On the one hand, the region’s economy consists of its traditional sectors such as: shipping industry, engineering industry, furniture manufacturing, food processing, paper industry as well as tourism; on the other, it is based on rapidly growing ICT sector, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, electronics and logistics. All the main sectors are represented by large companies such as:
- Shipping industry – Stocznia Gdańsk S.A. (Gdansk Shipyard Inc.), Stocznia Gdynia S.A. (Gdynia Shipyard Inc.), Grupa Remontowa S.A. (Repair Shipyard Group Inc.);
- Oil refining industry – Grupa Lotos S.A. (Lotos Group Inc.);
- Paper industry – International Paper- Kwidzyn Sp. z o.o. (International Paper- Kwidzyn Ltd.);
- Electronics- Jabil Circuit Poland Sp. z o.o. (Jabil Circuit Poland Ltd.), Jabil Assembly Poland Sp. z o.o. (Jabil Assembly Poland Ltd), Flextronics International Poland Sp. z o.o. (Flextronics International Poland Ltd) ;
- Pharmaceuticals - Polpharma S.A.(Polpharma Inc.).
At the end of August 2008 there were 239,500 businesses in the region (an increase of 2.8 % compared to 2007), with 95.8% registered in the private sector. The majority of businesses operate in the following sectors: trade and repair (25.4%), real estate, renting and business activity (18.6%), construction (12%) or industrial manufacturing (11.7%).
The region’s net financial performance in mln PLN (2002-2007)
The biggest company in the region is Grupa Lotos S.A. (a former Gdansk Refinery).
Due to stable business growth, the company is continuing to score high in the international ratings. It is ranked 14th in “The list of the largest companies in Central – Eastern Europe” prepared by Deloitte and The Rzeczpospolita daily. The company was also listed in “Top 250 Global Energy Company 2008”, a rating of the biggest energy companies prepared by Plattas and Standard&Poor’s.
In 2007 the average employment in Grupa Lotos S.A. amounted to 5,304 people. The company operates in four segments: exploration & excavation, production, trade and services. In 2007 the company’s net sales amounted to PLN 13 125.1 mln , with the net profit reaching PLN 814.1 mln .
Shipping industry has remained by far the biggest employer in the region. There are a number of shipyards, ship repair yards and their subcontracting companies, which provide their services to other industries as well. At present, the region’s ship output accounts for 60 % of the national production. In 2007 the region’s shipyards built 18 ships with the capacity of 305 thousand GT (an increase of 5.9 % when compared to last year). In 2007 the order book was 59 vessels of 974 thousand dwt.
The biggest shipyards in the region are Stocznia Gdańsk S.A., Stocznia Gdynia S.A. and Stocznia Północna SA (Northern Shipyard Inc.), which is a part of Grupa Remontowa S.A. ( Remontowa Group Inc.). Stocznia Gdynia SA specialises in building containers, ro - ro vessels, LPG carriers, multipurpose cargo ships. Stocznia Pólnocna S.A. produces fishing boats, passenger/vehicles ferries and tugboats.
Remontowa Grupa S.A. is a leader on the European market of ship repair services and one of the main providers worldwide. It specialises not only in repair and conversion of old vessels but also in engineering and building new units.
Apart from large shipyards, the region has a great number of small ones specialising in building modern yachts and boats. Over 90% of the production is exported, mainly to Norway, France and Germany. The rapidly growing industry is represented by Galeon , Stocznia Konrada SA (Conrad Shipyard Inc.), HTEP Sunreef Yachts Polska. All the brands are already recognisable all over the world.
