The report: Transforming Arab Economies: Travelling the Knowledge and Innovation Road, published by the World Bank, Centre for Mediterrannean Integration (CMI) and European Investment Bank, shows how an economy based on innovation and knowledge can help promote greater economic growth and spur competitiveness.
Inger Andersen, Vice-President for the Middle East and North Africa at the World Bank, said, the report could help countries in the Arab world imagine a new kind of development strategy with a knowledge and innovation-driven model at its very heart. “The report lays out helpfully how this approach can help Arab countries diversify their economies and innovate, creating new enterprises and jobs,” he said in a statement.
The report, launched on Wednesday in Rabat at an event organised with the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (ISESCO), underlines that greater investment in a knowledge-economy model will be needed to meet the job creation challenge common to the region.
Many Arab countries have made progress over the last decade in terms of rolling out education access and information and communication technologies (ICT), gradually improving the institutional environment for private-sector led growth. Morocco and Tunisia have worked to support innovation, especially through the creation of technoparks and industrial zones that have attracted foreign direct investment and advanced manufacturing operations.
“If small countries like Finland and Singapore, medium-sized ones like Malaysia and South Korea, and large like Brazil, China, and India are able to harness the power of technical change, then countries in the Arab world can do so too,” said Mats Karlsson, CMI Director, said. “But patience and determination will be required, because the fruits of investments in knowledge may not begin to appear for a few years.”
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor