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The partnerships of the Silesian Voivodeship

The Silesian Voivodeship is in a phase of dynamic economic and socio-cultural changes, and the ambition of the voivodeship authorities is to expand international activity which will serve the economic and social development of both the country and the region. The aim of international cooperation is to bring economic, scientific and cultural benefits. 

For the Silesian Voivodeship, the priority is partnership with EU countries and cross-border cooperation. However, the region is also open to cooperation with other regions, especially with countries stimulating global economic growth, such as the United States, Canada or Asian countries. That is the reason why the Marshal’s Office of the Silesian Voivodeship, through the activities of the Department of Economy and International Cooperation and the Upper Silesian Fund, has taken action to reactivate and strengthen partnership relations and to conclude new agreements with partner regions. 

Lviv Region/Lviv Oblast 

In 2023, a Polish-Ukrainian Business Forum took place in Lviv, during which representatives of the Silesian Voivodeship and Lviv Oblast signed a memorandum of cooperation between the Upper Silesian Fund S.A. and the Regional Development Agency of the Lviv Oblast. 

This strategic agreement opens up new prospects for cooperation and is an important step towards building strong business ties between the regions. Representatives of the Upper Silesian Fund presented the activities of the institution and discussed the investment potential of the Silesian Region, while Ukrainian partners presented the investment opportunities of the Lviv Oblast. 

The meeting was also a platform to present Silesian companies participating in the event from the apparel, window and door frames, fertilisers, engineering services, real estate and medical sectors. It was an opportunity for them to establish business contacts during B2B sessions. 

During the forum the meetings between representatives of Polish medical cluster companies and medical companies from Ukraine were held. It was a continuation of the relations established during the incoming economic mission from Ukraine in November 2023. This mission was attended by Ukrainian partners from the IT and medical sectors and included representatives from the Lviv, Zhytomyr and Vinnytsia regions. 


Cooperation with Wales dates back to 2002, when the Memorandum of Cooperation between the Silesian Voivodeship and the Welsh Government was signed in Cardiff by the then Marshal of the Silesian Voivodeship, Jan Olbrycht and the First Minister of Wales, Rhodri Morgan.  

The cooperation included, among other things, the exchange of experience and the implementation of projects in areas such as the reclamation and revitalisation of post-industrial sites, counteracting the negative social phenomena related to the transformation, tourism or education.  

It is worth mentioning that the creation of the regional office of the Silesian Voivodeship in Brussels was modelled on the principles of the Welsh European Centre. The Welsh European Centre also provided internships for future employees of the Silesian office. 

For several years, a fruitful cooperation developed within the framework of the agreement, but over time—mainly due to a change in the political and economic climate—it became less active and the agreement became obsolete. 

In 2023, contact with the Welsh Government was renewed in order to reactivate cooperation. In March 2023, an official visit of representatives of the Silesian Voivodeship to Wales took place, headed by Marshal J. Chełstowski. Then, a study visit of representatives of the Welsh Government took place in April 2023 during the European Economic Congress in Katowice.  

The aim was to find out about the economic, scientific, cultural and tourist potential of Silesia. In October 2023, a mission of Silesian entrepreneurs to Wales took place during an event called Wales Tech Week. Just a month later an incoming mission of Welsh Medtech companies to the Sielesian Region was realised as part of the Global Silesia programme. 

As a result of the above activities, a Memorandum of Understanding between the Silesian Voivodeship and the Welsh Government was signed on January 11, 2024 during the visit to Katowice by the First Minister for Wales, Mark Drakeford.  

The main areas of cooperation were identified as: the economy with a particular consideration on the area of life science and digital technology; green transformation of post-industrial areas; science and innovation; education; tourism. 

At the same time, a programme of cooperation for the next three years was signed, which includes specific activities in the individual areas of cooperation agreed in the MoU. 

A new chapter in Silesian-Welsh relations has thus opened and both parties are looking forward to the rapid development of fruitful cooperation. 

The Moravian-Silesian Region and the Self-Governing Region of Žilina

Geographical and cultural proximity, similar historical experiences and challenges make the Moravian-Silesian Region and the Žilina Self-Governing Region special partners for the Silesian Voivodeship. 

Cooperation with these regions has been developed through agreements for more than twenty years—with the Moravian-Silesian Region, the agreement was concluded in November 2001 and has been renewed every five years. The second and current bilateral agreement was concluded in June 2021 in Katowice. 

On the other hand, an interregional cooperation agreement with the Žilina Self-governing Region was concluded in November 2002 in Žilina. 

Considering the very good cooperation between these regions and the Silesian Voivodeship, the idea of a Regional Cross-Border Triangle was born, and a Declaration of Trilateral Cooperation is going to be signed in February 2024. 

This formula provides for trilateral cooperation in areas such as: economy, meetings of experts in the form of study visits, promotion of the regions, organisation of joint events, trilateral business meetings; economic missions; participation in economic ventures, especially fairs, conferences, congresses, forums. The agreement aims at trilateral promotion of the regions: organisation of joint events (tourism, sport, cultural, social, educational); meetings and exchanges within local government offices/institutions which will serve the development and promotion of the regions. 

Projects in the above-mentioned areas of cooperation will be implemented annually, alternating between the territory of one of the partner regions. Each partner region will prepare an operational programme for the cooperation project for which it is responsible, and then it will obtain approval from the other partner regions. 

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