Poland – Regional Innovation

This targeted twinning session is the first of the twinning scheme to be implemented between Lower Silesia (Poland) and Sichuan Province (China).

A delegation of 10 Chinese regional policy experts visited best practices and implement pilot projects in the region of Lower Silesia. Also known as Dolnośląskie, Lower Silesia is located is southwestern part of Poland, close to Germany and the Czech Republic. The capital of the region is Wrocław, which is the fourth largest city in Poland with almost 650.000 residents. The main export products include machinery and energy equipment, metal products, textiles, motor vehicles, other transport equipment. The region is one of the most important industrial centres in Poland with high innovation potential. Lower Silesia has relevant innovation experience for China, especially due to the recently launched European Copper Region.

The Dolnośląskie is the fourth top region with the highest gross value-added (GVA), estimated at 8.2% of national GVA[1]. In 2011, there were 6,667 foreign firms in the Dolnośląskie which represents roughly about 9.4% of all foreign companies located in Poland. Two sectors have a particular high potential for cooperation with China: automotive and electro-mechanical. The region has attracted large investments in the both the automotive and transport sector. There is also a large grouping of IT companies operating in the region. It is estimated that one third of IT software production and services in Poland originates from the Dolnośląskie region.  The sub-region Legnicko-Głogowski popularly known as Copper Valley is an important centre of economic growth and offer cooperation ties for China. This area recorded the highest GDP per capita and relatively low unemployment rate in the region. 

Chinese investments in Poland are mainly focused in the areas of electronics, industrial machinery, renewable energy, automotive, chemical industry, packaging and IT. The forms of investment are renting / buying of production floor, acquisitions of existing companies and outsourcing of services (practically no green-field investments). Other areas of interest of Chinese companies include power engineering (participation in tenders for the construction of power station: CNEEC, Shanghai Electric, Guodian), environment (desulphurization in Turow – participation of SPC Beijing) and infrastructure (Sinohydro – has participated in the tender for the renewal of the Odra River banks). The total value of Chinese investment in Poland is approx. US$ 328 Mio (2010). The biggest Chinese investment was a steal plant purchase by Liugong in 2012 (US$ 100 Mio).

The programme focused on the Wałbrzych Special Economic Zone „INVEST – PARK”, one of the most quickly developing industrial zones in Poland. The WSEZ consists of 41 subzones located mainly in Lower Silesia Province, as well as Wielkopolskie, Opolskie and Lubuskie provinces. Some of the subzones are fully developed, in the rest there are still available investment areas. The WSEZ offers preferential conditions for business until 2026. Entrepreneurs operating in the zone are entitled to receive public aid in form of income tax exemption. Since 1997, 60 companies have invested 5.3 billion US$ creating 34.500 direct jobs.

The Region of Lower Silesia was involved in the CETREGIO programme during an information session on multi-level governance in July 2012 as well as during a follow-up visit to China in November 2013.

A report of the activity is available upon request to pgandara@cetregio.eu.

[1] This information has been partly extracted of the Regional Innovation Monitor, European Commission




2. Presentation of Lower Silesia Region (CN): PREZENTACJA W J. CHIŃSKIM
3. Presentation of Lower Silesia Region (EN): PrezentacjaChiny EN – 17 slajdów

4. Presentation of City of Swidnica (EN): SWIDNICA_POLAND_22_05_2014_ENG

5. Introduction to EU Regional Policy (EN): 01_PG Introduction EU May 2014