Industrialization in the Middle East

Industrialization in the Middle East

Industrialization in the Middle East

Industrialization in the Middle East

Excerpt

The Middle East, one of the stirring areas of the underdeveloped zones of the world, has proven, both internally and to the Great Powers, a very difficult and baffling political problem. The period following the second World War created a complex situation which has so far made all attempts to establish political stability futile. At the same time, the leaders of the newly independent states, who in a sense are themselves products of the changes that came with the aftermath of the war, realized the economic backwardness of their countries and, although they blamed the imperialist powers primarily for the plight of their populations, were determined to achieve economic independence through industrialization. The advisers of the Great Powers and the specialists of the United Nations, despairing of finding a political solution, also turned to economics, in the hope that improved conditions would make it possible to achieve stability.

The chorus was thus complete. All voices advocated industrialization as the cure-all for the ills that plagued the region. Industrialization would increase employment possibilities and purchasing power, would ease population pressures, would bring a more sensible relation between imports and exports; in short, the general standard of living in the area would be substantially raised.

Thus, there is hardly a self-respecting leader in any of the countries of the Middle East who has not put the industrialization of his country high on his program, and there is hardly a Middle East expert bent on solving the problems of the area who has not included industrialization in his schemes.

But what are the actual facts of industrialization in the Middle East? What are the human resources of the region, the natural resources? What are the general conditions necessary for successful industrialization? And what are the monetary and financial re-

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