Poland’s city of the future

Originally Published in March 2019

Gdynia is a beautiful medium-sized city located in northern Poland, by the Baltic Sea, with a population of approximately 250,000 residents. It is a part of the Tri-City area, which, apart from Gdynia, includes also Gdańsk and Sopot, which together have a population of over 1 million people.

Gdynia and the Tri-City remains on of the most attractive investment region in Poland

The city has one of the most important ports in Poland and the maritime industry dominates among other business sectors, however, Gdynia’s officials are putting a lot of efforts for the city to be known not only as a port but also as an interesting investment area for new entrepreneurs. These efforts include, among other things, maximum simplification of all procedures regarding setting up a business. The idea of a “single service desk” in the Gdynia Business Support Centre is a perfect example of the above-mentioned simplification. According to this idea, all the paperwork regarding the set up of a new business can be completed at a single service desk. As a result, setting up a new business takes as short as 20 minutes. Additionally, entrepreneurs and investors willing to operate in Gdynia can count on support at each stage of the business’s activities – starting from advising the best location for the investment, through facilitating all paperwork and assisting at the beginning of operation, to successful cooperation after the company is already established on the market. The city also offers Gdynia Business Incubator services to support micro, small and medium-sized businesses. These actions have resulted in an increased number of sole proprietors operating in Gdynia – as of now, 250 per 1000 persons at working age are running their own businesses, whereas the average number in Poland is 170.

The direction, in which the city is supposed to be developing, is set for the next 20 or even 30 years

The city is also open for highly innovative ideas from the modern industrial sector. One such investment is the Integrated 3D Printing Center, which was recently completed in Gdynia. The above-mentioned facility is supposed to be the breakthrough in the use of technology as a tool to support medical procedures and complicated life-saving surgeries. This is just a part of the Science and Technology Park, the biggest one in the whole country.

During 2018, the Tri-City area also retained its position as one of the most attractive markets in the BPO/SSC zone both in Poland and in the world. Gdynia, in particular, offers infrastructure that is not only modern but also systematically developed. This is one of the key factors for operating within the services sector as well as making crucial investment decisions with reference to international trading. _→

→ Without any doubts, Gdynia is a city with many assets, such as a strategic location and good transportation links. One of Gdynia’s most attractive features is its high quality of life, the highest in Poland as researchers say. The city is located between the sea and forest, that provides a natural barrier to the kind of urban sprawl that is a challenge for other Polish or even European cities. The city’s attractive location, combined with good rail and road connections to the capital city of Poland – Warsaw, has also made it a popular destination for people who want to spend their holidays there, not only from other parts of Poland but also from abroad. The tourism industry is also supported by the cruise port terminal, which brings 100,000 passengers a year to Gdynia. As the interest in Gdynia is constantly growing, in recent years two more modern hotels were opened. It also allows investors from the MICE sector to organize conferences, seminars, and events, supplemented by some interesting cultural and social events, available to participants in their free time.

As of now, Gdynia’s investment strategy is planned until 2030. The direction, in which the city is supposed to be developing, is set for the next 20 or even 30 years. One of the long-run investment ideas concerns the Sea City – Gdynia’s modern district located in the city center, right by the coast of the Baltic Sea. Investments planned on land currently being the shipyard’s properties are going to revolutionize the whole city center. The scale of the project is comparable to the changes related to the construction of the city and port in the 1920s. A total of 33 hectares of attractive investment area, located just next to the modern city center full of social attractions is unique on a European scale. According to urban planners, in ten years time, up to 8,000 people will be living in this area, and another 4,000 people will find employment there. The plan of the city is to create a rich, vital district in Sea City.

Gdynia, as a great area for investors and businesses, was also recognized multiple times by independent international institutions. It is worth remembering, that as a first Polish city, in 2017 Gdynia joined the prestigious group of cities and metropolises that have ISO 37120 certification and is one of three Polish cities included in the international platform of smart cities called World Council on City Data, where the position of the city compared to global leaders such as London, Amsterdam or Dubai can be checked. The city was also awarded by the fDi Magazine, which is a part of the Financial Times group, with the title of “The Polish City of the Future” in the 2017/18 edition. During the 2017 edition of the MIPIM in Cannes, Gdynia won the main category for medium-sized cities, as well as the categories “Economic Potential” and “Business Friendly”.

Additionally, the city is also actively involved in cultural, lifestyle and social events. Currently, Gdynia is preparing for the organization of the Junior World Sailing Championship, which will take place from 13 to 19 July 2019. It is a great sports event, but also a very organizationally challenging project, as there will be nearly 500 competitors from 76 countries at the start.

Gdynia, as a great area for investors and businesses, was also recognized multiple times by independent international institutions

In 2019, Gdynia will also be one of six Polish cities hosting the FIFA World Cup U20. It will be the second big football tournament with the participation of Gdynia. In 2017, the UEFA Euro U21 matches also took place on the city’s stadium.

Apart from the sports event, Gdynia is also famous for “Open’er Festival” – one of the biggest and most popular annual music festivals in Poland, held in Gdynia since 2006. In 2019, the festival will take place on 3-6 July.

The city also does not forget, that its origins remain with the port. Gdynia still depends on it when it comes to the economic condition of the city. Shipyards in Gdynia build ships to construct wind farm towers, research vessels, motorway construction barges, hybrid ferries, and other specialized units. However, the port is also open for the passenger ferries. Recently, the new ferry terminal in Gdynia received PLN 117 million in EU funding. As a result of the investment, new ferry terminal will enable the service of larger passenger ferries of up to 245 meters in length.

Apart from strict business help, the city also cares for its residents, trying to provide them with solutions encouraging others to both – live and visit Gdynia. One of the examples is constant improvement of public transport, recently by works on implementing the ticket that will let to travel across the Tri-City, also using the “pay as you go” function via smartphone or credit card. The city has also been working for years to increase the share of electromobility in the public transport. The offer of electric transport is constantly evolving and Gdynia is the leader in this sector in Poland. This results also from the fact, that Gdynia is the city with some of the cleanest air in the whole country. With all ongoing investment, the city still has plenty of space covered with forests, as well as beautiful and wide beaches, providing residents and tourists with plenty paths to walk and enjoy the clean air of the city.