Beja: Strategy and Mission
We have to consider the specialisation of the city if we want to provide it with the basic conditions necessary to carry out its urban activities and to establish the link with the territory it polarises, in order to highlight its uniqueness within the national and regional urban network.
This means that we have to rethink functions and services, structured from a broader territorial reference, with the possibility of creating new developing dynamics for the city. According to this point of view, it is particularly important to attract foreign investment as a way to promote the diversification of specialised activities.
Thus, according to this strategic framework, it is possible to move towards a strategic mission for the city of Beja based on three core aspects:
. Beja as a logistic centre;
. Beja as a centre for the promotion of events;
. Beja as a qualified teaching and research centre.
The concept of logistic centre should be based on two different axes: distribution and supply. The distribution logistic centre should promote the establishment of wholesaler enterprises and activities who can profit from the city's centrality as an advantage to create and maintain a network of retailers, with low-cost travel and storage, and the real prospect of establishing closer relations with potential clients.
The supply centre is directly linked to the centrality aspect and the existence of numerous externai economies which enhance the amount of services and goods available, aspects which reinforces its attractiveness. As a consequence, the establishment of shops and service providers becomes rentable due to the demand Beja's centrality encourages. It is not a coincidence that several distribution enterprises have already established themselves in Beja and many others are interested in doing so.
The conclusion of the airport of Beja is already a fact which will prove to be an important development factor linked to the reinforcement of the city as a logistic centre and as a privileged location for activities dependent on the proximity of air transportation.
Since Beja is the chief urban centre within the irrigation territory of the Alqueva Dam (110,000 ha), new opportunities open up for the establishment of the support logistic to ali activities related to farming, agriculture and cattle industry, besides the environmental industries.
For the organisation of events, Beja has gota significant set of infrastructures and facilities for different events. The Exhibition and Fair Park has a total covered area of 17,000 m2, with facilities such as a riding -stable among others. The covered area is made up of three enclosed pavilions with an area of 11,700 m2 for exhibitions and another roofed pavilion (5,300 m2) which can serve as a multi-event venue for sporting events (international equestrian competitions and BTT have taken place there along with other initiatives such as ice-skating, exhibitions of dogs, etc.) or musical performances. It is a large open space composed of two tiered seating for spectators on the sides.
Beja has 2,100 seating places available for conferences scattered in various facilities which can hold from 50 to 670 people. There is an active movement of associations that organises several events along the year. As for sporting facilities, there is one natural grass playing field, two syntethic grass playing fields, a race track, an olympic swimming pool, an indoor pool, that together compose an important sporting compound, located near a four-star hotel, prepared to support and serve as a training centre.
Education and research are already part of Beja and one of its ...externally because many students come from different parts in the country. There are several degrees available, namely related to agriculture, food industry, tourism, management, computing, information technologies, civil construction, nurse's and teacher's training schools.
The Polytechnic Institute of Beja develops various applied research projects and a regional biotechnological research centre (CEBAAL) that is is preparing agreements and protocols with different national and international organisations.
Agriculture and tourism also play a relevant part on our strategic design due to its potential development in the region.
The primary sector presents multiple possibilities to explore the production of quality raw materiais to support economic activities related to agro-industry. Thus, it is important to structure and rethink these new activities, improve the organisation and management of the existing ones in arder to respond to the new challenges posed by the modem farming.
Tourism, which has gained a great visibility in our country, particularly in our region, is becoming an enticing investment and a development factor, due to the city’s proximity to Lisbon and Seville and its centrality within a region with a significant and preserved natural and cultural heritage.
An offer which can profit from the tourist products of its neighbouring coastal regions: the Algarve and Alentejo Litoral. There is still another segment to which we may respond, not yet fully studied and explored: senior tourism, especially for elder people coming from the Northern Europe who look for the fine weather and warm temperatures in the South, particularly during winter.
ln order to achieve these goals it is vital to attract external resources and operators due to the ambitious challenges we are faced with.