CERNOBBIO, 28 September 2018 – The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has had a prominent role in the World Manufacturing Forum 2018, a two-day event where global policy experts, industrial leaders and eminent academic and research innovators have addressed and discussed the challenges and trends in global manufacturing.
The seventh edition of the World Manufacturing Forum (WMF) global conference, titled ‘Manufacturing Revolution to Promote Global Resilience: how the industrial transformation inspires education, sustainable development and societal impact’, explored how industry is responding to the challenges of the fourth industrial revolution and how industrial policies can support education, sustainable development and societal impact.
Fulfilling one of its core functions of convening stakeholders and brokering partnerships for knowledge transfer, networking and industrial cooperation, UNIDO co-organized a panel discussion on “Manufacturing as a Powerhouse of Emerging Countries” during the Annual Meeting.
UNIDO Director General LI Yong opened the panel with a keynote speech stressing the importance of manufacturing for poverty eradication, and the continued relevance of industry as a global provider of stable employment, especially in developing countries.
“In 2015, the adoption of Goal 9 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development - ‘build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation’ - by UN Member States demonstrates the enduring relevance of industrial development for all countries. Industrial production continues to account for approximately 16 per cent of global GDP, and employs approximately 500 million people worldwide.” he said.
LI also noted that the growing convergence of digital and traditional manufacturing sectors, often dubbed “the Fourth Industrial Revolution”, poses significant challenges for all countries, but especially developing countries.
“In order to respond to these challenges, global dialogue and action will be necessary. The creation of shared prosperity, to which inclusive and sustainable industrial development, and specifically manufacturing is a crucial driver, must be at the forefront of our policies, strategies and actions,” he said.
The panel included the former UNIDO Director General, Carlos Alfredo Magariños, currently Ambassador of Argentina in Brazil; Thailand’s Minister of Digital Economy and Society, Pichet Durongkaveroj; Cambodia’s Minister of Industry and Handicraft, Cham Prasidh; and Luis Sitoe, Senior Policy Reform Advisor, Ministry of Industry and Commerce of Mozambique.
The WMF 2018 saw the launch of the first edition of the annual WMF Global Report which addresses manufacturing sector issues and outlines significant trends and policy proposals. UNIDO contributed to the WMF Global Report, with three case studies on its sustainable cities projects; its flagship Programme for Country Partnership (PCP), and its Global Cleantech Innovation Programme (GCIP).
On the margins of the WMF 2018, UNIDO Director General Li met with Antonio Ribolla, President of the World Manufacturing Foundation, to sign a joint declaration on the intention of the two organizations to promote a common global agenda on technological innovation and inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and to advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
“The joint declaration signed today between World Manufacturing Foundation and UNIDO represents for the Foundation, whose vision is that manufacturing is the initial core for the social and economic development of a country, an opportunity to start an important cooperation finalized to increase, through manufacturing, sustainable development and innovation all around the world, focusing in particular on the less developed areas. All this is in perfect correspondence with the WMF mission, which has as fundamental goal the improvement of competitiveness in all nations through dialogue and cooperation among the manufacturing sector’s key players”.
“It’s also been a great honour," added Alberto Ribolla, "to have Mr. Li Yong as speaker at the World Manufacturing Forum 2018 annual meeting”.
Cecilia Ugaz Estrada
Department of Policy Research and Statistics