The sources of history of Ternopil Region dates back to the distant times of Kyiv Rus and Galych-Volyn principality. For many centuries the people have been creating the eternal values for the motherland fruitfully preserved traditions, customers and national culture.
The characteristic sign of nature of Ternopil land is its variety. The flat central part of the region's territory is surrounded by Kremenets sublimity in the north as well as on the west – Berezhansko-Monastyrsky (Podil) humpbacked mountain, on the east – Avratynska sublimity and on the south it is cut by deep and often canyon-like river valleys of left inflows of the Dniestr River. The central part of the region is crossed from the north-west to the south-east by the Tovtrova chine (Medobory). Ternopil Region was established in 1939. Its area is 13.8 thousand square km that makes 2.3% of the Ukrainian territories. It stretches from the north to south upon 195 km and from the west to east upon 129 km.
The number of regional population is 1180.3 thousand people and it majority lives in the rural locality. By the administrative-territorial division the region is divided into 17 districts with 1052 settlements of regional and district submission, and also with 18 settlements of urban type.
There are a lot of rivers (1650), ponds and reservoirs in the region. In the ancient times a greater part of the regional present territory was covered with deciduous and coniferous forests. The forests have the important value for the present regional economy, however now they occupy only 13 percents of the territory. These are in majority valuable and highly productive oak forests with parcels of lindens, ash-trees, hornbeam, maples and other species and only there are pine, pine-oak and spruce trees within the basins of the Ikva and Viliya rivers. In several spots, ancient oak and beech forests can still be found, consisting of centuries-old exotic elite trees.
The original steppe vegetation, over 1200 species of superior spore and flowering plants has been preserved in Ternopil land, mainly through the Dniestr and Seret banks at the Tovtrova chine, in Kremenets Mountains.
The Ternopil land's animal complex having been formed under the influence of three zoo-geographical regions – Polissya, Carpathians and Steppe and is represented with forest and steppe fauna. The most widespread here are hares, foxes, roe deer, wild boars, stone and beech martens, squirrels, otters, prairie-dogs, weasels and partridge. There are also ermines, Podil moles, dappled gophers, wild cats, wolves and elks. The dappled deer, wild rabbits and pheasants were brought to forest tracts. Among the resources of the region the leading place is occupied by construction materials and raw material for their production, in particular, high-quality chalk, gypsum, limestones, magnesian lime, marls, sands and peat.
The perspective resources of the region are also medical mineral water "Naftusya", sulphide, bromide water of high mineralization and medical mud. On the whole on the region's territory more than 40 fields of mineral waters were found. On the base of it majority it is planned construction and operation of sanitary and resort establishments and water bottling plants; two balneology sanatoriums of national value are functioning today in Gusyatyn and Konopkivka of Terebovlya district. Ternopil Region is traditionally considered as region with dominant agriculture. The land fund of the region makes 1.4 million ha and the highly productive agricultural lands make 76.3% of total lands, as well as 11% of hayfields and pastures. The natural and climatic conditions are favourable for growing almost any kind of agricultural crops. The trend in plant cultivation is grain crops and beet roots with the well-developed growing of potatoes and vegetables. The basic cereals are winter wheat and spring barley. The maize, spring wheat, rye, pea, buckwheat, millet and other cereals and grain legumes are also cultivated.
The leading industries of national economy of the region are food industry (58% of the general regional industrial production volume), machine-building and metal-working (9%), industry of construction materials (6%), light (5%) and woodworking industry (1%). The food industry processing agricultural raw material is intensively developed. Here there are following spheres such as sugar, meat, milk, alcoholic-vodka, confectionary, tobacco and fruit and vegetable cannery, milling and other industries. By production volumes and sale of products the sugar industry (9 sugar plants in the region) together with alcoholic and fruit and vegetable canning is the specialization industry of Ternopil Region in country and regional division of labour.
