Amid all the noise and debate about exactly what the government means by radical economic transformation, it is a relief to see it is business as usual at the Department of Trade and Industry. Earlier in May, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies unveiled the ninth annual version of the Industrial Policy Action Plan (Ipap). While there are new ideas, the basic theme remains: support our manufacturing sector so that it can be the engine of SA’s economic growth. The Manufacturing Circle was invited to the Ipap launch in Sandton, not as an interested observer but as an active participant in the process. We meet regularly with the minister and his team, and while we do not always agree, there is a lot of common ground. Both parties want manufacturing to thrive and grow, and we believe this is best done in partnership. The newest, and very important, element in the latest Ipap is a targeted investment incentive for the agro-processing industry. Fuller details are expected to be given to...

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