The proximity of the giant market near the eastern border of the European Union, which can take virtually unlimited quantities, is one of the main strengths of Eastern Poland as a place to locate manufacturing plants operating in the industrial machinery sector. What is the current situation of this sector in the Macroregion and what is the outlook for the future?
As proved by the statistics, the industrial machinery sector of Eastern Poland has been developing and growing in strength for many years. Since 2005, investments in this sector are systematically increasing, production plants grow and create new jobs. Most machinery and equipment is being produced in the Podkarpacie region.
Industrial machinery sector of Eastern Poland is closely associated with dominant agriculture and food sector, and most of the equipment produced here is for these sectors. Most of the total production output comes from the provincial cities, and smaller manufacturing centers, such as Stalowa Wola, Mielec, Swidnik, Międzyrzec Podlaski and Janow Lubelski. It is there that farm tractors, agricultural machinery and its components are being produced. The largest manufacturer of such devices is ‘Pronar’, which is based in Narew (Podlasie province). Today, ‘Pronar’ is one of the major players in the industrial machinery in Poland. The company provides employment of about 1 600 people. It can be found on the ranking of 500 largest companies in the country. Currently, ‘Pronar’ controls functioning of several factories in the Podlasie region, located in Narew, Narewka, Strabla. The company plans to open other manufacturing plants. ‘Pronar’ sells its products not only in Poland but also abroad. The main customers are Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Sweden and Russia.
Another plant form the Podlaskie region, which operates in the sector of agricultural machinery, is the company ‘Samasz’. Currently, it provides about 90 kinds of agricultural and horticultural machinery. In its offer, one can find as much as 29 different models of lawn mowers. The company is focused on both domestic and foreign markets. In 2009, up 60 percent of its production found foreign customers. ‘Samasz’ has customers in nearly 30 countries.
Besides ‘Samasz’, a wide range of machinery for agriculture and horticulture is manufactured by ‘Sipma’ from Lublin. The plant inherited a tradition of decades of production of such equipment in the Lubelskie region. Today, ‘Sipma’ is a company constantly introducing new equipment on the market. The development of the company is possible through skillful use of EU assistance. Since 2005, the company has been implementing the project entitled “The purchase of innovative equipment for the production of agricultural machinery.” Thanks to the project, it was possible to purchase modern machining centers, numerically controlled machine tools, software for construction purposes, 3D measurement devices, and laser cutters.
A few dozen kilometers from Lublin, in Międzyrzec Podlaski, exists another major manufacturer of machinery for agriculture – the Agricultural Machine Factory ‘Meprozet’. In April 2008, the company transformed from a state enterprise into a company with limited liability. It currently employs 95 people.
The machinery sector of Eastern Poland is a sector with high potential for development, which has already been recognized by numerous foreign entrepreneurs. The presence of special economic zones, tax exemption, qualified and less expensive workforce – these and other arguments have led many companies to invest in Eastern Poland. An excellent example of successful investment is the company ‘Komas’ from Janow Lubelski. In August 2006, the Finnish ‘Komas’ company bought controlling interest in that enterprise. Consequently,’Komas’ is constantly evolving, and employs approximately 400 people. Since 1997, also in Janow Lubelski, operates Caterpillar Poland Sp. z o. o. owned by Caterpillar Inc., headquartered in the United States.
As follows from the analysis of the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency, foreign companies continue to recognize and appreciate the potential of Eastern Poland. In the coming years, the machinery industry should expect more cases of foreign capital inputs. In the provinces of Eastern Poland, industrial machine factories will be created for the needs of Russian and Belarusian market. Another important factor influencing the development of machinery industry in the Macroregion is constantly increasing demand for road construction machinery and equipment resulting from the implementation of further investments in these industries.