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Industrialization is a fundamental objective for most developing countries in their efforts to achieve economic growth. However, simple quantitative increases in industrial output or in total national income cannot accurately measure other changes in the development process such as attainment of social objectives, technological advances, efficiency considerations, etc. Assessing such measures can help planners in developing countries to better formulate industrial policies, and stimulate improvements in performance. It can also help aid donors and international lenders. This study explores and applies a method of classification, ranking, and comparison of countries according to their level of industrial development. It is based on a comprehensive analysis of the different factors affecting, directly or indirectly, industrial growth. These factors include criteria--both quantitative and qualitative--related to effectiveness, comparative performance, efficiency, impacts, sustainability, and capabilities. Aggregation of these elements results in a composite index of industrial progress. Based on this analysis, a generic prototype performance evaluation system was developed. An expert systems approach was attempted in building the prototype in view of the heuristic nature of the problem. The system's knowledge base was acquired from domain experts, as well as from the literature. The system was tested using real data from a sample of 20 countries. The prototype runs on personal computers (IBM and compatibles) using an expert systems shell (VP-Expert) interfacing with database and spreadsheet files.