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The annual KwaZulu-Natal Manufacturing Indaba, remains an esteemed event for empowering its industrial participants through invaluable knowledge-sharing sessions in a bid to grow and maintain a standard of manufacturing excellence within the province, and ultimately the nation’s economy.  The conference has announced its agenda which includes a dynamic suite of proactive and interactive sessions covering a multitude of topics deemed decidedly relevant to South Africa’s current manufacturing climate. These topics include, but are not limited to the 4th Industrial Revolution, maximising the market for manufacturers along with accessing new markets for industrialists.

The conference will host forums on the 4th Industrial Revolution and its bearing on various manufacturing units within the sector. Industry 4.0 and IoT are prevalent technological innovations that are disrupting and changing the industrial sector as we know it. As a result, much job insecurity amongst industrial players has surfaced and the event intends to educate attendees to alleviate associated threats while proactively unveiling practical innovative strategies to reinforce their competitive advantage and boost profits through the digitalisation of manufacturing operations.

The South African government has made a wealth of financing opportunities available to stakeholders in the industrial sector. In this regard, high-profile delegates will address this comprehensive range of funding options intended to boost investment in the nation’s manufacturing units on both a local and global scale. Applicants are required to meet specific stipulations in order to qualify for funding and these discussions will familiarise potential candidates thereof.

Moreover, the conference agenda is set to unpack the quintessential need to acquire constant access to everchanging local and global markets along with various tactics that can afford both small and larger manufacturing enterprises the opportunity to do so. In an effort to ensure that South African exports can adeptly access and participate in global markets, the government has pressed manufacturers to improve and maintain the quality of their products. With this said, reducing tariff barriers is a crucial approach with potential to boost African exports. The recent signing of the Continental Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) by 44 African countries is estimated to increase intra-African trade by 52 percent by 2022 and is projected to be a promising step for African manufacturing sectors. This represents unrivalled opportunities for Africa to trade with itself, thereby creating new geographic markets and uncovering novel innovations and technologies to expand and provide new market sectors to sell to.

In addition, the symposium will divulge how the government and private sectors plan to collaborate to cultivate talent across the generations and encourage skills acquisition to further improve the nation’s productivity rates. Execution of such policies will be meticulously unearthed in a bid to inspire industrialists to proactively and confidently develop their businesses, thereby creating a competitive edge that will see them at the forefront of the industry.

The fundamental objective of the annual Kwa-Zulu Natal Manufacturing Indaba is to assemble business owners, industry leaders, government officials, capital providers and professional experts to unpack prevailing sectoral opportunities, consequently growing manufacturing operations on both a regional and national level. The event has demonstrated staggering growth year on year and has proven invaluable in forging business networks and empowering industrialists to challenge the status quo through adoption of innovative methodologies to maximise their potential. Further, the event is set to enlighten and empower attendees to keep abreast of international competition; promote a skilled workforce; enable black and female industrialist collaboration as well as acquire insight into what financial mechanisms and incentives are available to manufacturers to advance their business operations. These discussions will see a more equitable, competitive and successful manufacturing sector and economy in its entirety.