Wednesday 5, December 2012 by internationalgeographer
Sheky-Zagatala Economic Region is considered as one of the rich regions and covers Balaken, Gаkh, Gabala, Oguz, Zagatala, Sheky administrative regions and is located in the north-western part of the Azerbaijan (southern hills of Great Caucasus mountains). The area covered by economic region is 8.96 km2 (10.3% of the territory of Azerbaijan Republic). The landscape of the region consists of high mountains and foothills. Economic Region has limited land resources. The altitude variations in the region resulted in different natural conditions. The area has a moderate climate.
The population of the region is 531.9 thousand (6.5% of the population of Azerbaijan). The population mainly lives in foothills areas.
The territory of the region has rich natural resources. All copper resources, 90% of sulphureus pyrites resources, 99% of zinc resources of Azerbaijan is in this region. One of the biggest complex ore field (Filizchai) is located in this region. There are some resources of construction material like gravel, sand etc. 27% of the territory of the Sheky-Zagatala Economic Region is covered with forest tracts. Mainly these forests are within the territory of Balakan and Zagatala. The Economic Region has large water resources.
Main sector of regional economy is agriculture. The agriculture of the region includes tobacco-cultivation, silkworm breeding, tea-growing, floriculture, paddy growing, fruit-growing, grain-growing, winegrowing, sheep breeding. This region produces more than 75% of tobacco, 17% of grain, 35% of silkworm, 2% of green tea production of Azerbaijan. The reserves of cattle-breeding in Sheky-Zagatala Economic Region is more than 10% of national reserves of this products.
The industry of Sheky-Zagatala Economic Region is weak and concentrated in one sector. This region manufactures 3% of national industrial production. The industry of the economic region is mainly specialized in light and food industries, which process the agricultural products. These sector manufacture more than 95% of industrial production of the economic region. The food industry includes processing of horticulture, tobacco-cultivation and cattle breeding products. Main enterprises of food industry are Sheky food businesses and vine plants, Gabala, Gakh, Balakan, Nic fruit-vegetable canning plants, Zagatala nuts and red rose perfume production plants, tea plant, Sheky meat factory. Also bakery, pastry-cook, small enterprises that produce non-alcoholic drinks are doing business in the local market. Main sector of light industry is silkworm breeding. There are many sewing workshops of different size operating in the regional centers. Silk clothes, curtains, silk kerchief and shawl are waved in Sheky using basic methods. There are tobacco fermentation plants operating in the Sheky, Gabala, Balakan and Zagatala as tobacco industry is developed. Other industry fields include Zagatala furniture factory, brick factory, Balakan Bulk enterprise.
Beautiful natural conditions of the Sheky-Zagatala Economic Region makes this region one of the major recreational-tourism zone of Azerbaijan. There are recreational facilities operating in Gabala, Sheky, Zagatala. There is an international tourism route to Georgia.
The Economic Region has a developed transportation network. Automobile transportation is more developed. Main roads are Yevlakh-Balakan motorway and a railway constructed in the late 1980s. Balakan has an airway transportation with Baku.
Social infrastructure of the Economic Region includes general education schools secondary schools, universities, educational and health organizations, museums and theatres.