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Szczecin ranks as the second best city to live in Poland – BEAS study results

With a location rating of 8.9/10, Szczecin has secured the second place in the BEAS study ranking as a desirable place to live. The city boasts a rich cultural offering and a resident-friendly urban space. Often called the "city of greenery," Szczecin has over 500 hectares of urban green areas and is surrounded by water. In terms of cultural life, the city prides itself on three theaters, an opera house, and a new philharmonic, which has won awards not only for its concerts but also for its architecture. 

The fourth edition of the Business Environment Assessment Study (BEAS), created by Antal and Cushman & Wakefield, with partners including Baker McKenzie, PAIH, Pracodawcy RP, Pro Progressio, and Vastint, reveals the investment plans of company executives operating in Polish cities for 2023-2025. Poland has long maintained and strengthened its position as a leader in attracting investments, including foreign ones. 

High-Level public administration support 

Many business environment institutions actively operate in Szczecin and are available to entrepreneurs. Their activities are directed at anyone interested in developing business in Szczecin. The support of public administration in the city was rated very highly at 6.5/10 - the second highest score in the report. Entrepreneurs can rely on assistance from the Szczecin Metropolitan Development Agency, the Szczecin Science and Technology Park Technopark Pomerania, the Northern Chamber of Commerce, the Regional Center for Innovation and Technology Transfer, and many other organizations. 

We have the potential to become Poland's offshore hub. This scenario is already unfolding. Key elements of this process are being developed. Three major factories for wind farm components will be established in Szczecin. In January, the Danish company Vestas announced the construction of a second production plant in our city, and the Spanish company Windar signed a final lease agreement for the land where their plant will be built. Meanwhile, in Świnoujście, the construction of an installation terminal is ongoing. For several years, Szczecin has also been increasingly noticed by investors looking for new locations for office and warehouse investments, comments Piotr Krzystek, Mayor of Szczecin.

City focuses on university development 

Szczecin offers a wide range of educational opportunities, with students able to choose from over 160 fields of study at 16 higher education institutions, both public and private. The most popular University of Szczecin educates students in many specializations, but graduates of finance, accounting, and philological fields acquire the most sought-after skills and knowledge on the current market. 

The city emphasizes university development, the quality of education, and the direction of opening science to business so that both sides can draw inspiration and develop economic sectors. A great example of university-business cooperation is the "Szczecin Business Inspirations" event, organized for the third time for the region, involving companies, universities, and associations. Integrating business with science strengthens relationships and gives students the opportunity to align with the presenting organizations. All these activities positively impact the investment attractiveness of the region and build its position, adds Oliwia Płoska, Senior Consultant at Antal, SSC/BPO. 

Competition for employees continues 

According to the BEAS report, the dominant sectors of the economy in the West Pomeranian Voivodeship are manufacturing (with continuously developing economic zones), trade (proximity to the border is crucial here), and transport (an ideal base for carriers). The geographical location of the city is significant for the labor market. It undoubtedly offers great development opportunities for the local community, but also forces competition for the same employee between Polish and German employers. 

According to the BEAS report, as many as 70% of surveyed companies plan to increase employment, indicating high dynamics in the labor market. With relatively low unemployment in the West Pomeranian Voivodeship, one of the main goals should be to encourage young people to come to Szczecin for technical studies and connect their careers with the region. Currently, Szczecin is economically attractive to potential investors in terms of wages – the average gross monthly salary in 2022 was PLN 6169.94, which was 92% of the national average salary, emphasizes Mateusz Otkała, Business Development Manager at Antal, Engineering & Operations.

Potential of the office market 

Szczecin is considered the gateway to Western and Northern Europe, and due to its unique location, it is becoming increasingly attractive to entrepreneurs looking for new business locations. This fact is confirmed by the investment decisions of many companies that have established their headquarters and main warehouses here, leveraging Szczecin's strategic location, which provides access to all modes of transport. Naturally, this translates to the office market situation. 

The potential for further development of the office market is confirmed by the numbers – the total office space in Szczecin is 186,000 square meters, only 3% of the country's supply. Meanwhile, the annual demand for offices in 2022 was 10,700 square meters, while the space put into use at the same time was only 1,500 square meters. This clearly shows that the city needs new office projects as the number of potential tenants continues to grow, notes Zuzanna Krech, Associate, Regional Director Central Poland, Cushman & Wakefield. 

About BEAS 

The "Business Environment Assessment Study" was conducted using the CAWI method among 1,290 company decision-makers in Poland from July 31 to August 25, 2023. Reports prepared within this and previous editions of the project are available on a new interactive portal that allows for comparing key indicators for cities and downloading selected summaries at www.investmentpotential.pl


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