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.
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.