BRUSSELS, 5 February 2019 – The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) actively contributed to the European Industry Days 2019, which recognizes the importance of industry in sustainable development and which focuses on industrial challenges, such as sustainability, digitalization, investment and globalization.
President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker opened the event by highlighting the European Union’s role as a leader for industrialization in an increasingly globalized world, stressing that: “Europe is still an industrial society and we should think about what our economy can do to our people not what our people can do for the economy”. Interim President of the World Bank Group Kristalina Georgieva then delivered a keynote speech in which she emphazised: “The European Union needs to concentrate its efforts on the fast development of the digital economy in order to secure a strategic positioning in the future world environment”.
UNIDO Director General LI Yong spoke during the high-level panel on industry and the future of globalization, during which he underlined the importance of innovation for industry to attain inclusive and sustainable industrial development. “I think that globalization is really useful for the global economy and social development. I believe that globalization provides opportunities and challenges, investment technology and skills development. If you have a strong trade scheme and a good regulatory framework, the country will move ahead with opportunities”, said Li.
On the side lines of the event, the UNIDO Director General had the opportunity to further exchange views with inter alia Vice-President of the European Commission Jyrki Katainen, Interim President of the World Bank Kristalina Georgieva, Chairman of the European Round Table of Industrialists Carl-Henric Svanberg, Chairman of Volvo Jussi Herlin. Throughout the discussions, the importance of cooperation and partnership was very much stressed.
LI Yong also held a bilateral meeting met with EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica to further improve the outstanding EU-UNIDO cooperation, through which 28 projects are being implemented with the financial support of the European Union. The UNIDO Director General also met the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of states’ Secretary General Patrick Ignatius Gomes to discuss ACP-UNIDO in the Post-Cotonou process, for the third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (IDDA III) and for the Samoa Plan of Action.
Li also met Lotte Knudsen, Managing Director of Human Rights, Global and Multilateral Issues at the European External Action Service (EEAS), who agreed on the importance of (re)industrialization and its recognition in multilateral fora. The Director General further emphasized the importance of approaches such as UNIDO’s Programme for Country Partnership (PCP) to address the root causes of forced migration, and the importance of enhanced EU-UNIDO cooperation in this context.
The European Industry Days 2019 gathered around 1,000 participants from across Europe and beyond, including stakeholders representing industry, trade unions, national and regional authorities, and civil society.
For more information, please contact:
UNIDO Liaison Office, Brussels