LI Yong

  • Position: UNIDO Director General
  • Organisation: UNIDO
  • Country: China
  • Quote:

    Director General UNIDO The difficult employment situation of many young women and men has become one of the most important challenges of our times. Estimates show that in the next 15 years, 600 million jobs will need to be created for young people worldwide. It is imperative that we empower young people as the demand for new skills increases in an era of rapid technological progress driven by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. More than one-third of the skills relevant for today’s socio-economic development are anticipated to change by 2020. Our young people must be equipped with new skills to prepare them for the future of work and skills. They need to be provided with possibilities for continuous learning, and an enabling environment for innovative ideas to be converted into concrete practical solutions on the ground. It is encouraging that many young people today are already contributing to inclusive and sustainable development, by turning their innovative ideas into new businesses that also benefit the society at large. The World Summit Awards (WSA) initiative provides a platform to showcase the potential of youth, their innovative solutions and their entrepreneurial spirit, ultimately bringing about social change. These new innovative business models will become more important than ever, as we find ways to tap into the opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to create win-win situations for our young people, and in particular for those who live and work in developing countries. UNIDO commends the WSA for providing visibility to these talented young entrepreneurs and stands ready to support young people worldwide to realize their full innovative potentials.

LI Yong, Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), has had an extensive career as a senior economic and financial policy-maker. As Vice-Minister of Finance of the People’s Republic of China and member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank for a decade, Mr. Li was involved in setting and harmonizing fiscal, monetary and industrial policies, and in supporting sound economic growth in China. He pushed forward financial sector reform, and prompted major financial institutions to establish corporate governance, deal with toxic assets and strengthen risk management. Mr. Li gave great importance to fiscal and financial measures in favor of agricultural development and SMEs, the cornerstones for creating economic opportunities, reducing poverty and promoting gender equality. He played a key role in China’s cooperation with multilateral development organizations, such as the World Bank Group and the Asian Development Bank.