Welder man working.

Commonwealth Launches New Policymaker’s Guide to Manufacturing in a Digital World

This week, recognising the importance of manufacturing to development, economic growth and job creation, the Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda launched ‘A Policymaker’s Guide to Manufacturing 4.0’ and a pilot implementation program on digital industrial development in Mauritius.

This digital-first Guide has been developed to assist Commonwealth policymakers, especially those in least developed countries (LDCs) and small island developing states (SIDS), to understand the transformative impact of new digital technologies on their industrial development and how to develop policy settings to take advantage of new and emerging opportunities while addressing potential barriers along the way.

The guide was launched at the 2022 National Manufacturing Summit in Mauritius, where the Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda (CCA) also launched a pilot to implement the Guide with the Mauritius Ministry of Industrial Development, SMEs and Cooperatives. This implementation will provide practical lessons on the opportunities and challenges facing small island developing states in their digital industrial development.

Ahead of the launch of the policy guide, Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland, KC said:

“I am confident that policymakers across the Commonwealth will find this Guide informative and useful in understanding and harnessing new technologies and innovations to advance their digital industrial development. These advances create fresh opportunities to develop new and improved products, implement more efficient processes, and achieve more agile and resilient supply chains. They also highlight the need to address barriers and challenges which may hinder the effective adoption and use of these innovations, to ensure businesses across the Commonwealth remain competitive and the private sector is also able to drive long-term, sustainable economic growth and job creation.

Speaking about the value of this policy guide to Mauritius, Hon Soomilduth Bholah, Minister of Industrial Development, SMEs and Cooperatives in Mauritius, said:

“In our endeavour to make a successful leap to the sphere of Industry 4.0, assistance has been sought from the Commonwealth Secretariat for a project on enhancing the capabilities of manufacturing enterprises to adopt high-end technology.”

New and emerging technologies and processes are changing and reshaping the ways in which firms manufacture products, the business models they adopt and how they continue to innovate going forward. Digital technologies are increasingly applied to, and integrated with, industrial manufacturing. This changes the nature of the industry and challenges the traditional interpretation of what constitutes industrial development.

The CCA engaged leading experts in advanced manufacturing and industrial policy from across the Commonwealth in the production of this Guide and stands ready to assist Commonwealth member countries in further developing their knowledge of modern manufacturing and in implementing digital industrial policies. The Mauritius pilot program is a step towards this goal.

Read A Policymaker’s Guide to Manufacturing 4.0

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