Importers should take interest in the Warmia and Mazury because the best yachts, houseboats, furniture and also ecological natural food are produced there. The region lures also with cheap workforce and rent rates.
The Warmia and Mazury Voivodeship is located on the outskirts of the country and it has still been undiscovered by many importers. For ages importers have been effectively discouraged from coming her by week infrastructure (it must be confirmed that it is slowly getting better but it still takes about three hours to come here from Warsaw) and by poor rail connections from the centre of the country. Despite the weak road infrastructure, this region can offer much to many businessmen, especially goods and services.
Many people, not enough work places
First of all, the attention must be paid to the fact that the Warmia and Mazury region is characterized by very good demographic indicators, especially as far as the number of people at the production age is concerned - in the Warmia and Mazury region there are about a million of people at the production age (the total number of population is about 1, 5 million of inhabitants). About 840 thousand of people are at the production age (which is better than the national average) and 312 thousand of people are at the pre-production age. People who are from 24 to 44 years old constitute the biggest group at the work market. The rate of people who are professionally active is close to the national average and it constitutes 48,6% of total number of the voivodeship’s inhabitants (which is about 600 thousand of people).
The level of unemployment in the region has been the highest in the country for years and nowadays it is estimated to be about 20%. As it was stated above, the work costs in the Warmia and Mazury region are the lowest in the whole country and the average gross salary is about 2978,25 PLN. It is worth emphasizing that in the sector of companies the average salary is lower by 18% as the average in the whole country. To compare it with other ratios: it is lower by 32% as in the Masovian Voivodeship, by 22% lower as in the Silesian Voivodeship and by 18% lower as in the Pomeranian Voivodeship. The majority of the unemployed is however weakly educated; thus, their potential at the work market is reduced to carrying out simple physical works connected with the agriculture or with the processing.
However, the unemployed from the Warmia and Mazury region are very mobile; many of them declare to be willing to commute to work to nearby cities or towns, many of them is ready to move away to places where they could find a well-paid job.
It must be emphasized that a group of 50 thousand of students attending 17 universities in the region, including the Wamia and Mazury University, constitutes an important personnel potential. Within this group there are more than 30 thousand of students at 58 faculties; five of these faculties were ordered by the National Centre of Research and Development. http://www.ncbir.pl/ The aforementioned faculties are: the environment protection, chemical and processing engineering, Computer science, building, biotechnology.
Cheap workforce in the region is accompanied by a low price of renting of office premises; e.g. in Olsztyn the highest transaction rent oscillates from 8 to 12 euro monthly for one square meter; but it is possible to find an office, whose rent price begins from 2,5 euro for one square meter.
In the Warmia and Mazury Voivodeship there are locally produced products connected with three intelligent specializations, onto which the region government had put an emphasis: the economy of waters, wood and furniture and food of high quality.
The economy of waters is a specialization which is a result of the fact that more than 20% of the Warmia and Mazury voivodeship is covered by lakes and rivers. In the last years, especially in the region of Mazury, there took place a dramatic growth of water infrastructure for tourists. By means of the EU money, many ecological marines were built (called eco-marines, in which sailors can give away sewage from boards, have a bath, recharge mobiles and batteries). Such modern marinas can be found e.g. in Giżycko and Ryna. Building up eco-marines in the Mazury is followed by building up service points and shops directed to tourists: friseur and beauty salons, chemistries, souvenir shops and little gastronomy points.
In connection with the exceptional localization of the Warmia and Mazury region and with the exceptional landscape advantages, in the last years there took place a rapid growth in the hotel infrastructure of high standard. Many of these hotels make use of water healing and they offer SPA and wellness treatments to their guests. Such hotels were built e.g. in Giżycko, Lidzbark Warmiński and Ryna, but also in smaller towns, e.g. in Dorotów or in Siła near Olsztyn.
