The Economic History of Eastern Europe, 1919-1975 - Vol. 1

By M. C. Kaser; E. A. Radice | Go to book overview

Chapter 5
Industry

ALICE TEICHOVA


THE POTENTIAL AND ACTUAL EXPLOITATION OF NATURAL RESOURCES

The relatively wide range of raw materials in central-east and south-east Europe could have provided a favourable basis for implementing governmental policies in the interwar period aimed at encouraging industrial activity. As shown in chapter 4, natural resources were, however, unevenly distributed among the Successor States and the mutual exchange of primary materials would have had to have been much greater for industrial production to have profited from an intra-regional division of labour. Economic nationalism was one of many factors hindering a cooperation which was difficult enough on the technical score -- the opening-up of deposits and their linkage to users by new transport routes -- and exacerbated by political isolationism tendencies and strained diplomatic relations between the east European states after 1918.

The full extent of east Europe's natural resources had not even been fully explored and the ratio of exploitation reserves cannot be defined. Whilst minerals, especially non-metallic, were impressive in variety and extent in the Balkans, iron ore was available in substantial quantity only in Yugoslavia and coal principally in Poland and Czechoslovakia. But at the then modest magnitude of extraction, coal reserves over the whole territory were an extremely high multiple of output, as Table 5.1 shows.


TABLE 5.1
Peak year ( 1929) production and estimated reserves of coal
Mn tons
Production Reserves Total reserves in hard
Hard Brown Hard Brown coal equivalenta
Country coal coal coal coal
Poland 46.2 -- 60,000 -- 60,000
Czechoslovakia 16.5 22.5 28,000 12,000 35,000
Hungary 0.8 7.0 100 176 200
Romania 0.4 2.7 48 3,000 2,000
Yugoslavia 0.4 4.2 45 4,680 2,000
Bulgaria 0.1 1.6 140 3,860 1,600
a 1 ton = 7mn kcal.
Source: Tables 4.1 and 4.2; Political and Economic Planning (PEP), Economic Development in South-Eastern Europe,
London, 1945, p. 47.

-222-

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The Economic History of Eastern Europe, 1919-1975 - Vol. 1
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The Economic History of Eastern Europe 1919-75 ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Maps and Figures vi
  • Contributors to Volumes I and II vii
  • Notes xi
  • Acknowledgements xvii
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter 1 General Characteristics of the Region Between the Wars 23
  • Chapter 2 Human Resources 66
  • Chapter 3 Agriculture 148
  • Chapter 4 Raw Materials and Energy 210
  • Chapter 5 Industry 222
  • Chapter 6 Infrastructure 323
  • Chapter 7 Foreign Trade Performance and Policy 379
  • Chapter 8 National Income and Product 532
  • Index 599
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