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South African official calls for building greater opportunities in BRICS countries

JOHANNESBURG, (The Southern African Times) – South Africa must build its manufacturing strength to be able to benefit from the opportunities in the markets of BRICS, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, said Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition Ebrahim Patel Friday.

While addressing the BRICS Business Council meeting, Patel called on the manufacturing sector to work on opening export opportunities in BRICS countries through producing detailed export opportunity studies for each BRICS country, identifying the products that can be exported and the supportive infrastructure needed.

“Manufacturing is a big driver of employment with the strongest employment multiplier. Industrial Development Corporation research shows that for every one manufacturing job, another three jobs are created across the economy, in both supplier industries and services sectors,” he said. “It is an earner of foreign exchange and a driver of innovation, of research and development and in times like the COVID-19 crisis, countries with capacity relied on their industries to produce food, personal protective equipment and medical supplies.”

Patel said BRICS countries should build greater cohesion for sharing of ideas between industrialists on how to penetrate export markets and greater use of manufacturing networking to address technology innovation and marketing.

He suggested that BRICS should develop an innovation project to bring together product development and manufacturing people to identify new opportunities where South Africa may not yet have capacity, but for which there are significant markets in BRICS and indeed beyond it.

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