A Handbook of Industrial Districts
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A Handbook of Industrial Districts

Edited by Giacomo Becattini, Marco Bellandi and Lisa De Propis

In this comprehensive original reference work, the editors have brought together an unrivalled group of distinguished scholars and practitioners to comment on the historical and contemporary role of industrial districts (IDs).
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Werner Sengenberger


SECTION 9 The experiences in emerging and developing countries Introduction Werner Sengenberger 1. nature and incidence of IDs in the developing world A very large majority of the world’s population, and also the bulk of the global labour force, lives in developing countries and emerging economies in Asia, Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean. The demographic shares of these regions continue to grow. Roughly speaking, the number of workers on our planet rises by 50 million annually, of which 97 per cent go to the developing world. In 2006, 78 per cent of the world’s total labour force resided outside of the developed economies of Europe and North America and the Commonwealth of Independent States (ILO 2006, p.4). These statistical figures alone justify dedicating a full chapter in this Handbook to industrial districts (IDs) in developing countries and emerging economies. Yet, there are other good reasons for exploring and mapping the incidence, and the actual and potential role, of IDs in the developing world. IDs may be viewed as a particular approach and instrument of development. In particular, they can be looked upon as a vehicle for raising productivity and competitiveness in the countries of the South. They can help to create sustainable employment and income, combat poverty, and eventually narrow the income gap between the South and the North (see the final chapter in this section, by Sengenberger). Today, the developmental gaps between countries and world regions are enormous. For example, the average value added per worker in...

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