Bridging the Gaps: Integrated cross - border business infrastructure and services in Silistra District - Calarasi County
Romana Bulgara Engleza

2.2. The economic analysis of Călărași county

From all the analyses, we can observe that the business environment from Calarasi County is mostly based on industry, services and agriculture. The data shows a large share of the small and medium enterprises in the general economic activity, and the number of direct foreign investments, with a strong impact on the County’s industry. The processing industry is predominant in Călărași County. The following sectors of the national economy are present:

  • Rare gas and biofuels manufacturing (Călărași and Lehliu-Gară);
  • Constructions (Călărași);
  • Food products manufacturing (Călărași);
  • Textile materials products (Călărași, Oltenița and Budești).

The following are dominant in Călărași industry: metallurgical engineering (approximately 25%), food industry (approximately 25%), manufacturing of products from non-metal minerals (approximately 15%), chemical products manufacturing (approximately 12%), clothing manufacturing (approximately 9 %).
The names of the most important companies from Călărași County are listed below:
In Călărași Municipality

  • Aldis – food industry;
  • Saint Gobain Glass – glass manufacturing;
  • Avicola – food industry;
  • Catex – textile industry;
  • Comceh – cellulose and paper manufacturing;
  • Donasid – metallurgical engineering;
  • Sidertrans – transport industry;
  • Martifer – metal constructions

In Oltenița Municipality:

  • Navol – vessel construction industry;
  • Nutricom – agriculture;
  • Stentor – vessel construction

In Lehliu-Gară place:

  • Martifer – biofuels.

In Chirnogi commune - agriculture

At the end of 2011, the number of active companies in Calarasi County, following their size, was at it follows:

  • Micro-enterprises (up to 10 employees and with a turnover under 2 mil. Euros) – 3676;
  • Small enterprises (up to 50 employees and with a turnover under 10 mil. Euros) – 446;
  • Medium enterprises (up to 250 and with a turnover under 50 mil. Euros) – 64;
  • Large enterprises (over 250 and with a turnover over 50 mil. Euros) – 13.

Because Călărași County is a region with lots of plains, agriculture is an important economic sector. The agriculture fields occupy 426.696 hectars (2.9% from the country’s agricultural surface - in 2011) – more than 84% from the County’s surface, out of which 97.4% are ploughable lands. In 2004, the county’s agricultural surface was 1599 hectars larger. The cultivation of cereals, plants for vegetal oils and feeds is predominant. The majority of soils are made up of different types of black carth and higly fertile alluvium. The surfaces with pastures, vineyards and orchards have decreased significantly in the last years.

The natural and human resources of Călărași make agriculture an important sector of the County’s economy, which is based on a large occupancy of the workforce in this district (over 50%) and on the agricultural land surface (84% from the County’s surface).

For Calarasi, agriculture – which insures food for the population, as well as large quantities of raw materials for the food and non-food industry – is one of the most important resources for development, which can ensure competitivity at a high level of quality-price.

The agriculture in Călărași County is caracterised by a large number of small farms located in rural areas. The farmers produce manily for their own consumption and only a small part of these products are being put up for sale. An unbalance is obtained right from this difference between the large number of small farms and the small number of farms that manage large surfaces of land.

Moreover, the small degree of information, the poor management culture, the misunderstanding of modern marketing techniques, take the poor quality manufacturings to high levels of misery. The small farmers are not inclined to associate themselves with each other in order to increase production and to benefit from the best prices for their products.

In rural areas, the incomes, others than the ones coming from agriculture, are very small and practicaly non-existent.

A characteristic of the County is animal breeding and fish farming.

In the last years, the services sector has made important progresses. The companies that work in this field, in Călărași district, now cover a large range of activities which are oriented towards banking services, ensurances, transport, property, telecommunications and postal services, tourism, education, health and social welfare, consultancy, etc.
However, the services sector remains relatively poor, and this is one of the primary weak points of the County’s economic structure, reflecting an instability between the population’s needs and the other economic sectors of the County.

A positive tendency in the field of banking services and insurances has been observed in the last years.

Most banks have introduced a card payment system and they ofer other services as well – for instance, a system for salary payment through current personal costs, the provision of financial consultancy, rentability evaluations, payments towards the utility suppliers, crediting services.
There is also an increase in the volume and the field of applying the services of insurance companies.

After the freeing of the market, postal and telecommunication services indicate a tendency towards positive development.

Other services are oriented towards catering, hotels, tourism, tourism agencies and transport.

In the last years, a growth tendency has been observed in the health services and also in the services that support economic development – business consultancy, technological consultancy, advertising, accounting services, business mediation services, etc, developed by private companies and non-gouvernmental organisations.
Călărași County has a touristic potential that allows the development of different forms of tourism: cultural, oecumenical, ecologic and rural.

The Danube has important touristic attractions, which are insufficiently exploited. The large number of pitoresque islands, the division of the river into different channels offers resting and recreational conditions, as well as conditions for hunting and fishing.  We can also mention natural reserves: Ciornuleasa forest reserve, Iezer Calarasi reserve for birds, Haralambie, Ciocănești and Șoimul islands.

2014 © Alliance for Regional and Civil Initiatives (ARCI) – Silistra