A Vietnamese stall at the event (Source: VNA)
 
Johannesburg (VNA) – 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.

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 percent 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 2,000 USD.

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

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

The second AABE is scheduled for 2018 in Singapore.-VNA