Śląskie Voivodship is the most attractive place for investors. This is confirmed by the ranking of The Gdańsk Institute for Market Economics according to which Śląsk firmly retains its roles as a leader. A proof of this is the operation of the biggest in Poland special economic zone (1917 ha) in which over 200 companies run their activities. Other companies are on the horizon. They are being attracted with an offer available thanks to the first in Poland system of informing about regional investment opportunities, Invest-in-Silesia.pl. Economic and investment promotion also lies within competence of the Silesia Metropolis i.e. an association of 14 communes with poviat rights.

Although Śląskie is one of the smallest voivodships on the Polish map, it is at the same time most densely populated – 4.7 million inhabitants. This voivodship generates 13 per cent of the Polish GDP, which is the second result in the country. In this region there are registered 430 thousand companies 96 per cent of which are private economic operators. Every year 200 thousand specialists graduate from 51 higher education schools in Śląskie. The investment potential of the voivodship is additionally enriched by a network of institutions which support business and by a large number of research facilities.

Śląsk traditionally associated with coal mining, today is oriented towards development and modernity. In order to set proper directions, local self-government authorities have invited to cooperation international experts. As an example can serve preparation of the project of a smart city which is carried out in cooperation with IBM within the programme IBM Executive Service Corps. Katowice itself has started a large project “In the centre of change” concerning a thorough reconstruction of the city centre which is to become a real heart of the Silesia Metropolis. Development, in particular so ambitious, entails a struggle against numerous problems of different nature, including legal, social, demographic, technological and financial. How to define them properly? Where to look for support to solve them? Whose experience shall we use? What innovations shall we introduce? How in the course of smart development to combine strengths of institutional, local self-government and business partners? What projects can be favourable to each of the mentioned operators?

Answers to these questions will be given by panellists and speakers at the seminar “Smart Development” which will be held in February 2011 in Katowice.

The seminar is another meeting within the series “Prospects in Poland” promoting Polish cities and their investment potential.
The aim of the conference in Katowice which will last half a day is:

– to talk over the investment policy on the territory of the Silesia Metropolis paying particular attention to cooperation with business
– to analyse investment potential of Katowice in the context of the changes made on a large scale in the city centre
– to present companies which operate in Górny Śląsk and make large steps on the road of success
– to present needs and expectations of representatives of the private sector towards local self-government
– the strategy of creating an image of the Silesia Metropolis in the near future
– the financing of investment, innovation and research projects
– to define the most important challenges related to organisation, logistics and law for Śląsk.

To the group of presenters we have invited representatives of the authorities of Katowice and Śląskie Voivodship. The seminar will be also attended by advisers from the best global consulting companies, lawyers, financiers and experts of business organisations. Equally important guests will be representatives of companies which have invested in Śląsk.

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