The Krakow Metropolis is an area with a very high investment potential. Being an innovative and entrepreneurial "heart" of the voivodeship, it is also its development engine, significantly contributing to the dynamic growth of the region. It is worth finding out what the advantages of the Krakow Metropolis are.
The city of Krakow is very recognizable in the world. The knowledge of the city of Krakow among the respondents of many studies is common and even greater than the recognition of our country. Krakow is the most frequently visited Polish city by foreign tourists. In the ranking of the most visited cities in the world, which was based on the study of the flow of tourists in 2013-2018, Krakow took 74th place (Warsaw was 83th, and other Polish cities were not included in the ranking). This is an important competitive advantage that can be considered a strength of the entire metropolitan area. In addition, the brand of the Krakow Metropolis has a strong affiliation with the brand of Krakow, which is why it gains a positive reception and evaluation among potential investors, tourists and residents.
The Krakow Metropolis (along with the entire region) can boast a cultural and tourist offer that is unique on an international scale. Cultural and historical resources are the foundation for the development of the leisure industry. The geographical location is also favorable, as it allows to take advantage of the natural and landscape values. All this translates into the development of, among others, accommodation, congress and conference facilities as well as gastronomy. The attractiveness of the Krakow Metropolis as a place where you spend your time well increases the chances of attracting new investments and provides unique development opportunities for numerous sectors of the economy. It also provides company employees with many forms of active leisure, which is of particular importance in the context of the increasing need to implement "work balance" principles.
Undoubtedly, a strong argument on the part of the Krakow Metropolis is the large number of universities, which translates into the availability of graduates of both technical universities and economic faculties. The city of Krakow as a leading academic and research center in Poland attracts many talents, not only from Poland but also from abroad. Additionally, the attractiveness of the Krakow metropolis as a place to live and work allows for the acquisition of external human capital. Many specialists decide to move to Krakow, thanks to which the local labor market is diverse and allows the acquisition of experts in almost every field. A favorable factor is the still attractive level of labor costs from the point of view of foreign investors. Also, in the metropolitan area there is both a positive migration balance and a positive birth rate. The forecasts also indicate the continuation of these positive trends, which definitely distinguishes the Krakow metropolis on a national scale.
An additional benefit of a well-developed academic offer is the presence of research infrastructure. In Małopolska, we are dealing with high expenditure on research and development. The ratio of total R&D expenditure to GDP is much higher than that of comparable regions. There are many startups throughout Małopolska, mainly in Krakow, which specialize in, among others, information and communication technologies (such as big data, IoT, fintech). In addition, startups can count on a lot of help from local governments and business environment institutions that create acceleration programs that help innovative companies to develop. It should be emphasized that the Krakow Metropolis achieves very good results compared to other metropolises in terms of human capital, education and innovation.
The competitive advantage of the Krakow Metropolis is the possibility of drawing on the experience gained so far and using the completed foreign investments to attract new investors. In recent years, an impressive track record has been built in sectors such as business services (business process outsourcing centers - BPO and shared services centers - SSC), IT and research and development. Several tens of thousands of people work in service centers in Krakow. Kraków took eighth position in the Tholons Services Globalization City Index 2017 ranking (ranking of the best cities for international services). The advantages of Kraków include, in particular, the availability of good specialists, attractive business conditions, cost-effectiveness and high quality of life.
In addition to the natural and landscape values, the geographical location of the Krakow Metropolis offers great opportunities for the intensification of international cooperation. The location in the "center" of the continent allows you to quickly reach many important European economic centers from the Krakow Metropolis. Additionally, the proximity of the state border makes it easier for local entrepreneurs to expand abroad. This location is particularly advantageous due to shortening supply chains and bolder plans of international corporations to move their operations from Asia to Europe.
The Krakow Metropolis can be considered well connected. First of all, a well-developed airport is an important advantage of the Krakow Metropolis from the point of view of foreign entities. Kraków-Airport Jana Pawła II is the largest regional airport in Poland. In the direct area of influence of the airport, there are approximately 7.9 million inhabitants within a radius of 100 km from Kraków (travel time approximately 90 minutes). An additional advantage of the metropolis is the continuous development of infrastructure. The railway and road transport infrastructure is currently developing dynamically, and the investment plans in this area for the coming years are impressive. The Krakow Metropolis also benefits from the A4 motorway, which ensures good communication, especially towards the west.
The advantages of the Krakow Metropolis presented above do not, of course, exhaust the topic of the region's competitive advantages. They show, however, that the Krakow Functional Area is a well-located, well-connected and innovative region, with rich human resources, a great history and even better development prospects. Therefore, the investor - it is worth investing in the metropolis of opportunities.
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