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BRICS

Trade Ministers resolve to establish BRICS partnership on New Industrial Revolution

the dti hosted the third BRICS Industry Ministers' Meeting in Magaliesburg on Wednesday, 4 July 2018.

The objectives of the meeting were to discuss the continuation of work on the implementation of existing cooperation projects and how to speed up industrial development by leveraging opportunities of the Digital Industrial Revolution (DIR).

The Ministers of the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Russian Federation, the Republic of India, the People's Republic of China and the Republic of South Africa resolved to establish the BRICS Partnership on the New Industrial Revolution (PartNIR), which aims to translate the vision of the second Golden Decade of BRICS cooperation into reality through deepened cooperation on industrialisation, innovation, inclusiveness and investment. The partnership will see the establishment of a new industrial revolution advisory group comprising policymakers and experts from all BRICS countries.

The meeting resolved to determine key common areas of focus, including policy coordination, opportunities for cooperation in advanced technical skills and training, and the sharing of best practice in digitisation. The Ministers also resolved to work for closer coordination between BRICS countries on capacity building and developing projects that secure inclusive and equitable growth.

In his opening remarks, Minister of Trade and Industry Dr Rob Davies (MP) highlighted the increasing penetration of technology on industry not only in production, but also in the service sectors.

"Day by day we are seeing quantum leaps in technology. The change we are seeing will not be incremental, it will be disruptive," said Minister Davies. "Tech has the potential to offer innovative solutions to developmental challenges and improve government services, but it also has the potential to widen inequality."

Minister Davies reminded his BRICS counterparts that if the group did not work together it could miss an opportunity to achieve the inclusivity the bloc aims for. "We must avoid a situation where the mastery of the fourth industrial revolution is in the hands of a few countries or multinational corporations," the Minister said.

This view was echoed by other Ministers present.

"In this digital age no country can harness its full potential if it is not equipped to face the future. We must stand together, cooperate and share our learnings. This will help to foster growth in this digital era," said the Minister of State of Commerce and Industry in India, Chaudhary Chhota Ram.