Area: 20.600 sq. km.
Population: 1 million 431 thousand people.
With its area of 3.4% of the territory of Ukraine, Khmelnitsky oblast is one of the small oblasts. The oblast stretches for 220 km from north to south and for 120 km from west to east (calculations were made according to parallel and meridian of the center of the oblast).
The oblast is located in the southwest of the East European plain in the forest-steppe and mixed-forest zones (Polissya). The territory’s relief, soil and climate are favorable for economy and agriculture.
The Khmelnytsky oblast borders on Ternopil, Rivne, Zhytomyr, Vinnytsya, and Chernyvtsi oblasts. The most important railways and highways cross the oblast.
According to its administrative-territorial system the oblast is divided into 20 districts, 13 towns, including 5 regional subordination towns (Khmelnytsky, Kamyanets-Podilsky, Shepetivka, Slavuta and Netishyn), 24 urban villages, and 1.417 villages. The largest towns of the oblast are Khmelnytsky, which is the oblast’s center and Kamyanets-Podilsky. Other towns are quantitatively small.
The Khmelnytsky oblast is on the 12th place among the oblasts of Ukraine according to the quantity of population. On January 1, 2000 there were 730 thousand of urban population or 51%, 701 thousand of rural population or 49% of the total population.
There are a lot of historical, cultural and architectural sights in the oblast, which contributes a lot to the effective development of tourism. It is possible to establish and develop tourist routes on the places of historical interest.
The oblast is rich in mineral resources. 260 deposits of mineral resources had been searched and explored. 100 of them have been exploited. The majority of them are of local importance (brick clays, sands, limestone for lime production, limestone and granites for the production of crushed stone and rubble).
Limestone and clays for the manufacture of cement, limestone for the sugar industry, kaolin for the porcelain-faience industry and production of refractors, gypsum and flint represent state-importance mineral resources. New mineral resource types – graphite, saponite, glauconite, phosphorites, and facing granites – have also been prospected.
One of the most promising directions of the oblasts mineral recourse base development is the commercial exploration of graphite from the deposits found in the northeast of the oblast.
The Burtyn graphite deposit is located in Polonsky and Shepetivsky districts. Ores of the deposit are easily concentrated. The yield of graphite concentrate is 95% and the ash content is low (2.5 to 11%). All kinds and grades of graphite can be produced from ore.
Reserves and inferred resources of graphite ores of the deposit are up to 350.000.000 tons.
Twenty-one graphite deposits with resources of 230-250.000.000 cubic meters have been explored in the oblast. They fully meet the oblast’s demand for building raw materials for 100-120 years.
The geological exploration in the northern and central parts of the oblast have revealed a number of promising deposits of red and dark-grey granite, diorite, and labradorite with high decorative properties.
The Khmelnytsky oblast is the only one region in Ukraine and in the former Soviet Union where the deposits of saponite clays have been explored. These are the unique natural formations that constitute a province of betonite raw materials with specific properties.
The supplies of saponite deposits in the oblast constitute over 100 million tons. The width of the productive bed is 10-40 meters, and of the overlying rock – 5-20 meters. The most explored are Varvarivske and Tashkivske saponite clay deposits with resources exceeding 60 million tons.
Adamivske and Karachiyivske complex deposits of glauconite sands with resources of about 30 million tons have been explored in the south of the oblast in Vinkovetsky district. High agrotechnical efficiency of the use of glauconite as a cheap chlorine-free potash-phosphate fertilizer in agriculture ascertained.
The Khmelnytsky oblast has phosphoric deposits, raw material for manufacture of mineral fertilizers. Nowadays, Dzhurdzhyiyvske, Maydanske, and Haidamatske deposits and some beds of concretionary phosphorites, phosphorous anhydride reserves, according to latest calculations, exceed 190 thousand tons and have not been developed yet.
Some prospects are associated with the new explored ore type – granular phosphorites. Their inferred resources amount to about 120 million tons.
The oblast possesses the large resources of medicinal and table water. There have been explored and developed Zbruchanske, Zaychykivske, and Makivske springs of “Naftusya” – type mineral water; Teofipolske of a “Myrgorodska” – type mineral water, Polonske of a radon’s mineral water. All of them have been certified.
The detailed prospecting and approval of resources have been carried out in two springs: Zbruchanske – 258 cubic meters per day and Zaychykivske – 288 cubic meters per day. Recent studies have shown that “Naftusya” – type mineral water springs stretch for 1.100 km alongside the river Zbruch and their total inferred reserves amount to 190 thousand cubic meters per day.
The Khmelnytsky oblast is situated at the frontier of large historical-geographic territories: Right-Bank Ukraine to which it belongs and Western Ukraine. In a narrow sense the oblast’s territory belongs to Volyn (northern part, approximately to the river Slutch) and Podillya (middle and southern parts). In the past Volyn and Podillya belonged to the same or different states. Southern and western boundaries of the present day oblast had been the state frontiers for the long time.
