South Moravia Region – Strong and Stable, with Great Potential
The South Moravia Region (surface area 719 463 ha), delimited by the districts of Blansko, Brno-City, Brno-Country, Břeclav, Hodonín, Vyškov and Znojmo, with 1 155 555 inhabitants, ranks fourth in the Czech Republic in terms of population size. From the geographical point of view, the location of the Region is relatively advantageous due to its situation on the historical connecting line between the South and North of Europe. In the framework of the European Union, the Region neighbours on Slovakia and Austria.
Nearly 60% of the Region’s surface area is farmland, 83% of which is arable land. The main crops cultivated here are cereals, rape and sugar beet. The above-average standard of natural conditions makes it possible to carry on the long tradition of specialised agricultural production with links to the Region’s specific features, mainly vine-, fruit- and vegetable cultivation. The Region accounts for more than 90% of the country’s vineyard surface. Vines are grown especially in the Břeclav District, which accounts for 52% of the Czech Republic’s vineyard area, followed by the districts of Hodonín, Znojmo and partly also the Brno-Country District. In livestock production, the South Moravia Region holds one of the leading places in pig rearing and poultry farming.
South Moravia is a region with great economic potential. Its generated gross domestic product accounts for 10.3% of the Czech Republic’s gross domestic product. In view of the industrial tradition of Brno and its environs, industry holds an important position in the Region’s economy, accounting for 28.4% of its total gross added value. Agriculture, another traditional sector, especially in the Region’s southern areas, accounts for only 1.8%. The share of construction is 9.4% of total gross added value and that of services 60.3%. An important sign of the Region’s attractiveness for domestic and foreign investors is the fact that, in 2012, the South Moravia Region was accorded the Aa1 national rating from Moody’s Investors Service Limited.
In 2011 the South Moravia Region was ahead of all other regions in terms of the number of new investment projects. In that year, altogether 55 domestic and foreign investors decided to locate their projects in the Region, worth CZK 815 million (approx. EUR 32.6 million). When completed, the projects, which CzechInvest Agency helped to mediate, are expected to provide employment for more than 3000 people, the most in all the Czech Republic’s regions. Investment activities in the South Moravia Region have been a long-lasting trend. Mainly firms operating in services and software development already found ideal conditions there before, ranging from skilled labour, good-quality infrastructure to ready-to-use office space, as well as close collaboration with universities. Over the past 18 years, CzechInvest has mediated 320 new investment projects in the South Moravia Region, worth more than CZK 61 billion (approx. EUR 2.44 billion). Due to those investments, more than 31 800 people have found employment in the Region.
Latest figures for the Region (at 1 July 2012)
Population 1 166 830
Gross wages CZK 23 086 (approx. EUR 923.44)
Source: Czech Statistical Office
As regards transport, the South Moravia Region has an important transit function. The framework of the transport system is formed by the D1 and D2 motor roads and the R43 and R52 fast roads. Brno is an important transport junction for road, motorway and railway transport and the South Moravian integrated transport system. The Brno – Tuřany Civilian Airport receives all types of aircraft all the year round. Two main railway corridors linking EU states pass through the Region, and the City of Brno is a member of the association of European cities interested in fast railway construction.
The above-average educational standard of the population in the Region is partly due to its excellent system of higher education. Education is provided to students by State-run and private universities in Brno (Brno Technical University, Masaryk University, Defence University), Znojmo and Lednice.
There are two sites in the Region’s territory entered on the UNESCO List of World Natural and Cultural Heritage. One of them is the Lednice-Valtice cultural landscape, with its system of forests, meadows and water surfaces splendidly complemented by romantic structures of temples, summerhouses, and especially the chateaux in Lednice and Valtice. The other is the Villa Tugendhat in Brno, a unique example of modern architecture, designed in the "Interwar" style. Important parts of the South Moravia Region are the two UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, the Lower Morava River Basin and the White Carpathians.
Special features in this respect are wine tourism and the Region’s folklore traditions and folk culture. Cyclo-tourism is also important (Moravian-Silesian Long-distance Cycle Route, the Ambre Route, the Brno-Vienna Cycle Route). Wine cyclo-tourism is also very popular, with wine cycle routes winding through the countryside and offering cyclists attractive views of the landscape, before taking them to the most interesting local vintners' cellars, wine museums and archives.
An important feature is the Masaryk Racing Circuit in Brno, which attracts large numbers of local and foreign motorcycle racing fans each year.
The Region’s Districts:
The Regional Capital Brno (Brno-City District)
The centre of the whole of South Moravia is the regional capital of Brno, situated at the confluence of the Svratka and Svitava Rivers. The city, with its important regional position, located at the crossroads of the motorways to Prague, Vienna, Bratislava and Olomouc, has a strategic geographical location in Central Europe, with excellent transport accessibility and an international airport (Brno-Tuřany Airport operates regular flights to London, Moscow, Eindhoven, Rome and Milan).
