UNIDO Strengthens Ties with BRICS at 5th BRICS PartNIR Forum, Showcasing AI and Industrial Competencies 

Xiamen, China, November 17, 2023 – The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) marked its presence at the 5th BRICS PartNIR Forum held in Xiamen, China, 2023. The event served as a platform to discuss multilateral cooperation, solidifying UNIDO’s role in supporting BRICS countries and emphasizing the importance of industrial competencies and artificial intelligence (AI) in sustainable development. 

Mr. Ciyong Zou, Deputy to the Director General and Managing Director of UNIDO, took centre stage during the Forum’s Opening Ceremony. In his address, he underscored UNIDO’s commitment to fostering collaboration among BRICS countries – the original BRICS-5 and the incoming six countries set to join in January 2024. Mr. Zou emphasized UNIDO’s support across key pillars, including sustainable supply chains, green transition and renewable energy. Mr. Zou shared insights into UNIDO’s initiatives aligned with the resolution from the August 2023 BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, proposing to establish the UNIDO-BRICS Network of National Centres for Industrial Competencies. This Initiative aims to accommodate the expanding nature of the group, supporting BRICS countries to fully grasp the opportunities brought by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. 

A dedicated thematic session on AI, digital and frontier technologies featured a presentation from the UNIDO Division of Digital Transformation and AI Strategies (DAI). The presentation outlined UNIDO’s vision for AI’s role in industry and extended an invitation for participants to join the UNIDO Global Alliance on AI for Industry and Manufacturing (AIM Global). DAI announced the UNIDO AIM Global Forum, set to be an annual multilateral platform for global AI dialogue, with the next edition scheduled for Seoul, South Korea, in July 2024. UNIDO is developing a comprehensive working program of the UNIDO AIM Global Alliance for 2024, designed to engage members, enhance visibility and facilitate knowledge sharing. This was followed by the introduction of the UNIDO AIM Global Competition Challenge for startups, providing a platform to showcase innovative AI solutions. The UNIDO’s commitment to support emerging economies through initiatives, such as the UNIDO-BRICS Network of National Centres for Industrial Competencies, was stressed and the invitation to join and support the Network was extended to the countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia Pacific. Discussions on collaborations with South Africa, China and the Russian Federation took place after the keynote addresses. 

Additionally, UNIDO representatives held key meetings with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) of China and the New Development Bank to explore potential collaboration in the UNIDO-BRICS initiative. 

UNIDO stands ready to support BRICS with its initiatives, aligned with the original BRICS-5 and the expanding 6 countries that will make a significant impact on sustainable development fostering productive and impactful cooperation. UNIDO invites stakeholders from BRICS countries across sectors – public and private, technology providers, MSMEs, entrepreneurs, startups, researchers, developers and students, to join the UNIDO AIM Global Alliance on AI for Industry and Manufacturing and the UNIDO-BRICS Network to advance sustainable and inclusive industrial and economic development. 

[Contact Information] Ana Paula Nishio, Chief, Division of Digital Transformation and AI Strategies; das@unido.org 

About UNIDO: The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations, working to promote industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability. 

Website: https://aim.unido.org  

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