Takeaways from the Knowledge Exchange on Foreign Direct Investments and Entrepreneurship Support for Functional Areas

Discover the main insights from our workshop on Foreign Direct Investments and Entrepreneurship Support for Functional Areas, which was attended by 75 representatives from various functional areas. This workshop is part of a series of knowledge exchange activities organised under the “Functional Areas in the EU” project.

The knowledge exchange session kicked off with introductory remarks from Grzegorz Wolszczak, Urban Development Specialist at the World Bank. He provided an overview, highlighting the primary benefits of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) and Entrepreneurship Support, explaining their relevance and potential applications within functional areas. Additionally, as the moderator of this workshop, he introduced the three speakers and outlined the key themes they would be addressing, setting the stage for an engaging and informative discussion on strategies for regional development and entrepreneurship promotion.

Harald Jedlicka, Head Investment Climate Office Vienna at the World Bank, delivered a presentation offering insights into Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) promotion and the preparation of a strategy to attract FDIs through targeting specific sectors for economic growth and diversification. He introduced the World Bank Group Sector Scan Methodology as a framework for identifying key sectors for investment promotion, and assessing their desirability and feasibility from the perspective of a given territory and potential investors. This diagnostic tool utilises qualitative research and quantitative data, as well as existing literature review to rank sectors by desirability and attractiveness for FDI. Using Uzbekistan Sector Scan Results as an example, the speaker showcased how the Sector Scan results informed a strategy focused on specific sectors. The presentation concluded with key messages highlighting FDI as a tool for regional development and job creation, recommending participants to consider their region’s strengths and strategic directions when planning economic development strategies.

Next, Wojciech Tyborowski, Director of Invest in Pomerania, presented the case study of the Pomerania region in Poland. Since 2010, Pomerania has strategically analysed opportunities for job creation and investor attraction, considering both desirability and feasibility factors. In 2011, the non-for-profit ‘Invest in Pomerania’ (IiP) was established as a one-stop-shop investment promotion agency, collaborating with regional, national, and international partners to build a global network. By 2023, the agency had facilitated 24,267 new jobs, 199 FDI projects, 463 site visits for potential investors, and 1587 inquiries. The speaker outlined the region’s new strategy, formulated through a review of past approaches and consideration of factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and recently high inflation. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for the new strategy include investment in knowledge-intensive sectors and enhancing linkages between FDI and local firms. The region identified five key sectors (mobility IT, offshore wind farms, SSC and BPO, and semiconductors) and established an implementation process emphasising strategic focus, institutional coherence, and high-quality service provision.

Monika Wozniak, Expert on Entrepreneurship at the World Bank, presented the third topic focusing on the support for entrepreneurship and local businesses at the functional area level. The presentation emphasised the significance of developing the entrepreneurship ecosystem at the FA level and advocated utilising the living lab approach for mapping and mobilising various groups of stakeholders to analyse entrepreneurship challenges, formulating solutions, and implementing them. Using the Fundao Municipality and Styrian metropolitan area as case studies, the speaker illustrated how innovation plans can be developed and implemented through living labs. Additionally, the role of Business Support Institutions (BSIs) was explored with examples from three Polish regions. The presentation concluded with seven key messages for attendees to retain, encapsulating the importance of collaboration between business and the public sector, stakeholder inclusion in solution development, Living Labs’ systematic approach, BSIs mapping for identifying gaps, prioritising digitalization and greening, and networking BSIs for effective business support.

The event concluded with a Q&A session followed by closing remarks from the moderator. With engaging discussions and valuable insights shared, participants left equipped with practical tools and inspired by various case studies, fostering knowledge exchange and facilitating the exchange of ideas to promote real change and economic development in their communities.

If you’re interested in learning more about Foreign Direct Investments and Entrepreneurship Support for functional areas, we encourage you to access the links below,  review the presentations to gain a comprehensive understanding of the ideas discussed in this article and watch the video recording of the workshop.

Find out more

World Bank – Recommendations for a National FDI Strategy and Roadmap for Uzbekistan: New Sources of Growth: 

World Bank  – Invest in Pomerania: Impact Evaluation and Inputs to New FDI Strategy for 2022-2027: 

The Knowledge Exchange Presentations:

World Bank

FDI Sector Scan

World Bank

Support for Entrepreneurship in the Functional Areas

Invest in Pomerania

Invest in Pomerania – Case Study

March 18, 2024

10.30 AM (CET time)

Event format:
Online Meeting

Event category:
Knowledge Exchange

World Bank

View the recording:

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