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Mon, 21 Oct, 2013 12:38:29 AM
Warmia and Mazury developed as investment friendly region
FTimes Report by Jasim Sarker, back from Warmia and Mazury, Poland, October 21
The deligation members in front of a meeting venue. FTimes Photo
Poland has expressed its interest to welcome Nordic entrepreneurs in the Warmia and Mazury region, pointing out the highly potential business opportunities in the area. 
As an initiative to highlight the investment friendly atmosphere in the region, authorities organised various programmes from September 9 to September 12 where two senior delegations of Scandinavian region visited Warmia and Mazury to get practical ideas on business opportunities there.
Twenty-four-member strong delegations from Finland and Sweden, and other Nordic business community leaders and diplomats participated in the programme.
Organisers of the programme said the region had the favourable natural conditions, maritime port, border crossing with neighbouring countries, highly regarded scientific research institutions, wood resource, potential agriculture and food production and research, power and tourism industries, human capital, transportation, and infrastructures. 
FTimes Photo
Antti Pohjonen, a Finnish investor and chairman of the Sand Valley golf & country club, said the region had lots of potential sectors where the Nordic entrepreneurs could invest with less risk. 
He explained his own experiences in the region as a foreign investor and said the facilities and security for the businesses attracted him to stay and continue the expansion of his company.
Andrzej Bruszko, an economist at the University of Warmia and Mazury, pointed out the area’s low labour and production costs and said cooperation with Nordic countries will also be influential for both the parties regarding development cooperation and investment. 
He said foreign direct investments has become a global phenomenon today and was understood to be the key factor of economic development. 
FTimes Photo
The location is in the immediate vicinity of the eastern border of the European Union and has access to the sea through Vistula lagoon connected with the gulf of Gdansk.  
Three technological parks - Elk, Elblag and Olsztyn – offers consultation for developing companies, technology transfer, scientific research, technological innovations and expansion of favourable businesses.  
It is also a wonderful place in terms of natural beauty and tourism potential.  
Agnieszka Kowalcze, director of the Scandinavian-Polish Chamber of Commerce (SPCC), said Scandinavian entrepreneurs were increasingly willing to look at Poland as a place to invest and were looking for reliable partners aimed at long-term cooperation, but the authority should ensure law and order properly.  
She said there were already around two thousand Scandinavian companies in Poland from such industries as furniture, telecommunications and automotive.
Poland was also among the top ten preferred countries for Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian, and Danish businesses, whose investments make up approximately 0.4 percent of the foreign direct investments, Kowalcze added.  
FTimes Photo
Jacek Protas, marshal of Warmia and Mazury Voivodeship, said that the region was full of investment potential where Nordic companies could easily extend cooperation.
European funds for development will be also a beneficial factor for the prospective companies’ investment, he also said.  
The focused areas for the possible development cooperation and investments are in science and development including research and development, ICT, ecological solutions with special focus on environment, energy and renewable energy, and technological innovations in various aspects and sectors.  
Barbara Tunska, investment expert of the regional promotion department, said Warmia and Mazury region has two special economic zones where it was possible to use the highest nationwide public aid in the form of income tax exemption, under costs of new investment creation of new employment.  
The region has the prospect of cooperation within the cluster structures, low production cost, eight international border crossings, and research & training in the universities, she added.
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