JOHANNESBURG, 23 MARCH 2021 – BRICS Manufacturing Working Group (MWG) Chairperson Kaizer Nyatsumba today reiterated the importance of the BRICS Manufacturing Conference taking place this Friday, saying it comes at a time when both the Government and business have acknowledged that there needs to be massive growth in local production manufacturing in order to counter the negative impact of COVID-19.
Mr Nyatsumba said there also needs to be a market for locally-manufactured products beyond the borders of an economically strained South Africa. He said there was significant potential for “South Africa to increase its exports to the other countries within the BRICS group.
“The conference aims to highlight some of the opportunities that exist for local manufacturers to help close the trading gap between South Africa and its BRICS partners,” he said.
The inaugural one-day conference, which was organised by the BRICS Business Council’s MWG, in partnership with the Industrial Development Corporation, will bring together government and business leaders to discuss topics such as the role special economic zones play in advancing manufacturing, how business can better leverage South Africa’s membership of BRICS, and the relevance of the MWG.
Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel will deliver the opening address, while speakers will include Manufacturing Circle Executive Director Philippa Rodseth and National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa Chief Executive Mikel Mabasa. BRICS Business Council Chairperson Busi Mabuza will introduce the BRICS Business Council and provide insight on its main objective: facilitating trade and investment among the BRICS member countries.
“We, as the MWG, are excited to offer a platform where local manufacturers can engage with business leaders and hopefully identify opportunities for growth. We are confident that, notwithstanding the considerable challenges which have confronted it over the years, South Africa’s manufacturing sector has the potential to do much better than it is doing at the moment,” Mr Nyatsumba said.