airport links the city to the world since it offers flights to 9 destinations and the modernised railway makes it possible to reach Warsaw in two hours. The ring road of the city together with the S17 main carriageway is going to link Eastern Poland with Warsaw. Environment-friendly public transport is based mostly on an electric rolling stock which is complementary to the city bike system being the second large system in Poland since it comprises 82 stations and 820 bikes.
The fully equipped Lublin sub-zone with its strategic location which constitutes a part of the EURO-PARK MIELEC Special Economic Zone provides public aid at the level of 70 % which is one of the highest levels in the country. Forty two investors, including twenty two who currently run their businesses and employ over 2500 employees, decided to locate their companies within the area of 128 ha. The total investment outlays account for PLN 865 million.
Lublin offers the greatest amount of office space as well as properties intended for industrial investments in Eastern Poland which makes the city the eight office market in the country. The properties offer comprises 41 newly built office blocks and office space accounts for 170 000 square metres. The new investment projects aim to increase office space to 300 000 square metres within the few next years. According to the latest Cushman & Wakefield report, Lublin is the leader in terms of office space which is supposed to increase to 23 % in 2016 and the lowest number of uninhabited building accounting for 7 %. Furthermore, Lublin is the only city which offers office space in the Special Economic Zone.