In the latest ranking “Global Free Zones of the Year 2021” published in October 2021 by fDi Intelligence, a research unit belonging to the Financial Times group, the Katowice Special Economic Zone (KSEZ), once again received the title of the best special economic zone in Europe.
KSEZ, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, has also been recognized as the fifth best zone in the world. Moreover, it was awarded first place in the “Large investment projects” category and it was distinguished for electromobility.
In this year’s edition, 70 zones from five continents signed up for the ranking. Every year, the “Global Free Zones of the Year” award is given to the most promising economic zones, providing excellent investment conditions and business development prospects. The authors of the ranking emphasize that the zones have recently been at the forefront of the fight against the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, while continuing to achieve their long-term goals.
The Katowice Special Economic Zone was recognized for the investment of SK-Hi-Tech Battery Materials, based on the construction of plants producing separators for lithium-ion batteries. The report also mentions a project by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) that will produce electric and hybrid cars. The authors of the report also emphasize the support for entrepreneurs from the automotive industry and advanced technologies provided by the “Silesia Automotive & Advanced Manufacturing” (SA&AM) cluster operating within the KSEZ. The report also mentions the project “Silesia Smart Systems – Digital Innovation Hub”, which supports industrial enterprises in the process of digital transformation. It was also mentioned that the KSEZ has resources of over 1000 ha of land that can be allocated to strategic projects, including 300 ha big area in the city of Jaworzno. The authors of the ranking also emphasize that the KSEZ is the largest of the European zones and the second biggest among all zones included in the ranking.
Last year was very good for the KSEZ. The zone acquired 57 new investment projects worth over PLN 4.9 billion. Thanks to them, over 1.5 thousand people found employment. The current year is also going to be excellent – in the first half of the year contracts were signed for 34 projects which are worth over PLN 1.3 billion.
In previous editions of the ranking, the Katowice Special Economic Zone was repeatedly recognized as the best zone in Europe (2015 – 2017 and 2019), and in 2019 it was recognized as the second best zone in the world. In 2020, the KSEZ was awarded in a total of five categories: infrastructure development, new investments, skills development, intelligent strategies and an excellent talent base.