The Gross Domestic Product of the Małopolskie Voivodeship in 2012 amounted to PLN 118 billion, which makes up 7.4% of the Polish GDP. This makes it the fifth largest contributor to the country’s GDP. The Voivodeship has maintained this figure at a fairly consistent level for a few years now, with its GDP, however, growing progressively: it reached PLN 99.6 billion in 2009 (7.4% share), in 2010 PLN 104.1 billion (7.3%) and PLN 114 billion (7.5%). GDP per capita is growing gradually in the Małopolskie Voivodeship, but it is still below the national average: it amounted to PLN 30,013 (85.9% of the national average) in 2009, in 2010 – PLN 31,248 (85%), in 2011 – PLN 34,107 (86%) and in 2012 – PLN 35,271 (85.2%). In 2012 GDP in the Małopolskie Voivodeship increased by 3.7% when compared to the year 2011. According to preliminary data provided by the Central Statistical Office (CSO), the largest increase of GDP in current prices in 2012 was reported in the Pomorskie Voivodeship (by 5.9%) and the lowest increase was recorded in the Śląskie Voivodeship (by 2.2%). The contributions of particular voivodeships to GDP were very diverse in 2012: from 2.1% in the Opolskie Voivodeship to 22.7 % in the Mazowieckie Voivodeship. GDP per capita in 2012 ranged from PLN 27,719 in the Podkarpackie Voivodeship (67% of the national average) to PLN 68,299 in the Mazowieckie Voivodeship (165% of the national average).
According to the CSO, in Kraków the average employment in the enterprise sector amounted to 433.2 thousand people in September 2014 and was lower by 0.1% than in the previous year. The unemployment rate in the Małopolskie Voivodeship was lower than in the country at large; it amounted to 9.8% (11.5% at the national level). The annual unemployment decreased by 1.5 percentage points. In September employers provided 55.4% more job vacancies than the year before. The districts with the highest unemployment rate include the Dąbrowa Tarnowska District (17.1%; 19.6% in September 2013), the Limanowa District (16.2% and 18.3% in the previous year) and the Nowy Sącz District (14.4% - 17.1% in the previous year). The lowest unemployment rate was recorded in Kraków (5.3% in comparison with 6% in September the previous year). The unemployment rate decreased in all districts in comparison with the corresponding period of the year 2013. The most noteworthy decline was reported in the Nowy Sącz District (by 2.7 percentage points), the Myślenice District (by 2.6 percentage points) as well as in the Dąbrowa Tarnowska and Wieliczka District (by 2.5 percentage points). In September the average monthly gross remuneration in the enterprise sector amounted to PLN 3,676.01 and was 5.2% higher than in the previous year.
The Małopolskie Voivodeship belongs to the economically best developing regions, as reflected in its high position in the rankings of, i.a., European Cities & Regions of the Future 2012/2013 (fDi Intelligence) and the Top 10 Emerging Outsourcing Cities List (Global services, 2012). 330 thousand economic entities operate in the Voivodeship. It is the only region in Poland that has its own oil (the area around Gorlice) and gas, sulphur, gypsum, zinc and lead, sandstone and limestone deposits. The largest Polish and foreign industrial plants in the Małopolskie Voivodeship include Can-Pack, the Browar Okocim branch of Carlsberg Polska:, Coca-Cola, Niepołomice, the Dwory chemical plant in Oświęcim, the Kęty Group, Maspex from Wadowice, Mittal Steel Poland (the Nowa Huta branch), the Trzebinia Refinery, Stalprodukt from Bochnia, TeleFonika Kable, BP Polska, Delphi Poland, Valeo Autosystemy Sp. z o.o., Skawina, Slovnaft Polska, Karpacka Spółka Gazownictwa, Azoty Tarnów, Motorola, Pliva, the IBM Kraków Software Laboratory, Electrolux, Philip Morris, Shell, and Capgemini.
