Growing Rzeszów

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Rzeszów in eastern Poland has over the past decade or so become one of the country’s most go-ahead cities. Its mayor Tadeusz Ferenc talks to Andrew Wrobel about the city’s future.

With almost 200,000 inhabitants, Rzeszów is the largest city in southeastern Poland. How does the city stand out in the broader context, not only within Poland but also beyond?

Well, you mentioned the number of inhabitants so let me begin by saying that only two cities in Poland currently have a growing population, and they are Warsaw and Rzeszów. We can see the effects of that already. Some 3000-3500 new flats are being built every year and about 80 per cent of them are being purchased by newcomers.

We also have a large number of students, around 60,000 — the highest number of students per 1000 inhabitants in the European Union. Local businesses are waiting to hire them, mainly in the aviation sector, which is the most developed industry, followed by astronautics and ICT: the most modern industries.

Mayor Tadeusz Ferenc
Mayor Tadeusz Ferenc (Photo: Tadusz Pożniak)

If we compare GDP growth in Poland and in Rzeszów over the last 10 years, we see that Poland grew by 34 per cent and Rzeszów — by 58 per cent.

We continue improving infrastructure in and around the city. With the A4 motorway, it is now possible to get to Portugal from here entirely by motorway. Within the city, we have introduced an Intelligent Transport System (ITS) which has reduced travel time by up to 6 minutes on some of the city’s busiest roads, with road capacity increasing by up to 40 per cent. We have over 500 Wi-Fi hotspots which offer broadband to under-served homes and economic areas, 187 schools and city buildings have super-fast broadband of up to 200Mbps, whilst over 650 fixed and 400 pan-tilt-zoom CCTV and automatic number plate recognition cameras monitor public safety and traffic.

This smart city initiative developed by Cambridge Broadband Networks was recently named Best Digital Transformation Project at the Global Telecoms Awards 2017. Rzeszów is part of the so called Aviation Valley.

How about air infrastructure and flight connections?

A new airport was completed six years ago with one of the longest runways in the country — 3200 metres, which means that even the largest aircraft can land and take off in Rzeszów. The airport operates national and international flights, including to Germany and the UK. We also have a cargo connection with Miami, Florida. On March 12, 2018, LOT Polish Airlines is launching direct flights to Tel Aviv and on April 29 — to New York in the US.

Like I said earlier, the city is located in the eastern part of Poland, which is considered less developed. Do you see it as an advantage or a challenge?

The way I see it is that everything depends on the inhabitants and here we have very entrepreneurial and educated people, so it’s definitely an advantage.

So, let’s talk about people. You mentioned access to talent. How do you see further growth of the business services sector in Rzeszów?

Well, we already have 40 business services centres which employ about 4500 people and the sector will continue developing. There is increasingly more office space in the city. We are also very close to Kraków, which is the most important outsourcing destination in Poland, and to Ukraine. There are now about 2000 Ukrainian students in Rzeszów.

Mayor Tadeusz Ferenc
Mayor Tadeusz Ferenc (Photo: Bogdan Szczupaj)

Do you think it’s difficult for the city to attract new talent?

Let’s look at salaries. The average monthly salary in Poland amounts to 4200 złotys (998 euros) and here it is 4319 złotys (1027 euros), which is higher than in Bydgoszcz, Toruń, Jelenia Góra, Lublin or Białystok.

We have already named a couple of prospective industries in the city. What sort of investors do you see coming to Rzeszów?

There is a wide range of them: pharmaceuticals, furniture production, manufacturing of Harley motorcycles, but I would say aviation is the most common. This demonstrates that we are very innovative here.

You’ve been the city’s mayor for 16 years now. How do you imagine Rzeszów in the next 10-15 years?

I was born in Rzeszów and have lived here most of my life with short breaks when I was a student in Lublin. I also lived in Africa for three years and worked in the US. Over the last 16 years the city has changed dramatically. It will also grow as we are planning to extend the city by adding small surrounding villages to Rzeszów.

It is a smart, clean and safe city, open and tolerant. We invite people to come and see Rzeszów. We want to show them the city but also learn from them, and introduce new solutions.

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Albania’s Construction Sector Supports the Country’s Growth

SARANDA, ALBANIA - MAY 18: View of the city Saranda, most important tourist attraction of the Albanian Riviera on May 18, 2017 in Saranda, Albania.

After Economic Shocks Armenia Plans for Macroeconomic Stability

yerevan armenia minister of finance

Despite Public Anxieties, Migration is Playing a Key Role in ECA Growth

Bratislava city aerial panoramic view. Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia.

Young Well-Paid IT Specialists Are Making Belarus Known Internationally

Budapest’s Property Boom Goes Nationwide

building

Economy Minister: Internationalisation Is the Key To the Slovenian Economy

Bulgaria: Real Estate’s New Frontier?

