The region's economy is based mainly on the construction materials industry, including mining. Also an important role is played by the metallurgical, machinery, precision and food processing industries.
The most important branch of the region’s economy is agriculture. The particular branch, in terms of exports is the fruit-growing industry. To the east of the region, in the area of Sandomierz, there are several groups of producers selling fruit, especially apples, abroad. Before the Russian embargo, a large part of the production went beyond Polish eastern border. Now due to the difficult geopolitical considerations, they were forced to find other export destinations for their goods. Intensive efforts are aimed, inter alia, at non-EU markets, e.g. to Arab countries. The areas around Sandomierz is the second orcharding region in Poland in terms of production volume (after the area around Grójec in Mazovia).
A good example of the ambitions of Sandomierz growers is the company “San Export Group” in Sandomierz established in recent years on the initiative of five groups of producers, whose main purpose is to export and promote Sandomierz apples and other fruits and vegetables from the region. In the area of Sandomierz there are also processing plants specializing in the production of healthy and fully natural apple juice.
Sandomierz annually hosts international conferences with importers, on the potential of the fruit and vegetable processing sector in that region. In this framework, among others, are held study visits in producer groups.
In the food industry, a well-known manufacturer in the region is also the Regional Dairy Cooperative (OSM) in Włoszczowa, whose offer includes a wide range of cheeses, cottage cheese, butter, cream and milk drinks. A OSM in Końskie has a similar profile, offering, among other things, drinking milk and yogurt.
In Poland, highly popular is also the Kielce Mayonnaise produced by WSP “Społem” in Kielce. This is the first Polish mayonnaise produced industrially since 1959.
The food industry is 16.1% of the province’s sold production. Dozens of companies operating in the region, also in the meat industry and milling, offer quality products, finding consumer recognition also abroad.
In addition to agricultural products and foodstuffs, the Świętokrzyskie Province is famous for its wide range of building materials. The region has a high concentration of minerals mining and processing of rock materials for the purposes of lime and cement industry (Sitkówka-Nowiny, Małogoszcz, Bukowa, Ożarów). In the southern part of the province, there are brickyards, and also the largest in Poland place of gypsum goods production (Dolina Nidy Sp. z o.o.)
The offer is complemented by a number of undertakings engaged in the production of finishing materials. It is in Kielce, where there are headquarters of such companies as Cersanit (bathroom fittings), Barlinek (floors), Effector (e.g. aluminum moldings, drips and glazing) or Stolbud Włoszczowa (windows and doors). This list may be extended by a number of further manufacturers in the industry.
A strong part of the Świętokrzyskie region economy is the traditional metallurgical and metal industry. Its tradition goes back at least five centuries. One of the leading companies in the region is Celsa Huta Ostrowiec owned by a Spanish group (since 2003), offering rolled and forged products.
Another plant of a rich history is the Mesko Metal Works dating back to 1924, when the State Ammunition Factory was established. Currently, the company specializes in the production of modern ammunition and rockets (e.g. “Grom”). The portfolio of the company includes also an antitank missile “Spike”.
The Mining and Metal Plant “Zębiec” also operating in the Starachowice area also has a 60-year-old tradition, specializing in boilers for central heating. Similar products are also offered by a company Defro operating in Ruda Strawczyńska near Kielce, whose portfolio includes also concrete mixers.
A company known in the country is also Sefako S.A. Boiler Factory, one of the largest boiler manufacturers in Poland, used both in power transmission as well as in various types of plants. They are fired with pulverized coal, liquid or gaseous fuel and biomass.
With the onset of political transformation, the region saw also unprecedented specializations. An example would be the Electric Equipment Factory SA (ZPUE) listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. Modern equipment for transmission and distribution of electricity is produced there.
The Świętokrzyskie region also has a rich tradition associated with the production of porcelain dishes and porcelain art. Two companies involved in this type of business operate at Ćmielów, near Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski.
In recent decades, the sector of all kinds of business services grew in the Świętokrzyskie province. A perfect example is the second largest fair and conference center in Central and Eastern Europe - Kielce Trade Fairs. The exhibitions organized there in recent years have been entered in the list of major events of its kind in Europe. An example is the International Defence Industry Exhibition, which in the last twenty years has become widely popular among exhibitors from all over the world.
The modern exhibition and convention center offers 90 thousand sq. m. including 36 thousand. sq. m. in well-prepared pavilions. This place is annually visited by 217 thousand visitors from nearly 60 countries around the world.
In the most modern exhibition hall in Poland, with an area of more than 5 thousand square meters, it is possible to organize events for 4,500 people. Nearby, a Convention Centre was opened in 2013 in the exhibition facilities, that can accommodate 1,000 people. One of the recent investments was also a multi-storey car park for 480 vehicles.
Among the services available in the region, a wide range is offered by the tourist industry. A quarter of a century ago, the Świętokrzyskie tourism model would include mainly day school trips and scout camps at the foot of the oldest mountains in Europe. Today, the Świętokrzyskie successfully promotes itself as a tourist brand.
According to data from the Central Statistical Office, in 2013 tourists bought in the region more than 1.3 million overnight stays – more than the number of all the inhabitants of the province. According to other statistics, at least 3.5 million tourists including one-day tourists visited the region last year.
In 2003, there were 28 hotels operating in the Świętokrzyskie province, with 2.4 thousand beds. Today there are 100, and tourists can take book more than 6.5 thousand beds.
The hotels are being built in response to the offer of finished tourist products growing in the past several years – e.g. the ski slopes, the Jurassic Park in Bałtów, the “Wellness & Spa” offer in the vicinity of Busko-Zdroj or the sights and trails better prepared to handle tourist traffic. Also stress was put on tourism by the local government of the historic, beautifully situated Sandomierz.
It is the services associated with the use of medicinal properties of the climate and mineral waters that are to be developed in the coming years. Already, the spa industry notes an increased interest in foreign visitors.
An interesting fact is that the “Busko Zdroj” spa recently launched a production of cosmetics based on the properties of the mineral waters drawn in the south of the Świętokrzyskie region. This is proof that the medical-spa industry in Świętokrzyskie is faced with great opportunities, not only limited to the traditional business of a sanatorium.
These examples of products and services available in the Świętokrzyskie region are just some of the capabilities of the region, which has enormous opportunities. Not only for potential investors, but also for entities, which want to become their distributor outside Poland.