Silistra ranks among the regions with the lowest economic development, and in 2015 it is the area with the lowest GDP per capita in Bulgaria.
Among the strengths of Silistra region can be mentioned the access to the Danube River, the presence of two ports (Silistra and Tutrakan) of national importance and the opportunities for good transport links with the neighboring countries and the Danube region. A great potential for the area and its advantage are the opportunities for development in agriculture. The area has a rich biodiversity, good land resources, rich resources of clean water for both drinking and irrigated agriculture, while lacking aggressive pollutants. This is a prerequisite for the development of rural forestry and fishery, water transport, and various forms of tourism, including alternative.
Among the weaknesses that exist in the region and which hinder economic development and the deepening of negative demographic trends are the low share of foreign investment and the insufficient entrepreneurial activity combined with crisis phenomena in the economy. The opportunities for development of the agrarian sector are hampered by its high degree of dependence, technological development lag, unstable economic structures and lack of investment capital to expand the production. The poor road network and the difficult accessibility to certain areas influence negatively both the agrarian and industrial development, as well as tourism. All this is coupled with negative demographic trends such as the depopulation of some areas, the high risk of poverty and social exclusion, the high level of unemployment coupled with an unfavorable educational structure in some of the smaller municipalities in the area, and a lack of skilled staff on the labor market.
The opportunities that lie ahead of the region are to make use of the available geographic and transport potential by improving infrastructure and joining European transport corridors on the basis of modern combined transport. The construction of a bridge on the Danube River Silistra - Calarasi will strengthen cross-border relations between the two countries as well as between the countries in the region. Possibilities for absorption of European funds in the absence of large foreign investments can contribute to improving the quality of public services, human resources, technical infrastructure, tourism and agriculture.
A serious threat to the development of the region are the deepening demographic processes, the low economic activity of the population, the continuing weak adaptability of the labor force and the outflow of young qualified specialists. The increasing manifestation of processes that form inter-regional contrasts and strong competitive pressure from neighboring regions to attract investment may adversely affect the region and exacerbate its isolation.
Settlements and population size
Age and education structure of the population
Migration of the population
Household income and expenditure
Leading economic sectors
The vision of the strategic program of Silistra District is to improve and realize its growth potential by becoming a sustainable area of Bulgaria and the Danube area with new prospects and quality of life for the population.
In this regard, the main outlined strategic objectives are aimed at developing a competitive economy by promoting innovation in all sectors, raising the standard of living of the population by creating new jobs and investing in people, and improving territorial sustainability.
Among the priority actions to meet the targets set by 2020 are support for small and medium-sized companies, increasing employment, improved access to education and social infrastructure, developed modern infrastructure and territorial cooperation.
The main focus of national and regional policy by 2020 will be to overcome the existing mismatches between labor supply and demand.