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JOHANNESBURG, 24 MARCH 2021 – The BRICS Manufacturing Conference, which kicks off in Sandton, Johannesburg on Friday, will give local manufacturers the opportunity to reflect on how they can grow using new technologies.

Organised by the BRICS Manufacturing Working Group (MWG), the conference, which takes place at the IDC Conference Centre, aims to help local manufacturers to leverage off South Africa’s membership of BRICS by taking advantage of the opportunities presented by the grouping. The MWG’s role is to facilitate trade and investment in manufacturing between South Africa and its fellow member countries – Brazil, Russia, India and China – and to encourage co-operation on projects where there is potential for collaboration or complementarity.

BRICS MWG Chairman Kaizer Nyatsumba said while access to markets is critical for growth, the manufacturing industry needs to take advantage of new technologies in order to be sustainable. He said it is in this context that the conference will discuss, among other things, exponential manufacturing, which is one of three key projects of the working group.

The report will be presented by the Managing Director of the Institute of Exponential Manufacturing, Johan van Tonder, who heads the exponential manufacturing investment programme in the MWG. According to Mr Van Tonder, the $20 billion programme spans 10 manufacturing industry sectors and aims to create 10 transformative industry leaders in the BRICS community within 10 years.

“The local industry has been facing an existential crisis because of increased automation as technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotics lead to more advanced manufacturing technologies. However, the conference hopes to demonstrate to local manufacturers that these new technologies, coupled with exponential manufacturing, offer new opportunities for growth,” Mr Nyatsumba said.

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