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BRICS ministers adopt new industrial action plan

Jul 30 2017 15:56

Cape Town – The industry ministers from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) adopted a new action plan to deepen industrial cooperation among the five nations, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said in a statement on Sunday.

Davies and his counterparts from the BRICS grouping attended a meeting in Hangzhou, China where industrial and manufacturing matters were discussed and which culminated in the adoption of a seven-point action plan.

“The action plan states that the world economy is still in a period of profound adjustment after the international financial crisis,” Davies said. 

READ: Junk status not a major issue for BRICS traders who prefer risk 

“Industrial sectors, the manufacturing sector and the service sectors related to it in particular, have become key factors in sustaining mid- and long-term economic development.”

At the meeting, the ministers acknowledged that the new industrial revolution of digitisation among other things will change traditional production flows and business models that will give rise to new industrial forms.

The following seven points have been identified as key in the action plan:

-       strengthen industrial capacity cooperation  

-       strengthen the coordination and match-making in the field of industrial policies  

-       promote the cooperation in the development of new industrial infrastructure

-       expand cooperation in technological development and innovation

-       deepen cooperation in the field of small and medium enterprises (SMMEs)

-       strengthen cooperation in standard area

-       facilitate all-round cooperation with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)

Davies noted that the global manufacturing industry is confronted by the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution that will transform traditional manufacturing as a result of the growth of smart technologies, as information and communication technology (ICT) has become more widespread in manufacturing. 

READ: New global deal needed to rid world of social ills - Davies 

“This has opened the way for disruptive approaches to development, production and the entire supply chain,” Davies said.

He emphasised that industrial development strategies and investment cooperation have to grapple with the potential threats in particular in the context of high unemployment. 

Davies said the industrial development cooperation between the Brics countries can be used as a springboard to foster growth and development and create work opportunities. 

BRICS countries will focus on using their respective rich natural and human resources and broad domestic markets to broaden industrial capacity and policies, while working together in developing new industrial infrastructure and technology.

Davies is due to meet with trade ministers from the BRICS countries in Shanghai where  cooperation on issues related to trade and investment will be discussed, such as trade in services, intellectual property rights, economic and technical cooperation and the multilateral trading system.

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