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Throughout history foreign countries and companies had their representative offices in Lviv. Before World War II diplomatic representatives of 20 leading countries worked there. After the war the Soviet regime did everything possible to isolate the region from international life. (Since Ukraine is independent, Lviv has been growing into an international trading, scientific, cultural and industrial center. Now there are the Consulates General of Poland and Russia, the Consulates of the Netherlands, Austria and Canada, representative offices of international air lines, transport companies, manufacturing and trading firms.

The region takes an active part in student, professor and scientist exchange programmes with foreign educational and scientific institutions. Foreign musicians and theatre troupes often perform here and international art festivals are held.

Thorough economic research of the Lviv region has been conducted within the framework of European and American programmes. As a result, in 1992-1999, the volume of foreign investments considerably grew. A great number of joint ventures with American, British, Dutch, German, Swedish, Canadian, Polish, Czech and Russian financial capital have appeared. Two free economic zones -SEZ "Yavoriv" and "Kurortopolis Truskavets" have been operating in the Lviv region since the beginning of 1999.

Important European transport corridors pass through the region. The infrastructure of transport corridors Lisbon - Triest - Kyiv (motor transport and railway), Odessa - Gdansk (motor transport, railway, and pipeline) is now being improved. The development of the border - crossing points will enable them to increase the capacity up to 10 000 cars and trucks per day.

A great number of privatized enterprises in Western Ukraine attract attention of potential investors. In 1993 - 1996 the Demonstration Agricultural Project sponsored by the Dutch government was implemented in the Lviv region. The Dutch government plans to increase a number of projects for agricultural sector of the Lviv region. German, American, Canadian and French companies work successfully in different districts. The "Svitoch" company cooperates with the world-known company of "Nestle".

Today the Lviv Region is a big center in the communication and information exchange. Inhabitants of the Region use all types of modern communication services.

The biggest Telephone Company is "Lvivtelecom" with its divisions in all district centres. Specialists of the company mount equipment and operate communication means. Some private companies are providing the fast mail and parcels delivery. The Ukrainian - American - Dutch - German joint venture Ukrainian Telecommunications» (U'TEL) provides clients of the Region with reliable communication services. "Ukrainian Mobile Communications" (UMC) installs mobile telephones, "Ukrpage" and "BEEPER-Lviv"-pages.

Lviv and Kyiv are connected by fiber - optical cables, the city is united with Europe by communication networks. Using a powerful station of space communication built for the hot line Washington - Moscow gives big opportunities.

The computer networks (Internet) are served by the providers of the institutions of the Academy of Sciences, the university "Lviv Polytechnics", private companies.

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