Katowice has potential
The Silesian Agglomeration is the biggest urbanized area in Central and Eastern Europe that unites numerous cities, the borders of which are almost connected with each other. The capital of this area is the City of Katowice. The communicational infrastructure of this city constitutes one of its main assets. For instance, the location of Katowice provides an easy access to three airports such as Katowice Airport situated at a distance of 30 km from the city, which is the fourth airport in Poland due to service of passengers. According to the passenger statistics that are available on the website of the airport and that sum up the first six months of 2016, more than 1.3 million travelers were serviced in the total passenger traffic from the beginning of the year till the end of June. It is almost 64 thousand more in comparison to the same period in 2015. There is also Katowice Muchowiec (EPKM) on the area of the city, that is the airport which services the smaller business and regional traffic. Krakow Airport and Ostrava Airport are located at a distance of ca. 100 km from Katowice. The city has also a well-developed network of road and railway connections.
The potential of the city is also reflected by the fact that investors in Katowice can count on numerous forms of support during starting and developing their business activity. For instance, the Department of Investor Assistance of the City of Katowice provides such support. The city also provides a local system of servicing investors in cooperation with e.g. the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency, Katowice Special Economic Zone as well as institutions of business surrounding and consulting companies.
Katowice as well as the whole region of the Upper Silesia have a big human capital. Employees can be found among many inhabitants of the Katowice Agglomeration, the number of which currently totals two million. There are a lot of graduates from universities – more than 30 thousand every year. Employees can be recruited among people who study in several dozen technical universities, vocational schools, universities and academies. As we may read on the website of the Katowice Special Economic Zone SA, there are 44 universities, 279 secondary schools and more than 900 technical and vocational schools on the area of the Silesian Voivodship. Undoubtedly, the competent personnel is the major asset of this region. The respondents of the report conducted by ABSL observe that the inhabitants of Silesia got used to their family cities and they eagerly search for a work place in the closest neighborhood. They pay great attention to the engineering tradition of the region as well as effectiveness and engagement of Silesian employees in performed work. A well-developed communicational infrastructure allows people living outside Katowice to easily commute to their workplace. The Katowice Agglomeration is a place where BPO, SSC, IT and R&D centers dynamically develop. According to the report of ABSL, the employment in such centers totals 16.5 thousand employees.
Office space in Katowice totals around 394 000 sq. m. The average annual level of concluded transactions in the city exceeds 50 000s q. m from 2012, including more and more noticeable lease from companies of the modern business service sector (BPO, IT, SSC and R&D centers). Their participation in the total demand amounted to 30 per cent in 2015 – as we may read in the report of ABSL. This report points out that there were 50 per cent of total resources of office space commissioned between 2010 and the first quarter of 2016. At present, the biggest office structures under construction are e.g. Silesia Star II or A4 Business Park III. Moreover, 52 800 sq. m of office space will be delivered to the market in 2016. Silesia Star II will be commissioned in the following month. This investment owned by LC Corp SA is situated at Uniwersytecka Street in Katowice and it will offer 12 400 sq. m of office space to the Silesian Agglomeration. According to the report of ABSL, the size of rented office space was record-breaking in Katowice in 2015. Tenants signed agreements for more than 62 500 sq. m. The City of Katowice is chosen by tenants due to e.g. costs of lease of office space as well as labor costs. Moreover, the number of inhabitants has also a crucial meaning to the Katowice Agglomeration.