276 industrial enterprises are functioning in the region, where 40 thousand people are employed as well as 3,5 thousand small enterprises with 35 thousand employees. The largest enterprises of the region are follows as JSC "Vatra" (household and industrial lamps), JSC "Ternopil Combine Harvester Works" (sugar-beet choppers and fodder combine harvesters, agricultural equipment), JSC "Texterno" (yarn, cotton fabrics and crude fabrics), Ternopil Radio-Plant "Orion" JSC (radio communication systems, tape recorders, television aerials and motor-car acoustic systems), Ternopil State Scientific and Technical Enterprise "Promin" (aerials of satellite communication, television aerials and car spare parts). All these enterprises are located in Ternopil.
Only lately the facilities on production of confectionary and macaroni were put into operation as well as soft drinks, meat, cheese, filling stations, parking sites, trading premises and enterprises of public catering. Ternopil Region has the well-developed transport network. The density per 1000 square km of highways with hard surface and railways significantly exceed average indexes in Ukraine.
The foreign economic activity of the regional enterprise is carried out with 74 countries of the world. The Russian Federation (34% of the regional export), Germany (15%), Moldova (7%), Austria (4%), Poland, Turkey and Italy (3% respectively) are the main partners of the region in export. The drinks, alcohol, meat, sub-products and meat products, sugar, confectionary, cloth textile and knitting, wood, woodworks, furniture, lamps, glass and glass wares are prevailing in the regional structure of export deliveries. Germany (30% of the regional import), Italy (18 %) and Poland (15%) are the main importers of the region. The fuel-lubricating materials, machines, mechanical devices and equipment for industry, paper, cardboard, products of chemical industry (plastics, rubber, paints, varnishes and detergents), furniture, transport vehicles and other goods are prevailing in the import deliveries.
From the analysis of economic activity of Ternopil Region for the last years we see that the volumes of regional foreign trade are stably extended. In particular, in 2002 the regional foreign trade turnover by comparison with the previous year grew by 34% and made USD 116 million. The export exceeded import, and the positive balance made USD 17 million.
81 enterprises with foreign capital are functioning in the region. The sum of investments makes almost USD 28 million. The firms of Czech Republic, Germany, Great Britain, Russian Federation, Republic Poland, and also Austria and Belgium are the main investors in the regional economy.
Ternopil land has all conditions for development of tourism and resort economy here. They established the Medobory reserve in the region and three regional landscape parks; 14 national and 103 local sanctuaries are functioning; there are 11 national and 380 local natural sights, 4 tracts; 9 dendrology parks, 13 parks – sights of gardening art and three botanical gardens. The greatest attractions for the tourists are Kremenets Mountains, Medobory, gypsum caverns, Dniestr River canyon and Kasperivsky landscape reserve.
The original landscapes can be found on almost 30 percents of the region's territory. They have undergone the least changed kind at the territories occupied with forests, bushes, swamps, on open areas covering near 16 percents of the region's territory. The natural complexes situated on the territories of natural reserves are the best-protected today.
The wonderful natural and recreation descriptions of Ternopil land, relatively favourable ecological situation, well-developed network of railways and highways in the region create good conditions for development of varied resort and sanatorium treatment and tourism.
Such writers as Bohdan Lepky and Ulas Samchuk, composers Denis Sichynsky, Roman Kupchynsky and Mykhaylo Gayvoronsky as well as Mykhaylo Verbytsky, author of national anthem tune, masters of chisel and tassel Mykhaylo Boychuk, Olena Kulchytska and Anton Manastyrsky, magician of stage Les Kurbas and prominent physicist Ivan Pulyuy have made an invaluable contribution to the national and world culture, science, literature and art. World-known singer Solomiya Krushelnytska, whose talent has conquered opera houses stages in Milan, Paris and New York, added to the land's glory.
The supplies of Ternopil land are inexhaustible as well as there are inexhaustible talents of wise, generous in good and inspired labour people of this original land. Without regard to various confusions of the present time the citizens of Ternopil Region believe in success of their management.