The economy of Bács-Kiskun County
The particular character of the county lies in the diversity of its natural areas (e.g. Homokhátság – aka ‘sandy range’, and the area of the Danube) and in its central location in the country, which are significant influencing factors in terms of economic development. Taking into account the economic processes, Bács-Kiskun County builds on agricultural traditions; thus high level agricultural specialization continues to play an important role. Industrial renewal takes place in this traditional economic environment the driving force of which is the automotive industry in the north of the county. In addition, construction and manufacturing industries, especially the food industry, are especially important. The southern areas bordering our neighbour, Serbia, are lagging behind in all respects, while the towns in the north of the county are in a better position. The network of industrial parks suit the territory of the county but in the middle of the county, it takes longer time to attract investors. For the sake of economic renewal, the adequacy of infrastructure and availability of well-educated human resources, continuous marketing work, as well as, coordination and cooperation between economic actors are essential factors. By creating and ensuring the above conditions, in the case of cities with a larger economic base, the operation of the industrial parks is easier, however, the operation of those located in smaller towns can also be successful by promoting investments and strengthening their service activities.
Economic (grid) infrastructure networks have been substantially developed in the county, including a significant development in the last decade in water, sewage and energy networks. The network of industrial parks has reached all the economic centres, but their extent, occupation and the range of services they offer are quite heterogeneous. There was a serious renewal of the brown-field industrial areas of small towns created during the industrialisation in the Hungarian countryside in the 1960s(in some of the bigger towns this is the reason for weaker indicators of industrial parks), and there are also some favourable establishments waiting for future investors.
There have been heavy investments across Bács-Kiskun county, which are planned to develop the economy and infrastructure, paying particular attention to the less-favoured settlements. The Bács-Kiskun County Government acts as a bridge to coordinate and professionally prepare the projects so that the quality of life of the people living here and the economy can have stable background for keeping our county’s population retaining capacities. Among the investments, several town centres will be renewed, including the green city project of Kiskunfélegyháza, whereby a new city centre will be created by using 2 billion HUF.
During the current 2014-2020 budgetary cycle, almost the entire county can be renewed. Coordinated developments across the county have been launched in almost every settlement. The county government also undertook a serious task in the preparation and professional coordination of tenders in order to put the ideas and the EU commitments in line and to implementthe resources efficiently.
In our region, developments expected sometimes for decades, are implemented along with exemplary cooperation, within the framework of Territorial and Regional Development Operational Program (TOP). Many investments in infrastructure and those of the institutions in small settlements can be implemented which greatly influences the living conditions and reduces the disadvantages of those living there.
One of the most significantly applied tenders of the TOP investments is designed to provide energy efficiency so that the next generations can be more economically efficient in settlements.
The development of nurseries and crêches, and the development of the institutional system of basic health care belong to the most important areas of intervention, with many applied tenders. Numerous small settlements can renovate or build their nursery or crèche in this tender cycle, for which, they would almost never have had their own power.
The doctors' offices are under development and are undergoing renovations, and their tenders will provide modern health care for those living here. There are new tools and renewed institutions serving the population’s health even in the smallest settlements.
It is important to mention those economic development investments facilitating the deployment of undertakings in industrial parks, which can provide the people of the region with workplaces and decent livelihood. A good example is the poultry slaughterhouse established with governmental support in Mélykút which has been developed parallel to the industrial park and provides work to four hundred people.
The county has a great opportunity to develop the tourism as well. There are countless attractions and investments that help to make the county a region of tourist excellence. Tourism is also characterized by the well-designed and coordinated preparatory work which takes into account and supports the tourism, its breakthrough points and attractions of the county.
The centre of several settlements will also be renewed by tenders of several billion forints enabling them to catch up to the level of the more developed regions. Through these "green city" projects, the settlement centres are intended to serve the living conditions of the citizens and the communities and satisfy the expectations of the visitors.
By coordinating the resources of the county and the public road developments, the roads within and between settlements can be renewed, thus contributing to the improvement of the quality of life and the development of the economy.
Social primary care is developing and special attention is paid to the promotion of employment from TOP sources, in line with other sources of funding.
The community and infrastructural development of towns with more than ten thousand people are expected to unfold from hundreds of millions of HUF received from the CLLD target area. The CLLD target area, similarly to LEADER programme, can provide resources addressing local needs of the community and local governments; supports the infrastructural developments, events, and purchase of equipment, thus giving the backbone to the cultural life and activities of civil society organisations.
In addition to county funding resources, the Rural Development Operational Programme provides nearly 100 billion HUF for rural development. Much of this amount can be utilized by agriculture defining the life of the countryside. Besides, roads leading to the agricultural areas will be renewed and the infrastructure of the outskirts and farms will develop. The programme also supports young farmers, the development of local markets and mass catering.
The Rural Development Operational Programme is trying to overcome the disadvantages of the countryside, thus facilitating to achieve the county's overall aim to have all the important components needed for local employment and local prosperity in small settlements and farmlands. Among the aims of this operational programme, it is also important that rural life should not be about renunciation but about good and healthy living conditions, active community and viable environment.
Various tender resources for equal opportunities help improve the living conditions of the population and help them overcome their disadvantages. There are countless trainings in our county that are adapted to meet the needs of the workforce and thus providing disadvantaged workers with competitive knowledge. With the help of grants and tenders, employers, besides employing professionals, can support employees' wages, thereby encouraging local employment, responding to the changed labour market situation.
The younger generation, who is still studying, can acquire competitive knowledge through a scholarship program, in case their social conditions would not make their further education possible. The scholarship system especially promotes disadvantaged people and students, who are studying jobs for years, where a shortage of professionals is identified.
Comprehensive developments across the county, multi-tool grants and support measures helping the economy as a whole play important role in enabling young people to reach prosperity within the county. All these opportunities serve the goal of supporting the future generations, and this way, the active age group can live on a safe and stable basis in a renewed, prosperous area.