News & events


New drivers of BRICS economic cooperation: Corporate restructuring and value chains

24 May 2016
12:30 - 13:30

Prof. Seeraj Mohamed
Associate Professor, Department of Economics, University of the Western Cape

Date:  24 May 2016      
Time: 12:30  – 13:30
Venue:    VCRs, Pretoria, Cape Town, Durban

The HSRC seminar series is funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST). The views and opinions expressed therein as well as findings and statements of the seminar series do not necessarily represent the views of DST.

The past two decades have seen changes in control of global markets and concentration at a global scale. Gereffi and Fernandez (2011) argue that global values chain analysis provides a good framework for understanding the way in which global markets have been reallocated and restructured over this period. I argue in Mohamed (2010) that this global corporate restructuring has exacerbated a global division of labour where the corporations of developed countries that have become lead corporations in GVCs control design and engineering, intellectual property rights, branding and global distribution channels while developing countries provide primary inputs, such as raw materials and agricultural products, and provide cheap labour for assembly of manufactured products.
The result of this division of labour is that it reduces the ability of developing countries to move into higher value-added production, earn higher profits and to build up their stock of intellectual property, and global brands. Financialisation of non-financial corporations (NFCs) has had an important influence in shaping this global corporate restructuring, the operations of global value chains and the new global division of labour. Therefore, ability of developing country corporations to lead global value chains and to become international players that control intellectual property, branding and distribution has been curbed.
In this paper I state that an important question and agenda for the BRICS countries is not only to challenge the current status quo with regard to governance of GVCs but also to develop their own GVCs. Cooperation amongst the BRICS countries could support partnerships and development of BRICS corporations to challenge the current power of developed economy lead firms. They could alter the governance of global value chains for key products. BRICS countries have the combined market strength, range of products from raw materials through to intermediate and final products and know how to set up new value chains.

The seminar may be attended in Pretoria, Cape Town or Durban

Kindly RSVP by 23 May 2016

Cape Town : HSRC, 12th Floor, Plein Park Building (Opposite Revenue Office), Plein Street, Cape Town. Contact Carmen August ,Tel (021) 4668004, Fax (021) 461 0299 or e-mail:

Durban :  The Atrium, 5th Floor, 430 Peter Mokaba Ridge, Berea, 4001 , Contact Ridhwaan Khan, Tel (031) 242 5400, cell: 083 788 2786 or , or Hlengiwe Zulu at e-mail

Pretoria : HSRC Video Conference, 1st floor HSRC Library Human Sciences Research Council, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria. Arlene Grossberg, Tel: (012) 302 2811, e-mail: