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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     March 17, 2017  

Business expo to boost ASEAN-Africa trade

The 2017 Africa-ASEAN Business Expo (AABE) will take place in Johannesburg City, South Africa, from November 6-8.

Ambassadors and chief trade representatives of ASEAN, Mauritius, Zambia, Namibia, Mozambique, and Cameroon in Pretoria met with Edward Liu, Managing Director of Conference & Exhibition Management Services (CEMS), on Wednesday, to discuss the event.

The event will include an exhibition, a business forum for the African-Asian region, and business match-making meetings, focusing on education, environment, services, finance and business, food, retail, healthcare, housing construction, infrastructure building, information technology, transport, water treatment, and tourism.

The expo, which will be held by Singapore Manufacturing Federation and CEMS, is expected to draw 3,000-4000 visitors and entrepreneurs.

ASEAN’s trade-investment promotion organisations, including the Viet Nam Trade Promotion Agency and the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, are partners of the AABE organising board.

Vietnamese Ambassador to South Africa Vu Van Dung, who is also Chairman of the ASEAN Committee in Pretoria, said trade and investment between southern Africa and ASEAN had enormous potential.

The upcoming expo will create an excellent opportunity for businesses to embrace links and promote trade and investment, he added.

It will also help popularise ASEAN and its members, including Viet Nam, to South Africa and the southern part of Africa, on the occasion of the 50th founding anniversary of ASEAN, he said.

Trade between ASEAN and Africa recorded an annual increase of 15 per cent from 1989 to 2014.

Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore are the biggest trade partners of Africa, while South Africa, Nigeria and Egypt are the largest importers of the bloc.

Currently, 300 companies from ASEAN are operating in Africa, mainly in agriculture, machine manufacturing, oil drilling, and urban development.

South Africa is the main market of Viet Nam in the south of Africa. Two-way trade reached about US$1.1 billion in 2015 and is expected to increase.

Viet Nam ran a trade surplus of nearly $1 billion in South Africa, mainly exporting mobile phones, footwear, computers, electronic products and garments, while importing iron, steel, chemicals, cotton, fibre and fertiliser. - VNS

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By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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