Bretagne (FR) Navarra (ES) Puglia (IT)
Flanders (BE) Nyugat-Dunantul (HU) Schleswig-Holstein (DE)
Lower Austria (AT, lead partner) Provence-Alpes-Côte d´Azur (FR) Wielkopolska (PL)


Wielkopolska (PL)


Wielkopolska is judged to be one of the strongest among 16 regions in Poland.


This evaluation is justified by the following indicators:

An analysis of these factors conducted by the Market Economy Research Institute places Wielkopolska among the leading regions in the country.
9.3% of all businesses operating in Poland are to be found in the Wielkopolska. The basis of the Region's economy is the variety of industries, efficient agriculture and well-developed services, particularly in the commercial and financial sectors. This diversified economy undoubtedly contributed towards lessening the effects of the transformation process, and created favourable conditions for a market economy. After 1989, unrestrained societal activity resulted in a fast increase in the number of businesses, which currently amounts to approximately 333 thousand units, thus placing the Province third in the country. In the 500 largest companies in Poland, approximately 40 are from Wielkopolska.


Structure of Wielkopolska industry. Industry plays an important role in the Province's economy. It is a source of income for 30% of all employed and provides a major portion of the Gross National Product generated in Wielkopolska. The best known industrial centres of Wielkopolska are Poznań, Kalisz, Ostrów Wielkopolski, Konin, Piła and Leszno. This sector includes over 36 thousand businesses, of which 99% are private. The characteristic feature of Wielkopolska industry is the large number of small and medium sized companies which are versatile and flexible, and thus adjustable to the market economy environment. To win European markets many companies subject themselves to quality verification, i.e. international systems of quality control (ISO).

The region plays  a dominant part in the national production of food concentrates (more than 85% share), potato flour, top quality neutral spirits (36,6% share), vegetable preserves (nearly 32,5%) and chocolate (20,2% share).  Similarly important, holding a 16% share in the country’s production are sugar industry and animal preparations. A wide range of produce and foodstuffs, such as confectionery, milk, cheeses, butter, flour, meat and meat preparations, account each for approximately 10% of the national production.

The significant position held in the country by these products is not only the result of abundance of raw materials and the local manufacturing traditions, but also a reflection of the directions of investments, including investments with foreign capital participation.

Branch diversity of the Wielkopolska industry is sustained by a significant – more than 11 % - share in production sold of the electric appliances and machine-tool industry. Over 15% of Polish gas cookers with ovens, and 60% of refrigerators and freezers come from the Wielkopolska manufacturing plants. The production of batteries manufactured by Centra S.A. in Poznań is particularly noteworthy, as Centra is counted among the largest car battery manufacturers in Central and Eastern Europe. The production of vehicles and transport equipment is developing fast (with approximately 8% share in the sector’s production sold). More than 7% of passengers cars manufactured in Poland come from Wielkopolska, likewise, nearly 91% of freight cars and tractors and almost the entire production of passenger train cars come from the region. The contribution of the light industry is equally important, especially the textile and clothes production. This production, concentrated around cities of Kalisz and Poznań, supplies e.g. over one-third of the Polish underwear and nearly one-fifth of coats and textile clothing. Wood industry and furniture manufacturing are also the pivotal industries of Wielkopolska, especially if one considers the production growth rate over the recent years. Wielkopolska’s share in the domestic production of electric energy is high (about 10%), but it is even higher in the supply of fuel raw materials: brown coal (more than 26%) and natural gas (more than 27%).

It needs to be emphasized that the Wielkopolska industry is dominated by small and medium-sized companies (97% of all entities).To keep up with the competition these companies follow in the footsteps of local industrial giants which hold as many as nearly forty spots in the largest Polish companies ranking.

Sectoral structure of industrial production sold

Food and beverage


Vehicles and transport equipment


Manufacturing and supplying with energy, gas and water


Machinery and equipment


Electric machinery and equipment


Production of furniture and other production


Rubber and plastic products


Metal products


Additonal branches


Industrial centres of Wielkopolska

The distribution of production areas is not equal throughout Wielkopolska. In this respect the most developed are large urban centres, such as Poznań, Kalisz, Ostrów Wielkopolski, Konin, Piła and Leszno. Smaller centres of industry concentration can also be found in some of the district towns, i.e. in Gniezno, Września, Jarocin, Krotoszyn, Środa Wielkopolska, Kościan, Wolsztyn, Szamotuły, Nowy Tomyśl, Oborniki, Kępno, Koło and Turek, as well as in Wronki, Czarnków, Chodzież, Trzcianka and Wągrowiec. The largest industrial potential is in Poznań and its vicinity. In 1998 Poznań provided jobs for over 19% of all people employed in industry in the whole Province and manufactured 30% of its sold production. The largest share was in food processing and motor vehicle production, as well as in the production of machines, equipment, chemicals and chemical products.

R&D and Innovation performance of the Region

Wielkopolska is perceived as a strong academic centre of Poland with more than a hundred thousand students each year in 9 universities.

Within Regional Innovation Scoreboard Wielkopolska was classified as Innovation Enabler (relative strengths in Tertiary education, Life-long learning, Public R&D, Broadband) with Low or Medium-Low performance compared with EU average.

Regional economy does not show yet the characteristics of knowledge based economy: