Among economic historians, the "process of industrialization" is a technical term. It is not to be understood as implying that there was no industry before its onset. On the contrary, in many European countries as well as in some countries outside Europe industrial activity had existed for many hundreds of years before "industrialization" set in. Nor is it to be understood to mean that the development of industry was necessarily central to it. Very often it was, but in some countries, it was the transformation of the primary sector, agriculture or forestry in particular, that was the key feature. In more recent years, the technical transformation or modernization of the services sector has sometimes played an important part.