Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Lao PDR’s economy needs to become much more competitive and the overall business environment friendlier to the private sector. According to the World Bank’s Doing Business Report 2017, Lao PDR ranks 141 out of 190 countries for overall ease of doing business. Lao PDR ranks particularly low in terms of the time and cost of resolving insolvency (position 168), protecting minority investors (172), starting a business (164) and getting electricity (149). Structural reforms are needed for Lao entrepreneurs to conduct their business activities more efficiently and compete with other countries. 

In the future, technological capabilities have to be upgraded by encouraging local innovations. In sectors and subsectors relevant to Lao PDR, applied research and innovation can shape the development of agro-industries and food industries, as well as boost rural productivity and resilience. The innovations and technologies will need to inform the development of agricultural extension packages and other forms of livelihood support. 

Green Growth and Green Industry need further promotion. The Ministry of Industry and Commerce, in particular the Department of Industry and Handicraft, aims to promote participation by both public and private sectors in Green Growth and Green Industry. The “Greening” of industry will include policymaking, improved industrial production processes and resource-efficient productivity. The country’s Green Industry status is still at an early stage. Specific policies and instruments still need to be developed for Green Growth. Each Ministry has its own interpretation, and there is a need for a common strategy that could bring all the relevant Ministries together

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.   

Facts and figures

2.3 billion

Worldwide, 2.3 billion people lack access to basic sanitation.

40%

In some low-income African countries, infrastructure constraints cut businesses’ productivity by around 40 percent.

2.6 billion

2.6 billion people in developing countries do not have access to constant electricity.

90%

More than 4 billion people still do not have access to the Internet; 90 percent of them are in the developing world.

2.3 million

The renewable energy sectors currently employ more than 2.3 million people; the number could reach 20 million by 2030.

30%

In developing countries, barely 30 percent of agricultural products undergo industrial processing, compared to 98 percent high-income countries.

  • 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
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