The argument about SEZs came to an end

Janusz Piechociński informed of reaching an agreement in prolongation of Special Economic Zones' operation for a few years.

We have a common ground on the issue of prologing the operation of Special Economic Zones – said Janusz Piechociński, a Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy. Currently, the rules of SEZs' operation are being discussed. Why would the prolongation of their existence be beneficial? It is assumed that they will contribute to economic development of particular regions, among others due to cooperation with employment offices and schools. In addition, they are supposed to support promotion of Polish companies, especially small and medium-sized ones, along with export promotion.

It seems that we are reconciled with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Jacek Rostowski as far as the fact that Special Economic Zones are very beneficial is concerned – says Janusz Piechociński.

Special Economic Zones were to exist till 2020, however the Department of Economy attempted to prolong this term for six more years. The Minister of Finance opposed to this attempt, claiming that investments in the zones are lower than the value of the lost taxable income, since the companies in SEZ profit from tax reliefs. Furthermore, the objections were addressed to the Minister of Economy of his not having carried out an analysis of how the tax excemptions in the zones affect regional development and new investments. The discussion carried on for several months, yet now the head of the Ministry of Economy assures that the talks about the rules of the zone's operation are in progress.

The devil is in the details. Now the question arises: in which areas we want to have the zones and what kind of investments we want to prefer in this way. It will be assessed on the basis of reliable ratios, which will be written down in an act or a decree. We are more on a stage of creating a glossary to this document than on arguing about intentions – emphasises Janusz Piechociński.

According to the Deputy Prime Minister, what needs to be especially considered are the aspects of enhancing the competitiveness of Polish companies, namely, innovativeness, new technologies and energy-saving.

These modified Special Economic Zones, business clusters and technology parks are meant to be new forms of the breeding-ground of Polish enterprise, mechanisms of managing logistic processes, ability to cooperate, affecting District Employment Offices, affecting local schooling market, both private and public – explains Janusz Piechociński.

In order to realise such a scenario, there will appear within the zones such instruments as so-called ordered specialties, trainings, apprenticeships, scholarships for the best students and the best high school students. In addition, the Deputy Prime Minister remarks that a reversal of roles between an employment office and a potential employer should take place.

So more money should be designated for improving the quality of search of employment, creating workplaces through entrepreneurs, and less through employment agencies. Special zones, business clusters and technology parks also ought to be the representatives of Polish small and medium-sized enterprise outside, in gaining new markets, contacts and in export promotion. This is what we want to pursue – says Janusz Piechociński.  

According to the data announced by the Ministry of Economy, since 2012 SEZs occupy the space of 15 800 ha. In 2012 6700 people more than in 2011 were employed in the zones, the value of the investment also increased by about PLN 6,6 milliard. Up to 74 per cent of the capital located in the zones comes from Poland, Germany, the USA, the Netherlands, Italy and Japan. The biggest expenses were borne by automotive enterprises and manufacturers of rubber, plastic and other non-metallic mineral products.

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