In pre-war years Khmelnytsky oblast became the inland oblast of the country. A narrow strip of the Chernivtsi oblast at the south separates it from Moldova (10 km on a straight line) and Romania (24 km), the border of Poland shifted much further (165-240 km).
The oblast exists in present boundaries since September 22, 1937, when the Kamyanets-Podilsky oblast was formed by the resolution of the All-Union Central Executive Committee of the USSR. In May 1941 the regional center was transferred to the town of Proskurov, and in January 1954 the oblast with its center were given a new name of Khmelnytsky.
A particular place in the historical chronicle of Podillya is held by the ancient Kamyanets-Podilsky, one of the oldest historic towns of Ukraine. Owing to a unique combination of the historical, architectural inheritance and the landscape of the river Smotrytch canyon the ancient Rus and medieval parts the town has been declared the state historical-architectural memorial. Architectural memorials of 15th-19th centuries include about 200 buildings and constructions. Formidable defense fortifications of the Old Town, the fortress and its bridge, a combination of cult buildings of various religions produce an inimitable impression.
Considering the rich historical-architectural inheritance of the Old Town the National Commission of Ukraine for matters of UNESCO in May 1994 recommended to nominate it as a candidate for the register of the world’s cultural inheritance.
In the village of Medzhybizh there is the grave of Baal-Shem Tova, the founder of the one of the major trends of Judaic faith, the Khasidism, which is a Mecca for religious pilgrims, khasids.
Also of great interest are other architectural and antique monuments of the oblast, as well as natural exotics: fortresses in the towns of Letychiv and Khotyn, karsts grotto “Atlantide”, health resort “Sataniv”, located in the picturesque place of ancient Medobory hills, “Blue Lakes” in the woods near the town of Slavuta, the “Holy Lake” associated with the ancient legend, in the woods near the town of Izyaslav, canyons of the Dnister river that flows in the south of the oblast, and “Podilsky Tovtry” – the largest national natural park in Ukraine and Europe.
Mechanical engineering and metal processing hold an important place among the brunches of industry. 44.2% of the total number of industrial workers is occupied in this branch. The enterprises of this branch produce workbenches, machine tools, forging and pressing machines, transformers, farm machinery for plant growing, equipment for processing sectors of the agro-industrial complex, cables, electrical engineering products. The largest enterprises of the oblast include public joint-stock companies (PJSC) “Ukrelectroaparat”, “Kation”, “Advis”, “Prigma-pres”, “Termoplastavtomat”, State Enterprise “Novator”, Kamyanets-Podilsky PJSC “Motor”, “Electroprylad” and cable works, PJSC “Shepetivsky cultivator works”, Volochysky PJSC “Nominal”, machine-tool building PJSC “Hover” in Horodok and others.
In the previous year oblast’s enterprises started commercial production of new kinds of goods. Among them are forage combine harvester Maral-125 “Podillya”(“Advis”), container and packing manufacturing machinery (“Termoplastavtomat”), space heating boilers (“Temp”), rifle butts and fore stock (“Neva”), new types of hard-alloy disk saws (Kamyanets-Podilsky wood-cutting tool works “Motor”), new series electrolytic capacitors (“Kation”), combined cultivating unit “Podillya” (“Shepetivsky cultivator works”), range of new transformers (“Ukrelectroaparat”), radio stations for diesel and electric locomotives (“Novator”), electric vacuum cleaners (Shepetivsky works “Pulsar”) as well as gas, water, and heat flow meters and other products.
The leading place is held by the food industry, whose output makes 35.4% of the total oblast’s production. It includes such sectors as sugar, bakery, confectionary, macaroni, canned-vegetable, meat and dairy, distillery, brewing, flour-grinding/cereal, tobacco, etc., which employs 22,4%of industrial workers of the oblast.
The Khmelnytsky oblast is one of the most important Ukrainian sugar-making oblasts, 16 sugar factories function here. The largest of them are in Khmelnytsky, Shepetivka, Kamyanets-Podilsky, Teofipol, Horodok, and Derazhnya.
The light industry of the oblast develops on the base of processing of local raw materials (leather) and the ones brought from the outside (wool, cotton, textile). It includes such sectors as garment, textile, footwear, knitwear, and haberdashery. The largest enterprises are PJSC “Vzutex”, PJSC “Leather Haberdashery”, closed joint-stock company “Khmelnytsklehprom”, Dunaivtsy cloth factory, and garment factory in Volochysk.
The forest and woodwork industry produces furniture, containers, building materials, paper and board. The largest factories are in Khmelnytsky, Izyaslav, and Letychiv. Products of joint-stock companies “Slavutsko-Polyanska Paper factory” and “Poninkivsky Board and Paper works” have a great demand.
