Economic Activities cover all the stages from the extraction of natural resources from earth and manufacturing of goods to all the marketing processes such as transportation, communication and banking etc. At the global level, the chain of economic activities involve millions of workers in mines, factories and fields along with other producers, consumers, traders, transporters and bankers. All of them play key role in the economic activities. For example, workers put their heart and soul in the efforts to extract natural resources, the farmers work hard to grow crops, factory workers toil day and night to produce goods, the traders carry goods to the retailers where shopkeepers sell the merchandise to the consumers. Similarly, the transporters and bankers contribute their share to the economic activities. The Economic activities can be divided into the following main categories.
- Primary Economic Activities.
- Secondary Economic Activities.
- Tertiary Economic Activities.
- Quaternary Economic Activities.
- Quinary Economic Activities.
1. Primary Economic Activities:
The primary economic activities provide the foundation of the production cycle. These activities produce raw materials for industries and basic food stuff for the people. The primary activities include the following:
- Extraction of minerals from earth
- Cultivation of crops
- Gathering of wild berries and nuts
- Fishing from rivers, seas and lakes
- Harvesting of trees
- Pastoral farming
- Mining, fishing, logging and hunting
Examples: In Canada, logging and oil industries represent primary economic activity. Similarly, animal husbandry is the most common in Africa and mining is one of the major activities in advanced countries. Developed countries have also introduced modern farming techniques in the agriculture rector to increase the production. These include tractors and harvesters.
2. Secondary Economic Activities:
The secondary economic activity involves the sectors which produce finished products from the raw materials. Thus the value of the commodities is increased by changing their forms. This function is performed through the use of machines in the open (agriculture) or in the factories. Following sectors are included in the secondary economic activity:
- Textile production from cotton farming
- Furniture production from logging
- Automobile production
- Milk production from live stock farming
- Steel production from iron ore
- Tobacco production from farming
- Consumer electronics
- Chemical industry
- Brewing industry from grapes farming
- Industrial equipment
- Energy Industry
Examples: U.K, Japan, China, India and Pakistan are prominent due to textile production. Canada, Russia and USA have large furniture industry. Similarly Spain, Italy, France and Portugal have large brewing industries.
3. Tertiary Economic Activities:
Tertiary Economic activities provide services to the Community. This work is done by professionals such as business men, clerks, teachers, lawyers, professors and medical officers etc. Thus all these services are provided to the businessmen or consumers. Tertiary economic activities consist of following services.
- Healthcare/ hospitals/ dispensaries/ mobile units
- Business Services
- News media (radio, TV, internet, Newspaper)
- Real state
- Public Utilities
- Consultancy services
- Legal practice and services
- Franchisation of services
Examples: Technological advancement in the present modern world is fast increasing the canvas of the tertiary economic activities. Thus many classification system are being used for extensive data collection.
4. Quaternary Economic Activities:
These activities consist of services such as management and information processing. The Quaternary economic activities include the following:
- Scientific research and development
- Information technology
- Library services
- Entertainment Services
- Information and data processing services
- Administrative services
5. Quinary Economic Activities:
These activities include high level managerial and analytical functions in the public and private sectors. Main actors of the Quinary economic activities are research scientists, chief executive officers, financial advisers, legal experts, planners and consultants.
Also Read: Categories of Economic Systems