The Kharkiv Oblast, one of the territorial social and economic oblast rank systems of Ukraine – lies in the northeastern part of Ukraine. In area (31.400 square kilometres or 5.2 per cent of the territory of Ukraine) it is comparable to such European countries as Belgium and Albania. There are 27 administrative rayons (districts), 381 rural councils, 17 towns, 60 urban settlements, 1,718 rural settlements in the Oblast. The capital is the Kharkiv.
After a proclamation of independence of Ukraine the economical and geographical position of the Oblast has changed – it has become an adjacent-to-a-border territory. Despite the remoteness of the Oblast from the centre of the country, its location directly adjacent to the fuel and power base of Ukraine, industrial Donbas and Naddniprianshchyna (the region along Dnipro River), increases its economic potential and makes up for such ‘marginality’ of its location.
The Kharkiv Oblast retains a convenient transport and geographical position at the crossing of international ways "North-South" and "West-East".
The Kharkiv Oblast constitutes the main part of a historical, cultural, and geographical region Slobidska Ukraine that consisted also of the territories of a number of the today's regions of Ukraine and Russia.
Mass settling of the territory by Ukrainian Cossaks (cavalrymen), peasants, and migrants from Russia began in the seventeenth century. The name of their settlements – sloboda – gave the name to all the territory – Slobozhanshchyna.
In 1765, Slobozhanshchyna was formed up as an administrative-territorial unit – Slobodsko-Ukrainian Province with Kharkiv being its capital.
The geographical position of the territory promoted a rapid growth of its intermediary activities in the trade between regions of East and Central Europe, Prychornomoria (regions near Black Sea), Caucasus, and the centre of Russia. Kharkiv fairs with their worth millions turnovers provided priority position of the territory in this region.
By the beginning of the twentieth century, under conditions of democratic transformations in the Russian Empire, the Kharkiv region became one of the largest economic and cultural centres of Ukraine, a major transport junction, centre of mechanical engineering, iron industry, banking, higher education, and science.
In 1919-34, Kharkiv was the capital of the Ukraine. During this period of time it established itself as the largest industrial, cultural, and scientific centre.
Under new conditions of updating economic, social, and cultural life the Kharkiv Oblast tries to conserve its unique potential, to acquire a new merit of its regional identity while taking account of both historical traditions and global trends in the world.
NATURE, MINERALS, ENVIRONMENT
The Kharkiv Oblast is situated at the border of steppe lands and a forest-steppe zone. Topography: hilly plain. The climate is a temperate continental one. Chernozems (black earths) prevail. There are mostly oak and pine forests in the region.The region's fauna consists of up to 340 species animals.
In order to conserve the national natural property and fauna and flora, there have been established 132 hunting areas, 42 nature sanctuaries, 5 parks-monuments of garden and park art. Of national importance are Chervonokutskyy Dendropark (area, 13.6 hectares), Sharovskyy Park (area, 39.3 hectares), Natalivskyy Park (area, 48 hectares), Botanical Park with the Kharkiv University (area, 41.9 hectares) and other. The nature reserves of 189 reserve objects cover 37,000 hectares.
One of the largest river of Ukraine – the Siverskyy Donets River – flows across the territory of the Oblast (373 kilometres long within the region), Dnieper-Donbas Canal and Siverskyy Donets-Donbas Canal have been built.
The Siverskyy Donets River revives three the largest reservoirs: Pechenizke Reservoir (383,000,000 cubic metres), Krasnopavlivske Reservoir (410,000,000 cubic metres), Chervonooskolske Reservoir (445,000,000 cubic metres).
Natural gas (reserves: 31.1 billion cubic metres), oil (estimated reserves: 8 million MT), lignite and hard coal deposits, cement raw materials. Fuel and power resources are represented by 41 combustible gas reservoirs among which the most notable are Shebelinkske, Krestyshchenske, and Kegychivske gas pools (the half of gas recovery in Ukraine).
Deposit origin building materials (sand, clay, chalk, limestone) predominate in the region. Of a large importance are Novoselivske high-purity glass-melting sand deposit, Yefremivske salt deposit. Brick-tile-loam and clay, including ceramics ones, chalk occur throughout the territory.
