Direct foreign investments are an important factor influencing economic development of a given area. They are also particularly important to the rural areas of Poland characterised by under investment and the major problem of unemployment. To obtain detailed information, which is not available in mass statistics, research has been carried out by means of direct interview with entrepreneurs. The study aims at providing an answer to the questions about FDI: what are the scale and locations in the region of Warmia and Mazury, particularly in rural areas, what is the type of activities (potential influence on the local system), what are the linkages among the enterprises with individual markets and whether they influence the intensification of such linkages, what are the main motives of foreign investors in this region. The companies with participation of foreign capital in the province of Warmia and Mazury are most frequently located in large cities while their share in the rural areas in the province does not exceed 2% (except for Olsztyn and Mrŕgowo counties). The studied companies (50%) mostly are involved in production. The majority of the companies carry out international (30%) and national-international activities. The respondents name contribution of capital (27.3% of responses), possibility of expanding the territorial coverage (20.5% of responses) and contribution of new technologies (18.4% of responses) as the major benefits resulting from the contribution of foreign capital to the enterprises.
Classification code: F-21 International Investment, R–11 Regional Economic Activity
Key words: foreign capital, rural areas, development.