No raw deal for the poor - Davies

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Pretoria - In responding to the global economic crisis, governments should avoid unfairly placing the burden of the downturn on the poor and vulnerable, says Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies.

Davies said it was imperative that counter cyclical stimulus packages be put in place to ensure that there is no temptation to support industrial activities in the developed world at the expense of those located in the developing world.

"Rather, the focus should be on coordinated programmes aimed at strengthening capacity of both the developed and developing countries to continue to develop industrial capacity and create decent jobs," Davies told the 13th General Conference of the United Nations Industrial Development (UNIDO) in Vienna.

Governments also should intervene to stop the declining demand for goods by adopting appropriate macro-economic and monetary policies that can support firms to avoid or minimise job losses, he said

"Governments should also assist firms to improve their productive capacity and competitiveness to assist them to access global markets and therefore maintain their manufacturing capabilities," he said.

The minister told delegates that South Africa would soon be adopting the Industrial Policy Action Plan which focuses on stimulating industrial activities capable of producing inputs to support infrastructure programmes, energy savings, green jobs and agro industries.