- Numerous tariff and non-tariff barriers are reported, both in the expressions of interests, as well as in overarching submissions from the Indian pharmaceutical industry and from South African manufacturing
- The majority of these challenges relate to administrative burdens, time-lags for approvals and difficulties with government procurement.
- Stakeholders proposed that the themes be isolated, and that a dedicated discussion be held in this regard between the member business communities and member governments to arrive at clear actions that can be achieved with relatively short turnaround times.
- Those member governments are apprised of the Manufacturing /Sector Working Group’s efforts to promote company and industry level acceleration of business exchange and cooperation through the templates for expressions of interest on project, sector or product basis.
- This should not only be done through public support and advertising of the initiative, but by government industrial policy and development officials themselves making use of the expressions of interests to seek opportunities for their home markets in line with their industrial policies; or, conversely, that they may use it to better shape such policies.
- Where there are specific products for which there are opportunities to competitively “localize” sourcing within BRICS, rather than from outside BRICS, that these opportunities be identified at the hand of the expressions of interests lodged with and published by the Working Group Secretariat
- That themes are extracted from the tariff, regulatory and other bottlenecks reported by working group members be identified, and that a dedicated, action oriented discussion is held in this regard between the member business communities and relevant government officials.
- The idea would be to meet on a regular (say six monthly basis), based on agreed areas of action, to see that regulations are adjusted where possible to smooth and favour inter-BRICS trade, investment and cooperation.
Leading the discussion on manufacturing in South Africa was the Manufacturing Circle.
Formed in 2008, the Manufacturing Circle interacts with government and other stakeholders in order to review debate and help formulate policies which will have a positive impact on South Africa’s manufacturing base.
The Manufacturing Circle is made up of a number of South Africa’s leading medium to large manufacturing companies from a wide range of industries. Some of the members are leading South African exporters of manufactured goods to markets around the globe, others are locally based and locally focused companies competing with the best in the world. There is one common denominator among them and that is a passion for manufacturing coupled with a fervent belief that for South Africa to be economically strong, its manufacturing sector must be strong. A strong and developing manufacturing sector will drive the creation of skilled and semi-skilled jobs in the South African economy.