The inaugural Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (Brics) Manufacturing Conference will take place in Sandton, on March 26.
The event was initially scheduled to take place last year before Covid-19 brought about restrictions.
The conference aims to assist South African manufacturers with identifying opportunities to take advantage of the country’s relations with its Brics counterparts.
Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) CEO Kaizer Nyatsumba says the manufacturing industry’s contribution to the economy has been declining over the past two decades because of cheap imports from Asian economies and rising operational and input costs.
“With our local economy under strain, local manufacturers should consider seeking new markets beyond our borders to survive and grow, and we believe that our Brics counterparts provide a world of opportunities for those who understand their operating and policy environments.
“It is against this backdrop that we decided to host the conference that will seek to investigate how manufacturers can leverage the BBC Manufacturing Working Group (MWG) and discuss, among other topics, progress on MWG projects and how they will advance the course of manufacturing in the country,” Nyatsumba notes.
Seifsa has invited Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel to deliver the conference’s opening address.
Seifsa also expects various heads of special economic zones to attend and share their insights on how these designated industrial zones will advance the course of manufacturing in the country.
Other speakers who have been invited to participate in the conference’s plenary sessions are Aspen Pharmacare Group senior executive Stavros Nicolaou, Manufacturing Circle CEO Phillipa Rodseth, National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa CEO Michael Mabasa, Industrial Development Corporation CEO Tshokolo Petrus Nchocho and Department of Trade, Industry and Competition deputy director-general Ilse Karg.