Industrial Policy

The Industrial Policy plan of a country, sometimes shortened IP, is its official strategic effort to encourage the development and growth of the manufacturing sector of the economy. The government takes measures "aimed at improving the competitiveness and capabilities of domestic firms and promoting structural transformation." A country's infrastructure (transportation, telecommunications and energy industry) is a major part of the manufacturing sector that usually has a key role in IP.

Industrial policies are sector specific, unlike broader macroeconomic policies. They are sometimes labeled as interventionist as opposed to laissez-faire economics. Examples of horizontal, economywide policies are tightening credit or taxing capital gain, while examples of vertical, sector-specific policies comprise protecting textiles from foreign imports or subsidizing export industries. Free market advocates consider industrial policies as interventionist measures typical of mixed economy countries.

Many types of industrial policies contain common elements with other types of interventionist practices such as trade policy and fiscal policy. An example of a typical industrial policy is import-substitution-industrialization (ISI), where trade barriers are temporarily imposed on some key sectors, such as manufacturing. By selectively protecting certain industries, these industries are given time to learn (learning by doing) and upgrade. Once competitive enough, these restrictions are lifted to expose the selected industries to the international market.

Read more about Industrial Policy:  History, Criticism, Debates On The 'How To' of Industrial Policy

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