"Technological innovation and the development of environmental goods are key to ensuring demand-driven industrialization can be sustainable," concluded participants at the launch of Industrial Development Report (IDR) 2018 organized during the 18th Global Development Conference on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) for Development held in New Delhi, India.
Developed by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the IDR2018 considers the importance of demand as a driver of industrial development. It argues that a critical mass of consumption of manufactures can set in motion a virtuous circle of industrial development – comprising income creation, demand diversification and massification of consumption – but that this requires specific policy measures to attain socially inclusive or environmentally sustainable industrialization.
Manufacturing is the prime provider of new varieties and qualities of goods. Over time, industries tend to decrease the prices of those goods, making them more accessible, explained Cecilia Ugaz Estrada, Director of the UNIDO Department of Policy Research and Statistics. "This has a positive impact on our living standards and well-being and directly contributes to the achievement of several Sustainable Development Goals, beyond SDG9 on industry, innovation and infrastructure."
"High levels of innovation and technical change are essential for providing affordable varieties of quality goods while ensuring the activities are environmentally sustainable," Estrada added.
The participants also looked into policies that can help steer demand towards the achievement of inclusive and sustainable industrial development. Pradeep S. Mehta, Secretary General of the Consumer Unity & Trust Society, noted that competition policy is crucial to drive industrial growth and innovation and to ensure that affordable goods are available on the market. He also emphasized the importance of countries aligning their industrial and trade policies.
Vandana Kumar, Joint Secretary of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion in India's Ministry of Commerce and Industry, validated the relevance of the report. "The virtuous circle of manufacturing demand has been keep kept in mind while developing India's industrial policy," she said.
Organized in partnership between the Campbell Collaboration, the Global Development Network (GDN), the Institute for Studies in Industrial Development (ISID) and UNIDO, the 18th Global Development Conference explores the potential contribution of STI for tackling development challenges and advancing the SDGs.