Kharkiv Region is the main part of historical-cultural and geographical region of Sloboda Ukraine. The massive settling of this territory with Ukrainian Cossacks, villages and migrants from Russia started in ХVІІ century. It was from the name of their settlements – Sloboda that the name of the territory derived, the Slobozhanshchyna.
The area of Kharkiv Region is 31,4 thousand sq.m. The number of population is 2,95 million people. There are 27 administrative districts and 20 cities in the region, including the largest are Lozova, Izyum, Kupyansk and Chuguyiv and 1718 rural settlements.
Kharkiv Region is situated on the edge of steppe and forest-steppe natural zones. The forests here are mainly oak and pine. The fauna counts about 340 animal species. With the purpose to preserve the national natural wealth 132 sanctuaries and 42 natural reserves were created in the region.
The favourable climatic conditions, rich natural resources, and also comfortable geographical location on crossroads of Eastern Europe give the advantage to the region in the national trade. The highly developed and varied infrastructure strengthens the regional economic potential.
Kharkiv Region is the leading industrial, agricultural, scientific and cultural center of Ukraine. The share of the regional industrial production makes 5,9% of the Ukrainian industrial production volume. Here almost all industries are developing, including the key Ukrainian machine-building, instrument-making, fuel and energy and electrical engineering enterprises as well as agricultural and processing branches.
The powerful tractor building complex has been formed in the regional machine-building industry; the power engineering equipment is manufactured; the aircraft building, machine-tool construction, fuel industry, radio electronics, chemical, pharmaceutical, food and light industries are well developed.
In 2002 the regional industry manufactured the products to the amount of 10138,7 million hryvna that is higher by 5,0% by comparison with similar period of previous year.
In 2002 the growth of production volumes in 12 from 13 main types of economic activity has been achieved. The most growth rates were reached in production of other non-metal mineral wares (26,5%), in production of non power materials (15,2%), in cellulose-paper, printing and publishing business (13%), in chemical and petrochemical industry (10,7%), in production of wood and wood wares (8,1%), in metallurgy and metalworking (5,8%), in food industry and agricultural production processing (5,3%).
The structure of the regional industrial production did not test the significance changes in 2002. As well as before, the most share in production volume is covered by food industry (30,6%), fuel and energy complex (24,1%) and machine-building industry (24,9%).
Due to rich deposits of mineral resources (natural gas with 311 billion cube m of estimated resource; oil with 8 million tons of estimated resource; brown coal and anthracite coal fields; deposits of salt, clay, chalk, limestone and super pure glass sand) the region is the fuel and energy base of Ukraine.
The region manufactures 100% of steam turbines in Ukraine, almost two third of tractors, more than one half of bridge cranes, frictionless bearings, digitally controlled machine tools and big electric machines, 40% of the AC generators. There are as well in Kharkiv Region most Ukrainian enterprises on production of cement, roofing slate, facing ceramics, metallic tiles, reinforced concrete wares, bricks and many other construction materials. Due to it 300 thousand sq. m. of habitation is annually put into service in the region, including a half is individual building.
About one half of Ukrainian medicines are also produced in Kharkiv Region. The chemical industry of the region specializes on manufacturing of consumer goods made of plastic.
The regional enterprises of light industry produce sewing, textile, fur and leather clothes, carpets, leather goods and footwear. With introduction of new management forms over 4 thousand state enterprises of the region changed the ownership: these are enterprises of trade, public catering, household consumer services and motor transport as well as 66,5% of industrial, 83% of agricultural enterprises and 50% of construction organizations. The sector of the regional small business is quickly grown and today it comprises 15,1 thousand small enterprises.
The region provides home demands in bakery and pasta, meat and whole milk products. There is a significant export potential on confectionary, tinned milk, alcoholic beverage, oil and fat products and granulated sugar.
In 2002 the foreign companies invested USD 78,25 million in the regional economy that is higher by 1,6 times than in 2001. The most investments were made by Great Britain, USA, Switzerland, Cyprus, Germany and Vietnam. USD 58,52 million (27,6%) of foreign investments were attracted in financial activity as well as USD 36,66 million (17,3%) in the food and processing of agricultural products.
