Forum on Globalization and Industrialization discusses technological shifts in age of global value chains

Forum on Globalization and Industrialization discusses technological shifts in age of global value chains

VIENNA, 19 November 2019 - The 2019 Forum on Globalization and Industrialization, The Future of Global Value Chains – How the Fourth Industrial Revolution is Changing Global Production Networks, has taken place at the headquarters of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). It was the fourth in a series of annual forums jointly organized by UNIDO and the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel) to focus on issues related to global production, trade and investment.

During the event, policymakers, and representatives from international organizations, academia and business discussed the challenges and opportunities of technological shifts for global value chains (GVCs) to drive inclusive and sustainable development. The discussions served to support evidence-based policymaking at the international level and to facilitate an exchange of ideas.

In his welcoming remarks, Hiroshi Kuniyoshi, Deputy to the Director General of UNIDO, said that if new technologies were applied appropriately, they could offer huge potential to advance economic growth and human well-being and to safeguard the environment. “There is nothing pre-ordained or automatic about the impact of Fourth Industrial Revolution-related technologies on developing countries as a whole. It is important that governments work on the existing bottlenecks in the diffusion of potentially useful technologies,” he said.

Gabriel Felbermayr, President of IfW Kiel, said the academic institute’s cooperation with UNIDO had intensified over the years, representing an important means for academics to go beyond the ivory tower and be grounded in finding solutions to real-world problems.

Following their introductory remarks, Kuniyoshi and Felbermayr signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen partnership and collaboration between UNIDO and IfW Kiel in the area of inclusive and sustainable industrial development. The two entities will develop and implement joint research, capacity building and global forum activities in the context of the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, as well as the G20 and T20 frameworks.

The event was divided into four sessions. The first considered the possible impact of technological change (commonly referred to as Industry 4.0) on the configuration of global investment and trade flows in the context of GVCs. The second session provided industry-specific insights on the adoption and feasibility of new technologies from the perspectives of business practitioners. The third session discussed the extent to which GVCs could serve as a driver of industrial development in view of rapid technological shifts, and explored new industrial policy options for countries to reap the benefits of GVCs. The last session discussed the role of infrastructure development in facilitating international trade and production, and the extent to which infrastructure requirements may change in response to technological shifts.

For further information, contact:

Adnan Seric

Research and Industrial Development Officer