Report: Low R&D hinders Arab World’s economic progress
Progress in the Arab World has been restrained due to lack of attention to Research and Development (R&D). Average spending on R&D by Arab countries is estimated at 0.2 percent of total Arab gross domestic product (GDP), the lowest in the world and eight times lower than the world average, according to a Madar Researcy study.
Countries around the world allocate an average of 1.6 percent of the GDP to R&D, with the percentage rising to 2.5 percent in the developed world. Developing countries outside the Arab World are estimated to allocate 0.6 percent of their GDP to R&D, which is three times higher than the Arab average.
“While some governments in the Middle East have recently initiated a number of programs to raise awareness and literacy among its citizens, enough attention has not been provided to Research and Development efforts on both government as well as industrial level,” said Director of Dubai Naturalization and Residency Department (DNRD), Colonel Saeed bin Belailah.
“R&D is a powerful tool used by every developing country to assist in the decision-making process of policies and services, which ultimately translates into benefits for its citizens. Without adequate and accurate information, it is impossible for national decision makers to get a clear idea about the progress levels they have achieved, or which sectors need additional attention and resources,” he added.
“On a positive note, some countries in the Arab World are using R&D tools effectively to identify areas of improvement and initiate social change. This can be illustrated by the recent policy changes within the Middle East to develop educational facilities, especially related to Internet usage. By raising e-awareness among its citizens, these countries are not only creating a valuable resource that can be used by the R&D industry, but also complementing the governments' efforts to develop a Knowledge Economy,” added Bin Belailah.
“R&D can shape national policies and help government decision makers customize services to the needs of its people. For example, Dubai government's e-initiative meets citizens' demands for transparent and faster access to government services like health and immigration. Thus, R&D can be used to effectively steer a nation's progress toward a Knowledge-based economy. Other Arab countries also need to realize the potential of using reliable information from R&D activities to aid citizens' lives.” — (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)
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