The review of South Africa's Motor Industry Development Programme (MIDP) is still not completed, but it will be on top of the agenda at the South African Automotive conference in Johannesburg next week.

The conference will look at what the MIDP has done for the industry and why changes are needed, what the options are for the future and why government support is still needed for the industry

Roger Pitot, executive director of the National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers in South Africa, said it was important to see what is going on in other countries.

"NAACAM wants to focus on what is being done in other countries, and what can be done here to improve our competitiveness in order to ensure that South Africa remains on the international radar screen when global companies make decisions on where to produce vehicles and components."

NAACAM believes that continued government support is essential because many of the nations South Africa competes against provide generous incentives for investment promotion.

Pitot added: "Many Asian countries still have higher levels of protection than we do. For these reasons we believe the Conference will play a significant role in increasing our understanding of what has been achieved, the global challenges we face, how we can improve, and what the government needs to do to support our growth."

Speakers from South Africa, and around the world, will focus on the various options available to government in order to achieve its Vision 2020.

This will show the conflicting roles government has to play in terms of the consumer policy, competition policy, trade policy, industrial policy , GDP growth sectors, abundance in raw materials and how to increase local beneficiation via the auto industry, market growth aspirations, fiscal policy and monetary policy.

In all these cases, the MIDP has some influence and government needs to weigh these competing forces to strike a balance which will lead to job creation through improved competitiveness, investments in latest technology and market expansion.

The South Africa Automotive Conference takes place May 7-9. Speakers include Prof Garel Rhys, Director of the Centre for Automotive Research at the University of Wales and one of the world's foremost industry commentators; Andrew Chien, president and managing director, Ricardo Strategic Consulting, North America; and Ashvin Chotai Asia specialist for Global Insight.

Further details