What are footloose industries? Identify the factors influencing the location of these industries.

Footloose industries are those, which are not constrained to any particular location and are not affected by factors of production such as resources, land, labour, and capital. They do not have ‘weight losing’ or ‘weight gaining’ processes.

These industries are prone to relocation depending upon few conditions and hence called footloose.

Characteristics:

  • Skilled labour.
  • Easy to transport output.
  • Close to transport location.
  • Runs on electricity.
  • Generally non-polluting.
  • Light, small components.

Factors affecting their location:

  • Electricity Supply – close to areas of cheap/subsidized uninterrupted electricity supply.
  • Proximity to transport linkages, e.g. location of refineries near coast.
  • Proximity to markets, e.g. diamond market in west coast.
  • Availability of skilled labour, e.g. computer chips industry around Bangalore.
  • Favourable policy environment, e.g. Pharma manufacturing in Himachal Pradesh under soft terms.

Thus, footloose industries play a key role in the modern economy, crucially adding to exports and aiding strategic economic growth & resilience.

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