The Odesa land is the territory of the boundles Ukrainian steppe and genial Black Sea. It is situated on the crossroads of the important international ways (the features of geographic position of the region conditioned the entrance of its territory two of nine routes of international transport corridors); Odesa Region is a part of Ukrainian sea front as well as seacoast and boundary region. The state Ukrainian frontier with Romania and Moldova passes on the region’s territory.
The area of Odesa Region makes 33.3 thousand sq. km (5.5% of the territory of Ukraine) that almost equals the sizes of the territory of Republic of Moldova. The population of Odesa Region is 2448.2 thousand people. The region is multinational: Ukrainians, Russians, Jewries, Moldovans and other people live here.
Among other Ukrainian regions Odesa Region is showed up by two leading inter-branch complexes as marine and transport, and among other sectors of economy of Odesa Region the transport is the most important. On the region’s territory eight ports are placed. They are connected by transport waterways with almost 600 ports of practically all countries of the world. The effective water ways (marine and river) enable to extend the economic relations of the region with Eastern and Central Europe (down the Danube River). The Odesa Port and other ports of the region are placed in the junction of intensive marine and river transport international communications that makes the powerful transport-transit potential of the region.
The International Ferry Line "Ilyichevsk-Varna" (Bulgaria) operates since 1978; the ferries connect the city of Odesa with Turkey and Greece; the Ferry Transport Line "Ilyichevsk-Poti-Batumi" functions. The container and piggyback train "Viking", which connects the Black and Baltic seas, functions on the Ferry Line "Ilyichevsk-Varna". The functioning of a new international transport corridor enables to decrease the time and expenses on cargo delivery in the destination direction. The following ferry lines as Reni-Rousse (Bulgaria), Reni-Tulcea (Romania) and Reni-Galati (Romania) function on the Dunabe River.
The industrial marine complex of Odesa Region includes also five ship repair yards such as joint-stock companies №2 Odesa Repair Ship Yard, Repair Ship Yard "Ukraine", State-Owned Enterprise "Ilyichevsk Ship Repair Yard", Izmail Chip Repair Yard and Kiliy Ship Repair and Building Yard.
Each of the ship repair yards is the enterprise with the full technological cycle able to independently repair ships in full measure. The yards successfully mastered and widely apply modern technologies of repair (metal-working, welding, defect detection, application of polymeric materials and glued compositions, modern facilities of corrosion protection and becoming overgrown and others), and also progressive technological processes of making and renewal of ship engines and mechanisms. Except for repair of ships, these enterprises produce a lot of industrial products as passenger cruisers, oil garbage disposal vessels, and heavy containers of international standard, variably-spare parts of ship equipment, casting and bobbins for ship repair and the like.
Odesa Region is the highly developed industrial region and its industry has a great share in the structure of the Ukrainian national economic complex. The enterprises of machine-building and metal-working, chemical and petrochemical, food and light industries and others are placed on its territory. There is the highly developed machine-tool industry in the machine-building production. It is represented by enterprises on production of metal-cutting machine-tools and extrusion toolage. The seacoast position of the region conditioned the presence of ship repair and shipbuilding industries, fish industrial and fish processing branch, production of refrigeration and technological equipment for processing of fish and sea products. The port industrial complexes handle export (ammonia and carbamide) and import (oil, tea and sugar) raw material. The leading place in the structure of the commercial products in Odesa Region is belonging to food industry, which includes sugar (Joint-Stock Company "Odesa Sugar Company", Kotovsk Sugar House and others), oil and fat, vegetable processing and wine making industries, production of food concentrates. The important role in the production complex is plaid by meat packing, dairy processing, alcoholic beverage and confectionary. The well-recognized producers of alcohol drinks, champagnes, wines, mineral waters and soft drinks in Odesa Region are the Joint-Stock Company "First Distillery", Contractor-Run Enterprise "Odesavinprom", Contractor-Run Enterprise "Odesa Cognac Factory", Scientific-Production Enterprise "Nyva" and others.
In the structure of regional industrial production the important role is plaid by light industry. The aggregated branches of medical industry, production of pharmaceutical goods and preparations, medicines from plastics, veterinary instruments and equipment are represented in Odesa Region. The enterprises of chemical industry of the region produce mineral fertilizers, varnish-and-paint and plastic wares, chemical detergents and industrial rubber goods.
The agriculture is the second sector by volume and employment of labour resources in Odesa Region. The main direction of agricultural specialization of the region is grain and cattle breeding with the highly developed production of sunflower, wine, poultry farming and pig breeding. The share of vegetable products in the general making of the regional gross agricultural product makes 65% as well as stock-raising – 35%. In the structure of the gross product of agriculture the share of separate kinds makes following as grain – 29.9%, industrial crops – 5.9%, including sunflower – 4.1%, meat -15.9%, milk – 13.3% and vegetables -13.0%. The share of the region in the general production volume of the Ukrainian Gross Agricultural Product exceeds 5.3% as well as grain – 7.5%, sunflower – 8.1%, wine – 45.5%, meat – 4.5%, milk – 4.8% and eggs – 6.3%.
With the purpose of further development of small business the Programme of Small Business Development for 2003-2004 was designed in the region, which foresees the complex of measures on information, financial, skilled and resource providing of entrepreneurial activity. On the whole almost 23.7 thousand small enterprises have been registered in the region as well as more than 92 thousand subjects of entrepreneurial activity – natural persons. The majority of small enterprises (45.4%) work in the field of trade and public catering, industry (13.8%) and building (11.6%). There is a tendency to decreasing number of small enterprises, which carry out trading-intermediary activity with their re-orientation on production of goods.
For support of entrepreneurial structures of small and medium business it is foreseen to allocate 2.9 million hryvna from the regional budget in 2003. The new structures as information-consulting centers, agencies of business development, centers of social partnership, scientific-consulting centers of investments and international business and others began to develop actively.
The system of preparation and retraining of personnel, including unemployed persons, for occupation by small business is under development. The public associations of businessmen work and their influencing and social activity grows.
The geographical position of Odesa Region is conditioned by both the advantageous transport-geographical location so activation of its participation in the largest European inter-regional organizations as Assembly of European Regions and Working Community of the Dunabe Countries. The region also assists to active participation of Ukraine in work of countries-members of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization (BSEC). The cooperation of the region with regions from the EU countries-members and countries-candidates in membership is under development; the inter-regional relations with regions from the CIS countries, first of all Russia, Byelorussia, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Georgia and Turkmenistan, are being formed.
The favourable climate, curative mud and salt waters of the estuaries, sand beaches and mineral water springs are the main natural recreation resources of the region. By rich and variety of natural medical resources and number of resort-health establishments the region takes the third place in Ukraine. The regional resorts by composition of medical resources are mud climatic with the elements of balneotherapy. The recreation resources enable to effectively treat the diseases of circulation organs, nervous system, respiratory organs, digestion organs, metabolic disturbance and the like. More than 600 establishments for servicing of tourists and holiday-makers are counted in the region. The regional tourist enterprises support the permanent relations with the most CIS countries, countries of Europe, Africa, America and Asia, arrange marine and river cruises, aviation and bus trips and provide tourists with various services.
The strategy of development of tourism and recreation economy in the region is directed on creation of highly profitable industry that is to cover demands of internal and international tourism, strengthening of inter-relations between tourism and other spheres of regional national economic complex, saving of monuments of history and culture, increase of spiritual potential of society, level of environment protection activity and attraction of investments in development of tourism infrastructure.