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ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

The main pillars of the economy of the Pelagonija planning region are the production and processing of agricultural products and the exploitation of mineral resources. The region, among other things, is the largest producer of apples, tobacco and milk.

Economy Sector in the Pelagonia region has significant advantages which at the same time represent an opportunity for additional economic development. The region has good geographical location, proximity to a member state of the European Union and two NATO member states. The region has a relatively good road infrastructure and connection within the region. For the development of the economy, the opening of the border crossing Markova foot with the Republic of Greece and the construction of the expressway Prilep - Veles is a great opportunity. Improving good neighborly relations with the Republic of Macedonia. Greece and the reopening of the railway line Veles - Bitola - Florina - Thessaloniki will have a huge impact on the development of the economy and on the flow of people, goods and capital.

On the territory of the region there are significant natural resources (mineral resources, minerals, water, cultivated land) that are underutilized.

The Pelagonia region has good climatic conditions for the development of agriculture, and especially for the cultivation of industrial crops. A small number of products with higher added value are produced in the region, there is a shortage of processing capacities for agricultural products, and the stakeholders in the value chain in agriculture are poorly connected. The growing demand for food in global terms, the steady increase in food prices, the increased interest in aromatic and medicinal herbs, and forest fruits represent an opportunity for more intensive development of agriculture.

The ore deposits in Pelagonia and Mariovo, which are used today in the three blocks of TPP Bitola, marble from Prilep, mineral springs near the village of Medzitlija, Bitola, represent a significant opportunity for more dynamic development of the mining and mining sector.

Ensuring energy from stable, reliable, clean and renewable sources is a huge potential due to favorable climatic conditions in the region for producing energy from water, sun, wind and bio mass.

There are many active business entities in the Pelagonija planning region, which is an opportunity for development of the region, as well as an opportunity to reduce the unemployment, since existing enterprises can create even bigger number of jobs. In the region, there are institutions / organizations to support the business sector but do not have the capacity to better support the business sector. Support is needed to improve the competitiveness of existing enterprises by establishing an institutional framework for business support, supporting the introduction of new technologies, setting up quality advisory and expert assistance for business and supporting cluster formation. It is also necessary to support innovation and create a set of measures to stimulate cooperation between the economy and higher education institutions because the economic crisis has led to even more drastic decline in the opportunities for applying science in the development of the economy and creating a knowledge-based economy. The lack of capital for investment and cash for financing development projects of the business community is a weak side, and in order to overcome it, it is necessary to implement measures to facilitate access to available funds as well as promotion of various forms of joint venture in order to increase and the social responsibility of the business sector.

The existence of local industrial zones with established urban planning documentation is an important precondition and a strong side for increasing investments. On the other hand, the existing industrial zones do not have the full infrastructure. It is also necessary to undertake activities for construction of infrastructure in the industrial zones, creation of measures and benefits for investment, their promotion to potential investors in order to increase the investments in all sectors, especially in the processing industry. An enormous opportunity for economic development is the inclusion of the big diaspora in encouraging economic development and establishing cooperation with economic promoters. The significant opportunity and comparative advantage of the industrial zones in the region is the reopening of the railway line Veles - Bitola - Florina - Thessaloniki, by which these industrial zones will be connected to the port of Thessaloniki.

The promotion of active employment measures, retraining of personnel, promotion of programs for stimulating entrepreneurship, self-employment and craftsmanship are possibilities that should be used. The established higher education institutions and research centers within the region can help eliminate this limiting factor. A potential threat is migration, in particular, the outflow of highly educated workforce and reduced access to finance for the private sector.

Within the region there are significant differences in the achieved level of economic development. The municipalities of Dolneni, Demir Hisar, Krivogastani, Krusevo, Mogila, Novaci and Resen can not generate a level of development such as urban centers Bitola and Prilep. The problem of development disparities is particularly pronounced in rural municipalities where there is a low quality of life and insufficient entrepreneurial capacity of the inhabitants. A serious threat is the tendency to evict these citizens elsewhere in the country and abroad, which is why it is necessary to undertake measures to reduce migration processes. Activities are needed to stimulate the opening of new businesses in these municipalities, to improve the capacities of human resources and to align them with the needs of the labor market.

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