Pomorskie: A Hub for Offshore Energy Business with Opportunities for SMEs, Engineering, and Manufacturing – Anna Jafra
In this interview, The Managing Editor of The Energy Republic, NDUBUISI MICHEAL OBINEME, talks to Anna Jafra, Manager of the Entrepreneurship Development Department at Pomeranian Development Agency, about the business opportunities in Pomorskie, a province located in Poland, and the role of the Agency in assisting investors and foreign companies interested in doing business in the region. Excerpts:
TER: Please tell us about your professional background and what you do at Pomeranian Development Agency.
Anna: Most of my professional career has been dedicated to business support services, mainly helping companies to find business partners in other countries.
In Pomerania Development Agency I work with companies located in our region, from different sectors. I help them develop their export activities, including searching for business partners for companies from the hydrogen sector among others.
TER: What are the vision, mission, and goals of the Pomeranian Development Agency?
Anna: We act in favor of sustained socio-economic development of the Pomorskie Region. In cooperation with local government authorities, we assist companies. Our goal is to initiate and support economic projects of regional importance. In addition, we promote the brand of our economically strong region to the world.
TER: In general, what is the Pomorskie region known for; and, what are the major economic businesses that generate revenue for the region?
Anna: Pomorskie is one of the fastest-growing regions in Poland and Europe. Tricity (cities: Gdańsk, Gdynia, and Sopot) was ranked in the top 5 for FDI Strategy for mid and small-sized cities and FDI Strategy – Rising Cities in the fDi Global Cities of the Future 2021/2022 rankings. Services, industry, and the construction sector are the driving forces of the Pomeranian economy, while the region’s two dynamic ports in Gdynia and Gdańsk fuel the development of international trade.
The advantage of the region is its excellent location on the Baltic Sea and at the intersection of international transport routes which fuels cross-border exchange and attracts foreign investments.
Pomorskie is also known for the activities of Lech Wałęsa, who led to the victory of democracy in Poland and democratic changes in Eastern Europe.
As for FDI, top sectors include Business Services, IT, electronics, and automotive. Here it shall be mentioned that Pomerania is home to Intel’s and Amazon’s R&D centers, manufacturing hubs of Flex, Jabil, Aptiv or Lacroix Electronics, SSCs of Swarovski, Bayer, State Street, and Fujifilm.
A traditional sector that is generating substantial revenues is shipbuilding and offshore industries.
Other main growth areas in the Pomorskie energy sector include Engineering and manufacturing for the offshore sectors.
TER: What are the opportunities and incentives that are available for investors, entrepreneurs, including SMEs in doing business in Pomorskie?
Anna: First of all, companies carrying out new investment projects can be granted CIT exemptions for up to 50% of the investment costs. On the other hand, SMEs can use one of many support programs, ranging from cash grants for new manufacturing projects, low-interest rate loans, grants for export-related activities, and other business consulting support.
Companies entering Pomerania may count on full support from Invest in Pomerania – site selection support, employer branding, administrative support, and HR assistance.
TER: How attractive is the tax regime in the Pomorskie region?
Anna: It’s Poland’s tax regime. The basic CIT rate is 19%, SMEs can also choose “Estonian tax”, which means that you don’t pay any tax until dividend payout.
TER: When you look at the entire Pomorskie province, it is bordered by the Baltic Sea which is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that is enclosed by Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Sweden, and the North and Central European Plain. What’s the interconnection between Pomeranian Voivodeship and the Baltic Sea in terms of offshore energy and marine logistics?
Anna: Pomerania has already become an engineering and manufacturing hub for European offshore industries.
Companies such as Remontowa, Crist, Mostostal, or EPG have been delivering ships and marine structures for their Norwegian, Danish, and British clients for years.
Now, we see more interest in foreign companies as offshore wind is about to take its momentum. Only in the last months Siemens Gamesa, Semco, and Archer have launched their competence centers and engineering hubs in the region.
TER: How is your organization working with other EU member states in harnessing the energy potentials around the Baltic Sea and Pomorskie region?
Anna: We focus on investment promotion and supporting exports – as Pomerania Development Agency we believe that enhancing business links between the companies and building their physical presence is the key to harnessing the full potential.
TER: What’s Pomeranian Agency’s strategic plan to drive investments and attract foreign businesses into the Pomorskie energy sector?
Anna: Last year the World Bank carried out a substantial analysis of Invest in Pomerania activities and the sectors to be developed in the next years. Renewable energy sector was one of the industries indicated by the World Bank as the industry that needs more business development than investment attraction.
Pomerania is already a top location for offshore companies, now we need to boost business links between all the players.