July 30 - Brics industry ministers addressing the media in Hangzhou, China. Picture: dti

Hangzhou - The second meeting of Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) industry ministers held in Hangzhou in China has adopted a seven-point "action plan" on deepening industrial co-operation among Brics countries, the trade and industry department (dti) said on Sunday.

The action plan stated that the world economy was still in a period of profound adjustment after the international financial crisis, the dti said in a statement.

"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," the dti said.
Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said the action plan was intended to facilitate implementation of the consensus reached at the first meeting of Brics industry ministers held two years ago in Moscow in Russia, on expanding industrial co-operation in key areas and joint actions, and deepen the mutually beneficial and win-win co-operation in industrial fields, particularly manufacturing.
Seven points had 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 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 the standards area; and facilitate all-round co-operation with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (Unido).
Prior to the adoption of the plan, Davies said the global manufacturing industry was confronted by the impact of the "fourth industrial revolution” that would transform traditional manufacturing as a result of the growth of smart technologies, as information and communication technology had become more widespread in manufacturing. This had opened the way for disruptive approaches to development, production, and the entire supply chain.
“Therefore our industrial development strategies and investment co-operation have to grapple with the potential threats, in particular in the context of high unemployment and some of the challenges outlined above. 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 said.
Industrial development co-operation between Brics countries could be used as a springboard to foster growth, development, and job creation, he said.
The plan stated that "to seize development opportunities brought by the new industrial revolution, Brics countries will take joint action to fully use 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 co-operation in such fields as development of new industrial infrastructure, technology development and innovation, small and medium sized enterprises", the dti said.