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UNIDO publishes the Industrial Development Report (IDR) 2024

18 June 2024

IDR 2024

Vienna, 18 June 2024UNIDO’s new flagship publication, the 2024 edition of the Industrial Development Report (IDR), entitled “Turning Challenges into Sustainable Solutions: The New Era of Industrial Policy”, shows the transformative potential of modern industrial policies to offer novel solutions to current global challenges, from resource scarcity and climate change to widening socioeconomic disparities and a growing world population. The report finds that every manufacturing job has the potential to generate more than two jobs in other sectors of the economy. This underscores the crucial role of industry as a driver of job creation and economic growth – and as such a key element in fighting poverty and hunger. The IDR24 also reports that industrial firms hold approximately 60% of all green patents worldwide, despite representing a smaller share of the overall number of firms, thus highlighting their crucial role in innovation for sustainable economic development.

UNIDO Director General Gerd Müller: “We have the technologies and the knowledge to provide effective answers to growing global challenges. The countries of the Global South need a development perspective – and modern sustainable industry plays a central role in this. A precondition is access to sustainable energy for all because energy is the basis of any and all development. Moreover, the growing population in developing countries will need decent jobs – industry can provide these! Our new report shows that every job created in manufacturing generates more than two other jobs in the wider economy. Therefore, we need long-term investment in sustainable industrial development including skills training, and above all true global partnership and solidarity to give the hundreds of millions of young people worldwide a promising perspective for the future.”

IDR24 emphasizes why and how modern industrial policies must leverage megatrends such as the energy transition, the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), global trade rebalancing and demographic shifts. Such policies must not only be Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)-oriented but also future-ready, collaborative, and regionally coordinated.

Based on a novel framework to comprehensively assess progress on sustainable industrialization and economic growth, the report finds that progress towards industry-related SDGs has been too slow, particularly in innovation, clean energy and job creation. These trends can only be reversed through bold and tailored interventions. The IDR24 outlines areas of opportunity for developing countries to accelerate progress, including the generation of renewable energy – from green hydrogen to ocean energy to the critical minerals and components needed for the energy transition; the use of 4IR technology like AI or blockchain to increase competitiveness; attracting foreign direct investment which is relocating due to ongoing global rebalancing as well the trend to regionalization. The IDR24 highlights best practice interventions in opportunity areas from all over the world.

A region-specific assessment of progress on sustainable industrialization reveals varying regional challenges and opportunities:

  • Africa:  Substantial gaps in several key areas compared to other developing regions, yet IDR analysis highlights Africa’s enormous potential. There has been significant progress in infrastructure, energy and resource efficiency over the past decade, with great opportunities for transformative economic growth by leveraging abundant renewable resources to leapfrog into clean industrialization.
  • Asia-Pacific: Performance in meeting industry targets stands out, positioning it as a global powerhouse in industrial production. However, strong growth rates have decelerated over the past decade, with growing challenges in job creation and innovation. Thus, policy solutions that support high-quality job creation while spurring technological upgrading are required.
  • Eastern Europe: Solid foundations in energy access, employment, and infrastructure development. However, progress in key areas such as innovation, clean energy and resource efficiency has been slow, requiring targeted interventions to spur competitiveness and industrial decarbonization.
  • Latin America and the Caribbean: Achievement in energy-related SDG targets surpasses other developing regions, with laudable progress in clean energy deployment and near-universal energy access. Yet the region lags behind in socioeconomic targets related to economic growth and job creation and has been showing signs of premature deindustrialization over the past decade.

International cooperation and solidarity are key to achieving fair globalization. IDR24 therefore appeals for renewed international commitment to support developing nations, which includes increased technology and knowledge transfer, sustainable financing, and robust international cooperation.

IDR24 is the result of extensive collaborative research conducted by UNIDO together with various partners, as well as conclusions drawn from regional workshops and expert consultations. By engaging stakeholders across all regions, the report integrates a wide array of perspectives and data, ensuring that its recommendations are both globally relevant and locally actionable.

Regional events will be organized throughout the second half of the year to present and discuss the findings, fostering multi-stakeholder dialogue and policy learning around sustainable industrial development.


For more information and to access the full report, visit