Structure of Natural Resources of the Kharkiv Oblast
- land resources – 54.7%;
- recreational – 15.0%;
- mineral – 15.0%;
- water – 11.0%;
- forest and fauna – 4.3%.
The natural-resource potential of the Kharkiv oblast makes up 4.2% of the gross Ukrainian natural-resource potential.
PEOPLE AND SOCIETY
Population: 2,910,000. The largest city, the capital of the oblast – Kharkiv (1,470,000) – is the second-largest city in Ukraine, the seventeenth-largest city in Europe. Other major cities include Lozova (63 000), Kupyansk, Izyum (56 000).
Ukrainians account for 62.8 per cent (1,880,000), Russians account for 33.2 per cent (990,000), other ethnic groups make up 4 per cent (120,000).
Pre-school education: 758 children pre-school establishments.
Secondary and special secondary education: 989 secondary schools, 53 professional-technical educational establishments.
Higher education: 69 state higher educational establishments (HEE), 12 non-state HEEs.
The education system of the region completely satisfies the latter's needs for engineering-technical, teaching, and medical specialists, lawyers and cultural workers; moreover, it trains a significant number of specialists for other regions of Ukraine.
The Kharkiv region is the hub of culture of Slobozhanshchyna. There are 6 state theatres (including 3 academic ones), the Regional Philharmonic Society, the Organ and Chamber Music House, Circus, 33 museums, 800 clubs and palaces of culture, about 1000 libraries (the Korolenko State Scientific Library is of world importance and keeps about 6,500,000 books), recreation parks, the oldest Zoo in Ukraine that has celebrated its centenary. 2,250 monuments of history and culture are under protection of the state.
The cultural traditions of the region have deep historical roots. Such worldwide known figures as Skovoroda, a philosopher, Repin, an artist, Les Kurbas, a producer, Beketov, an architect, Kvitka-Osnovianenko, a writer, lived and worked here.
The Kharkiv region is the place of launching and holding of many national and inter-national competitions including Krainev Competition, Competition in honour of Gorovits, organ and chamber music festivals; 'Pokut' International Folklore Festival.
The main objectives of culture development in the region are to preserve, master, and enrich the Ukrainian national culture as a unique part of the world culture, to overcome the estrangement of an individual from culture, to give the public access to common to all mankind intellectual values and ideals.
Religion and church constitute important components of the democratisation of a society, the growth of its supersubstantiality.
A dynamic development of the network of religious organisations and their confession diversion in accordance with ethnoconfessional and cultural needs of the population are observed in the Kharkiv region.
There are 435 religious organisations of 27 confessions in the Kharkiv Oblast. These include 6 theological administrations, 5 monasteries, 4 missions, 2 fraternities, 2 theolo-gical seminaries, and 418 religious communities. There are 184 Sunday schools with religious organisations. There are 502 clergymen.
Ukrainian Orthodox Church that celebrated the bicentenary of the foundation of the Kharkiv Diocesan Administration in 1999 is the most numerous and predominant church in the region.
After the proclamation of Ukraine as an independent state, 23 churches have been built, the construction of 30 are now under way, 20 churches and temples are being restoring with the support of local authorities.
The public health system consists of 423 medical.
Medicinal Preparation Centre and 12 research institutes (researches in the fields of cryomedicine, nuclear medicine, neurosurgery, microbiology, orthopaedics, traumatology, neurology and psychiatry, pharmacotherapy and general therapy) carry out researches in the field of medicine.
Medical workers are trained at the Kharkiv State Medical University, the Ukrainian Pharmaceutical Academy, the Kharkiv Institute for Advanced Training Physicians, and 8 special secondary educational establishments.
There are developed sporting facilities in the region. These include 57 stadia, 952 gymnasiums, 28 swimming pools.
Football, volleyball, basketball, track and field athletics, swimming, gymnastics are the most popular kinds of sport. Recently, non-traditional and extreme sports – rock-climbing, gliding, automobile and motorcycle sport – have been becoming more and more popular.
