Zakarpattya is a picturesque place of Ukraine, which has a unique geographical location. Zakarpattya is situated in the outmost West of Ukraine, in the South-West corner of the Ukrainian Carpathians and the Prydunays’ka lowland.
It borders in the North-East and South-East with L’viv and Ivano-Frankivs’k oblast’s, in the North, West and South with Poland (the length of the border is 33.4 km), Slovakia (98.5 km), Hungary (130 km), and Romania (205.4 km). Because of its geographical peculiarity, Zakarpattya has long provided many convenient ways of communication between the countries of Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Europe.
By its area and population on the scale of Ukraine, the region is not too large. Its territory is 12.800 sq. km, its population is 1 258 000. It makes about 2 % of the general territory and population of the country.
Zakarpattya is divided into 13 administrative rayons, it has 10 towns, of them 4 are in the oblast subordination (Uzhgorod, Beregovo, Makachevo, Khust), 20 urban settlements, 579 villages.
No other oblast of Ukraine has such national diversity as does Zakarpattya: it is inhabited by representatives of 80 nationalities.
The climate of the oblast is soft, moderate continental.
Almost 80% of the territory are taken by the Carpathians, the rest – by the Prytysyans’ka lowland. The highest peak of the Ukrainian Carpathians and all of Ukraine – the mountain Goverla (2061 m above the sea level) is situated on the border of Zakarpats'ka and Ivano-Frankivska regions of Ukraine.
The nature of the surroundings is diverse and picturesque: the lowland is taken by fields, meadows, gardens, vineyards; the gently sloping Carpathians are covered with forests, mostly beech wood. The unique natural ecosystem of the Carpathian biosphere preserve belongs to the most valuable ecosystems of the Earth and is included into the international system of biosphere preserves UNESCO.
The most precious treasure of the oblast is its forest, which takes more than a half of its territory. In the natural composition of the Zakarpattya forest leaf trees (62.2%) and conifers prevail (29.9%).
The oblast is full of all kinds of minerals, including the ones, typical only for the Zakarpattya geological province. There are almost 150 sources of raw and mineral materials and more than 30 kinds of minerals.
The oblast possesses high recreational and resort potential. 360 sources of mineral and thermic waters have been discovered and investigated. These waters do not yield to the famous waters of Caucasus, Czech Republic, France; their chemical composition and healing capacity are often referred to in the archival documents of the middle of the 15th century.
The mineral waters of the oblast have great gustatory qualities and are widely used as medicinal drinking water in sanatoria and health resorts. Zakarpattya is famous as one of the most popular places for medical treatment and recovery.
On the territory of the area there are 9429 streams and rivers, 137 natural lakes. Almost one quarter of the hydro-energetic potential of Ukraine is concentrated on the rivers, which gives numerous possibilities for the development of small hydro-energetic enterprises.
Zakarpattya is an active member of the Carpathian Euroregion – the inter-regional association of frontier lands of Ukraine, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania. In the oblast there is a well-developed frontier infrastructure: 17 check-points, of which 17 are railway check-points, 6 are international car check-points, 1 is an international air check-point and 3 are points of simplified entrance.
HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL HERITAGE OF ZAKARPATTYA
The territory of Zakarpattya has been inhabited since the ancient times. The first record of people living there belongs to the epoch of early Paleolith (around 500 thousand years BC).
Among archeological landmarks of the first half of the first millenium AD the most famous are the Carpathian burial mounds. Scientists have determined that the mounds were left by the ancestors of the Slavonic tribe of White Croats.
Zakarpattya is a land of a complicated historic past. In the 9th and 10th centuries, the territory of Zakarpattya was a part of Kyivan Rus. Between the 11th and 13th centuries and up to the 20th century it was a part of Hungary and Austro-Hungarian Empire. In 1918-1919 the oblast constituted a part of Hungary, in 1919-1939 under the name “Sub-Carpathian Rus” it was a part of Czech Republic, and in 1939-1944 it was included into Hungary again.
The liberation of Zakarpattya in October 1944 and its reunification with the Soviet Ukraine became a new page in the history of this land. From August of 1991 Zakarpattya oblast is an inseparable part of the independent Ukraine.
In total, in the oblast there are 1817 historical, cultural and art landmarks, of which 496 are archaeological ones, 1273 are historical ones and 48 are artistic ones.
THE MODERN STATE OF INVESTMENT COLLABORATION
The analysis of the economy conditions in the oblast during the last several years leads to the conclusion that one of the realizable ways of its reanimation and the development of productive forces of the region is the attraction of investments.
The improvement of investment climate in our area has been reached thanks to the passing of the Law of Ukraine “About the Special Regulations of Investments Activity in Zakarpattya oblast” and the Law of Ukraine “About the Creation of Special Economic Zone of Zakarpattya”.
The special regulations of the investment activity presupposes the establishment of tax and customs privileges for the participants of business activity, who have signed an agreement concerning the realization of the investment project with local administrative authorities.
The priorities for investments will remain timber industry complex, light industry, electric power industry, agrarian and recreational complexes, other branches closely connected with the ecessities of life of the population.
