Investments in industry, 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.
Since independence, manufacturing has registered painfully slow and sometimes negative growth in most Arab countries. Economic growth in the region remains predominantly dependent on oil and gas with relatively low level of economic diversification. In 2011, fuel exports amounted to 69.2 percent of the region’s exports.
Goals in action
In Syria's rural areas, long-abandoned Roman wells have become more than a relic of a bygone civilization. MORE >