Kharkiv sportsmen made their debut at the Helsinki Olympics in 1952. Then a woman gymnast M. Gorokhovska won 1 golden and 5 silver medals. Yu. Poiarkov (volleyball), R. Sharipov (gymnastics), L.Dzhigalova, (track & field athletics), Ya. Klochkova (swimming) were twice Olympic champions; V. Matushevas and Yu.Vengerovskiy (volleyball), À. Barkalov (water polo), I. Tselovalnikov and V. Movchan (cycle track racing), Ye. Kuryshko (canoeing), were Olympic champions. Also, many Kharkiv sportsmen were world and European champions.
The total area of available housing in Oblast accounts for 59,030.5 thou. Square metres. The average provision of an inhabitant with living accomodation is 19.8 square metres of total area.
At the average, the region constructs 300,000 square metres of living accommodation a year (150,000 square metres – individual, construction).
In the Kharkiv Oblast the participation of all subjects of the political process in securing the stability of the political system, civil concord, protection of human rights continues to liven up. There have been registered and function 51 regional organisations of political parties of 105 parties acting in Ukraine.
The Kharkiv Oblast trades union organisation consists of 35 interbranch organisations with 1,12 million members in total number.
All known mass media have been developing in the region: TV and radio broadcasting, newspapers, journals, INTERNET.
A teletransmission infrastructure notable for its influence and dynamism has been formed within the region’s information field. The inhabitants of the Kharkiv Oblast enjoy the possibility to receive four national TV-programs, two programs of the Regional State Broadcasting Company, and seven Russian language programs of commercial broadcasting companies. Satellite television is actively developing.
Regional printed mass media form public opinion and are capable to play an important role in any national measure system. In the region are published 211 prints (25 journals and 186 newspapers) of the total circulation of 1.7 million copies.
In industrial production the Kharkiv Oblast is the fifth-largest oblast in the country. 604 industrial enterprises are concentrated in the region.
The Kharkiv Oblast leads the way in the mechanical engineering industry of Ukraine. There, a powerful tractor-building complex has been formed. The production of power equipment, aircraft construction, machinetool construction, fuel, electronic, chemical, pharmaceutical, food, and light industries are of great importance.
Mechanical engineering and metalwork
The share of the region in the national production account for: tractor and combine engines – 100 per cent; tractors – 40 per cent; steam turbines – 100 per cent, antifriction bearings – 55 per cent, CNC machine tools and large electric machines – 50 per cent.
Fuel and power industry
The fuel and power complex of the Kharkiv Oblast is a unique one in Ukraine as regards the production of power carriers (gas and gas condensate) and self-sufficiency in electricity thanks to own generating.
The region is self-sufficient in bakery foods and paste, meat products, and full-cream milk products. There is a significant export potential as regards confectionery, canned milk, strong drinks, oil and fat products, sugar sand.
The Ukraine's largest enterprises producing cement, slates, tiles, cellular concrete blocks, wall materials, plastic joineries, bricks, constructional steelwork operate in the region.
This sector has unique research and production facilities, which allow manufacturing products competitive in the world markets. Over fifty per cent of the medicinal preparation production in Ukraine is accounted for the Kharkiv Oblast.
The region is specialised in the production of consumer goods (plastic articles, household chemistry goods, enamels, and paints) and raw materials for heavy industry needs (coke, spare parts to oil drilling equipment, liquefied and gaseous nitrogen, oxygen and argon).
Light industry enterprises of the region produce garments, textiles, fur and leather goods, carpets, leather haberdashery, footwear. As a whole, this sector produces some 9,000 kinds of consumer goods (the first-largest oblast in Ukraine in the volume of production).
There are 11,700 small businesses in the. 9 business centres, 3 business incubators, 3 business support foundations provide their assistance to beginners.
The main lines of activities are as follows: production activities, trading activity and agency business, construction, scientific support and maintenance, service business.
Usable area, 2,400,000 hectares. Arable land area, 1,900,000 hectares. The Kharkiv Oblast is notable among other oblasts of Ukraine for a high level of the production of grain, sugar beet, sunflowers seeds, vegetables and potatoes, and for beef and dairy animal husbandry. The Kharkiv Oblast is self-sufficient in main farm products.
