Manufacturers and technology firms from across South-East Asia and Africa are set to converge in Johannesburg next month for the first Africa-ASEAN Business Expo (AABE) and Forum.
Business delegates from the 10 ASEAN region nations will meet African buyers, importers and potential partners at the Sandton Convention Centre from 6 – 8 November, for an expo and summit designed to boost already thriving trade between African and ASEAN nations.
The two-day conference and exhibition will address the opportunities available to increase bilateral trade and review current trade and investment policies and opportunities, while the free-to-attend business showcase and multiple networking opportunities will allow delegates to explore new import and export potential across sectors including environmental, construction, infrastructure, water, ICTs and transportation.
Attracting some 50 leading manufacturers from the ASEAN region and Africa, the AABE is designed to boost trade between Africa and the US$2.6 trillion ASEAN market. The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), representing the 10 South East Asian states with a combined population of 625 million, became the third largest economy in Asia and the 7th largest in the world in 2014.
ASEAN – Africa trade has grown at a rate of 15% per year since 1989, and is projected to top US$120 billion by 2019. This bilateral trade, supported by preferential trade agreements and MoUs, has seen growing African imports of primarily palm oil, rice, motor vehicle accessories, oil and gas and various commodities from ASEAN, while ASEAN countries’ top five imports from Africa are cocoa beans, oil and gas, scrap metal, coconuts and nuts, and gold.
South Africa, Nigeria and Egypt have the largest import markets for ASEAN goods. Significant bilateral investment has also taken place in recent years, with Singaporean companies the largest ASEAN investor in Africa. Singaporean investment in Africa passed the US$16 billion mark in 2012, followed by Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. Over 300 ASEAN companies operate in Africa, primarily in manufacturing, oil and urban development.
The strategic Africa-ASEAN Business Expo (AABE) and Forum linking investors and business partners from Africa and ASEAN will also showcase the Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone (RBIDZ) and techno park to ASEAN manufacturers and distributors keen to make inroads into South African and pan-African markets. RBIDZ, offering access to the Richards Bay deep water port and modern road and rail infrastructure, is seeking investors across a number of manufacturing sectors, including ICT and agro-processing.
Among the exhibitors are:
CrimsonLogic – design and deployment of advanced IT solutions for sectors such as public sector and trade.
Etere – media asset management and channel in a box software solutions for broadcasters and media enterprises.
Fullmark – supplier of correction and glue tapes and printer ribbons.
Hua Huat Manufacturing – catalogue manufacturer.
Jing King Tech Holdings – manufacturers and distributors of access control and authentication technology including smart cards, biometrics and data cryptography, as well as BPO and automation solutions and cloud computing.
Myots - importers, exporters and distributors of tools and hardware, industrial electrical equipment, marine equipment, safety equipment and safety shoes, and fitness equipment.
Rexadvance - high-precision fabrication, customised design and manufacturing of automation equipment and machine parts.
Sing Swee Bee Enterprise - manufacturers and distributors of industrial gas cylinders, valves, refrigerants, gas, and suppliers of cryogenic and marine-related products, equipment and services.
Skyfy - Manufacturer of advanced GPS fleet management and vehicle tracking systems.
Vargo Cloud - developers of a digital backbone and framework for stakeholders in trade, logistics and supply chains.
Under the theme ‘Creating Strategic Partnership between African and ASEAN Countries’, the Africa-ASEAN Business Expo will be addressed by South Africa’s Minister of Small Business Development, Lindiwe Zulu, on the morning of Monday, 6 November.
On the same afternoon, Mr Bulelani Gratitude Magwanishe, Deputy Minister of the South African department of trade and industry will officiate the Africa-ASEAN Business Forum (AABF) while welcome remarks would be presented by Herman Breedt, President of the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce & Industry (JCCI) and Douglas Foo, President of the Singapore Manufacturing Federation and Appointed Member of ASEAN Business Advisory Council.
The Forum will also include talks on trade and commerce with ASEAN nations, South Africa, Ghana, and Rwanda, as well as the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Singapore Manufacturing Federation and local organisations including the Black Business Council, South African Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
Edward Liu, Group Managing Director of event organisers, Conference & Exhibition Management Services (CEMS), says the AABE series and supporting trade missions serve as a strategic platform linking businesses between ASEAN and the African Union (AU), via the commercial hubs of Singapore and South Africa. The inaugural AABE 2017 exhibition is free to attend, while conference seats may be reserved at: www.aabexpo.com/africa-asean-business-forum/
The AABF is co-organised by the Singapore Manufacturing Federation and Conference & Exhibition Management Services (CEMS) in partnership with the JCCI, and is supported by the High Commission of the Republic of Singapore, International Enterprise Singapore, the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers, the Singapore Business Federation, the Singapore Contractors Association, SITF, the Singapore Water Association and the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency (GGDA).
To book for the conference, contact Melitta Openshaw at the JCCI. Tel: (+27) 11 726 5300; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Exhibition attendance is free of charge.