The Second Meeting of BRICS Industry Ministers, held in the Peoples Republic of China, has adopted a seven-point “Action Plan on Deepening Industrial Cooperation among BRICS Countries”.
The action plan states that the world economy is still in a period of profound adjustment after the international financial crisis. Industrial sectors, the manufacturing sector and the service sectors related to it in particular, have become key factors in sustaining mid- and long-term economic development.
The plan also acknowledges that, in recent years, the new industrial revolution featuring digitalisation, networking and intellectualisation is emerging, changing traditional production flows and business models, and giving rise to new industrial forms.
Dr Rob Davies, minister of trade and industry, says the action plan is aimed at facilitating the implementation of the consensus reached at the first meeting of BRICS industry ministers held two years ago in Moscow on expanding industrial co-operation in key areas and joint actions, and deepen the mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation in industrial fields, particularly manufacturing areas.
The following seven points have been identified as key in the plan:
* Strengthen industrial capacity co-operation;
* Strengthen the co-ordination and match-making in the field of industrial policies;
* Promote the co-operation in the development of new industrial infrastructure;
* Expand co-operation in technological development and innovation;
* Deepen co-operation in the field of SMEs;
* Strengthen co-operation in standard areas; and
* Facilitate all-round co-operation with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO).
Prior to the adoption of the action plan, Minister Davies indicated that the global manufacturing industry is confronted by the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution” that will transform traditional manufacturing as a result of the growth of smart technologies, as information and communication technology has become more widespread in manufacturing.
He says this has opened the way for disruptive approaches to development, production and the entire supply chain.
“Therefore our industrial development strategies and investment cooperation have to grapple with the potential threats in particular in the context of high unemployment and some of the challenges outlined above,” Davies says.
“At the same time this presents an opportunity to aggressively acquire, transfer and diffuse new technologies through securing key investments from global players in key strategic value chains in order to build global competitive capabilities.”
Davies adds that industrial development cooperation between BRICS countries can be used as a springboard to foster growth, development as well as employment creation.
The adopted “Action Plan on Deepening Industrial Cooperation among BRICS Countries” says that, in order to seize development opportunities brought by the new industrial revolution, BRICS countries will take joint actions to fully utilise their advantages of rich natural and human resources, broad domestic markets and vigorously carry out co-ordination and match-making in the fields of industrial capacity and policies, and cooperation in such fields as development of new industrial infrastructure, technology development and innovation, small and medium sized enterprises.
Davies is attended the 7th Meeting of the BRICS Trade Ministers in Shanghai. The meetings will discuss areas in which BRICS countries can enhance co-operation on issues related to trade and investment. The key areas of focus will be trade and investment facilitation, trade in services, intellectual property rights, economic and technical cooperation and the multilateral trading system.