At the heart of the competitiveness agenda is the recognition that economic growth is a core driver of human development. There is overwhelming evidence that growth has been the most effective way to lift people out of poverty and improve their quality of life. The importance and policy relevance of growth has been re-affirmed through the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Goal 8 calls for "sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth" and sets an ambitious target of 7% growth for least-developed countries.
After a lost decade, economic recovery is well underway, with the global economy projected to grow almost 4% in 2018 and 2019.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is disrupting economies and societies by redefining the way we work, live and interact with each other. The 4IR offers the potential to leapfrog stages of development—but it also makes the pathway to development less certain, notably for emerging economies betting on industrialization and the demographic dividend.