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Szczecin named second best city to live in Poland

Natalia Mróz

Natalia Mróz

Szczecin named second best city to live in Poland

With a location rating of 8.9/10, Szczecin ranked second in the BEAS survey of best places to live in. The city has a wide cultural package and a resident-friendly urban space. Sometimes referred to as a city of greenery, Szczecin has a total of more than 500 hectares of urban green spaces and is surrounded by water. As far as cultural life is concerned, the city may take pride in having three theatres, an opera house and the new philharmonic hall, which has been granted awards not only for its concerts but also for its architecture.

The fourth edition of the Business Environment Assessment Study (BEAS) report, created by Antal and Cushman & Wakefield and partnered by Baker McKenzie, PAIH, Employers of Poland, Pro Progressio and Vastint, reveals the investment plans of the heads of companies operating in Polish cities for 2023-2025. Poland has long maintained and strengthened its leading position in attracting local and foreign investments.

High level of public administration support

Plenty of business environment institutions are active in Szczecin and are available to entrepreneurs. The scope of their activities is aimed at anyone interested in business development in Szczecin. Public administration support in the city was rated very highly at 6.5/10 – the second highest in the report. Entrepreneurs can count on the assistance of the Szczecin Metropolis Development Agency, the Szczecin Science and Technology Park Technopark Pomerania, the Northern Chamber of Commerce, the Regional Centre of Innovation and Technology Transfer and many other organisations.

“We have what it takes to become a Polish offshore hub. This scenario is already becoming a reality. Key elements of this process are emerging. Three powerful factories for wind farms will be built in Szczecin. In January, the Danish company Vestas announced the construction of a second production facility in our city, and the Spanish company Windar signed the final lease agreement for the land on which their plant will be constructed. In addition, in Świnoujście an installation terminal is under construction. For several years now, Szczecin has also been increasingly noticed by investors looking for new locations for office and warehouse investments ,” remarked Piotr Krzystek, Mayor of Szczecin.

The City focuses on university development

Szczecin’s educational offer is broad. Students can choose from more than 160 fields of study at 16 universities, public and non-public. The most popular University of Szczecin educates students in a wide range of specialisations, however, graduates in finance, accounting and philology gain the skills and knowledge most in demand on the market today.

“The city focuses on university development, the quality of education, as well as the development towards opening up science to business so that both sides could draw inspiration and develop branches of economy. The epitome of cooperation between universities and the business sector may be the event organised for the region for the third time, entitled “Szczecin Business Inspirations”, which brings together companies, universities and associations. Integrating business and science strengthens relationships and gives students the opportunity to fit in with the presented organisations. All these activities have a positive impact on the investment attractiveness of the region and build its position,” added Oliwia Płoska, Senior Consultant at Antal, SSC/BPO.

The competition for employees continues

According to the BEAS report, the dominant economic sectors in the West Pomeranian Voivodeship are manufacture (continuously developing economic zones), trade (proximity to the border is of major importance here) and transport (ideal starting point for carriers). The city’s geographical location is essential for the labour market. It undoubtedly offers great opportunities for the local community, but also forces competition for employees between Polish and German employers.

“According to the BEAS report, as many as 70% of the surveyed companies plan to increase their workforce, which indicates strong dynamics in the labour market. With a relatively low unemployment level in the West Pomeranian Voivodeship, one of the main objectives should be to encourage young people to come to study technology in Szczecin and to become professionally attached to the region. Currently, Szczecin ranks as economically attractive for potential investors in terms of salaries – the average gross monthly salary in 2022 was PLN 6169.94, which was 92% of the average salary in the country,” emphasised Mateusz Otkała, Business Development Manager at Antal, Engineering & Operations.

Development potential of the office market

The development of the office market in Szczecin has enormous potential, not only because of the city’s unique location – justifiably it is referred to as the gateway to the west and north of Europe. This fact is borne out by the investment decisions of many companies that have located their business headquarters here, as well as their main warehouses, taking advantage of the Szczecin’s strategic location, which provides access to all modes of transport.

“The potential for further development of the office market is confirmed by the figures – the total stock of office space in Szczecin is 186,000 sq. m, i.e. only 3% of the supply of the entire country. Meanwhile, the annual demand for offices in 2022 was 10,700 sq. m, while the usable space in the same period was just 1,500 sq. m. This clearly shows that the city needs new office projects, as the number of potential tenants continues to grow,” noticed  Zuzanna Krech, Associate, Regional Director Central Poland, Cushman & Wakefield.

About BEAS

The “Business Environment Assessment Study” survey was conducted using the CAWI methodology among 1,290 decision-makers from companies in Poland between 31 July and 25 August 2023. The reports produced as part of this and the previous edition of the project are available on a new interactive portal allowing comparisons of key indicators for cities and downloading of selected summaries www.investmentpotential.pl.

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