The Małopolskie Voivodeship ranks a strong fourth (topped by the Śląskie, Dolnośląskie, and Mazowieckie Voivodeships) in the investment ranking of the voivodeships, which is prepared every year by the Institute for Market-Economy Research.
In the recent 2013 edition, the Voivodeship was runner-up (after the Śląskie Voivodeship) in the categories “Labour resources and costs” and “Social infrastructure”. It was fourth in terms of economic infrastructure and fifth when it comes to the market. In respect of investment-attracting activities the region was eighth, common security gave it ninth place and finally the region was tenth in the transport accessibility category. The Institute for Market Economy Research draws attention to the vibrant cultural life, the well-developed hotel and gastronomic infrastructure and the hive of activity of the local cultural institutions. In terms of economic infrastructure, its strengths include the well-developed research-and-development sector and the increased investor’s activity in the Special Economic Zones, whereas the below-average area of available investment land in the Special Economic Zones can be considered as the Voivodeship’s weakness. The Małopolskie Voivodeship has exceptional labour resources, particularly in the case of secondary-school and university graduates and also a small deficit of qualified employees.
Due to those assets and the high science and research potential, the Małopolskie Voivodeship has the right conditions for the development of high-tech, automotive and Business Process Outsourcing sectors. Good natural and climate conditions create great potential for tourism development. The preferential terms offered in the Małopolskie Voivodeship’s Special Economic Zones constitute an incentive for investors.
Personnel for the economy
University-level schools are the main potential for the development of the modern economy. Next to Warsaw, Kraków is the second most important academic centre. 189.2 thousand students attended 32 universities based in the Małopolskie Voivodeship in the academic year 2013/2014, which is 6.5% less than in the previous year. 67.6% of those students chose full-time programmes, which is by 2.5 percentage points more than in the academic year 2012/2013. Extramural studies were chosen by 13.3% less students than the year before. The students of public universities constituted 83.3% of the total number of students (1.4 percentage points more than in the previous year).
In terms of the number of students, the Jagiellonian University in Kraków was the largest university of the region; 42,374 people studied at 15 faculties which constituted 22.4% of all students and 26.9% of students of public schools of higher education. The second position was taken by the AGH University of Science and Technology (33.2 thousand people, 21.1% of students of public schools of higher education), the Cracow University of Economics (20.4 thousand and 13%), the Tadeusz Kościuszko Cracow University of Technology (17.9 thousand and 11.4%), the Pedagogical University of Cracow (14.6 thousand students), and the University of Agriculture in Kraków (11.2 thousand students). The State Higher Vocational School in Nowy Sącz (4.2 thousand) was the first university outside Kraków that appeared on this list, followed by the State Higher Vocational School in Tarnów (4.1 thousand). In the academic year 2013/2014, the Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski Kraków University (11 thousand students) was the largest non-public university in the region.
The Leading Kraków
According to the “Description of human resources in the Małopolskie Voivodeship, Kraków and Kraków Rural Districts" report prepared by the Voivodeship Labour Office in Kraków in 2012, Kraków, along with the Kraków Rural District, is the most developed and innovative area in the Małopolskie Voivodeship. More than 1 million people live in this area and this number is expected to increase in the years to come mainly due to the Kraków District. The Kraków District constitutes an important hinterland for Kraków. On the one hand, many people who live there commute to work or school to Kraków, on the other it is becoming popular as a location for new projects for which there is no space in the heavily-urbanised city. The residents of Kraków more and more often commute to work to companies in Skawina, Zielonki, Zabierzów and other neighbouring communes. The demographic trends for the District can be considered as moderately advantageous within the broader context of the region’s and country's situation. In the years 1995-2010 the population of the Kraków District increased by 11% and the population of Kraków grew by more than 1%. According to CSO’s population projection, this trend will continue in the years to come. By 2035 the population of the Kraków District will increase by 8% in comparison with the year 2010 and the population of Kraków by 1%, respectively. The Kraków District is and will continue to be the second (next to the Wieliczka District) fastest-developing area in the Małopolskie Voivodeship in terms of population. However, the population of both Districts will age fast.