The special regime of innovation activity on the territory of Kharkiv and special regime of innovation activity Technopark «Institute of Monocrystals» are the important mechanisms of rising an investment attractiveness of the region. For years of existence of the special regime of investment activity in Kharkiv the investment council approved 71 investment project with the total estimate cost of USD 317,3 million, including foreign investments make 17,9% (USD 56,8 million). The special regime of investment activity attracted investments of the enterprises-subjects to the amount of USD 59,6 million, including USD 18,1 million of foreign investments.
Kharkiv Region plays important role of Eastern Ukraine railway junction that connects six adjacent regions and provides transport communication with other countries. The significance is not lesser of the Kharkiv Airport as for connecting Kharkiv Region to the world; it obtained the international status in 1995. The international highways as Kyiv-Kharkiv-Rostov and Moscow-Simferopol pass through territory of the region. Every day the motor transport carries over 287 thousand passengers and 11 thousand tons of cargo.
The regional foreign trade turnover is extended. The mostly machines and equipment are exported for which the main customers are Russia and Byelorussia.
The basis of agricultural production in Kharkiv Region is over 700 market-oriented enterprises. Kharkiv Region is characterized by the high level of production of grain, sugar beet, sunflower, vegetables and potatoes as well as meat and dairy stock-raising. The scientific backup of agroindustrial complex involves 15 specialized scientific-research institutes and educational establishments.
Kharkiv Region is the Ukrainian leader in the sphere of education: over 400 thousand children attend preschool establishments, general schools and vocational schools; about 200 thousand students are studying in 70 state and 13 private higher educational establishments. Besides, over 6 thousand foreign students from 74 countries of the world get higher education in Kharkiv.
Kharkiv Region with the rich scientific inheritance has been already a long ago recognized in the world as Ukrainian scientific center. 217 scientific establishments function here; including 13 establishments belong to the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Over 34 thousand persons are employed in the regional scientific sphere. The Kharkiv scientists obtained the worldwide recognition in physics, astronomy, mathematics, chemistry, biology and electronics; they were the first in Europe to split atom and created the most powerful radio-telescope in the world.
400 medical establishments of state and private sectors with 11800 doctors and 27800 persons of medical staff working in them are involved in health protection of the regional population. The scientific researches in the sphere of medicine are conducted by the Center of Medicines and 12 medical scientific-research institutes.
The staff for establishments of health care is trained in Kharkiv State Medical University, National Pharmaceutical Academy of Ukraine, Kharkiv Postgraduate Medical Academy and 8 medical vocational schools.
The inhabitants of the region are able to maintain their health through regular fond of sport. 59 stadiums, 975 gymnasiums and 28 swimming pools function in Kharkiv Region.
Kharkiv Region is the Slobozhanshchyna culture center with rich traditions having deep historical roots. Such world-wide known figures as philosopher Grygory Skovoroda, writer Grygory Kvitka-Osnovyanenko, painter Illya Ryepin, producer Les Kurbas and architect Beketov lived and worked here. Today the culture admirers are welcome to theatres, regional philharmonic society, House of organ and chamber music, circus, museums and about 1000 libraries (including State Scientific Library named after V. Korolenko containing more than 6,5 million copies in its funds). The spirituality of Kharkiv Region is gradually revived. For years of Ukraine independence 23 temples were built in the region by support of local authorities; 30 are being built and about 20 temples and churches are being restored.
435 religious organizations of 27 confessions function in Kharkiv Region. They comprise 6 ecclesiastical chairs, 5 monasteries, 4 missions, 2 congregations, 2 theological seminaries and 418 religious communities. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church is the most numerous and most influential one in the region having celebrated the 200th anniversary of founding the Kharkiv diocesan office in 1999.
Kharkiv Region, where gifted and industrious people are living, loving their native land and preserve the history of their ancestors, makes a great contribution in development of independent Ukraine.