Technology can deliver inclusive and sustainable industrial development: Industrial Development Report 2016
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) launched its flagship publication, the Industrial Development Report (IDR) 2016, during the Organization’s General Conference on 2 December 2015.
The report, titled “The role of technology and innovation in inclusive and sustainable industrial development”, addresses the challenging question of what conditions are required for structural transformation, driven by technological change, in order to drive sustained growth and inclusiveness, while avoiding environmental degradation.
Technological change is recognized as one of the main drivers of long-term growth. In the coming decades, radical innovations such as the mobile internet, the Internet of Things and cloud computing are likely to revolutionize production processes and enhance living standards, particularly in developing countries. However, while there is clear evidence that technological change contributes significantly to the prosperity of nations, the debate about the underlying factors deterring countries from promoting technology and innovation more intensively continues. Although technology is linked to sustainable growth, there has been uncertainty about whether it can simultaneously create social inclusiveness and environmental sustainability.
The main finding of the IDR 2016 is that technology can simultaneously serve all three dimensions of sustainability – economic, social and environmental.
Rapid inclusive and sustainable industrialization can be achieved, provided that policymakers resolutely facilitate and steer the industrialization process, on the basis of sound policies and by avoiding the mistakes other countries have made in the past.
Writing in the foreword to the report, UNIDO Director General, LI Yong, said: “I am particularly pleased that the Industrial Development Report 2016 emphasizes the critical need for international cooperation to promote technological change and achieve inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and that it reaffirms the commitment of my Organization to fulfil its unique mandate in support of this effort.”