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OECD Territorial Reviews: Luxembourg 2007

image of OECD Territorial Reviews: Luxembourg 2007

In the short span of just a few decades, Luxembourg has moved from a steel-based economy to one more broadly based on financial services.  But being nestled between three other countries, each with their own infrastructure and development issues presents challenges.  This review examines the economic trends and disparities within the region, including under-exploited assets.  It makes recommendations regarding planning, the urban-rural balance, housing and land policy, transport, and R&D and education.

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Regional Disparities and Under-utilised Assets

Having for a long time been largely agricultural, the economy of the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg entered the industrial revolution in the mid- 19th century with the discovery of iron ore in the south of the country. The steel industry, which flourished with the help of capital from neighbouring countries, had made Luxembourg one of the foremost European steel producers by the eve of World War I. Accompanying this rapid industrial development were the first migration flows, mainly from Italy and Germany, in response to the need to man the blast furnaces. Industrial consolidation continued in the wake of the war, mainly thanks to the giant ARBED group which became one of the biggest iron and steel producers in Europe. In February 2002, ARBED, ACERALIA and USINOR associated themselves to create ARCELOR.

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