Delegates at the Manufacturing Forum at the BRICS Trade Fair in Midrand heard that BRICS partners have an opportunity to meaningfully contribute to the future of global sustainable development through green manufacturing.
Speakers at the forum emphasised the importance of building resilient value chains that promote economic growth while preserving the planet.
It was further noted that investments into green manufacturing can promote innovation and drive sustainable economic growth.
Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ebrahim Patel, says BRICS partners have a key role to play in harnessing digital and green industrialisation.
Patel says South Africa is ready to partner with all the BRICS countries on the development of new energy vehicles, technologies, capital and market experiences in a mutually beneficial partnership.
Patel has invited BRICS countries to take up joint ventures with South Africa and to increase investment into the country through green manufacturing.
“BRICS energy ministers met two weeks ago and adopted a range of measures to work closely together. These include a centre for industrial innovation and excellence that we will do in collaboration with BRICS partners. The third area is to partner in the green economy. Of particular interest to us is to increase energy security through partnerships of green energy generation, green hydrogen, air mobility and battery manufacturing and production of green components. These components and solar PV and structures, wind towers among others are already being manufactured in South Africa.”
Deputy Chairperson of the Manufacturing working group of the SA BRICS Business Council, Lesetja Mogadi, says the fourth industrial revolution has not rapidly been adopted in South Africa, which has left it less competitive compared to other regions.
He says the BRICS partnerships will help to advance South Africa’s digital technological ambitions.
“What we are looking to establish here today is fundamentally to build alliances between global south nations or BRICS, leveraging the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement but especially looking to be able to create links between our industrial complexes as well as the kasi (township) economy. Far too often in the calculation of the gross domestic product, the informal sector is included. Our argument is that with the technology that we have today, it shouldn’t be a challenge to drive that big data motivation.”
Chairperson of the SA BRICS Business Council, Busi Mabuza says the council requires accessible and enabling funding to continue to promote and strengthen business, trade and investment ties between the BRICS nations.
“Thus, the discussion of funding mechanism and industrial value chains enabling green manufacturing becomes a critical conversation. The concept of a circular hold great promise to the potential of sustainable practices that protect the environment and impact society positively.”
— the dtic (@the_dtic) August 21, 2023
BRICS Business Forum of August 21, 2023: