Innovation is key to a competitive economy

The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mzwandile Masina
The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mzwandile Masina

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Pretoria – Innovation is key to ensuring that South Africa can compete effectively in the global economic arena, says Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Mzwandile Masina.

The Deputy Minister visited the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) Design Institute in Pretoria on Friday.

“I was impressed to see a group of young people whose creativity contributes to developing the capacity of our entrepreneurs to produce high-standard goods that can compete in the international markets.

“The future of this country belongs to young innovative people who can put their creativity to good use in order to benefit the country. Innovation is at the heart of government’s initiatives aimed at transforming and growing the county’s economy,” said Deputy Minister Masina.

The visit was aimed at gaining insight into the institute’s work to assist entrepreneurs to fine-tune their brands and develop effective marketing strategies with the purpose of growing the country’s international competitiveness and export capability.

Deputy Minister Masina said that innovation is key in raising the country’s international stature and competitiveness.

“Any nation that does not continuously produce something new is not going to hold its own economically in the world. Innovation is very important and that is the reason it is one of the six (pillars) that characterise our work as government to grow our economy. Others are industrialisation, infrastructure, investment, inclusion and integration. These are all interlinked to achieve the goals of the country’s National Development Plan and the Industrial Policy Action Plan,” he said.

He expressed his wish to see the ideas that are born and nurtured at the institute contributing significantly in boosting various industries of the country’s economy, particularly the manufacturing sector in order to boost the productive side of the economy.

“Institutions like this and the creative ideas that are being nurtured in them will play a critical role in taking our Black Industrialists Programme forward.”

The Chief Executive Officer of SABS, Dr Boni Mehlomakulu, said the Design Institute was repositioned to play a role in creating a pipeline of future industrialists in response to the challenge of youth unemployment.

“In order for us to address the issue of unemployment in this country we need to create new industries. But new industries are not going to come from the existing terrain and the existing players. We have to innovate and nurture new ideas and make sure that we invest in these new ideas,” said Mehlomakulu.