Business location in developing countries.

  • E. A. Agabawi

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


The inception of this study was stimulated by the increasing awareness of developing countries of the importance of striking the right balance between concentration and dispersal of economic activities. It has been slanted towards the Sudan, where frequent failures and inefficiencies of planning of business location due to the ad hoc and crude locational policies manifest themselves in a number of ways. Hence the study seeks to elucidate the following issues: (a) To understand the existing pattern of industrial location and find points of similarity and/or departure with different location theories. (b) To identify the main determinants that influence locational decision, (c) To examine the role of the government and its different forms of intervention, (d) To identify the stages of locational decisions with an interest of showing the place of these decisions within the dynamic process of planning. Consequently, a framework was devised with an eye on meeting the above objectives and conducting the study on a systematic way. The investigation was based on personal interviews with managing directors in the private and public sectors as well as government officials. Use was also made of published materials. To skate quickly over the major findings, the study indicates that the normative approaches to the problem of location, whose central objective is the determination of the optimum site that maximizes profit is too restrictive when applied to a country like the Sudan due to the complexity of factors involved. Equally, the role of the government is too obvious to be ignored, and hence one cannot dismiss the relationships between the macro and micro perspectives. As a corollary to this, the disparity in the relative significance of location determinants in developing and developed countries has been highlighted. Congruous to other developing countries, the pattern of industrial development in the Sudan, presents a case of limited industrial concentration in few urban centres. This state calls for proposing a flexible approach to planning of business location which takes account of two important aspects. (a) The first is an articulate investment policy by the government in key cities, suitable from an economic point of view, by provision of basic services that should be planned in close association with the policy of planning of business location. (b) Lest that trickling down effect may not make a positive impact in the lives of the majority of rural population, there is an urgency in developing rural centres.
Date of Award1980
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath

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