09 Nov 2021


Jurjević Ž., Zekić S., Đokić D., Matkovski B. (2021). Regional Spatial Approach to Differences in Rural Economic Development: Insights from Serbia, Land, 10(11), 1211.

Rural regions with a larger share of the primary sector in the overall economy are limited in their ability to achieve a sufficient level of competitiveness. In countries such as Serbia, where rural areas play an important role, addressing the problems affecting these areas is important for overall development. The purpose of this study is to determine the socioeconomic performance of the rural regions of Serbia and the EU in order to indicate the position of Serbia’s rural areas in the process of European integration. NUTS 3 (NUTS 2 for Germany) was used for analysis, and from this an Index of Socioeconomic Performance was created. This Index was created using Factor Analysis. The results point to Serbia lagging behind other EU regions in terms of development, with most of Serbia’s rural regions receiving the lowest ratings. These results are cause for alarm and indicate a need to create strategies that will direct resources towards key issues in these areas, whose potential would be adequately used through the implementation of rural policy measures, with the aim of overall socioeconomic development.

17 Mar 2021


Matkovski B., Zekić S., Jurjević Ž., Đokić D. (2021). The agribusiness sector as a regional export opportunity: evidence of the Vojvodina region. International Journal of Emerging Markets, ahead-of-print

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to determine if the agribusiness sector can be an initiator of export on the emerging markets. For this aim, we analyzed export opportunities for the region of Vojvodina, the region in Serbia with the most potential for agribusiness. Design/methodology/approach: This paper uses the Comparative Advantage Index and the Index of Intra-industrial Integration to determine the region’s level of comparative advantage and the market’s level of integration on the main emerging markets. Findings: The results show that this region has the most competitive advantages in crop production – primarily in cereals and industrial plants – but the situation is not favorable for livestock production. Because of this, comparative advantage should be used as a factor for the growth of competitiveness in the sectors for which crop products are the raw material base. At the same time, agricultural policy measures should encourage more intensive agricultural production, which could create a better foundation for progress in the food industry. Research limitations/implications: Data collected on foreign trade at the level of statistical regions is not always reliable. Also, regional and local characteristics are specific to each country, so the ability to generalize conclusions is limited. Practical implications: This paper provides a useful review of the agri-food sector’s competitiveness and determines which agri-food segments have competitive advantages. It is essential for policymakers to identify what determinants improve or degrade the competitiveness of the region’s agri-food sector. Originality/value: Since there are a limited number of studies analyzing trends of competitiveness for the region’s agri-food sector, the paper will contribute to filling this gap. Furthermore, the framework is conceptually innovative in identifying the determinants that create export opportunities for the region on the international market.

04 Dec 2020


Matkovski B., Radovanov B., Zekić S. (2018). The Effects of Foreign Agri-food trade Liberalization in South East Europe. Economckycasopis. 66(9), 945-966.

Market liberalization in the countries of South East Europe (SEE), which wasa consequence of free trade agreements with the European Union (EU) and thecountries of the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA), led tochanges in foreign trade flows of these countries’ agri-food products. As agri-foodproducts are a significant part of total foreign trade in these countries, the objectiveof this paper is to analyze the liberalization effects established by CEFTAand EU integration. A gravity model for panel data was estimated for the agri–food sector of all SEE countries for the period 2005 – 2015, and databases fromUN Comtrade and the World Bank were used to create an empirical base for thisstudy. The results confirmed the importance of CEFTA integration, which madea significant contribution to imports and exports within this sector in most SEEcountries. Additionally, the results showed that the Stabilization and AssociationAgreement (SAA) with the EU had limited effects on the import and export ofagri-food products in SEE countries.

04 Dec 2020


Matkovski B., Zekić S., Savić M., Radovanov B. (2018). Trade of agri-food products in the EU enlargement process: Evidence from the Southeastern Europe. Agricultural Economics – Zemědělskáekonomika. 64(8), 357-366. DOI: 10.17221/134/2017-AGRICECON

Since the last decade, significant changes have occurred in the trade flows of agri-food products of the Sou­theastern European countries (SEE) due to adjustment to international market. Namely, as all countries of the SEE strive to be full members of the EU; market opportunities have been changing, primarily because of the reduced barriers on trade with the EU, as well as with the regional countries. In order to investigate the effects of the liberalization pro­cess of the agri-food sector of the SEE countries on their export, as well as the total foreign trade, a gravity model based on panel data in the period 2005–2015 has been estimated. According to the results, liberalization of the market in the SEE countries, as a consequence of the EU enlargement process, as well as regional integrations, had positive effects on the total foreign trade of agri-food products. Despite the positive liberalization effects on the agri-food trade, all SEE countries have a lower level of competitiveness than the EU countries, so an organized access to products which possess comparative advantages will be an important condition for the achievement of their particular positions at the international market.

04 Dec 2020


Marcikić Horvat A., Matkovski B., Zekić S., Radovanov B. (2020). The Technical Efficiency of Agriculture in Western Balkan Countries during EU Integration. Agricultural Economics – Zemědělskáekonomika, 66(2), 65-73. DOI: 10.17221/224/2019-AGRICECON

The main goal of this paper is to compare the relative technical efficiency of agriculture in Western Balkan countries to those of the European Union and to propose ways to improve the position of Western Balkan count­ries. The group of Western Balkan countries includes Serbia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Albania, which are candidate countries for European Union membership, as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is currently a po­tential candidate. An input-oriented Data Envelopment Analysis model with the variable return to scale was applied to an 11-year period from 2006 to 2016. Input variables used in the model included labour, land, and capital, and the out­put was presented as the value of agricultural production. The highest average technical efficiency was achieved by the EU15 countries for the entire eleven-year period, while the Western Balkan countries had the lowest score. The source of this inefficiency was identified in

04 Dec 2020


Matkovski B., Kalaš B., Zekić S., Jeremić M. (2019). Agri-food Competitiveness in South East Europe. Outlook on Agriculture. 48(4), 326-335. DOI:10.1177/0030727019854770

The purpose of this article is to determine the level of competitiveness of agri-food products in South East European (SEE)countries within the processes of European Union (EU) and regional integration as well as to find the factors thatdetermine agri-food competitiveness. This article uses the revealed comparative advantages (RCAs) index to find the levelof comparative advantage of agri-food products. Additionally, a model for identifying the determinants of the SEE agri-foodcomparative advantage was constructed and estimated. The results show that all SEE countries (except for Albania) havecomparative advantages in the agri-food sector as part of the global market. Also, the estimation of the model shows thatpartial productivities in agriculture have a positive impact on comparative advantage while gross domestic product (GDP)per capita has a negative impact. This article makes a useful review of competitiveness of agri-food sector in SEE countriesand determines which factors are significant for an RCA index. This is essential for policymakers to identify whatdeterminants improve or degrade competitiveness of the agri-food sector in SEE countries.