Power industry is of great importance for the development of the oblast’s economy. The Khmelnytsky Power Nuclear Plant in Netishyn is connected with the power grids of Ukraine and Central European Countries. The share of the power industry in the total output constitutes 34.2%.
Ther are also enterprises that manufacture domestic-chemistry goods (“Lotos” in Slavuta), musical instruments (“Oktava” in Iziaslav), tableware, medical instruments, and recreational and other consumer goods.
The Khmelnytsky oblast contains about 4% of all farmlands in Ukraine. The 1st place among agricultural sectors is held by the plant growing, which gives 56% of the total agricultural output.
Cereal crops occupy the largest sown areas among them is winter wheat. Barley, peas, oats, buckwheat are also cultivated.
The Khmelnytsky oblast is one of the most important sugar-beat growing producers.
An important sector of plant growing is potato growing.
Essential oil-bearing plants are cultivated in Letychivsky, Derazhniansky, and Khmelnytsky districts, and chicory – in Slavutsky and Starokostiantynivsky districts.
Natural conditions are favorable for development of vegetable growing, but sown lands for vegetable growing are small so far. Over 40% of sown lands are occupied by forage crops (perennial grasses, corn for silage, peas, vetch, fodder beets, alfalfa, turnips).
Podillya is a land of gardening. Main fruit crops include apple, pear, apricot, cherry, merry, and walnuts. The animal farming in the oblast is based on a field fodder production, natural pastures, food industry wastes, and manufacture of combined fodder. The most important sectors are beef and dairy cattle farming and pig breeding. Poultry, sheep, and rabbit breeding, apiculture and fish farming are developed as well.
The program of animal farming intensification was worked out in the oblast. The base of it is the establishment of specialized arrays of breeding stock, competitive dairy and beef cattle, increase in the share of hybrid and crossbred young pigs. A network of breeding centers and farms is functioning. It is planned to change the structure of the main herd towards increase of the number of beef cows in the Polissya zone and to compensate the reduction of dairy cattle by raising their productivity.
TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS
The Khmelnytsky oblast has a well-developed transportation network. Its location at transport routs that connect main industrial oblasts of Ukraine (metropolitan, Kharkiv, Dniproside, Donbas), Russia and the Black Sea ports with western Ukraine and countries of Central and East Europe is very important.A railway and a number of motor roads leading to Belorus, Baltic countries, Molodova and South-East Europe cross the oblast from north to south.
The main means of freight and passenger transportation within the oblast and to other oblasts is the railway. The oblast is situated in the functioning zone of the southwest railway and has 40 railway stations. The largest junctions are Shepetivka and Hrechany (near Khmelnitsky).
The oblast center has a convenient railway communication with European capitals – Moscow, Prague, Bratislave, Warsaw, Budapest, and Belgrade.
In future the transport communication will improve – it is planned to build a high-speed motorway “West Europe-Kiev” that will pass through the oblast.
Khmelnitsky has an airport with concrete runway of 2,200 meters long, wich meets the requirements of an international airport.
Gas pipelines crossing the oblast represent the pipeline transportation: “Soyiuz” (Orenburg – western border of Ukraine), Urengoi-Uzhgorod, and Dashava-Kyiv.
Telecommunications in the oblast are developing. The Kyiv-West fiber-optical cable has been laid across the oblast, “Utel” international communication system expands the zone of its functioning and the mobile phone communication network is developing.
FOREIGN ECONOMIC RELATIONS
Forming of the market relations period in the oblast is marked by intensification of foreign economic activity. During the last years the amounts of export and import have grown. The oblast’s trade balance is positive. The Khmelnytsky oblast has established partner relations with 84 countries and this list is expanding. Considerable turnovers have former with the Russian Federation, Germany, and Belarus.
Over 1/3 of export is the alive animals and animal husbandry products. Machinery and equipment, food industry products, paper products, and building materials are also exported.
Main terms of import are transport facilities and spare parts, electrical equipment, TV and radio devices, mineral products, plastics and rubber.
The advantageous transport-geographical location together with considerable manpower resources under market reformation conditions of the Ukrainian economy create a potential for attraction of foreign investments. The amount of foreign investments in the oblast is constantly growing. Representatives of 27 countries became the partners of the Khmelnytsky oblast. The largest amounts of foreign investments come from Germany, Cyprus, Belarus, and the USA. Joint ventures with the Great Britain, Hungary, Czech Republic and the Bahamas have been started. 15 sectors of the oblast’s economy have attracted interest. Machine building, metalworking, domestic trade, food industry and agriculture have received the considerable share of investments.
The major part of foreign investments has been obtained by the collective ownership enterprises, the rest – by the private and state-owned ones. The goal of investment attraction is to create new jobs, expansion of production, and saturation of the market with goods and services.
The oblasts economy requires long-term relations with strategic investor. Numerous enterprises of various forms of ownership are interested in obtaining direct investments and look for cooperation in order to obtain advanced technologies and management experience.
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