South Africa’s minister of trade and industry, Rob Davies, has warned that the global economy is drawing close to serious disruptive changes that could cost millions of jobs.
He added that the World Economic Forum (WEF) was a platform that brought together thought leaders, government leaders and leaders in technologies to engage on the anticipated changes.
“This is one of the largest gatherings of business leaders in the world that takes place in Davos. One of the real benefits of coming here is that we have a lot of bilateral meetings with different businesses and global leaders of those businesses,” Davies said.
“We also engage with key themes that are unfolding, for this year it is about navigating the fourth industrial revolution. There are series of technologies changes expected to hit the global economies around 2020s; some of the expected technological changes include robotics, 3D printing and integration of digital led processes.”
While welcoming technological changes, he warned of job losses as predicted by the WEF adding that there is the possibility of developing countries’ resourcing in the developed markets.
“These developments will bring disruptive changes with the possibility of improvement in output but with consequences of five to seven million facing prospects of job losses.”
Davies said the platform would also engage the global economy expected to shore a lacklustre performance. He added that, though South Africa had been hit by low commodity prices, the country was addressing issues of diversification.
“We find ourselves in a situation where we have been hit in the belly bottom as a commodity exporting country. We are mineral exporting countries and we have seen prices dropping drastically,” he said.
“We have been activing to diversify our economy and because of our currency devaluation we are poised to become a competitive manufacturing economy.”