Page 6 - HGR November 2017
P. 6


SA & Singapore
manufacturers sign MoUs

 South African business                     was a timely event to further strengthen      ASEAN is an
   bodies have signed                       bilateral trade between Africa and ASEAN.     economic
                                            The economies of both regions were            powerhouse,
 new Memorandums of                         growing strongly, he noted, and both          with a combined
Understanding designed                      regions had fast-growing middle classes,      GDP of US$2.55
  to support stepped up                     presenting significant opportunities for      trillion in 2016...
                                            trade growth in years to come.
  trade, investment and                                                                  sory Council, said the AABE and Forum
  cooperation between                         “ASEAN is an economic powerhouse,          were intended to open a gateway to
South Africa and ASEAN                      with a combined GDP of US$2.55 tril-         new trade between ASEAN nations and
 nations, on the opening                    lion in 2016. Collectively ASEAN is the      African Union countries. South Africa and
  day of the first Africa–                  3th largest economy in Asia and the 6th      Singapore, he noted, were well placed to
  ASEAN Business Expo                       largest economy in the world. The African    serve as the gateways to their respective
                                            region has six of the ten fastest-growing    regions.
    (AABE) and Africa–                      economies in the world, and collectively,
ASEAN Business Forum                        Africa will be the world’s second-largest      Chua Thai Keong, High Commissioner
  (AABF) at the Sandton                     economy within the next few years. Africa    from the High Commission of Singapore
Convention Centre earlier                   offers an enormous potential market,” he     in Pretoria, speaking on behalf of the Min-
                                            said. “With this enormous potential, it is   ister of Trade and Industry of Singapore,
        this month.                         astonishing that we have not yet been        S. Iswaran, said for ASEAN to continue
                                            able to maximise the business and invest-    growing vibrantly, the region needed to
The fast-growing ASEAN Economic Com-        ment value of these two regions.” ASEAN      continue to build strong partnerships
munity (AEC), representing 10 South East    stood ready to engage further with African   overseas.
Asian states with a combined population     countries, Suprapto said.
of 625 million, is actively seeking closer                                                 “In many ways Africa and ASEAN share
trade links with the African continent,       Deputy Trade and Industry Minister         similar characteristics – both regions have
aiming to fast-track business and invest-   Bulelani Gratitude Magwanishe witnessed      young and dynamic populations and they
ment ties through new B2B platforms and     the signing of MoUs on closer collabora-     are among the fastest-growing regions
trade missions.                             tion between the Singapore Manufac-          in the world, and they have similar needs
                                            turing Federation, the Black Business        in areas such as healthcare, housing and
  The inaugural Africa-ASEAN Business       Council and the Johannesburg Chamber of      education, creating potential synergies
Expo and Forum, sought to boost trade       Commerce & Industry on the opening day       and mutually beneficial partnerships.”
across sectors including food and bever-    of the Forum.                                He noted that trade between Africa and
ages, lifestyle products, environmental,                                                 ASEAN had grown at a compound annual
construction, infrastructure, ICTs and        The Deputy Minister highlighted the        rate of 6.3% from 2006 to 2016. Fuelled by
logistics.                                  enormous potential for growth in ASEAN-      the two regions’ large populations, total
                                            African bilateral trade and investment; as   bilateral trade amounted to over $33 bil-
  Suprapto Martosetomo, Chairman of         well as the investment incentives South      lion in 2016, he said.
ASEAN Pretoria Committee and Ambassa-       Africa had in place for foreign investors.
dor of Indonesia, said the expo and forum   “To achieve our development goals we
                                            must strengthen our international trade
                                            relations,” he said. “The ASEAN region is
                                            a priority market for South Africa’s export
                                            diversification strategy.”

                                              Douglas Foo, President of the Singapore
                                            Manufacturing Federation and appointed
                                            Member of the ASEAN Business Advi-

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