SA chapter of the BRICS business council to come under the spotlight at inaugural BRICS manufacturing conference

20th April 2020 By: Creamer Media Reporter

2020 marks the seventh anniversary of the BRICS Business Council, which was established to promote and strengthen business, trade and investment ties among the business communities of the five BRICS countries and ensure that there is regular dialogue between the business communities and the Governments of the BRICS countries.

But what has the South African Chapter of the BRICS Business Council, in particular its Manufacturing Working Group (MWG), achieved since its formation, and does its existence matter? This is one of the burning questions that will come under the spotlight at the inaugural BRICS Manufacturing Conference scheduled to take place in Johannesburg on 21 May.

Taking part in the plenary session that will tackle this important topic will be Manufacturing Circle CEO Philippa Rodseth; Amka Products Managing Director and MWG SA Deputy Chairman Nizam Kalla as well as ISTMA President Bob Williamson.

According to the Chairman of the Manufacturing Working Group of the SA Chapter of the BRICS Business Council (BBC) Kaizer Nyatsumba, the Conference was born out of the need to help embattled South African manufacturing companies make better use of the country’s existing relations with its fellow BRICS counterparts. He said the Conference is expected to be attended by captains of industry, policy makers and public sector representatives, amongst many other stakeholders.

“The manufacturing industry’s contribution to the economy has been declining for the past two decades as a result of cheap imports from Asian economies, lacklustre domestic demand and rising operational and input costs.

“It is important, therefore, that domestic manufacturers should look beyond our borders if they are to survive and grow. It is against this backdrop that we decided to host the conference, which aims to assist South African manufacturers to take better advantage of the opportunities presented by BRICS, amidst the slump that the economy currently finds itself in,” Mr Nyatsumba said.

Other topics that will be discussed at the inaugural conference include “Progress Report on Priority MWG Projects”; “A Focus on Some of the Planned New Special Economic Zones” and “How South African Business Can Leverage BRICS Membership Better”.

Mr Nyatsumba encouraged manufacturing industry stakeholders to attend the conference not only to be addressed by the speakers of the day, but also to make a contribution towards hammering out the necessary solutions that should contribute towards reversing the sector’s fortunes.