Lviv Region is situated in south-western outskirts of the East-European plain and western part of the Northern macroslope of the Ukrainian Carpathians. There are five natural districts on its territory such as mountain Carpathians on the south, adjoining to it Pre-Carpathians sublimity, Podil plateau in the central part, and Small Polissya and Volyn sublimity in the north. The main European watershed between the basins of the Baltic and Black seas passes through territory of the region.
Lviv Region borders with five regions of Ukraine and Republic Poland. The area of Lviv Region is 21.8 thousand square km or 3.6% of general territory of Ukraine. The number of population is 2.611 million people, including 59.5% is in cities and 40.5% in villages.
Lviv Region is rich in minerals as anthracite coal, natural gas, oil, sulphur, peat, ozokerite, kitchen and potassium salts, raw material for production of cement, limestones and slates, marl, building and fire-clays and others. The special riches are the large supplies of medical mineral waters and on their base the famous Ukrainian resorts are functioning.
Lviv Region is highly-developed industrial region of Ukraine. The food industry and processing of agricultural raw material, machine-building, chemical and petrochemical, cellulose-paper, printing industry and publishing business are the leading spheres of the regional industry. In the region there are manufactured 100% of state volumes of newsprint paper, dolites and autoloaders, more than 98% of lighting electric lamps, almost 80% of motor-car cranes and more than 27% of buses.
The production of industrial goods in majority of industries is increased every year. The comparison of results of the first half-year of 2003 with the results of the proper period of last year testifies to it. The enterprises of the light industry extended the production volume by 6%. The JV "Vesna", JSC "Mayak", JCS "Sewing Enterprise "Svitanok", JSC "Sewing Factory "Stritex", JSC "Drogobych Sewing Enterprise "Zorya" and JV "Laura" increased their production indexes. The production growth of linen fabrics made 22.6% as well as legwear by 28.8%, linen knitted fabric by 8.6% and the like.
The enterprises of wood working and wood wares increased the production of goods by 1.6 times. In particular, the production of wood shaving plates has been increased by 2.2 times. The JV "Krono-Lviv" (growth by 4.4 times) and LLC "Euroshpon" (growth by 41.8%) are leaders among this group of enterprises. The production of saw-timbers has been increased by 3.4% as well as parquet – by 23.3%.
The production volumes of cellulose-paper, printing industry and publishing business have been increased by 17.5%. The Zhydachiv Cellulose-Paper Works "Dunapack-Ukraine" LLC and Plant of Paper-Cardboard Goods "Biblos" JSC extended their production volumes. In particular, the production of copybooks has been increased by more than 9 times as well as cardboard by 39.7% and paper by 4%.
The enterprises on production of oil-refining products made the growth of manufacturing volumes of 5.1% as well as chemical and petrochemical industry – 9.6% and machine-building – 8.5%. For example, the Striy Railway-Car Repair Works extended the production volumes by 96.5% as well as JSC "LAZ" by 43.1% and JSC "Avtonavantazhuvach" by 82.4%. There was produced more cement (growth of 20.3%), ceramic tile for facing of walls and floors (3.5 and 17.8% respectively) and the like. The production and distributing of electric power, water and gas has been increased by 11.7%. In some industries the reduction of production volumes is explained by not decline, but updating. So, there were produced less consumer goods, because the enterprises of this industry substituted their technology and range by the initiative of it proprietors. For the first half-year of 2003 the regional industrial enterprises mastered 1028 names of new products and the growth made 2.2% by comparison with the proper period of 2002.
Lviv Region is the land with favourable factors for development of modern agrarian production. The natural conditions with moderate continental climate assist to development of field-crop cultivation (most lands (almost 800 thousand items with more than 1.27 million hectares is covered by plough-land), milk and meat cattle breeding, forestry, beekeeping and the like.
For the first half of 2003 the construction enterprises of all forms of property executed the contract works to the amount of 349 million hryvna that is by 25.9% higher than for the proper period of previous year.