The special economic zone “Transcarpathia” was performed to work out the program of the further development of the region on the basis of new market economic relations, to find new technologies, to attract investment, to promote the development of external economic links, to increase the production of high quality goods and services, to develop modern industrial, transport and market infrastructure and provide new working places.
Advantages provided by "special" laws made the investment activity of our region more efficient. The result of which can be observed in the dynamic increase of investments from $11,9 mln. in 1999 to $30,1 mln. in 2002.
Nowadays 405 enterprises with foreign direct investments are working in our region. Transcarpathia is at the 11th place among the regions of Ukraine according to the volume of attracted investments and at 6th place according to the volume of investments per capita ($ 113). Among the Ukrainian regions which are members of Carpathian Euroregion, Transcarpathian region leads in the volume of attracted investments per capita.
Most part of foreign direct investments was provided by following countries:
▪ USA – 17,6 %
▪ Hungary – 15,5%
▪ Austria – 15,5%
▪ Germany – 11,5%
▪ Slovakia – 6,4%
FOREIGN ECONOMIC ACTIVITY
Transcarpathian enterprises were working with partners from 73 foreign countries. 442 businesses were selling goods and services abroad and 387 were importing goods and services.
The main export positions are:
▪ textile and textile goods – 24,3% of total export
▪ mechanical and electrotechnical equipment – 23,7%
▪ wood and wood products – 19,8%
▪ toys and sports kit – 6,6%
▪ furniture – 6,2%
▪ equipment – 5,8%
Structure of import:
▪ mechanical and electrotechnical equipment – 35,8% of total import
▪ textile materials – 20,3%
▪ transport – 14,1%
▪ plastic and caoutchouc – 7,4%
▪ chemical industry production – 4,1%
TOURISM AND RECREATION
Our land possesses rich natural and recreational resources. Today Zakarpattya is considered one of the ecologically cleanest parts of the country.
The picturesque nature of the area, favorable climatic conditions for recreation and mountain skiing in winter, mineral springs and sources with medicinal qualities – all these create possibilities for transformation of the recreation branch into the leading one in this region.
The network of health resorts and tourist recreational centers now counts 113 items, among them are 17 health centers, 19 sanatoria, 72 tourist centers, recreation departments, health centers, 5 pensions. Besides, there are 40 hotels in the oblast, 5 travel agencies and 59 other private enterprises which have acquired licenses for tourist services.
The functioning holiday centers hosted more than 200.000 people. The most popular are the sanatoria (health centers) of Svalyava region – “Sonyachne Zakarpattya” (“Sunny Zakarpattya”), “Polyana” (“Glade”), “Kvitka Plonyny” (“The Flower of Polonyna”); of Mukachiv region – “Karpaty” (“Carpathians”), “Synyak”; of Hust region – “Shayan”, of Rukhiv region – “Girs’ka Tyssa” (“Mountain Tyssa”); of Mezhgirs’kyi region – “Verkhovyna”.
For medical treatment of allergic non-specific lungs illnesses, namely bronchial asthma, the microclimate of salt shafts of Solotvyna (Tyachiv region) is being used.
Ecological and rural tourism in the mountainous regions of the oblast, namely in Rakhiv region, at the expense of the Carpathian Fund Grant, is developing and becoming more popular. The ecological route “To Goverla across the Chornogir’ya woods” has been established. The first tourist guide “Have a rest in the countryside of mountainous Rachivshchina” has been published. Almost in every mountainous village of this region one can find hospitable people willing to host tourists in their houses.
INDUSTRY AND AGRICULTURE
During the last years there have been considerable changes in the structure of industrial production. The industry has become closer to resource capacities of the oblast.
In the manufacturing field there are timber and woodworking industry (production of furniture, saw-timber, veneer sheets, parquet), timber-chemical industry (products of timber processing), food industry (production of wine, cognac, canned fruit and vegetables, soft drinks and mineral water), light industry (ready-made garments and knitwork, underwear, bed linen, overcoats, jackets, men suits, footwear, headgear), machine-building industry (metal-cutting machines, electric motors, pipeline armature, domestic gas convectors, gas-meter), construction materials industry (production of road metals, facing materials).
The leading enterprises of the oblast are those which have attracted investments, conducted reconstruction and modernization of production, raised competitiveness of their products on the home and foreign markets
- Mera Nova Private company
- GRUPOTEST Private Company
- Itmoko Company
- EthnoProduct Company
- Teleport Treyd Servic LLC
- UkrAgroExport LLC
- CQR Company
- Organic Standard LLC
- Odessa Sturgeon Breeding Complex LLC
- GRAINCOM SHIPPING LLC
- Kusto Agro Group
- Impeks Industrial and commercial company LLC
- Tulchin BNAU College of Veterinary Medicine
- Maslovka Agrarian College
- Inter Trans Logistics LLC
- Detective agency Berezinets and Company
- KT Ukraine
- Interstroi Service Company LLC
- RUH CARGO LLC
- Volynski Browar Company