Construction sector of Eastern Poland constitutes about 16.7% of total construction industry in the country. Although the year 2010 was hindered by the crisis, the industry regains momentum quickly, especially in the segment of road and bridge construction connected with the modernization of infrastructure.
The largest share in the revenues of the sector belongs to the enterprises from Podkarpackie voivodship (28.1%), while the smallest – from the Warmia and Mazury region (15.9%). Construction output of Eastern Polish enterprises in January-September 2010 exceeded by 1.9% the corresponding period of 2009. An important feature of construction industry of Eastern Poland, creating attractive conditions for investment is in this sector, is the lowest salaries and labour costs in Poland. This difference amounts to 15-23%, depending on the segment of the sector. While the average gross monthly salary for the entire construction sector in Poland in October 2010 was 3556.31 PLN, in eastern Poland it equaled 2931.24 PLN and in none of the five provinces of the Macroregion they were higher than the national average for the entire sector .
Construction sector of Eastern Poland has about 17 per cent share in employment rate in the Polish construction sector in general – it employs 80.8 thousand people. Most people operate in the construction of buildings (33 thousand).
The above mentioned fact, among others, positively affects the attractiveness of the Macroregion especially important for the development of the construction sector and inflow of foreign investments into the building and other construction-related industries such as industrial minerals, timber, furniture and interior decorating. A lot of companies operating in the Polish construction are of foreign origin, such as the Swedish company Skanska and Munck Gruppen. It should be noted that for many foreign construction companies operating for years in our country, Eastern Poland is the next stage of their economic expansion. A distinctive group of large companies with Polish capital has developed. The largest company in terms of revenue is Cersanit SA Capital Group from Kielce. On the whole, 77 734 construction companies are registered in Eastern Poland (12.3% of all business entities functioning in Eastern Poland). Most of the registered entities in the construction sector belong to natural persons conducting economic activity. The number of companies operating in the construction sector of Eastern Poland amounts to 6958 (October 2010).
Valuable initiative that proves the dynamic character of the sector’s development in Eastern Poland is the Świętokrzysko-Podkarpacki construction cluster, which was established in January 2010 as a joint initiative of the construction companies operating in the Swietokrzyskie and Podkarpackie voivodship. The companies were cooperating with each other as well as the local government units and public administration. The aim of their cooperation is to establish a platform enabling and facilitating access to knowledge, transfer and implementation of the latest technological advances, reduction of costs related to current operations by streamlining the exchange of information between companies – members of the construction cluster. Currently, among 19 members of the cluster, managed by the Staropolska Chamber of Commerce, we can find not only construction companies but also the regional chambers of commerce and Kielce University of Technology.
Rzeszow Exhibition and Trade Centre is being built by Technopark. It will occupy an area exceeding 18 thousand m2 and have three levels. This will be the only so large a centre in Poland. The centre will allow manufacturers, contractors, and construction industry service providers to present their products, sign contracts and perform transactions. It will be a place where one can find new markets, learn all about new technologies and exchange experiences. Technopark investors chose Rzeszow for this investment due to the fact that in the south-eastern Poland substantial construction investments are being carried out. The number of areas intended for construction projects, either residential or industrial, is rapidly growing, which will affect the demand for construction materials and services.
The potential for development of the construction sector in Eastern Poland is associated with easy access to qualified personnel.
In the Macroregion, there are over 331 thousand students, 47 thousand of which are on technical courses. Higher education in the field of construction is provided by 16 universities from Eastern Poland. Additionally, the Macroregion secures access to the technical personnel with vocational education. In Poland, about 908 thousand students attend secondary vocational schools, 213 of which come from Eastern Poland (approximately 3.5% of them are taught in occupations related to construction industry). The secondary vocational schools specializing in construction industry are located in 17 cities of Eastern Europe.
Therefore, it can be assumed that the construction sector will grow rapidly in Poland and Eastern Europe, mainly due to the following factors:
- almost 19% of all current and planned public tenders for the provision of road construction services concerns the Macroregion of Eastern Poland
- 23% of all construction projects announced in 2010 concerns the Macroregion of Eastern Poland
- the largest part of new construction projects will address the road infrastructure (56 investments) e.g. the A4 motorway bypass sections of Rzeszow, including sections of expressways S7 and S17
- Operational Programme for the Development of Eastern Poland and Regional Operational Programmes for each of the voivodships provide EU funds for the development of transport infrastructure (road, rail, air, water), environmental protection, municipal infrastructure, renovation of cities, which subsequently stimulates the development of the local construction industry
- in comparison to other Polish regions, and especially foreign markets, Eastern Poland has a relatively low production costs and provides access to skilled workforce
- in accordance with the map of regional aid, investors taking part in new projects in Eastern Poland will be eligible for the highest possible level of support that can be obtained from the European Union. They will be able to receive support from various sources and the financial aid can amount to 50% of the eligible costs of a new project (in the case of small and medium enterprises, support may be enlarged to 70% and 60% accordingly).