First Africa-ASEAN Business Expo opens in South Africa

The first Africa – ASEAN Business Expo 2017 (AABE 2017) took place in Johannesburg city, South Africa from November 6-8, with hundreds of firms from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam and African countries in attendance.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, South African Minister of Small Business Development Lindiwe Zulu said the event, initiated by the African Union and the ASEAN, is a step forward in promoting economic and trade integration between Africa and ASEAN. 

At the event, the Vietnamese embassy in South Africa opened a stall showcasing farm produce, apparel, handicrafts, food processing and household appliances.

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Also on the occasion, the Singapore Manufacturing Federation and the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry hosted the Africa – ASEAN Business Forum (AABF).
Speaking at the AABF, Vietnamese Ambassador to South Africa Vu Van Dung said with average growth of more than 6.6% from 1986-2016, Vietnam is a fast-growing economy. After 24 years of reforms and integration into the global economy, Vietnam became a middle-income country in 2016 when GDP per capita neared US$2,000.

From 1995-2015, Vietnam’s trade value increased 30-fold, reaching US$333.06 billion last year, up 6.4% year-on-year. Exports rose 8.5% to US$167.83 billion while imports reached US$165.23 billion, up 4.3%. 

Two-way trade between Vietnam and South Africa topped US$1.2 billion last year. 

The second AABE is scheduled for 2018 in Singapore.


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