The production of yachts and boats is also connected with the broadly understood economy of waters. In the Mazury region there are many companies dealing with the production of sailboats. The potentate in this branch is the Delphia Yachts form Oleck, which is at the forefront of Polish sailing yachts producers. the Delphia Yachts produces more than 150 sailing yachts and a thousand of motor yachts per year, which are sold onto the Western Europe markets. Other known shipyards in the region are as follows: The Northman from Węgorzewo or the Ostróda Yacht from Ostróda. In the neighborhood of shipyards there are often sail makers, in which sails are sewn.
During the last season in the Mazury region houseboats got popular. A houseboat is a luxury boat driven by a motor, which can be rented also by people who do not possess a yachtsman certificate. Houseboats in the sailing branch are thought to be the future of water tourism in the Mazury region, because they are safe (they are constructed in such a way that they cannot overturn), they are free and they constitute a good solution for elderly people or for families having little children. On a request almost each shipyard in the Mazury region is able to produce a houseboat. However, it is not cheap - a mid-range houseboat costs about 150-200 thousands PLN.
Wood and furniture
The other of the region’s intelligent specializations - wood and furniture - comes out of its landscape advantages. Forests cover almost 1/3 of the Warmia and Mazury Voivodeship surface and they have been important in the region’s economy for years. In the nearby forests the wood is obtained for the needs of the local furniture or carpentry branch and it is also sent to paper -mills and processing plants in the whole country. More than 1.1 thousand of the region’s companies deal with the forestry and obtaining wood (the seventh place in Europe).
The furniture industry in the Warmia and Mazury region is well developed. It is estimated that more than 1.1 thousand of furniture companies work here, which employ more than 12 thousand of people (which gives the highest ratio in Europe). These companies produce furniture not only onto national market, but they also export their products to the whole world (among others the Szynaka Meble from Iława).
Together with the production of furniture, the production of veneered sheets, plywood, laminated boards, particle boards and of other boards has been developed - the Warmia and Mazury Voivodeship is on the third place among regions of the European Union. Together with the wood processing, the productions of cork and straw products and of other plaiting materials are also connected. About 1450 entities deal with such activities (the fourth place among regions in the European Union).
In the Warmia and Mazury Voivodeship there are about 26 thousand of small and medium-size farms supplying natural food, traditional food and ecological food on the basis of own products. The net is developing faster and faster - for the time being every eleventh ecological farm in Poland is located in the Warmia and Mazury Voivodeship (which constitutes the second place in the whole country) and almost 15% of the farming production, covered by the system of quality control in the ecological farming, is found in the Warmia and Mazury region. Companies producing food products and beverages make use of the ecological wealth of the Warmia and Mazury region - in the region there are 900 hundred of such companies.
Many housewives hope to produce natural food. In summer they quite often run an agro touristic company. These ladies produce such products like jams, juices and nalewkas made of fruit picked up in their own orchard or bought from their neighbors. They render lard, bake bread or bake cakes. Their products are often bought by tourists as “a souvenir from the Mazury region”. During the time when there are no so many tourists (autumn-winter), these housewives bake Gingerbread, which is later on put for an Internet auction. Or they make Polish handicrafts connected with the culture of the Warmia and Mazury (e.g. they paint tiles, embroider table clothes, knit sweaters) - these items, similarly as homemade food, are popular with tourists visiting the region or Internet sites devoted to the Warmia and Mazury.
Some thematic villages and thematic museums are built. What is more, some classes are e.g. in a small village named Jeziorowskie in the neighborhood of Giżycko, where tourists can learn how to pickle cucumbers or how to make sauerkraut. These simple activities have been forgotten in the meantime and in the times of healthy lifestyle many people would like to learn how to pickle cucumbers or how to make some healthy bread.
Furthermore, farm fishing ponds are of huge popularity among tourists, in which one can catch fish from the shore and from the platform as well, and it is possible to borrow a rowing boat. It is possible for a fisherman to buy a fish which he/she caught (and quite often to fry or to bake it at the farm) or let the fish back into the pond. Fishing lovers prefer fishing in ponds because tourists do not disturb and they are almost 100% certain that they will catch a fish while standing by the pond (which is not so sure while fishing in a lake).