South Bohemian region
31. 8. 2011
Located on Austrian and German borders, the region offers an excellent location to companies that have customers in these two neighboring countries.
A major part of the region''s borderline is formed by borders with Austria and Germany (323 km). The region also boarders with the Pilsen, Central Bohemian, Vysočina and South Moravian regions. Its position along the borders creates favourable conditions for effective cross–border cooperation in production, services as well as tourism.
The region covers the area of 10,057 km2 which accounts for 12.8 % of the CR''s area. Forests covers one third of the region while water surface areas are found on 4 % of the territory. The average altitude of the region reaches 400 to 600 m which implies rather severe climatic conditions. The highest point of the region is the Šumava peak Plechý (1,378 m), the lowest point (330 m) is the water surface of the Orlík reservoir situated in the Písek District.
South Bohemia is a traditional agriculture region. The crop production focuses on cereals, oleaginous and forage crops, with potatoes production playing a major role. Animal production focuses on raising cattle and pigs. The region produces about 11 % of the CR''s agricultural output. Fish farming in ponds has had a long tradition in the region. Fish ponds cover a total area of about 25,000 hectares and produce one half of the CR''s output of fishes. The region''s share in the output of waterfowl (ducks and geese) is also significant.
The main industrial sectors are wood processing, paper processing and printing followed by the textile industry. Mechanical engineering, automotive and food processing are also becoming to play a significant role in the region`s economy. The building industry focuses on new construction, modernisation and reconstruction in the region, accounting for 4.3 % of the CR''s total construction output. Industrial production is concentrated mainly in the České Budějovice urban agglomeration; rather significant share of industry is also reported for the Tábor and Strakonice Districts. The region`s share in sales of industrial enterprises accounted for 4.9 % of the CR''s total.
South Bohemia has the fifth highest GDP per capita in the Czech Republic.
The E55 and E49 first-class roads provide an easy access to Austria and Germany and their motorway networks. A new highway connecting Prague and Austria and going through the whole region is currently being projected and some short strips have already been built.
Many forms of cross-border cooperation have been developing over the past few years. The Šumava/Mühlviertel Euroregion comprises a territory with the total area of 16,000 km2 and 1.3 mil inhabitants. It associates 111 Austrian, 107 Bavarian and 124 Czech municipalities out of which 88 municipalities are from the South Bohemian region. The projects realised within the cooperation are primarily in the field of transport, services and tourism, and mutual exchange of experience.
The Euroregion "Silva Nortica" covers the territory of the Jindřichův Hradec, České Budějovice, Písek and Tábor districts. The Euroregion covers the territory of 10,639 square kilometres with almost 0.7 million inhabitants. The objective of the cross-border co-operation is to jointly present the region, exchange information and experience, develop tourism, etc. Almost 40 municipalities from the South Bohemian region with more than 260,000 inhabitants participate in the Euroregion.
The region`s lower density of population, low unemployment and rather rural character have not discouraged foreign companies from investing in the region. Especially smaller and medium-sized investors have no difficulty finding skilled labour force here.
In addition to the University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice which offers courses in humanities and social sciences, management, life sciences and biology, the region also has a number of higher tertiary vocational schools, secondary vocational schools and vocational training centres.
The South Bohemian Region is becoming an important tourist and recreational resort. The travel industry has been the fastest growing industry in the region in the past few years.
Historical centres of the following towns have been designated urban conservation areas: České Budějovice, Český Krumlov (listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List), Jindřichův Hradec, Prachatice, Slavonice, Tábor and Třeboň. A number of historical buildings and monuments are found in the region, e. g. castles Český Krumlov, Jindřichův Hradec, Zvíkov, or chateaux Hluboká nad Vltavou, Orlík, Blatná, Červená Lhota. An important part of the national heritage is the folk architecture, especially a style called "folk baroque", an outstanding example of which is the village of Holašovice in the České Budějovice district inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1998. The best-known cultural establishments include the South-Bohemian Theatre, the South-Bohemian Gallery of Mikoláš Aleš or the open-air theatre with revolving auditorium in Český Krumlov.