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    UNIS/OUS/253
    2 September 2014

    Re-issued as received

    Inclusive and sustainable industrial development will help countries in Silk Road Economic Belt prosper, says UNIDO Director General

    VIENNA/URUMQI, 1 September 2014 (United Nations Industrial Development Organization) - The Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) called today on the countries of the Silk Road Economic Belt to shift towards inclusive and sustainable industrial development.

    "Inclusive and sustainable industrial development will be a fundamental pillar for a thriving Silk Road Economic Belt. The economies of all the countries along the old routes of the original Silk Road will flourish. Goods and services, but also know-how and technologies, will travel back and forth along the Road, giving a better life to all the peoples in this region," said Director General Li Yong, speaking at the opening of the Fourth China-Eurasia Expo taking place in the city of Urumqi.

    The concept of building a Silk Road Economic Belt was first put forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping in September 2013 during his visit to four Central Asian countries.

    The Director General of UNIDO noted that several countries in the Central Asian region were dominated by extractive industries of oil, gas and metals. "These are extremely energy-intensive. We often also find undiversified economies with outdated production technologies and a predominance of heavy industry. The share of manufacturing value added in GDP tends to be significantly lower than in the rest of the world and, with some exceptions, there has not been sufficient progress in moving towards high value added activities. This lack of structural transformation explains why job creation is weak in the region. Although there is huge potential for the 'greening' of industry and expansion of new green sectors, weak institutions and subsidized prices for fossil fuels hamper the prospects for realizing this potential," said Li.

    "Given its reinvigorated mandate to promote inclusive and sustainable industrial development, I believe that UNIDO can be an important partner for all the countries along the Silk Road Economic Belt. We can support them in putting in place inclusive and sustainable industries which could be the backbone of this Economic Belt. UNIDO is already at work. Last year, we produced pilot guidelines which can be used to direct the development of new, green industrial zones along the New Silk Road," said Li.

    He added that UNIDO, in cooperation with the Asian Development Bank and other partners, aims to create the necessary green technical know-how as well as the managerial skills required to build the Silk Road Economic Belt.

    UNIDO, according to Li Yong, is ready to focus on identifying state-of-the-art practices and encourage knowledge exchange in industrialization, related standards, and industrial policymaking. At the same time, UNIDO could engage key stakeholders who have the potential to enhance the ability of Governments to pursue inclusive and sustainable industrial development. In collaboration with development finance institutions, national research institutions, universities and government departments, UNIDO could provide policy advisory services to the countries along the Silk Road Economic Belt on trade capacity-building, private sector development, investment and technology transfer, green industry and its role in the transformation of industry, and the achievement of a circular economy.

    On 2 September, UNIDO will hold an event at the Expo entitled "Development of the Silk Road Economic Belt: Urbanization, industrial civilization, and a better life for all".

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    For more information, please contact:
    UNIDO Regional Office in China
    Email: office.china[at]unido.org

    or

    Mohamed- Lamine Dhaoui
    Director, Business Investment and Technology Services Branch UNIDO
    Email: M.Dhaoui[at]unido.org