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UNIDO to create a multilateral industrial policy forum to support Member States

03 December 2021


VIENNA, 3 December 2021 -  The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has held a side event titled, “Revival of industrial policy – prospects for establishing a global industrial policy forum for multilateral policy learning and knowledge sharing”, during the organization's 19th General Conference.

The side event was prompted by the urgent need among countries reviving their industrial policies to share experiences and best-practices, and to promote policy learning. In addition, such a forum responds to the renewed interest in industrial policy, and the prominent role of industrial policy in achieving inclusive and sustainable industrial development.

It has become increasingly clear that the levels of knowledge and the capacities required for successful formulation and implementation of industrial policies in the 21st century have significantly risen. Megatrends such as the impact of the pandemic, climate change, greening of industry, restructuring of global production, and digitalization, impose great challenges, particularly for developing countries with low levels of industrial capabilities.

In view of these challenges and building on its unique mandate as the specialized UN organization responsible for fostering ISID, UNIDO together with partners proposes the establishment of a multilateral industrial policy forum to facilitate dialogues, share knowledge and draw from its vast field experiences to inform different aspects of industrial policy.

In his intervention, Hiroshi Kuniyoshi, UNIDO's Deputy to the Director General, emphasized that the forum will be a step towards meeting the increasing demand for the effective use of industrial policies to foster inclusive and sustainable industrial development and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The ensuing panel discussion concurred that achieving the SDGs is not possible without industrial policy, and emphasized the importance of strengthening industrial policy capacities of policymakers. These are two imperatives for building resilience, while balancing economic, social and economic outcomes stemming from industrialization.

The panel then concluded to recommend the establishment of a multi-stakeholder forum focusing on industrial policy. Inter alia, the panel proposed that the forum should facilitate the identification of common industrial development priorities among Member States, as well as identifying areas of collaboration and synergies, while enabling the design and implementation of more effective industrial policies.

Another dimension suggested by the panel was that the forum becomes a peer-learning mechanism for new-generation industrial policy formulation. It should also enable discussion that helps translate frontier knowledge and best-practice industrial policies that address pressing industrial development challenges. The panelists agreed that a multilateral industrial policy forum along such lines would greatly benefit Member States in their search for the development approach that suits their particular context, history and level of industrial capabilities. This view was supported by a statement shared online from Annalisa Primi, Head of the Economic Transformation and Development Division of the OECD Development Centre, which also expressed the Division's willingness to contribute to it and join forces with UNIDO in this important effort, thereby expanding fruitful ongoing collaboration with UNIDO.

UNIDO will continue the process towards defining the modalities of the multilateral industrial policy forum, eliciting ideas from Member States and engaging with partner organizations that could help translate these ideas into productive industrial policy action in the Member States.


For further information on the multilateral industrial policy forum, contact:

Anders Isaksson, Email


Fernando Santiago, Email