The bearings of the East region cover the basin of Bregalnica River, i.e. 14% from the territory of the Republic of Macedonia with area of 3539 square meters.
The region is comprised of 11 municipalities (Berovo, Vinica, Delchevo, Zrnovci, Karbinci, Kochani, Makedonska Kamenica, Pehchevo, Probishtip, Cheshinovo-Obleshevo and Shtip), urbanization vise divided in total of 217 populated areas in the whole region, 209 of which are rural settlements.
This region borders with Bulgaria on the east side, and the communication with the neighboring country is established through the border crossing called Delchevo in the municipality of Delchevo. There is possibility to open the border also through Klepalo, Ajduchka cheshma and Crna skala.
The region has almost four times less population growth in comparison with growth in the country.
The total number of population in the region is 181,858 inhabitants. Density of population is 51 resident/km2. However, due to permanent process of depopulation and large number of displaced villages, village sizes reach population of 100 inhabitants and they have very high index of aging. As a result, 66% of the population inhabits urban areas.
Temperate climate in the region enables development of agriculture, especially production of rice. Rice fields in the East region cover around 95% from the total rice production in Republic of Macedonia. Arable lands and gardens as part of cultivable lands participate with 84%. Agriculture land spreads on 165,639 ha. i.e. 14% from total agriculture land in the country, and 88,075 ha i.e. 53.1 % are pastures.
One of the most important natural resources in the region is mineral and thermal water springs in Vinica (Istibanja) and Shtip (Kezovica).
Besides the springs, other important water resource is Bregalnica River. It has two dams with accumulations: “Kalimanci” and “Kochani lake”. East region does not have other bigger water resources, so in the future water supply and irrigation have to considered and additional accumulations should be constructed on Bregalnica River, as well as other rivers (for example Zletovica).
Total forest area in the region is 135,378 ha i.e. 13% from total forest in the Republic of Macedonia, covering 38% from total territory in the region.
East region also has the raw materials and other resources available. As most economically important we can mention Lead and Zink ore from Zletovo mine, Dobrevo and Makedonska Kamenica as well. Annual production of ore from these mines is 1,000,000 tones.
From nonmetallic ore, most presence is marked by asbestos, kaolin clays, opal breccias and coal lignite deposit “Brik” in Berovo with annual production 100,000 tones.
Main agricultural branch in the East planning region is rise growing. Except rise, large amount of arable land is covered with barley, wheat and maize, which is solid base for livestock breeding. Due to excellent natural pre-conditions for development of agriculture, it can be concluded that this branch has high potential to enhance economic development of this region. Other developed branches include early-garden products, fruits and grapes.
The tobacco is dominant industrial plant. The East planning region is also the biggest potato producer in our country.
Great development and export potential is located in livestock breeding, especially sheep and goat breeding. There is great potential for diary and meat industry development, since 40% from pork production and processing in Republic of Macedonia comes from the region.
University “Goce Delchev”-Shtip, was established by the Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia on 27 of March 2007. University constitutes from 13 faculties:
- Faculty of Law – Kochani
- Faculty of Economy – Shtip
- Faculty of Agriculture – Shtip
- Faculty of Informatics – Shtip
- Faculty of Pedagogy – Shtip
- Faculty of natural and technical science – Shtip
- Faculty of Music arts – Shtip
- Faculty of Medical science – Shtip
- Faculty of Electro-Techniques – Shtip
- Faculty of Philology – Shtip
- Faculty of tourism and business logistic – Shtip
- Faculty of Technological - technical – Shtip
- Faculty of Mechanical engineering - Shtip
The road network in the region has average level of quality, also the situation of the highways and regional roads is marked like unsatisfactory.
The local road network is in bad condition due to low investments and lack of finance.
The importance of small and medium enterprises in the production processes and creating new employment is great. Covering increasing part of the market small and medium enterprises tend to overtake the primate from the biggest producers, especially in nonfinancial sector, where they dominate with 72 % in the East region.
Industry, concerning employment participates with 67 %.
Well known archeological sites in the East planning region are: Kale of Vinica and Bargala.
Natural heritage is especially rich and opens the possibility to develop rural tourism.
As an argument for the existence of natural heritage and possibilities it offers, there are few natural protected areas: Goten, Linak, Malesh, river of Zrnovci, river of Ulomija, also some natural monuments: Zvegor, Cave Konjska Dupka, Morodvis, Machevo, Crna topola and big number of villages.