Industrialization by Invitation

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Industrialisation is the process of social and economic change whereby a social group is transferred from a manual labor based structure to a more technologically driven society and where the economy gains much more capital via manufacturing industries. Caribbean economies have been labeled as weak and dependent, and controlled by stronger foreign states and institutions (The Plantation Economy). Sir Arthur Lewis, St. Lucia’s first Nobel Prize winner, has released several publications on the issue of underdeveloped nations in the Caribbean and solutions to correct this underdevelopment. Of these publications is the concept of “Industrialisation by invitation”. Lewis felt that this was a step needed to be taken for the British West Indies to develop. Sir Arthur Lewis policy aided in the development of the B.W.I but the policy itself also hindered development as well as left out major aspects of development. After Lewis studied the system known as Operation Bootstrap (policy of deliberately inviting foreign direct investors) in Puerto Rico, he set out to adopt and implement similar in the British West Indies. The economies of the British Caribbean were mainly agricultural and there was a need to stimulate industrial growth and trade in manufactured goods, to diversify the economic base, since these economies were mainly monocrop economies. This term not only refers to the dependence on sugar and bananas, it also characterizes the dependence on tourism or the oil industry. Lewis therefore proposed the strategy to invite foreign investment as a way to stimulate growth, not only in industry but also agriculture, and therefore to reduce the dependency on the export sector. He reasoned that the British West Indies had a great abundance of unskilled labour in agriculture and amongst the unemployed. These countries did not have much capital. Thus multinational corporations (MNCs) with millions of dollars at their disposal were to be invited to the...
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