For the region


The South-west planning region is one of the eight statistical regions within the Republic of Macedonia. In the frame of this region are the following 9 municipalities: Vevcani, Debar, Debrca, Ohrid, Kicevo, Makedonski Brod, Plasnica, Struga and Centar Zupa.


The relief is mainly composed of mountains and valleys. High mountains dominate with picks over 2000 m above the sea level. The biggest valley in the region is the Ohrid-Struga valley located between the mountains Jablanica and Galicica, which is filled in one part with the Ohrid Lake. The region is very typical with the extraordinary presence of caves due to the chemical composition of the mountains which are mainly carbonate rocks. The region is rich in natural, artificial and glacial lakes, and is the most forested one in the Republic of Macedonia.


On the territory of 3.340 km², in 286 inhabited places, live in total 222.064 inhabitants, out of them 50,15 % being male. The estimation for 2008 is that the number of inhabitants in the Republic of Macedonia was 2.048.619, and therefore on the territory of the South-west region live 10,83 % of the total population in the state. However, the population density in the frame of the South-west region is characterized with great differentiation among the municipalities and the inhabited places. In three municipalities within the region - Struga, Ohrid and Kicevo live 79,19 % of the total population in the region. Average population density in the state is 81,3 inhabitants, whereas in the South-west region is 66,4 inhabitants per km².


The total number of registered business entities in the South-west region is 11.696 out of which only 6.484 are active. The GDP per capita in the region is 1.807 €. The GAV on the level of the region is 21,033 million MKD and is below the country's average. The largest part in the GAV generation in the South-west region have the industry and the electricity production and distribution, the retail, hotels, restaurants and the traffic, the financial sector, agriculture and fishery and other service activities. The participation of the South-west region in the GAV generation on the state level is 6,9 % whereas the Skopje region participates with 48,5%.


The region has 103.373 ha agricultural area, with less than 50% being cultivated land, i.e. 50.667 ha. The remaining part is pastures. The total agricultural surface on the state level is 1.077.235 ha, therefore in the South-west region there are only 9,59 % from the total surface of the cultivated land. In this region the most produced crops are wheat, maize and potato, whereas from the fruit production the most significant are the apples, the plums, the pears and the cherries.


Very important economic activity for the region is the tourist industry due to the fact that from the total number of 26.503 rooms for rent in the state, even 16.400 or 61,87% are on the territory of this region. The biggest part of them is in the two major tourist centers in the state - Ohrid and Struga. These towns lie on the shore of the Lake Ohrid, which is one of the most ancient lakes in Europe, and even in the world. From the total number of visitors who come annually in the country, even 46,67 % stay in the inhabited places which are part of the South-west region. In that respect, here in the region are realized on annual basis around 1.300.000 nights spent by the domestic and foreign guests, which is 65% of the total nights spent on the country level.


The South-west region sees its perspective for further development in the improvement of the classical tourism and developing of alternative forms, like the winter tourism, health tourism, monastery, spa and agro tourism. Having in mind that the entire region is not polluted, there is a big potential for production of organic food.

© 2011 - Centre for development of the south-west planning region