Pavel Kukuliač

Technical University of Ostrava, Institute of Geoinformatics, Faculty of Mining and Geology, The Czech Republic
This article deals with the assessment of the status and development of the distribution of economic activities in the Moravian-Silesian Region (MSR) in 1999-2009. The aim of this paper is to research the development of the geographical distribution of economic activities in relation to migration processes of these activities. In the case of this study, we focus on the monitoring of changes, particularly in the manufacturing industry, which is currently undergoing a process of deindustrialization. Migratory population movements are very important objects of interest for demographers. In fact, it is, together with the natural movement of the population (births, deaths), a key variable used for the description and prediction of demographic structures. These demographic indicators can be easily applied to monitor the development of economic activities in terms of their establishment, extinction, and movement in the study area.
Key words: migration, localization, economic sector, deindustrialization.


The settlement structure of the Moravian-Silesian Region has recently been undergoing a marked transformation which is caused by several factors. The mechanisms of this process led to a transformation of the social structures of society as they have been known up to now. There has been a decline in the traditional areas of the economy and the traditional professions which are closely interconnected with city spaces - this is primarily true of industrial cities. At the same time, relatively deep in commensurabilities related to property have emerged, power or social position and these also exert their influence over the spatial structure of settlement. The agents of regional development do not have close ties to the territory any longer as the headquarters of their corporations are situated outside of the region. Processes of globalization therefore diminish the ability of public administration to regulate processes in the administered territory and this results in higher pressure on the management of municipalities when planning future development of the territory and its sustainability. The distribution of economic activities across city space has been changing and so has their structure. The paper focuses on the economic structure of the Moravian-Silesian region and especially on the migration of economic activities which have also been changing due to the process of de-industrialization.

Every business, whether large or small, goes through certain stages of development during its existence. This is called a life cycle of a company whose phases are according to Srpova et al. (2010) the following: the establishment, growth, stabilization, crisis and extinction. Localization theories deal with migration of existing businesses, but also emerging businesses. In the process of establishing companies, those companies can carry information about the process of selection of a suitable location for their business (Mariott, 2005). The newly established companies, however, have less information value on how and where businesses choose their place in space. Most often the choice of location is related to the location of housing, which is particularly true for small businesses (i.e., entrepreneurs). Choosing a suitable location for business is particularly important for existing businesses that often face the problem of placing a secondary production in another place.

A company that successfully survives the initial phase of its existence enters the growth phase. It has built a more or less solid position in its industry or region and begins to expand its scope (i.e., expand their business), be it territorially, product-wise or volume-wise (Srpova et al., 2010). Site selection becomes a very important factor for survival during the territorial expansion phase. Businesses have to constantly react and adapt to new situations and environmental influences. Migration or relocation may be considered as a form of adaptation. It may be a way to adapt to environmental changes, changes in local labour supply that affect the company's actual production or the organizational structure of the company (Pellenbarg, 2005). Studies on this topic have begun to appear in the post-war period, especially in the 1960s and 1970s. Among the most important studies in this area is the work of McLauhlin and Robock entitled "Why Industry Moves South". In this work, the authors observed the shift of companies from the northern to the southern states of USA. The main reasons for this shift were low salaries and the state of the labour market. During studies of the migration in Europe, it was found that de-concentration processes were occurring in the past. At the present the development is very uneven. First, it was the industry and then the service sector in the 1970s. The changing spatial structure of companies has an impact on the change of cities and their recovery (especially in the past). This change is associated with a spatial pressure resulting in, for example, congestion in cities and eventually the loss of function of employment of the city. The main motives for migration on the labour market, which include the lack of space and poor accessibility (Pellenbarg, 2005), are related to this.

