The BPCC’s Western Poland office held an investment conference in Szczecin on 2 December 2022, in the city’s new football stadium Pogoń Szczecin. Organised jointly with ARMS (Agencja Rozwoju Metropolii Szczecińskiej, the regional development agency for the city and its metropolitan area), CBRE, local recruitment agency KS Service, as well as a local contractor Multi Projekt, the event attracted a full house from across the real estate, construction and HR sectors.

The event’s focus was the local and regional real-estate market, which is crucial to investors considering the Szczecin metropolitan area.

Marek Kubik, chairman of the board, ARMS, presented the latest on the area’s economic development, new and upcoming investments, and prospects for the future. Logistics, IT, e-commerce and offshore wind were the main sectors driving the area’s growth, he said. Maciej Rozwarski, a director of Multi Projekt, showed some completed and planned buildings that the firm was engaged in, demonstrating in particular the green features that investors are currently demanding. The potential of Szczecin – Poland’s seventh-largest city – was highlighted by Aleksander Kuźniewski, CBRE’s local director, who showed its strengths (warehousing and factories) and relative weaknesses (office space).

After a networking coffee break, the speakers were joined by Andrzej Kulpa, chairman of the board of KS Service, for a panel discussion moderated by the BPCC’s chief advisor Michael Dembinski, which considered the local labour market, the future of office work and how this would shape demand for new solutions such as flex-space and the private-rental sector (PRS), the importance of nearshoring in terms of new manufacturing investment, and the importance of ESG in green building. There were more opportunities for networking after the panel, followed by a lunch with the mayor of Szczecin.

More and more British firms needing a base within the EU and single European market are looking at Szczecin as a potential location; it is well connected with Germany and Scandinavian, with good air links via the international airport at Goleniów, suited to long-haul cargo flights, and easy access to the Baltic. Rail connections will shortly improve as electrification of the line from Berlin is completed. While Szczecin is not a major player in Poland’s shared-services centre/business-process outsourcing boom, it is becoming increasingly visible in IT, particularly when that IT is linked with e-commerce. Affordable warehouse space and location make Szczecin particularly competitive when it comes to the logistics sector.