Brno, a city with a high quality of life, is an important centre of international trade fairs and exhibitions and a university city with 90 000 students. It is also a cultural and sporting centre (Grand Prix of the Czech Republic, www.automotodrombrno.cz) with a large number of historical sights (Špilberk, Petrov, Old and New Town Halls, the Brno Underground Labyrinth) and modern architecture – the Villa Tugendhat, included on the UNESCO List of World Natural and Cultural Heritage Sites. It has an extensive network of banks, insurance companies and lawyers' offices.
The Brno Country District forms a wide belt surrounding the city of Brno on all sides. The number of the population in the district is the second largest, after Brno-City, and is continuously growing. An important role in this respect is played by its favourable conditions for housing construction in a quiet environment with relatively good transport links to Brno. Motorways (the Brno-Prague and Brno-Bratislava and Ostrava motorways) and railway lines pass through the district, favourably influencing the economy and the promotion of business activities there.
The economy of the district has always had a combined industrial-agricultural character, among industrial sectors, the most important position is held by engineering, with a century-long tradition. The most important enterprises are situated in the vicinity of the railway line (the Brno-Česká Třebová express line is part of the Vienna-Berlin railway corridor), which facilitates commuting to work, thus helping to keep the rate of unemployment in the district low. The Blansko District is one of the country’s districts with the purest environment, partly due to vast forests covering its surface. Worth visiting is the Moravian Karst, a protected landscape area. Its most attractive parts, including the caves formed by the underground river Punkva, with the Macocha abyss 138 m deep, are open to the public.
The district is situated in the southernmost tip of Moravia. It is an area covered by alluvial forests, vineyards and fields, and a land rich in historical sites and monuments, with folk traditions still alive. Two sites in the district are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The district has a population of around 113 000. Most of its economically active inhabitants (27%) work in industry, especially the rubber, plastics, chemical, engineering and food industries. The district is also known for its vine-growing tradition, with vineyards covering the sunny hillsides of the Pavlovské vrchy highlands.
As regards the climate, the district is situated in the warmest and driest part of the Czech Republic. There are several oil and natural gas fields in the district, exploited especially in the northern part of the territory in the vicinity of Ždánice and Uřice. Also important are lignite deposits near Hodonín, Dubňany and Šardice. Brickmaking raw materials reserves are to be found in the neighbourhood of Hodonín, Kyjev and Velká nad Veličkou, and gravel and sand deposits are exploited in the surroundings of Vracov, Bzenec and Strážnice. Wider use of mineral waters for curative purposes in the district is envisaged.
The population of the Vyškov District is the lowest in comparison with the remaining districts of the Region. Its economy has always been of an industrial-agricultural character (with 29.9% of the population being employed in industry, 6.1% in agriculture and 10.5% in construction). The employment rate in the district benefits from the availability of good transport services for commuters working in Brno’s enterprises.
With its surface area of 159 039 ha the Znojmo District is one of the largest in the Czech Republic. The district is interwoven by a network of marked tourist lanes and cycle paths, linking up with lanes in neighbouring districts and in Austria. Other forms of tourism are being promoted, such as wine tourism, which benefits from the region’s traditions, past and present. A large number of cultural, social and sporting events are held in the entire region all over the year, some of which have assumed a broader character spilling over its borders. These include, for example, the Znojmo Grape radio and film festival of gastronomy and the Znojmo historical grape harvest festival.
Regionální rozvojová Agentura jižní Moravy (South Moravia Regional Development Agency), www.rrajm.cz
Regionální hospodářská komora Brno (Brno Regional Chamber of Commerce), www.ohkbrno.cz
Jihomoravské inovační centrum (South Moravia Innovation Centre), www.jic.cz
Jihomoravský krajský úřad (South Moravia Regional Office), www.kr-jihomoravsky.cz
Veletrny Brno, a.s., www.bvv.cz
Podnikatelské a inovační centrum Brno (Brno Business and Innovation Centre), www.bicbrno.cz
Okresní hospodářská komora Břeclav (Břeclav District Chamber of Commerce), http://www.ohkbreclav.cz/
Technologický park Brno (Technology Park Brno), www.technologypark.cz
Vysoké učení technické v Brně (Brno University of Technology), www.vutbr.cz
Akademie věd České republiky, Brno (Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Brno), www.brno.avcr.cz
Zastoupení Jihomoravského kraje v Bruselu (Representation of the South Moravian Region to EU), http://www.southern-moravia.eu/
Centrála cestovního ruchu Jižní Morava (Tourism Central of South Moravia), www.jizni-morava.cz/