Lviv Region has the well-developed transport network. The international railways to the capitals of many European countries such as Belgrade, Bratislava, Budapest, Buharest, Warsaw, Moscow, Prague and Sophia pass through its territory. The motor roads connect the settlements of the region with Central and Southern Europe, Baltic States and Russia. In January-June, 2003 the transport enterprises of Lviv Region carried 13,8 million tons of freight that is by 22.2% higher than for January-June, 2002. The railway carried 12.3 million tons of freight that is by 28.5% higher than for the previous year. The volume of the supplied ferrous metals has been extended twice as well as oil and oil products by 1,9 times, chemical and mineral fertilizers by 49.4% and cement by 29.9%. The motor transport enterprises in January-June, 2003 carried 1,5 million tons of freight that is by 12.3% less than in January-June, 2002. The goods turnover is by 18.1% less than in January-June, 2002. The aviation enterprises increased the volume of the transported freight by 11%, but the goods turnover has been decreased by 14.8%.
The enterprises of Lviv Region have the good business contacts with almost one hundred countries of the world. In particular, in the regional trade structure (in January-May, 2003 with 67 countries against 65 for the proper period of last year) the main partners of the region are Russia, Germany, Poland, Latvia, Great Britain, Italy and Denmark. By data of the State Custom Service of Ukraine, the regional foreign trade turnover for the first half of 2003 made USD 1231,3 million that exceeds the proper index of 2002 by more than three times. The major articles of export are textile, transport vehicles, industrial equipment and devices, wood and wood wares, commodities of light industry and products of agroindustrial complex.
From the beginning of process of privatization 8565 enterprises changed their form of property, including 7495 objects of so called small privatization, 482 objects of large privatization, 263 objects of non completed construction in the region and the like. By the number of privatised enterprises of municipal form of property Lviv Region takes the first place in Ukraine as well as second place among regions by the general number of privatised objects.
One of activities of the regional executive authorities is improving business activity of small entrepreneurship. There was developed and accepted the proper regional programme and programmes of city and district councils for 2003-2004. The simplified procedure of registration of own business has been introduced, in particular, so called «one office» was opened in all districts and cities of the region. This is an office, where full complex of necessary documents is registered. The unemployed people are widely attracted to the business activity. The information-reference boards are placed in every base center of employment and for starting business activity the unemployed people of Lviv Region obtained the help to the amount of 430 thousand hryvna; the seminars are conducted for them; the studies of bases of new professions are organized. In the first half-year of 2003 this course of studies was passed by more than 2000 persons. For the same period more than 7000 subjects of business activity were registered.
For the first half of 2003 Lviv Region directed 1028.9 million hryvna to the Aggregate and State budgets that is by 18.7% higher by comparison with the proper period of 2002 and even with the forecast sum. The arrears of payments to the budget as of July 1, 2003 appeared low by comparison with beginning of the year by 5.6%.
Lviv is the prominent center of education, fundamental and branch sciences. Here the Western center of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine is placed and it co-ordinates the research activity of surrounding regions. Besides, there are many higher educational establishments, including the Ivan Franko University, founded in 1661 and conservatory in Lviv and others.
The most Ukrainian network of establishments of culture and art has been historically formed in the region. There are only 12 unique museums with the collections of works of fine art well-known all over the world in the regional center (15% of general museum fund exhibits of our country). The architecture of Lviv is impressed greatly, in particular, such pearls, as cathedral in the gothic style of XIV-XV centuries with the renaissance choirs of Boyim and Kampian, Saint George Cathedral, Three Prelates Chapel, so called Black Kamyanytsya in the Renaissance style and many temples. Lviv is one of those cities of Ukraine, where beginning from XV century the fraternities – the national-religious educational organizations with schools, collegiums and printing-houses were created. In the printing-house at the Lviv Fraternity famous Ivan Fedorov published the first Slavic "Alphabet" in 1574.
Variety of natural conditions, riches of resources and convenient geographical location on crossing of the European transport corridors creates pre-conditions for subsequent development of tourism and organization of rest. And the powerful economic, research and cultural potential, providing all spheres of social-economic and spiritual life with highly skilled specialists puts Lviv Region into the leading place in Ukraine.