This study can be applied and used in spatial planning since the development and distribution of human activities is crucial for planning and locating new activities. The aim of this work is to find certain patterns in the migratory behaviour of companies, both in terms of time and in terms of space. This can be useful for simulating and predicting the future development of the economy, searching for optimal distribution scenarios of economic activities and employment in the area, the possibility of simulating the impact of policy decisions which would affect national and local level investment activities (e.g. decision-making on construction of industrial zones and targeted support of activities in selected areas). Case studies similar to the undertaken one are resulting in better understanding of the spatial aspects and relationships of economic activities.

This article is organized as follows: the next section provides an overview of data which were used to assess the spatial distribution of economic activities. The third section describes the structure of industry in the Moravian-Silesian region. The fourth section is devoted to the migration of companies within the study area. In the last chapter the results are presented.


According to Tousek, Kunc, Vystoupil et al. (2008) the main problem of industry evaluation is the lack of up-to-date and accurate data, which does not allow more detailed spatial evaluation industry, especially at lower spatial levels. The following data were used for this work: data from the "Albertina data - Corporate Monitor" database, data from the Labour Office from various districts of the region, and data from the Czech Statistical Office (CSO). These data sources complement each other and provide the possibility to process a detailed analysis of the migration and distribution of economic activities in the region.

Albertina - Company Monitor (AFM) is a complex of interrelated and complementary databases on information about companies (AFM, 2009). The company indicates that updating is carried out on the basis of acquisition of information disclosed in Czech registers. Part of the data is continually updated, but especially for smaller companies the data are often not up-to-date. The content is very similar to the Register of Economic Entities.

Each half of the year the labour offices process employment data from the major employers in the district. The collection of the necessary data is realized via questionnaires which are sent out to individual employers. Employers can also send data about the company using a form that is placed on a separate web page of the labour office (Portal MPSV, 2010).

Register of Enumeration Districts and Buildings (REDB) is a hierarchical system of registered objects. It tracks objects' interrelations and changes in content, time and space (REDB ČSÚ, 2009). REDB is a database and geographic model of administrative, technical, settlement and statistical structure of the state. For this work, the essential attributes are the coordinates of the buildings (attributes JTSK_X JTSK_Y). Using the information on the exact address of the building and address of the company, it was possible to localize the companies in space. The data were joined using Microsoft Access.

Structure of the Industry in the Moravian-Silesian Region

The Moravian-Silesian region is situated in the north-eastern part of the Czech Republic. It neighbours Poland in the northeast and Slovakia in the southeast. The city of Ostrava is the administrative, economic and cultural centre of the region. The largest cities in the Moravian-Silesian region are Ostrava, Opava, Frýdek-Místek, Karviná, Nový Jičín and Bruntál. The Moravian-Silesian region became the country’s most important industrial centre during the last century and it still holds this position. The centre of this industrial area is the agglomeration called Ostravsko-Karvinska. The expansion of industrial development of this area is connected to the utilization of the area’s mineral wealth and to the development of rail transportation. Nowadays this industrial area is being restructured with the aim of extending industrial activities and revitalizing all kinds of services. Other important sectors include chemicals and pharmaceuticals, electrical engineering, textiles industries, paper production and food processing.

At the present time, the Moravian-Silesian Region accounts for 12.4 % in the population of the Czech Republic. Considering the age structure, it has the highest number of inhabitants in the Czech Republic and in the region in the productive age, approx. 70—71 %. The rate of economic activity of population in the Moravian-Silesian Region (MSR) has got a decreasing tendency like the whole number of population but also according to the structure by gender.

The Ostrava region is one of the most industrialised parts of the Czech Republic with extensive mining, metallurgy, steel and oil processing and heavy engineering activities. Many foreign investors have already set up their production facilities in the region and take advantage of skilled labour force. The region suffered from heavy pollution in the past but extensive cleanup programs in recent years have improved the environment significantly. Besides the heavy industry, sectors such as pharmaceutical industry, food processing, production of building materials or automotive have been steadily developing. Restructuring in traditional industries has been shifting the region`s industrial base to light manufacturing – automotive, metalworking and electrical engineering. The Business and Innovation Centre and the Science and Technology Park in Ostrava were set up to keep the new industries growing.