The event featured the participation of hundreds of enterprises from South African countries, as well as seven member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Minister of Small Business Development of South Africa Lindiwe Zulu said that the expo was an important event aiming to enhance the trade exchanges between the African Union (AU) and ASEAN.
At the expo, the Vietnamese Embassy in South Africa introduced the country’s key products such as agricultural products, textiles and garment, handicrafts, food, and home appliances. Vietnam’s pavilions attracted great interest from the enterprises from the host and other African countries.
The expo was expected to be a good opportunity for Vietnamese enterprises to boost their exports and increase their export turnover potential to Africa.
On the occasion, an Africa – ASEAN Business Forum (AABF) was jointly held by the Singapore Manufacturing Federation (SMF) and the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI).
Speaking at the forum, Vietnamese Ambassador to South Africa Vu Van Dung presented the economic development and export-import turnover of Vietnam to the other countries.
He emphasised that with a GDP growth rate of 6.6% on average during 1986-2016, Vietnam is considered as a rapidly developing economy in the world. In 2016, Vietnam's trade turnover reached US$333.06 billion, an annual increase of 6.4%. The country’s export turnover increased 8.5% to US$167.83 billion last year, while import turnover was US$165.23 billion, up 4.3% over the previous year.
South Africa is considered as a ‘bright spot’ and one of the largest markets of Vietnam in the African region, with the bilateral trade turnover of over US$1.2 billion in 2016, added the ambassador.