Polish cities have dominated the leaderboards of fDi Intelligence's European Cities and Regions of the Future 2023 ranking. The ranking evaluated 370 European cities and 148 European regions based on five subcategories: economic potential, business friendliness, connectivity, human capital and lifestyle, and cost effectiveness.
Polish cities are all over the leaderboards, from major cities to large, mid-sized, small and micro cities. The future looks bright for cities and regions in Poland, and it's exciting to see what developments will come in the years ahead. Polish cities excelled in categories like Business Friendliness and Economic Potential, with Warsaw ranking 6th overall and 2nd in business friendliness, followed by Kraków, Poznań, Wrocław, Katowice, Bydgoszcz, Łódź, Szczecin, Gdańsk, Gliwice, Lublin and Stryków.The ranking aimed to identify the most promising investment destinations in Europe. Despite concerns over Europe's long-term competitiveness, it remains the world's biggest destination for foreign direct investment.
Poland's cities are on the rise, with impressive development happening on a national and city level. The rankings are based on 90 data points across five categories, including:
- economic potential
- human capital
- and business friendliness.
Polish cities have performed well in categories like Business Friendliness and Economic Potential, and it's great to see them standing out overall.
Kraków, Poland’s second city climbs to third place this year after taking top honours in the Business Friendliness sub-category and placing second in Human Capital and Lifestyle. As an investment destination, Kraków has proven itself resilient to crises. fDi Markets data shows that inbound projects are up 40% on pre-pandemic levels and that it continued to win over prominent global firms throughout 2022, despite the spillover effects of the nearby conflict in Ukraine. Ryanair announced an $800m expansion of its Kraków operations while Google also grew its local presence. Over the past five years, real estate and software and IT services have attracted the lion’s share of inbound investment.
The city of Wrocław in the southwest of Poland holds onto the third spot after attracting a record number of FDI projects in 2022, according to fDi Markets. Big-ticket investments in Poland’s fourth-biggest city came from the likes of Japan’s Hitachi, which opened a new headquarters for its local subsidiary, Italian logistics firm BCUBE and Germany’s BSH Home Appliances. The city’s tech credentials are also gaining traction overseas. The CEO of Boston-based AirSlate, a document workflow automation platform which recently opened a branch in Wrocław, described the city as among the “fastest growing technology, business, and education hubs in the heart of Europe”. Meanwhile, in late 2021, Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit invested in SatRevolution, a Wrocław-based manufacturer of nanosatellite
What is fDi Intelligence's European Cities and Regions of the Future 2023 ranking?
Europe has shown resilience as a global investment destination even in the wake of the major disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the Ukraine war. Despite major multinationals voicing concerns over its long-term competitiveness, the old continent remains the world’s biggest destination of foreign direct investment (FDI) as the energy transition drives major investment into energy sectors and the transformation of legacy industries, such as the automotive industry, data from foreign investment monitor fDi Markets shows.
Against this backdrop, the European Cities and Regions of the Future 2023 ranking benchmarked against each other as the most promising investment destinations across Europe. It assessed as many as 370 European cities divided by population size into five groups — major, large, mid-sized, small and micro cities — and 148 European regions divided into three groups — large, mid-sized and small regions. It also assessed 38 local enterprise partnerships in the UK. Everything was ranked by their performance across five subcategories: economic potential; business friendliness; connectivity; human capital and lifestyle; and cost-effectiveness.
The European Cities and Regions of the Future 2023 ranking collected surveys from European investment promotion agencies for another category: the ‘FDI Strategy’ category. A judging panel made of four experts in investment promotion and economic development — Carolina Arriagada Peters, Sean Duggan, Judith O’Doherty and Firdaous Oussidhoum — as well as fDi’s editor Jacopo Dettoni and reporter Seth O’Farrell, reviewed 89 submissions from cities and regions across Europe. This is the only qualitative category in the otherwise data-driven ranking that feeds into the overall results.
Katowice was ranked sixth in the category of large cities, and in the category of medium-sized cities, Łódź was ranked 4th, Wrocław 5th, and Bydgoszcz 6th.
Source and details: European Cities and Regions of the Future 2023 — The winners