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What is economic development?

Economic development is the development of the wealth of countries or regions for the well-being of their inhabitants.

From a policy perspective, economic development can be defined as efforts that seek to improve the economic well-being and quality of life for a community by creating and/or retaining jobs.

An introduction

There is surprising amount that communities can do to improve their prospects. Simply improving community capacity, showing leadership, engaging all community sectors (from business to youth), volunteering and becoming involved all add up to a given community/township being able to overcome obstacles and ride out crises. A fundamental point of economic development is that towns, cities or regions must stand together and work together or be divided and fail to present a united front to those who make key decisions.

Core principles

  • Local capacity and leadership
  • Well integrated and stable governance
  • Connected businesses do better
  • Good infrastructure and planning
  • Enabling - stakeholders must have a role in decision-making
  • Place - all regions must identify their comparative advantages
  • Growth poles, clustering and agglomeration - industry groups locate together and work collectively

More information

RDA-South West is a member of Economic Development Australia which is a mine of information - particularly for local government.

Also included here is a pdf download which fleshes out the above points, and there are notes taken from a conference sponsored by the Commonwealth. These first two items are for stimulating your thoughts and ideas only - they are not academically referenced. The third free download is provided by the Comomnwealth.

 Key guiding principles for regional development (72kb)

 Growing Regions Conference 2006 (64kb)

 Strategies for regional growth (84kb)

 Government interventions and economic development (597kb)