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Małopolska among the regions of Europe

The most recent report of fDi Intelligence: European Cities and Regions of the Future 2014/2015

Once again (since 2010) Małopolska was evaluated in one of the most important investment rankings in Europe:“Cities and Regions of the Future 2014/2015” developed by fDi Intelligence analysis and research team, a division of "The Financial Times” consortium specialising in all areas relating to foreign direct investment (FDI), investment promotion and broadly understood advisory in the field of new investment projects. Our region is in the European lead, yet still far behind the front-runners.

Methodology in a nutshell

It is undoubtedly one of the most important and most complete economic studies of our continent.All cities and regions of Europe, from Gibraltar to the Urals, and from Iceland to Balkan countries and Macedonia, may take part in the fDi Intelligence ranking.The only requirement is to develop data for a survey.Information submitted by cities and regions is completed by fDi experts and broken down into evaluation categories.Cities and regions are categorised in terms of their “economic potential”, “human capital and lifestyle”, "cost effectiveness”, “infrastructure”, “business friendliness” and “FDI strategy”.Additionally, participating cities and regions are broken down into geographical regions (Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Europe) and according to their size (large, mid-sized and small).The first pages feature a cumulative list of top 25 European cities and top 25 European regions as regards their attractiveness for investors.Małopolska competed mainly in the new category of “mid-sized” regions (1.5–4 million inhabitants).In total, 468 locations, both cities and regions, were evaluated for the 2014/2015 season.

Where is Małopolska?

Our region appears on three shortlists.First of all, Małopolska ranked fifth among the most attractive regions of Eastern Europe (rising from the 7th place in the previous edition).We were overtaken by 3 regions from the Czech Republic and the Central Federal District from Russia.Śląskie, WIelkopolskie and Mazowieckie Voivodeships and the central regions of Bucuresti and Bratislava ranked lower.

Małopolska takes the second place among the regions of Eastern Europe in terms of its FDI strategy.The list starts with Plzen in the Czech Republic.Further places are taken by the Opolskie Voivodeship, “Metropolis Silesia” and the yet unknown Polish region “Ząbkowice Śląskie” (sic.).

Małopolska also appears, unfortunately in the tenth place, in the category of mid-sized European regions with top cost effectiveness.

Małopolska performed best in the category of all mid-sized European regions with top FDI strategy, where it ranked tenth (ex equo with the Liverpool City Region).It is the only Polish region in this group, competing with territorial units from the Netherlands, Sweden, Great Britain, Belgium and Italy.

Strange phenomena in the area of Silesia and not only

The case of the “Ząbkowice Śląskie” region is not the only surprise in the classification of Polish areas.In the “cost effectiveness” category of large regions (over 4 million inhabitants), the first place is taken by “Metropolis Silesia”, the second by “Silesian- Slaskie”, and the fourth one by “Katowice”.It is not easy to understand our neighbours and to guess what it is going on.

A similar mystery surrounds the category of “Top 10 mid-sized European regions” in terms of cost effectiveness (whereMałopolska ranks tenth), with“Greater Poland (Wielkopolskie)” in the eighth place, and simply “Wielkopolska” in the ninth.

After a few years of cooperation with fDi, we have managed to convince them to write the name „Lesser Poland” also as “Małopolskie”.Yet we failed to come up with the idea to submit the Małopolskie Voivodeship, Małopolska, Galicja and e.g.Pogórze Makowskie, as well.The editors should definitely pay more attention when they compile the rankings for subsequent shortlists.

Summary

The UK performed best of all countries in all categories.The European City of the Future is London, and even if the list of top 25 European regions starts with the only German land Nordhrein-Westfallen, it still contains 13 British regions, next to Dutch (5), French (2), Swedish, Swiss, Belgian, Italian and Danish ones.

Separate ranking categories were developed especially for English and Irish regions, which is hardly surprising, given that the seat of fDi Intelligence is in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Regardless of the evaluation of the methodology and specifics of the fDi report, it is aninvaluable source of information about the developments on the global and “local” investment market.According to the authors of the “European Cities and Regions of the Future 2014/2015”, only last year 3652 greenfield investment projects were recorded in Europe, which stands for one third of all investments in the world.Most of these projects (18.2%) were in the area of new technologies and ICT.At the same time, this type of investments constituted 14.4% of all investments in Asia.

So, let’s “fight” for better positions in the 2016/2017 ranking and rejoice over the positions jointly referred to as “WINNERS”.

Feb. 21, 2014