According to the report by the Voivodeship Labour Office, Kraków and the Kraków District belong to the areas that stand out in the Małopolskie Voivodeship in terms of the economic activity of people. The educational structure of Kraków and the Kraków District residents is favourable. The largest group in Kraków is constituted by people with a higher education (21%) and secondary vocational education (21.6%). 17% of residents have general secondary education. The residents of the Kraków District have mainly basic vocational education (31.6%) and have completed basic education (32%), and vocational education (17.6%).
The companies’ structure by employment size shows the domination of micro enterprises – the smallest companies that employ up to 9 workers. In general the companies in Kraków and the Kraków District constitute 42.3% of the total number of companies registered in the Małopolskie Voivodeship. This result is the best in the region and it indicates the strong, leading position of the capital of the Voivodeship in terms of small businesses. The companies’ structure by type of economic activity shows a high level of Kraków’s specialisation in the field of service activities, with very low share of construction companies. The Kraków District and Kraków City are characterised by a large number of jobs created as a result of new foreign-capital projects (greenfield) as well as those already existing which were supported by foreign capital (brownfield). Both districts together constitute the largest concentration of workplaces in foreign-capital companies in the Małopolskie Voivodeship.
One of the key assets of the Voivodeship is its convenient transport connections: a main transit corridor from Western Europe to the Ukraine, railway connections fostering economic development (the European transport corridor TINA III runs through the region); the international airport in Kraków-Balice (the second-largest airport in Poland); six road border crossings and one railway border crossing in Leluchów. The transport framework of the Małopolskie Voivodeship comprises two main road transport routes which are part of international routes: the Gdańsk – Warszawa – Kraków – Zvolen – Budapest E77 route, whose system is made up of National road No. 7 and the E40 route, with the A4 motorway forming part of the Berlin – Wrocław – Katowice – Lviv – Kiev Trans-European Corridor. The core road system of the Voivodeship includes national roads with a total length of 1,023.8 km, of which 313 km are situated in urban areas. Motorways and expressways are about 7% of all national ways in the Małopolskie Voivodeship. The core layout also consists of voivodeship roads with a total length of 1,413.7 km, of which 238 km are situated in urban areas. As many as 27% of all national roads in the Voivodeship are in poor technical condition and need to be repaired urgently (this is the highest value for this measure for all Polish Voivodeship, where the average value for Poland is 19%). As far as voivodeship roads are concerned, 38% of them are in bad technical condition.
In the Voivodeship there are numerous business-support institutions. The Investors and Exporters' Service Centre (COIE) in Kraków – a regional partner of the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency (PAIiIZ) – which provides information regarding the legal requirements of opening up a business in the Małopolskie Voivodeship, assistance programmes, investment incentives and information on the available land for investment. Certain portals recommended by the Voivodeship authorities, such as Małopolska Gateway (Wrota Małopolski), Visit Małopolska! or Business In Małopolska provide packages of useful guidelines for investors. The Małopolskie Voivodeship Development Observatory (MORR), comprising the Małopolskie Voivodeship Observatories of Development Policy, Economy, Social Policy, and Labour Market and Education, is an element of strategic regional management. These observatories have been established as the first step towards establishing a regional research centre. The Małopolskie Voivodeship Centre for Arbitration and Mediation at the Kraków Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which will come to existence in November this, will offer some very useful help to businesses. In terms of the number of centres of innovation and entrepreneurship (the term encompasses technology parks, incubators, technology-transfer centres, seed capital funds, business angels, local and regional loan funds, Loan Guarantee Funds, advisory and training centres), the Małopolskie Voivodeship ranks fourth among Polish voivodeships. According to a report entitled “Centres of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Poland. 2012,” there were 68 such centres in the Voivodeship in 2012 (Silesia had the largest number – 96, and the smallest number of such centres was found in the Opolskie Voivodeship)