Economic Development in the Backward Countries

Economic Development in the Backward Countries

The first question I want to raise is that of the priority to be given to industry and agriculture in the underdeveloped countries’ present situation. Intellectuals in underdeveloped countries largely pin their hopes on industrialization; and I want to emphasize from the start that this article should not be construed as implying that underdeveloped countries must not do their utmost to build up industry as fast as possible.

The need for this is particularly pressing in countries with a high population land ratio. A country like India, whose population will double before the turn of the century, cannot in the long run hope to raise the dismally low living standard of its masses, or even retain the present one, unless a very much higher proportion of its labor force is employed in industry. This is true regardless of whatever progress is made in Indian agriculture. More generally, without the underdeveloped countries’ progressive industrialization, it will be impossible to prevent the ever-widening income gap between rich and poor countries from continuing to grow as it has done for a century.

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Lima