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Register for this free TWIMS Breakfast Seminar - 30 May 2023

TWIMS Breakfast Seminar - Francois Fouche

Many countries are seeing a revival of industrial policy. This previously discredited approach has found new believers. As national economies and international trade were liberalized after the stagflation of the late 1970s, governments increasingly decided to allow corporate behavior to follow commercial logic. Multinationals set up shop where it made most sense, allocating resources, outsourcing labor, and automating factories to minimize costs and maximize profits. The reforms lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty even as they delivered fat returns for shareholders.

But what is the right way for Africa and South Africa to promote an industrial revival and manufacturing, in particular? In 1975-2014 manufacturing’s share of GDP in sub-Saharan Africa fell from 19% to 11%. As much of the continent opened to imports in the 1990s, manufacturers struggled to hold their own against hyper-competitive Chinese firms with the scale to drive down costs. Which begs the questions, is South Africa suffering from premature deindustrialization? It is not enough for government(s) to do no harm, but what needs to be done?

In this free seminar, Francois Fouche, Executive Director of Growth Diagnostics, will explore the manufacturing sector via a macroeconomic analysis of the manufacturing sector. Whereto from here? How to adjust and where to find new growth opportunities.


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