Growth Continues for State-Owned Azerbaijan Airlines

Azerbaijan Baku - September 16 2015: View of the Heydar Aliyev International Airport sign in Baku Azerbaijan. The airport is the home of Azerbaijan Airlines the national flag carrier.

Romania Cuts Income Tax, Introduces Solidarity Tax

CLUJ NAPOKA ROMANIA - OCT 2 2016: People on the central street of Cluj Napoka - the unofficial capital of Transylvania.

Belarus’ Economy Is Slowly Recovering From Past Declines

Valga and Valka – Where Estonia and Latvia Work Together

Valga valka emerging europe

EBRD Transition Report Highlights Financial Sector Resilience

Baku

Romania’s PM Resigns

BUCHAREST ROMANIA - June 29 2017: Romanian Prime Minister Mihai Tudose during a swearing-in ceremony at Cotroceni palace in Bucharest capital of Romania June 29 2017.

HSBC Opens Warsaw China Desk

Why Was Zapad-2017 So Important?

russian tank belarus zapad

Romanian Car Maker Dacia Sees Sales Boom

Sables d Olonne France - May 07 2017 : Dacia Tour 2017 is a commercial operation organized by the car builder in order to present its cars throughout France - Close-up on cars

Poland & Ukraine Should Join Outsourcing Forces

outsourcing

Slowly, Tech Brand Belarus Emerges

belarus tech

Air Passenger Volumes Reach Record High in the Baltics

airbaltic

What Next For The Sourcing Industry?

Tom Quigley director of outsourcing emerging europe editorial

Mixed Results for Emerging Europe in New WEF Equality Report

wef

Czech Real Estate Market Is Top CEE Performer

Prague skyscrapers in blue hour with purple sky. Modern building architecture after sunset. Office center in capital city. Czech republic lighting buildings.

Budapest and Warsaw: Marriage of Convenience or Union of Values?

Putin Urges Belarus to End Oil Transit Through Lithuania

Athens Greece - May 27 2016: Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers

CEE Emigrants Could Boost Their Countries’ Economies

Londoners walking through Millennium Bridge with St.Paul's Cathedral at the background after sunset - London, UK

Baltic Bank Merger May Tempt Polish Heavyweight

DNB Bank Vilnius

New Political Crisis Hits Moldova

Vladimir_Putin_and_Igor_Dodon_(2017-01-17)_01

Fitch And the World Bank: Economic Growth To Remain Solid Within CEE In 2016

Budget Chaos Hits Romanian Leu

Different Romanian Lei Banknotes on the table

Estonia Proposes Bill of Rights and Responsibilities for Robots

Robotic hand accessing on laptop the virtual world of information. Concept of artificial intelligence and replacement of humans by machines.

Warsaw Rising: The Polish Capital’s Skyline Gets Even Taller

varso

New Start-Up and Innovation Report Names Estonia and Slovenia as Market Leaders

Tallin, Estonia - July 06,2017: Scenic view of the modern part of the city of Tallin, Estonia

CEE: Innovate or Get Eaten

innovation

Ask for Georgian Campaign Set to Expand Abroad

Traditional Georgian carpet. Carpets with typical geometrical patterns are among the most famous products of Georgia.

Polish Enterprise Salaries Climb Steeply

Money of National Bank of Poland. Polish zloty banknote on red velvet background; Macro photo; Depth of field

EU Commissioner: CEE Groceries Are Not of Poorer Quality

Vilnius Lithuania - June 13 2017: Nordica shopping center in Vilnius is very popular with locals and tourists.

What Went Wrong in Ukraine – And When?

Estonia: Europe’s Little Technological Giant

Assaults on the Judiciary: How CEE Governments Are Trying to Restrict Judicial Independence, and Why It’s Not Working… For Now

poland romania justice system

Industrial Production Prices in New Increase

electricity

China and Central Europe: Don’t Believe the Hype

China

Chickens Blamed for Romanian Budget Deficit

Two white chickens or hens inside a chicken coop or hen house seen through chicken wire.

Jadranka Joksimović: Serbia Takes Its Candidacy of the EU Seriously

bigstock-Joint-Press-Conference-Of-Serb-155400338.jpg

CEE Nation Brands Still Behind Western Counterparts

TALLINN ESTONIA- JUNE 17: View of the modern high rise buildings on border with an old part of the city on June 17 2012 in Tallinn Estonia

Western Ukraine Could Be an Entry Point into the Country

Is the CEE Region About to Steal the Outsourcing Crown From India?

Amazing view on the Taj Mahal in sunset light with reflection in water. The Taj Mahal is an ivory-white marble mausoleum on the south bank of the Yamuna river. Agra Uttar Pradesh India.

ICT Growth Continues to Boost Bosnian Economy

ict, it

Measure, Strengthen, and Grow

dacia brand

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