The Skopje planning region is a competitive region in SEE with recognizable potential for investments and development in order to raise the standard and quality of life of citizens and utilize and protect the natural and cultural heritage evenly in the region.
Developmental features of the region
- Economic characteristics
- Social Development
- Tourism and culture
- Agriculture and rural development
Skopje region covers the basin of the Skopje valley and occupies a total area of 1812 km2, or 7% of the territory of Macedonia. This region encompasses 17 municipalities of which 10 are part of the City of Skopje as a separate unit of local government. City of Skopje is composed of the following municipalities: Aerodrom, Butel, Gazi Baba, Gjorche Petrov, Karposh, Kisela Voda, Saraj, Centar, Chair and Shuto Orizari.
Skopje region has a total of 578.144 residents. The density of population is 319 inhabitants/ km 2 and is four times higher than the average of the country (81 inhabitants / km 2). In the City is concentrated around 88% of the population in the region i.e. 25.1% of the population in the country which indicates the enormous concentration of population in Skopje agglomeration.
The agricultural area in Skopje region covers an area of 79.571 ha (6% of the total agricultural area in the country), 40.900 ha (51%) of which are pastures. The total area under woods is 76.636 ha (7.5% of the total woods in the Republic of Macedonia) thus representing 42% of the total territory in the region.
From heretofore researched mineral fields the slot of chromium ores in Radusha (in municipality of Saraj) have the most significant economic importance, and decorating stones and travertine in Kuchkovo and Svilare are the most important non-metallic ores. Thermal and thermo-mineral waters in Katlanovo have special mineral importance providing possibility for development of spa tourism in this area.
The River Vardar with Treska, Lepenec, Pchinja, Markova nad Kadina River influents is the main water resource in Skopje region. Two accumulations Matka 1 and Kozjak are built on Treska River and Matka 2 is under construction. Apart from hydro energetic potential, Treska and Kadina River having ambient beauties offer exceptional conditions for recreation and development of tourist and catering industry contents.
Natural and cultural-historical heritage
From the natural and cultural-historical heritage in Skopje region, under its tourist potential the following are excluded: archaeological locality Skupi, Kale Fortress, aqua ducts, the Old City Bazaar of the City of Skopje, numerous churches and monasteries, as well as several natural reservoirs and natural monuments, from which the Canon Matka and Treska Lake have the biggest tourist potential.
Skopje region is far the most developed region in the Republic of Macedonia and participates with even 47% in the creation of the Macedonian GDP.
The most significant sectors in the region are foodstuff industry, textile industry, printing industry, and metal processing industry, construction works, catering industry, trade, and transport and business services. The holders of the economic growth in Skopje region are big enterprises dominating with about 51% in the total production in non-financial sector followed the small and medium enterprises with participation of 36% and 13% appropriately. However, regarding the employees small enterprises dominate with participation of 51% in the total number of employees.
Pursuant to the official statistical data, the services dominate with 60% in the production and 52% in the employments, and the industry is next with 30% and 34%, appropriately. The agriculture participates with 1% in the production and 3% in the employments thus referring to the relatively small meaning of the agriculture as primary branch, however having significant meaning from the aspect of concentration of big processing capacities of the foodstuff industry in this region.
The conditions for development of agriculture in Skopje region are really limited due to the high level of urbanisation of the region and great fragmentation of the agricultural crops not herewith of the development of intensive agricultural production. Corns and to a certain extend wine-growing are mainly presented in this region, while the industrial cultures are less presented and no bigger potentials for their extension exist. It is characteristic for this region that the potential for market gardening that determines the demand of the greatest market in the country is not enough used, even though the area climatically matches this type of cultures. Regarding the stockbreeding, it is not enough developed, even though high demand exists for animal products by the processing capacities.
1120 km of water supply network exists in Skopje region mainly located in the urban centres of the municipalities. On the basis of the data from the Census 2002 97.2% of the households in this region are supplied with drinking water 746,6км is the accumulation and city network in this region mainly located in the urban centres of the municipalities. The coverage of the population with sewerage network in the urban areas is 85% in Skopje, while in the rural areas from 0% (septic tanks or direct drains) to 80%.
The deposit of solid communal waste in Skopje region is done in the unique sanitary rubbish dump Drisla which at least minimally meets the basic sanitary and technical standard for safety waste deposit. Apart from Drisla, several municipal rubbish dumps exist in Skopje region which are not registered pursuant to the National Plan for Waste Management.
The existing road infrastructure in Skopje region consists of about 935km local road, 67km high roads, 324km regional roads and 86km highways. The road network in this region is well developed, however the existing condition of part of the regional roads (R-103: Skopje-Petrovec-Katlanovo, R-117: Skopje-Zelenikovo and R-403: Gjorche Petrov-Jegunovce) may be assessed as bad. Two pan-European Corridors 8 and 10 pass through this region thus contributing for improvement of the situation. The construction of the ring road around Skopje, as part of Corridor 8, is fully completed and put into function.
Skopje region, more precisely the city of Skopje is central railway knot. The total length of the railway network is 94.78m 37.3 km of which are part of Skopje railway knot, 31.68km is length of the Skopje-Volkovo – border with Serbia line, 18.8km part of railway line Tabanovce-border with Serbia and 7km part of the line Skopje-Kichevo.
Regarding the air transport, one of two national airports Alexander Macedonian in Petrovec is located in Skopje region thus being of exclusive importance for functioning of the region as business and administrative centre in the country. One class A sport airport is located in this region, near Skopje. One road and railway passage with Serbia is located in Skopje region, as well as one cross border passage located at the airport Alexander the Great.
The gas line system located on Corridor 8 is of special importance for Skopje region. The total length of the gas line is 98kn 18km of which pass though the Skopje region. As well as part of the pipeline Thessaloniki – Skopje passes through this region.
The total average annual consumption of electric power in Skopje region in the period 2003-2006 was 1711GWh (about 35.8% of the total consumption in the Republic of Macedonia) thus presenting the highest consumption in relation with the other regions due to the high concentration of the business activities in this region. Apart from the electrical power, this region is the biggest consumer of other types of energy raw materials – coal, oil derivatives and gas.
Regarding the energy possibilities, hydro potential of Treska River through HEC Kozjak, HEC St. Petka (in process) and HEC Matka is of importance. These three hydro centrals complete the investment coverage for use of the energy potential of Treska River.
Moreover, the construction of gas power station TE-To Skopje is important for the region having combined production of electric and heat energy, as well as the planned enlargement of the high way gas line system from the south side thus providing gas for industrial capacities and households thus meaning ecologically better solution for the industrial development in the region and providing cleaner environment.