Investment in infrastructure and innovation are crucial drivers of economic growth and development. With over half the world population now living in cities, mass transport and renewable energy are becoming ever more important, as are the growth of new industries and information and communication technologies.
Technological progress is also key to finding lasting solutions to both economic and environmental challenges, such as providing new jobs and promoting energy efficiency. Promoting sustainable industries, and investing in scientific research and innovation, are all important ways to facilitate sustainable development.
More than 4 billion people still do not have access to the Internet, and 90 percent are from the developing world. Bridging this digital divide is crucial to ensure equal access to information and knowledge, as well as foster innovation and entrepreneurship.
Investments in infrastructure – transport, irrigation, energy and information and communication technology – are crucial to achieving sustainable development and empowering communities in many countries. It has long been recognized that growth in productivity and incomes, and improvements in health and education outcomes require investment in infrastructure
Manufacturing is an important driver of economic development and employment. At the current time, however, manufacturing value added per capita is only US$100 in the least developed countries compared to over US$4,500 in Europe and Northern America. Another important factor to consider is the emission of Carbon Dioxide during manufacturing processes. Emissions have decreased over the past decade in many countries but the pace of decline has not been even around the world.
Technological progress is the foundation of efforts to achieve environmental objectives, such as increased resource and energy-efficiency. Without technology and innovation, industrialization will not happen, and without industrialization, development will not happen. There needs to be more investments in high-tech products that dominate the manufacturing productions to increase efficiency and a focus on mobile cellular services that increase connections between people.
View Goal Target
- Develop quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, including regional and transborder infrastructure, to support economic development and human well-being, with a focus on affordable and equitable access for all
- Promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and, by 2030, significantly raise industry’s share of employment and gross domestic product, in line with national circumstances, and double its share in least developed countries
- Increase the access of small-scale industrial and other enterprises, in particular in developing countries, to financial services, including affordable credit, and their integration into value chains and markets
- By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities
- Enhance scientific research, upgrade the technological capabilities of industrial sectors in all countries, in particular developing countries, including, by 2030, encouraging innovation and substantially increasing the number of research and development workers per 1 million people and public and private research and development spending
- Facilitate sustainable and resilient infrastructure development in developing countries through enhanced financial, technological and technical support to African countries, least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States 18
- Support domestic technology development, research and innovation in developing countries, including by ensuring a conducive policy environment for, inter alia, industrial diversification and value addition to commodities
- Significantly increase access to information and communications technology and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020
Fact & Figure
- Basic infrastructure like roads, information and communication technologies, sanitation, electrical power and water remains scarce in many developing countries
- 16% of the global population does not have access to mobile broadband networks.
- For many African countries, particularly the lower-income countries, the existent constraints regarding infrastructure affect firm productivity by around 40 per cent.
- The global share of manufacturing value added in GDP increased from 15.2% in 2005 to 16.3% in 2017, driven by the fast growth of manufacturing in Asia.
- Industrialization’s job multiplication effect has a positive impact on society. Every job in manufacturing creates 2.2 jobs in other sectors.
- Small and medium-sized enterprises that engage in industrial processing and manufacturing are the most critical for the early stages of industrialization and are typically the largest job creators. They make up over 90 per cent of business worldwide and account for between 50-60 per cent of employment.
- Least developed countries have immense potential for industrialization in food and beverages (agro-industry), and textiles and garments, with good prospects for sustained employment generation and higher productivity
- Middle-income countries can benefit from entering the basic and fabricated metals industries, which offer a range of products facing rapidly growing international demand
- In developing countries, barely 30 per cent of agricultural production undergoes industrial processing. In high-income countries, 98 per cent is processed. This suggests that there are great opportunities for developing countries in agribusiness.