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The economic effects of COVID-19 on the industrial sector ultimately rests on the crisis’ impact on manufacturing firms. Despite the multitude of firm surveys initiated by national and international organizations, there is still a lack of harmonized enterprise-level data on the manufacturing sector and on the responses implemented by firms and governments to mitigate the crisis, which would allow for cross-country comparisons of the pandemic’s impacts.

To help fill this gap, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)—in collaboration with governments, business chambers and other agencies—has been promoting the implementation of a series of online firm-level surveys to assess COVID-19’s impact on manufacturing firms around the world. As of July 2021, UNIDO has collected data from 26 developing and emerging industrial economies in Africa, Asia and Latin America (see map).

The data collected is expected to inform and guide policymakers in the design and implementation of economic recovery and resilience measures for the industrial sector, to set countries back on the path of structural transformation based on inclusive and sustainable industrial development.

These data will also serve as a key input to the next Industrial Development Report 2022, UNIDO’s flagship publication, which analyses the pandemic’s impact on global manufacturing and the prospects for the future of industrialization.