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Cracow is the investment pearl of Malopolska

The dynamic development of Cracow and regional markets in the last decade is caused, inter alia, by the development of the modern business services industry, which has taken a liking to the region of Central and Eastern Europe, and in particular Poland. The city's development strategy is conducive to arranging the cooperation of the widest spectrum of entities, institutions and environments at the level of the city, neighboring communes and the region. The Polish Investment Zone is one of the determinants of the investment attractiveness of the capital of Małopolska. 

The latest, 3rd edition of the Antal, Cushman & Wakefield and Vastint - Business Environment Assessment Study series, presents the assessment of the business environment in Cracow by decision-makers of Polish companies. It allows you to look at the Polish market from the business perspective and indicate the main trends in the economic development of the organization. The study analyzed seven factors that influence the attractiveness of cities and encourage investment. These are: infrastructure, office space, public administration support, educational potential, employment potential, business potential and the assessment of location as a place to live. The project is under the patronage of the Polish Investment and Trade Agency and Pro Progressio. 

Cracow - stable despite the pandemic 

Cracow is very popular among the respondents to the Business Environment Assessment Study, who declared investments in the company's geographical development. The average city rating is 6.7 points (a decrease of 0.2 p compared to 2019) on a 10-point scale, which places the city in the third place in the ranking (ex-equo with Katowice). The following aspects received the highest scores: location as a place to live (7.9 p), educational potential (7.7 p) and business potential (7.7 p). 

Cracow is, above all, a strong center for the sector of modern business services and start-ups. The growth dynamics recorded in recent years is mainly due to companies operating in the region, thanks to which Małopolska was awarded the title of the only region in Poland with R&D expenditure above 2% of GDP. Without further development of the enterprise sector, the current potential of Krakow and the region may not be fully used, especially in the times of the COVID-19 pandemic, says Agnieszka Pala, Manager, Centrum Business in Małopolska. 

Cracow is a synonym of an attractive place to live in, dynamic development of a professional career and running a business. It is a place that provides development opportunities driven by the potential of graduates of the best universities, with a positive birth rate and rich educational and cultural background - explains Radosław Kostka, Acquisition Manager, Vastint. 

The strength of Cracow's infrastructure and real estate 

Cracow liesat the crossroads of important communication routes and its favorable geographical location favors smooth communication. Air transport in this area is the indicator with the highest value, amounting to as much as 7.5 p on a ten-point scale in 2021. Airport them. Jana Pawła II in Cracow-Balice, the second largest in the country, provides direct domestic and international connections with many cities in Europe and other continents. The added value for Cracow's investment potential is also the high availability of office space - 157,000 m2 under construction. The total stock of modern office space in the capital of the Małopolskie Voivodeship currently amounts to 1,554,900 m2. The assessment of infrastructure is at the level of 6.5 p and the assessment of the availability of office space at 6.8 p on a ten-point scale in 2021. 

Cracow hasa very efficient and effective public transport and a modern international airport, which in 2018-2019 handled over 8 million passengers annually. The city is also well connected by road and rail with the rest of Poland. The advantage of Cracow is undoubtedly its location in the vicinity of the A4 motorway, which makes it also a recognizable logistics center - comments Dariusz Madej, Senior Negotiator, Office Department, Cushman & Wakefield. On the other hand, the Cracow office market is perceived as a top location for companies providing business services that want to develop in the sector of modern technologies or R&D. The driving force of the office market is the demand from the SSC / BPO services sector, mainly in the Business Services and IT segments, but also R&D, call and service center - adds the expert. 

Growing educational potential 

Twenty-three universities, including one of the oldest universities, guarantee a wide range of competences. Cracow has over 129,000. students. Most of them specialize in engineering (32.9 thousand), then in the financial area (17.7 thousand), and then in IT (9 thousand). The educational potential was assessed at 7.9 points on a ten-point scale. 

The pandemic in some way increased Cracow's possibilities by involving people from the region working remotely. The current situation has not significantly influenced the development of cooperation between universities, business and the city. The IT industry continues to attract people from all over Europe. The Pearl of Małopolska constantly attracts investors. An example is a new investment from the Fintech industry. The company, based in Austria, will be looking for 300 employees. The current players are also not slowing down the pace of growth, which also guarantees the development of educational potential, especially in the areas of new technologies - explains Sebastian Wysocki, Branch Manager, Engineering & Operations Antal. 

The development of the Cracow labor market 

The strengths of Cracow are staff with linguistic competences, as well as the presence of staff from the area of administration and HR. Equally high rates of staff availability assessment were noted among employees with IT competences and among staff with engineering competences. From the point of view of employment potential, being open to candidates located in other cities has brought Cracow benefits. 

Undoubtedly, Cracow is still one of the most promising locations in terms of professional potential. Due to the ongoing pandemic, entrepreneurs operating in Cracow faced the new reality of remote work. It is not only about remote work of current employees, but also of those who were to join the organization in the near future. Some Cracow companies have opened up to a large extent to work entirely or partially from home. As a result, the potential of employing IT specialists in Cracow has increased. Candidates from other cities who had not considered Krakow on their career maps so far began to participate in recruitment, and companies that previously did not take into account people commuting from far away invited such candidates to recruitment processes - comments Karolina Giza, Team Leader, Antal IT Services. 

About the study 

The "Business Environment Assessment Study" was carried out using the CAWI method among the heads of 809 companies in Poland in the fourth quarter of 2020. The series of reports dedicated to major urban centers in Poland aims to describe the business reality in which companies operate. The material allows you to look at the Polish market from the business perspective and indicate the main trends in the economic development of enterprises. The report, prepared every year, contains information on the level of remuneration of specialists and managers on the Polish market. The full report is available at: https://en.antal.pl/insights/reports/investment-potential 


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