regional development program

regional development program

Any government program designed to encourage the industrial and economic development of regions beset by joblessness or other economic hardship. Most industrialized countries have adopted some type of regional development program since World War II. The most common method of encouraging development is to offer grants, loans, and loan guarantees to companies relocating or expanding in the region. France, for example, has offered subsidies related to the amount of investment and the number of new jobs created, as well as loans, interest subsidies, and free land sites. Tax incentives are also used to encourage companies to invest in depressed areas. In other programs, the government may offer low-cost housing for workers and assistance in developing power, light, transportation, and sanitation facilities. See also development bank.

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