FDI in developing countries ‘set to fall 50% in 2020’

The pandemic provides an opportunity to accelerate progress towards collaborative solutions to development issues


Global foreign direct investment, FDI, in developing countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America is projected to plunge by 25 percent to 50 percent in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to experts.

"This will threaten the world’s ability to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development," experts from United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), John Cabot University Rome, Kaspersky, The EuroScience Open Forum, University of Tokyo, and CloudMinds told the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (#GMIS2020) Virtual Edition, reported Emirates News Agency WAM.

In spite of this, they argued, the pandemic provides an opportunity to accelerate progress towards collaborative solutions to development issues, most notably to advance manufacturing technologies and digitalisation.

Dr. Bernardo Calzadilla-Sarmiento, Managing Director, Directorate of Digitalisation, Technology and Agribusiness, UNIDO, said that prior to the crisis there was an estimated investment gap of $2.5 trillion per year to implement the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, and the current situation risks aggravating this trend, which could amplify existing challenges in global production.

"The fourth industrial revolution has the potential to contribute to increased resource efficiency and help shift towards a more circular economy," Calzadilla-Sarmiento said. "And this is the big opportunity we have to take into account, that we need to recover from the pandemic in a different manner."

Dr. Alina Sorgner, Assistant Professor of Applied Data Analytics, John Cabot University Rome, said advancing gender equality in the manufacturing sector would require organisations to first address the gender skills gap, which is very apparent in both developed and developing countries.

Andrey Suvorov, Head of Business Development, IIoT Cyber Security, Kaspersky, acknowledged the existence of a skills gap and said that certain skills will become increasingly important and relevant for workers in the manufacturing sector to stay competitive in the coming years.

Professor Stefano Fantoni, Champion of the EuroScience Open Forum - ESOF 2020 Trieste, and the President of the Trieste International Foundation of Freedom and Progress of Science, emphasised that it is essential for educational initiatives that are aimed at introducing advanced technologies to have practical as well as theoretical learning elements.

Dr. Yusuke Kajihara, Associate Professor of the Institute of Industrial Science at the University of Tokyo, said that to introduce new technologies, countries need to have the right balance between cyber and physical fields, which in developing countries is often absent.

Bill Huang, Founder and CEO of CloudMinds, said the introduction of 5G networks would aid the rapid convergence of robot intelligence towards human intelligence for various uses.

Weixi Gong, Chief of the Investment and Technology Promotion Division at UNIDO, concluded the session by saying that Industry 4.0 and Society 5.0 will alter the way we live and work and it is the job of international organisations, such as UNIDO, to ensure that no one is left behind on this transformative journey, and that everyone will be enabled to reap the benefits of these developments in the era of the fourth industrial revolution.

Hosted by Yuko Yasunaga, the Head of UNIDO ITPO Tokyo, the virtual panel discussion on ‘Exploring the future of manufacturing and industries: Industry 4.0’s true potential in advancing the attainment of the SDGs and shaping Society 5.0’ is the eighth session of the #GMIS2020 Digital Series that will lead up to the Virtual Summit on September 4-5, 2020.

Through its Virtual Editions, the third edition of the #GMIS2020, a joint initiative by the UAE and the UNIDO, is bringing together high-profile thought-leaders and business pioneers from around the world to shape the future of manufacturing, discuss the impact of pandemics on global value chains, and highlight the role of fourth industrial revolution, 4IR, technologies in restoring economic and social activities.

Copyright 2020 Al Hilal Publishing and Marketing Group Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).

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