Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



Industrial Location and Physical Planning in Pakistan

The subject of industrial location, as an aspect of the economic development of the country, is one to which frequent references have been made in recent years by government officials and by the writers of newspaper editorials. During the period of the First Five Year Plan, the burden of such references was generally to the effect that further industrialization should be fostered in backward areas and that it should be discouraged or actually banned in Karachi, Lahore and other cities believed to be overcrowded or vulnerable from a defence point of view. More recently, the desire for the dispersal of industry and for the provision of jobs in less developed areas has led to the espousal of industrial estates as a means of solving the industrial location problem1. The concern of officials and of editors with the overconcentration of manufacturing#in a few cities and with the lack of geographic balance in the location of industrial investments is well founded. The problem is a serious one in Pakistan, as well as in almost all countries in which a substantial amount of industrialization has taken place. However, it does not lend itself to simple solutions such as the banning of further investments in certain of the most advanced areas or the proliferation of industrial estates in backward, economically stagnant, or out-of-the-way towns. To say this is not to criticize the use of industrial estates as a method of channeling investment. These estates have a valuable function to perform if a part of a systematic approach to the location of new industrial employed in conjunction with other tools of investment promotion and as activity.

John C. Eddison

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