Another resilient sector of the region’s economy is a construction sector offering a wide range of services. Construction companies based in the region specialise in industrial, civil and residential construction. Maritime construction industry is also thriving in the region, with a lot of companies providing services to this particular sector. A great number of property developers based in Pomorskie region operate on the local and national basis, with some of them expanding abroad. The biggest companies in the sector are as follows: Polnord S.A. (Polnord Inc.), Skanska – (Road and Bridge Construction Branch in Gdansk), Hydrobudowa Gdańsk S.A.(Gdansk Hydrobudowa Gdańsk Inc.), Grupa Inwestycyjna Hossa S.A. (Hossa Investment Group Inc.), Grupa Allcon S.A. (Allcon Group Inc.), Invest Komfort S.A. ( Invest Komfort Inc.), Grupa NDI S.A.(NDI Group Inc.).
Food processing industry has traditionally been a strong sector of the region. It is represented by a number of companies specialising in confectionery e.g. Zakłady Przemysłu Cukierniczego „Bałtyk” Sp. z o.o. (Bałtyk Confectionery Ltd), food concentrates e.g. Dr.Oetker Polska Sp. z o.o. (Dr. Oetker Polska Ltd), meat processing e.g. Prime Food Sp. z o.o. (Prime Food Ltd) and fish processing represented by Grupa Kapitałowa Graal S.A.(Capital Group Graal Inc.), Seko S.A. ( Seko Inc.), Przetwórstwo Rybne Łosoś Sp. z o.o.(Fish Processing Losoś Ltd), BMC, Wilbo S.A.( Wilbo Inc.), Almar Sp. z o.o.(Almar Ltd.) .
The Regional Strategy recognises the role of tourism in the regional economy. Pomorskie region offers a wide range of places to stay and relax - hotels, spas and fitness centres. According to the data released by Statistical Office in Gdansk, the city has accommodation base of 203 lodging objects ( 112 hotels, 4 motels, 32 guests houses, 55 other hotels) and 604 other lodging objects (with 244 holiday centres).
In total, the whole region offers over 85,000 places to stay.
In 2007 more than 4.2 mln tourists visited the region including 1mln of foreign tourists. The tourists came mainly from Germany ( 42.3%), Sweden (7.5%), the United Kingdom (7.1%), Russia (5.5%) and Norway (4.2%).
As for the balance of trade, like the whole Poland, the region has a slight trade deficit. At the end of July 2008, the value of exports amounted to 2021.1 mln PLN, whereas the value of imports reached 3056.3 mln PLN.
The top exports of the region are as follows: vessels, petroleum products, electronics, foods. The main export destinations are the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Russia, the USA, Norway, Denmark, France.
The imported commodities are as follows: crude oil, passenger cruisers, fishing boats, grains and semi manufactured products for high tech products. They come mainly from Russia, Norway, Germany, China, Finland, Sweden.
The region’s population has a high entrepreneurship rate with as many as 10 people in 100 setting up their own business. Similarly, a number of companies with the foreign capital is high in the region. In this respect, the region is ranked 5 th in Poland, with 14 companies per 10,000 inhabitants.
The significance of SME sector in the region’s economy is reflected in the fact that its investment outlays are the biggest in Poland. In Poland, SME sector generates 45 % investment outlays,whereas in the region’s SME sector generates 54%.
Apart from intensive investment activities, the region’s SME sector puts the emphasis on research & development. According to recently conducted surveys, 12% of small companies carry out research, which is the highest place in Poland’s rankings. The region was ranked 3rd in terms of the R&D and innovations outlays in small-sized companies. Regional medium- sized companies were also ranked 3rd in export revenues on innovative products.
In Pomorskie Voivodship, as well as in other parts of Poland, there are many institutions and organisations which support entrepreneurship, and provide a broad scope of services. It is estimated that about 120 organisations are busy in supporting entrepreneurship. Those of highest significance are: regional development agencies, local government units, business support, associations and funds, business incubators, technology incubators, science and technology parks, technology transfer centres, loan and guarantee funds and venture capital. They provide mainly information services, training and education, consulting, financial research and innovation services. Since 1996 the Pomeranian organisations have operated within a National Service System managed by the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development. There are 12 Consultation Points within this system. They provide information and consulting services for SME sector. Consultation Points work is coordinated by Pomerania Development Agency – one of the leaders in entrepreneurship support system in the region.