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Regional geography

Volume XVI |

The development of education in the rural areas in the post economic crisis period. Case Study: Argeș county, Romania

Abstract: Education is the main pillar of any society, both worldwide and in Romania. The paper analyzes the evolution of the educational system in the rural areas from the county of Argeș during the crisis period and also after the financial crisis. The study has been based on statistical evidence data and also on the data provided by the Ministry of Regional Development, European Funds and Public Administration. The analysis has been applied on 95 communes, which form rural area in the county of Argeș. In addition to the educational variables, the study also took into account social and economic indicators in order to obtain a greater veracity over the analysis. In the methodological approach the article uses the principal components analysis and the hierarchical ascendant classification analysis, taking into consideration the year of 2010 and the year of 2016. The analysis points to the fact that the villages close to Pitesti stands out, as these are more developed. They are followed closely by the category represented by the villages with an aging population, from where the majority of the young workforce has emigrated. Another category is represented by the villages which have their economy based on the primary sector, and the last category is the one containing the villages with a disadvantaged ethnic population.

Volume XVI |

Measuring the Complex Socio-economic Development of the Danube-adjacent NUTS2 Regions

Abstract: The existing inner socio-economic discrepancies are one of the major stumbling-blocks to the sustainable development of the Danube region and to the successful realization of its different macro-regional development programmes, strategies, and action plans. That is why it is of extreme importance to assess these discrepancies on a complex base, going beyond the analysis of single indicators. From that point of view, we suggest that sophisticated methodology and approach are needed, similar to those used to elaborate thorough European spatial development models. In order to measure the current socio-economic spatial development of the Danube regions on a complex basis, we apply author’s “Development and Prosperity Index” (DPI) calculated by using the latest available data for 8 key indicators. By contrast with the majority of the scientific studies that build their conclusions on NUTS0, or rarely on NUTS1 level analysis, our research is suited at NUTS2 level so that we can take a detailed picture of the situation in the Danube region. Another significant difference from the mainstream studies is that we concentrate predominantly on the Danube-adjacent NUTS2 regions, but not on the whole area (as defined in the EU Danube Region Strategy). That approach provides us with an opportunity to divide the study in two important stages. Firstly, we make a comparative analysis and a classification of the Danube-adjacent NUTS2 regions providing empirical evidence for the significant complex socio-economic discrepancies between them. Secondly, in a view to estimate the development role of Danube in different countries, we confront the DPI results for Danube-adjacent NUTS2 regions against those for the other regions in a given country. Although this approach is characterized with certain conditionality considering that development is a function of many diverse factors, the results of the study provide solid ground for building up adequate future policies.

Volume XV |

Foreign Direct Investments in Serbia as a Form of Cross-border Cooperation

Abstract: The forms of foreign direct investments that represent the instrument of cross-border cooperation are Greenfield and Brownfield investments. On the territory of the Republic of Serbia, during the 2000-2016 period, there were established 151 Greenfield and 15 Brownfield companies. The sum of investments of these 166 companies was near € 7,000,000,000. the capital is from 18 European countries, then from United States, Taiwan, China, South Korea, Canada and India. The largest number of the investments is from Italy (30), Germany (29), Austria (17) and Slovenia (16). Most Greenfield and Brownfield companies belong to the secondary and tertiary sectors of the economy, while 22 companies belong to quaternary sector (real estate, tourism, finance, insurance and pension, telecommunication, film industry, software and ICT).
The analysis, synthesis, comparative and mapping methods were used in this paper. The data were collected from domestic and foreign scientific papers, as well as from the official electronic database. Given data are connected to the traffic network of Serbia, and the goal was to realize its influence on choosing locations for foreign direct investments.
Favourable geo- traffic position of the towns, where the company seats are located, has great significance in the work of these companies due to the reduction of transport costs. This paper analyzed the companies’ selection of location and their position in relation to the main roads in the country – Corridor X. The zonation of companies and towns where they are located, depending on their distance from the corridor 10, were processed in GeoMedia program. Results showed that most of the companies (102) were located at a distance of 10 kilometres from the highway.

Volume XV |

Comparative Analysis of the FDI’s Spatial Localization Models in the Danube Provinces of Bulgaria

Abstract: The Danube provinces of Bulgaria are among the least developed NUTS3 regions in the country and in the EU. From that point of view, overcoming of their socio-economic underdevelopment is not only of particular interest for the Bulgarian regional policy, but is also at the base of realizing a successful strategy for sustainable territorial development of the cross-border region Romania-Bulgaria. Being a key factor in the discourse of regional development, the FDI should be scrutinized in a view to uncover the main regularities and trends in these provinces, as well as potentials and perspectives ahead of the separate administrative units. The analysis of some key indicators connected with the dynamics and distribution of the FDI stocks and their per capita ratio, with the FDI density, and with the proportion FDI-GDP, demonstrates the lack of a distinct and typical for all Danube provinces of Bulgaria trend in the investment activity. However, we find out a common feature in their spatial localization models – the predominant concentration of FDI in the regional centres. The study also discloses the correlations between sectoral structure and FDI supplies, as well as the FDI’s role for the changes in some key economic, social, and demographic indicators’ values in these provinces. The quantitative analysis’ results are complemented with qualitative characteristics of the processes as we put special emphasis on factors such as: the insufficient capacity for creating agglomeration effects; the lack of clusterization based on joint initiatives of the provinces; the relatively weak impact of the free trade zones and the industrial zones; the poor connectivity with the national transport system. The elaborated systematic territorial study of the foreign investments’ spatial models in the Danube provinces of Bulgaria is a solid base for designing/implementing a differentiated, adequate, flexible, and proactive regional and local policies.

Volume XV |

Assessment of Nutritional Status and Deficiency Disease through Geographical Survey: A Case Study of Varanasi District in India

Abstract: Identifying the role of the diet at the start of many diseases and evaluating the nutritional status of an individual, family and community is significant for public health. The main objective of this paper is to geographically evaluate the nutritional status and deficiency disease in the development blocks of Varanasi district, India. Primary data are collected from 800 respondents of 16 selected villages (2 villages from each development block) in the rural part of Varanasi district and their results are analyzed with the help of SPSS statistical software. The study involved geographical survey based interviews using a questionnaire, measurement of nutrient intake and assessment of their general knowledge and awareness about nutrition and deficiency diseases on the basis of their occupational structure, house type and income status.
The findings of this paper also show that the socio-economic status of the respondents is closely related with nutritional status of people living in the rural areas of Varanasi district. It is interesting to note that about 15% of household’s intake is still less than 1500 calories per capita per day, which leads to malnutrition and deficiency diseases. More than half of the respondents of the study area are found to be suffering from nutritional deficiency diseases.