Geography & National Resources
Bjelovar-Bilogora County is located in the eastern part of central Croatia, and borders with four counties. Koprivnica-Križevci County in the north, Virovitica - Podravina County in the northeast, Sisak -Moslavina County in the south, and Zagreb County in the west.
The area of 2.652 square kilometers is inhabited by 119.743 people, mostly living in cities Bjelovar (the seat of the County), Daruvar, Garešnica, Čazma and Grubišno polje. There is a well-organized Czech minority in the area around Daruvar.
Bjelovar-Bilogora County is connected to other parts of the country with several traffic routes. There is a road and railway connection to Zagreb (80 km), Varaždin (100 km) and Osijek (270 km) as part of Osijek-Zagreb transport route. The County has a favorable geographical position towards Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Slovenia.
The area abounds with significant forest fund and sources of gas, quartz sand, oil, clay, thermal water and other natural resources. Forest spreads over 95.973 hectares of land (36,2% of total area) while crops and arable land take up 148.769 hectares (51,2% of total area).
Main Economic Activities
Traditionally, the economy is based on agriculture and manufacturing industry. Metal-processing industry has significant production capacity and plays an important role in the overall economy of the county, and is located, for the most part, in the cities Bjelovar and Daruvar. Wood industry is one of the strategic sectors of the economy since it developed as a result of the rich forests fund. Forest industry companies of Bjelovar- Bilogora County sell 40-100 % of their products on overseas markets.
Due to favorable geographical location and a moderate continental climate, Bjelovar-Bilogora County has extremely favorable conditions for the development of a large number of agricultural crops, while the success and the number of county beekeepers serves as a proof of the clean environment and healthy nature. The county has 3.259 milk suppliers and is one of the leading Croatian counties when it comes to milk production.
A special place in the economy of the county belongs to poultry production, mainly breeding of laying hens and egg production.
Highlighting the particularities of the Bjelovar-Bilogora County and its economy, International Autumn Agricultural Fair is a yearly event worth visiting. The local authorities are investing significant efforts to strengthen the economic potentials of the county. So far, eleven business zones have been set up at various strategic positions equipped with infrastructure where entrepreneurs at different stages can realize their projects. For investors in the enterprise zones there are various incentives provided, as well as professional support in the implementation of their business.
Geographical characteristics of the county favor the development of hunting, fishing and rural tourism as greatest potentials for further tourism development in the County. Special form of health tourism, recognized in Croatia and abroad, is developed in Daruvar spa - special hospital for medical rehabilitation. The modern health center built on the foundations of an old Roman thermae blends into nature, using the thermal waters sources for healing processes, surrounded by a centuries old park.
In the Bjelovar-Bilogora County there are various significant international events:
- Christmas Story in Čazma- which is organized each winter by the rural household of the family Salaj, in Grabovnica near the city of Čazma
- Theresiana- which is a cultural manifestation of the city of Bjelovar started 1996
- International Wine Exhibition and Fair of Traditional products of Bjelovar Bilogora County in Daruvar
- BOK fest, a theatrical event, where the most popular Croatian actors organize performances, workshops, stand-up comedies as well as humanitarian actions and sport events for children and adults
Project 1: Development of common regional strategy in Somogy, Koprivnica Krizevci and Bjelovar Bilogora county
Partners: Somogy County, PORA Regional development agency for promotion and implementation of development activities in Koprivnica Križevci county, Koprivničko Krizevci county, Bjelovar Bilogora County, Regional development agency Bjelovar Bilogora county
Project value: 140.738,14 Euro
Project aims: better living standards for the population of the border area; the renewal of planning and development concepts as an answer to new conditions; the creation of a joint, well coordinated Croatian-Hungarian planning capacity, which in the future can become the primary intellectual and institutional basis for future cross-border developments.
Project duration: 16 months
Project 2: Improving Capacities of Local Partnership for Employment
Program: IPA IV: Human Resource Development
Lead: Regional development agency Bjelovar Bilogora County Ltd.
Partners: Croatian Employment Service, Regional Office Bjelovar, Local Development agency Business park Bjelovar, LODA Ltd.
Project value: 23.054,54 EUR
Project aims: is to strengthen the capacity of Local Employment partnerships to encourage the effective functioning and sustainability of the network partnership between public, private and civil sectors, and the successful implementation of the Action Plan for Human Resources Development Strategy Bjelovar Bilogora County for the year 2011-2013.
Project duration: 12 months
Project 3: Construction and reconstruction of poultry farm "Derifaj"
Program: IPA V. Rural development - IPARD
Project value: 382.508,00 EUR
Project aim: Investment in construction and reconstruction of facilities for keeping laying hens, investment construction and reconstruction of storage capacities for manure, investment in equipment facilities for keeping laying hens, including equipment to prevent the spread of avian diseases
Project duration: 12 months
Project 4: "With the train of creation, to the pool of imagination"
Program: ERDF, Grant for business infrastructure, The Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds
Project value: 2.779.788 EUR
Project aim: is to establish sports and recreational tourism offer of the Bjelovar Bilogora County that will be sustainable, distinctive, competitive and in line with regional economic needs. The reconstruction and equipping of sports and recreational buildings in Veliki Grđevac will significantly affect the increase of the quality of services and diversification of the tourist offer
Project duration: 22 months
More information about the County can be found on their official web site here.