Zone Profile: Katowice Special Economic Zone
We analyze the geographic, and economic aspects of the KSSE project as well as its challenges.
The Katowice Special Economic Zone (KSEZ) was established in June 1996 by the Council of Ministers in Poland. The goal for the creation of the zone was to assist and accelerate the restructuring of the region and create employment opportunities. 
KSEZ is further divided into 4 subzones namely the Jastrzębie-Zdrój and Żory Subzone, the Gliwice Subzone, the Sosnowiec and Dąbrowa Górnicza Subzone and the Tychy Subzone. Most of these subzones are located in close proximity to international routes such as those extending from east to west (Lviv-Wroclaw-Berlin) and north to south (Gdansk-Cieszyn-Ostrava-Vienna), and junction of A1 and A4 motorways.  Its prime location has played an important role in the success of the zone. This was further buttressed with the expansion of the zone from its initial 800 hectares to accommodate more companies.
Advantages of the Zone 
- CIT tax reliefs (from 30% up to 60%)
- Strategic location in the south of Poland, near the A4 motorway (connection with Germany and Ukraine) and A1 (connection with the Czech Republic)
- Almost 5 million inhabitants in the Silesian Voivodeship
- The 3rd largest didactic centre in Poland (over 100,000 students)
- The automotive cluster
- Comprehensive investment assistance
- Strong support from local authorities for investors
- Develop investment areas (greenfield), connected to the main communication routes of Poland and Europe
- More than 1,500 ha of available investment areas, plots ranging from 0.3 ha to 150 ha.
Prior to the creation of the zone, the region was associated with heavy industry like coal and steel production. Upon KSEZ’s creation the early investors in the zone were manufacturing companies like General Motors Manufacturing Poland, Fiat-GM Powertrain Polska, NGK Ceramics Polska, among others, with the automotive industry being the dominant industry in the zone. 
Due to the zone’s diversity, investors can choose from a variety of types of plots and locations for their projects. Investment has totalled over $44 million US dollars.
Impact of the Zone on Migration
Since 1991, the Katowice region has undergone depopulation. Depopulation has been recorded for the first time in the region, which historically has seen population growth. This growth occurred from the beginning of its rapid industrialization and urbanization in the nineteenth century and the continuation of this process in 1945–1989, with its population peaking in 1991. A decrease in the number of inhabitants of the Katowice area in the years 1990–2016 amounted to nearly 375,000 people. 
In addition to natural decrease caused by a low birth rate, the depopulation of the Katowice region is partially caused by negative net migration. This negative value, both for the entire region as well as for the core cities, has been observed continuously since 1993 (losing 3,000 to 10,000 people per year). This is an extremely unfavorable situation, compared, for example, to 1980 and 1981, when the annual migration to core cities amounted to a growth of nearly 18,000 people. Rural areas have experienced a positive net migration of up to 1,500 people annually since 1995. 
Achievements of the Zone as of Year-End 2021 
- The total amount of capital expenditure incurred by all companies operating in the Zone: $10 billion US Dollars
- Total number of jobs created in the Zone stands at approximately 90,000
- Leading sectors: automotive, glass products, steel, wood processing, food and construction
- The best result among special economic zones in Poland in 2021 and a record number of support decisions granted
- The best zone in Europe in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019 and in 2021 according to rankings by the Financial Times
- The second best zone in the world in 2019 according to rankings by the Financial Times.
The Katowice Special Economic Zone has been one of the most successful zones in Europe and it has helped the Polish government to achieve its goal to boost the economy of the region. While this is a welcome development, a closer look needs to be taken to the enormous migration that occurred.
Usually, investments attract talent and an influx of people. However, the opposite occurred in this case which raises a lot of questions.
Regardless, the zone continues to grow, improving the economy of Poland and this cannot be neglected considering the precarious situation its neighbors are currently experiencing.
- The Katowice Special Economic Zone Is The Ultimate Destination For Your Business; Impact CEE. https://impactcee.com/2018/09/07/the-katowice-special-economic-zone-is-the-ultimate-destination-for-your-business/
- Katowice Special Economic Zone; Invest KSSE
- Special Economic Zone Katowice; Polish Investment and Trade Agency (PAIH)
- The Katowice Special Economic Zone Co.; RCOI
- The suburbanisation process in a depopulation context in the Katowice conurbation, Poland; Research Gate