Hie antithesis of the economic core area is the perip heral problem region. Hiis is generally viewed as a region that has to cope with low-value production activities that have been displaced from the West. Hiese activities are presumed to take place in branch plants, which implies that the economy of the periphery is dependent on the central region (external control). Obviously, there is no room for R&D under such conditions, and whenever the economy turns down, many branch plants are closed down. Hie economy of these regions is not considered to be buoyant. Consequently, the recent trend in regional policy, i. e. the tendency to diminish the incentives to invest in the problem regions while emphasizing the intrinsic potential of each region, is commonly interpreted as ' betting on the strong' and as the abandonment of the weaker regions.