Strategic business levers for bilateral defence technology and industrial partnership between South Africa and Bric states.

Putter, Andries Petrus (2019-12)

Thesis (MMil)--Stellenbosch University, 2019.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: central to the defence and security complex, economic growth, new technology development and foreign policy of South Africa. Yet, the SA DTIS is in disrepair due to economic pressure and global defence technology and industrial market dynamics, fuelling perceptions that the SA DTIS (typically the State Owned Enterprises) is an economic, defence and security liability. Reversing this situation, from a BRICS perspective, requires a detailed understanding of the prevailing strategic defence technology and industrial business environment, policy approaches and strategic business levers used and preferred internationally and amongst the BRICS States to unlock relationship building and capability development thrust. As such, the National Development Plan (NDP) 2030 called for research on BRICS partnership building. Thus, this thesis focuses on BRICS DTIS bilateral relations, specifically - which strategic business levers are prudent to establish bilateral defence technology and industrial partnerships between South Africa and the BRIC States? A qualitative research methodology and case study research approach/design, calibrated by a relativist worldview and social constructivist paradigm, was used to render rich description. Using questionnaires (open-ended inquiry) allowed eighteen DTIS-related experts participation in the study and rigour to the findings of the thesis. The SA DTIS role in the BRICS DTIS ecosystem is described as being a gateway to the African DTIS market segments and a possible collaboration - and supply chain partner for niche technologies-, product systems- and integration services development. Bilateral collaboration was found to be the preferred level of inclusion, based on the discretionary and securitised nature of each DTIS. In the quest for self-sufficiency and/or domination, the strategic motive for bilateral DTIS collaboration is to attain competitive/comparative advantage within a competitive timeframe. The crystallisation of bilateral DTIS partnerships from multilateral alliances such as BRICS is calibrated significantly by the level of asymmetry between prospective partners, national interest, the quest for foreign policy flexibility and military autonomy, national DTIS policy objectives, technology and products niches, and preference for strategic business levers. BRICS States were found to all subscribe to liberal (at least a hybrid) DTIS development approach that allows for a dynamic mix of the facets mentioned above. Within these dynamics possible drivers of bilateral partnerships are the adoption of an idealist approach and liberal/hybrid DTIS policy, continuous investment in the DTIS and militaries, nurturing Tier 1 and/or 2 industrial capabilities, promoting the use of strategic business levers (joint ventures (JVs), technology transfer, foreign direct investment and mergers and acquisitions), recognising the role of Government in developing the DTIS, overlapping market segments, respect for Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), amongst others. BRICS DTISs share the ambition to be self-sufficient. Some are ambitious to be dominant also. These drivers and ambitions provide short- to medium-term SA DTIS collaboration development opportunities in the quest for BRIC self-sufficiency/dominance ambitions. Bilateral partnerships barriers relates to asymmetry, differences in approaches to arms control and associated governance, funding asymmetries, a gradually deteriorating SA DTIS contrasted by a rapidly developing BRIC DTISs, divergent national policy frameworks, the short-term nature of SA DTIS opportunities, abuses of IPR (typically China) – all problematic considering the current state of the South African economy and its DTIS. In the short- to medium-term JVs attracted preference as a strategic business lever for bilateral BRICS DTIS partnerships - primarily with Brazil and India. This said, it should not be assumed that bilateral DTIS partnerships between South Africa and the individual BRIC States will be mutually beneficial, no matter the strategic business levers employed, due to the complexity of international DTIS collaboration.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Geen Afrikaanse opsomming beskikbaar nie.

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