As regards scientific and scientific-and-technological organisations, the Kharkiv Oblast is the second-largest one after Kyiv and the largest region in Ukraine. There 56 per cent of R&D facilities of Ukraine are concentrated.
36,000 specialists of 14 academic institutes, 79 highest accreditation educational establishments, and two hundred branch institutes are engaged with R&D. These include 30 Full Members and Corresponding Members of the National Academy of Sciences, 228 ones of branch academies of sciences, 1,496 Doctors of Sciences, 9,000 Doctors of Philosophy.
The Kharkiv Oblast has a rich scientific heritage and is the motherland of world-wide known scientific schools founded by well-known scientists such as physicists L. Landau, K. Sinelnykov, B. Lazarew, B. Verkin, A. Ioffe, À. Valter, astronomer Ì. Barabashov, mathematicians I. Akhiezer, Ì. Ostrogradsky, chemists Ì. Beketov, Î. Palladyn, biologists I. Mechnikov and V. Yuriev and others.
It was the Kharkiv region where, for the first time in Europe, atom was split, the most powerful radio telescope in the world was created, elementary particle accelerators were developed and newest radiation and space technologies, unique radar sounding and monocrystal growing plants were proposed.
Kharkiv specialised science has been recognised both in the state and abroad thanks to the development of the most powerful steam and hydraulic turbines, electric generators and electric machines, aircraft and space devices, to the production of engines and state-of-the-art military machinery.
The medical science is represented by such important for human life branches as cryomedicine, nuclear medicine, neurosurgery, microbiology, orthopaedics, traumatology, neurology and psychiatry, pharmacotherapy and general therapy.
Up to 56 per cent (by their total value in the state) of fixed assets for research and technological activities, in particular, 15 per cent of machines and equipment for scientific experiments are concentrated in Oblast. Thanks to this, up to 10 per cent of the total R&D work volume of Ukraine are performed in our region.
PRIORITY LINES OF DEVELOPMENT OF THE REGION
The main priority line of the development of the Kharkiv region is the implementation of a proper social-oriented policy, creating necessary legal, social, cultural, and economic conditions for life and activity, environmental safety, satisfaction of material and cultural needs of the public.
For the purposes of development of the region the following main problems are to be solved: - structural readjustment of the economy of industrial areas and centres characterised by heavy industry concentration;
- encouraging the development of export-oriented and import-substitution technologies;
- intensification of agriculture;
- substantial environmental recovery of industrial areas;
- more complete management of renewable resources;
- formation of a rational settling apart system;
- conservation and revitalisation of the cultural individuality of the region's inhabitants, protection of monuments of history and culture, establishment of new wildlife reserves;
- development of the regional and interregional infra-structure (transportation, communication, informatics);
- provision of a rational management of nature system.
The banking system of the Kharkiv Oblast is a reliable partner of enterprises and organisations. Today, 12 self-supporting commercial banks – legal persons – operate in its territory. As a whole, there are 87 banking institutions including 6 regional administrations and directorates of national banks.
All banks has switched over to the international accounting standards that have made it possible for them to be integrated in the world's banking system.
A developed banking system would constitute for the Oblast a system for capital concentration for the purposes of investing in priority projects, of solving regional problems of the economic growth of the region.
A stock market infrastructure is actively developing in Oblast. In particular, a branch of Ukrainian Stock Exchange, 75 institutional traders in securities, 34 investment companies and foundations are active.
As a whole, there has been formed the market infrastructure capable of securing the development of business. 12 exchanges, 20 insurance companies, 7 credit unions, 3 business incubators, 9 business centres, over 200 auditing companies are active in the region.
Consulting firms and agencies are actively being established, which are capable not only to skilfully prepare business plans but also to serve as intermediaries between the sources of investment resources and originators of investment projects, to provide an efficient support and monitoring of these projects.
The construction complex of the Oblast is capable of performing any architectural and construction projects using state-of-the-art technologies both by order from investors and in accordance with own planning/designing documentation that are prepared by Technical University of Construction and Architecture and Municipal Economy Academy. 400 construction organisations are active in the Oblast; over 60 enterprises in construction and building material industry produce cement, asbestos-cement products, reinforced concrete and concrete products, construction ceramics, etc.
