Hannover, Germany, August 18, 2020 — Global foreign direct investment, foreign direct investment, foreign direct investment, in developing countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America are expected to fall by 25 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,” said leading experts from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, UNIDO, John Cabot University Rome, Kaspersky, the EuroScience Open Forum, the University of Tokyo, and CloudMinds at the Global Manufacturing and Industrialization Summit (#GMIS2020) Virtual Edition. Nevertheless, the pandemic offers an opportunity to accelerate progress in development cooperation, especially to advance manufacturing technologies and digitalization. Dr. Bernardo Calzadilla-Sarmiento, Managing Director, Directorate of Digitalization, Technology and Agribusiness, UNIDO, said that before the crisis there was an estimated investment gap of 2.5 trillion dollars per year to implement the Sustainable Development Goals(s), and the current situation could exacerbate this trend, which could exacerbate the existing challenges in global production. “The fourth industrial revolution has the potential to contribute to increasing resource efficiency and to contributing to a circular economy,” said Calzadilla-Sarmiento. “And this is the great opportunity that we need to seize that we need to recover from the pandemic in other ways.”
Dr. Alina Sorgner, Assistant Professor of Applied Data Analytics, John Cabot University Rome, said that promoting gender equality in manufacturing would work to address the gender skills gap first, which is very obvious in both developed and developing countries. Andrey Suvorov, Head of Business Development, IIoT Cyber Security, Kaspersky, acknowledged that there is a skills gap and said that certain skills are becoming increasingly important and relevant for manufacturing workers to remain competitive in the coming years. Professor Stefano Fantoni, champion of the EuroScience Open Forum – ESOF 2020 Trieste, and President of the International Foundation for Freedom and Progress of Science in Trieste stressed that it is crucial for educational initiatives aimed at the introduction of advanced technologies to have practical and theoretical learning elements. Dr. Yusuke Kajihara, associate professor of the Institute of Industrial Science at the University of Tokyo, said that in order to introduce new technologies, countries need to have the right balance between cyber and physical areas, which is often lacking in developing countries. Bill Huang, founder and CEO of CloudMinds, said the introduction of 5G networks would support the rapid convergence of robotic intelligence toward human intelligence for various applications.