Heavy industry does not have a single fixed meaning as compared to light industry. It refers to production of products which are either heavy in weight or in the processes leading to their production. In general, it is a popular term used by socialist economic planners and within the name of many East Asian firms, meaning 'construction' for big projects. Example projects include the construction of large buildings, chemical plants, the H-IIA rocket and also includes the production of construction equipment such as cranes and bulldozers. Alternatively, heavy industry projects can be generalized as more capital intensive or as requiring greater or more advanced resources, facilities or management.
Many East Asian companies rely on heavy industry as part of their overall economy. Among Japanese and Korean firms with "heavy industry" in their names, many are also manufacturers of aerospace products and defense armaments, along with being defense contractors to their respective countries' governments such as Japan's Fuji Heavy Industries and Korea's Hyundai Rotem, a joint project of Hyundai Heavy Industries and Daewoo Heavy Industries.
Heavy industry is also sometimes a special designation in local zoning laws.
- Morris Teubal, "Heavy and Light Industry in Economic Development" The American Economic Review, Vol. 63, No. 4. (Sep. 1973), pp. 588–596.
- "Some Definitions in the Vocabulary of Geography", IV, British Association Glossary Committee, The Geographical Journal, Vol. 118, No. 3. (Sep. 1952), pp. 345–346.
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