In provision of the public with home telephones the Kharkiv Oblast is one of the leading oblasts of Ukraine. The network of electric communication, mobile communication is rather widely developed; there are developed the services in package commutation data transfer using X.25 and Frame Relay technologies, searching radio call (paging and trunking communication); Internet network is rapidly developing.
The Kharkiv Oblast retains a convenient transport and geographical position at the crossing of international ways ‘North-South’ and ‘West-East’.
The largest national highways – Kyiv – Kharkiv – Rostov and Moscow – Simferopol cross the territory of Oblast.
Kharkiv is the junction of rail links in the Eastern Ukraine, which services six adjacent oblasts.
In 1995, Kharkiv Airport received the international status. There are 3 lines of the subway with 26 stations.
Hotel and Customer Sevices
A wide network of hotels and public catering enterprises is available in Kharkiv. Kharkiv, Kyivska, Mir and other hotels provide their services of European standards to guests of the city.
Numerous laundries, dry cleaners, and other consumer service establishments both at hotel and all round the city propose their services.
In addition to numerous store that sell goods of domestic and foreign producers, there is a number of stores that offer goods of leading foreign companies.
All these make it possible to hope that businessmen who are going to connect their business with the Kharkiv Region would feel themselves comfortably when staying in our city.
In terms of provision and general economic potential Ukrainian oblasts differ a lot from each other.
In this regard, according to investment attractivity (developed in the Kiev Reform Institute) the Kharkiv oblast joins the group of so-called leaders and takes the 6-th place among the most attractive oblasts in terms of investment.
Foreign economic relations and foreign investments
The main goods that are exported abroad are as follows:
- machines and equipment;
- air- and spacecraft;
- electric machines;
- products of pharmaceutical and chemical industries; and
- food products, consumer products.
The main imports are as follows:
- mineral fuel; and
- machines and equipment.
Special Regime of Investment Activities
Act of Ukraine “On Special Regime of Investment Activities in the Territory of the City of Kharkiv” is aimed to create a favourable climate for both domestic and foreign investors. This Act came into force from January 01, 2000, and creates attractive conditions for investments in the development of priority economic activities.
Benefits and privileges as provided by Special Regime of Investment Activities cover Projects the amount of investments whereof is over US$ 3,000,000 for production of machines and equipment, metal-working; over US$ 1,000,000 for production of electric power, gas and water, transportation, communication, processing of scrap metal and metal waste; over US$700,000 for civil engineering, waste treatment, chemical production, furniture production, pulp-and-paper and printing industries; over US$500,000 for food industry and processing farming products, light industry.
Benefits and privileges provided for are as follows:
- exemption for 5 years from import duty and import VAT of raw materials, supplies, equipment and constituent parts thereto that are connected with the realisation of Investment Projects pursuant to agreements (contracts) entered into with the Council;
- exemption from 100 per cent of taxation for 3 years and from 50 per cent of tax on profit for further 3 years (in the part of profit earned from the use of investments);
- exclusion of the amount of investments attracted from the gross income;
- exemption for 5 years from payment for land during the period of developing the latter.
Institute for Single Crystals, Scientific and Technological Concern
The implementation of an innovation state policy requires for a new technological, sectoral, and structural organisation of the national economy in accordance with the up-to-date global post-industrial standards.
Just for this purpose, Institute for Single Crystals, Scientific and Technological Concern, has been established in The Kharkiv Oblast for the manufacture of high-tech products for both the needs of domestic market and increase of the export potential of Ukraine, for ensuring the complete cycle “Research – Development – Introduction – Industrial Output”.
The priority lines of the development of this concern are as follows: the development of technologies and mastering the production of a wide range of products in the field of material science, in particular, the production of materials, articles therefrom, apparatuses and equipment for medicine, mechanical and instrument engineering, electronics, chemical industries, power engineering, agroindustrial complex, information technologies, biotechnologies, etc.; training of scientists and specialists to be ready for R&D commercialisation; creation new technological SMEs.
The concern enjoys a special regime of activities secured by appropriate legislative acts of the state this making it especially attractive for both domestic and foreign investors.
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