LI Yong, Director General UNIDO

Economic, social and environmental development is dependent upon innovation and entrepreneurship. At UNIDO, we believe that Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development (ISID) is instrumental for poverty eradication, the creation of shared prosperity and stronger environmental safeguards. These objectives can only be achieved with the contribution of courageous entrepreneurs who take the path of innovation and responsibly create prosperity for themselves and for their community.

A good example of this process is given by the contribution of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to wealth creation in both developed and developing countries. ICT have great potential for reducing poverty, as they make it possible to overcome one of the greatest hurdles to broad-based development: the lack of access to information suffered by individuals, households and business, particularly by micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises. ICT also play an important role as a catalyser for successful business strategies, including improved productivity and access to essential information and new markets.

ICT and innovation are powerful means to defeat poverty, by creating shared prosperity while safeguarding the protection of the environment. They are ultimately instrumental to achieving an inclusive and sustainable industrial development.

I am pleased to convey my best wishes and congratulations to the winners of this prestigious award. A Chinese proverb states, “A person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the man doing it”. As an entrepreneur and an innovator, you will certainly encounter people who have doubts about you. Don´t let those people get in your way. Instead, use  their doubt as further motivation.