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Patterns of Economic Development


Most of the manufacturing plants of Central America process raw materials of the region such as sugarcane, coffee, cotton, timber, and fish. In addition, since the 1950s a concerted attempt has been made to reduce the need to import basic fabricated articles. Thus, factories making paint, detergents, tires, paper and cardboard articles, fertilizer, and insecticide have been established in the major urban areas.

Many manufacturing establishments in Central America involve only a handful of workers, and few employ more than 10 people. Large-scale manufacturing is hindered by the regionís lack of energy sources, its undeveloped transportation systems, and its small markets.

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