Premier Zille Leads Thailand and Vietnam Trade Mission
Premier Helen Zille is currently leading a business delegation on a trade mission in Thailand and Vietnam.
The mission is being facilitated by the Western Cape’s Tourism, Trade and Investment Promotion Agency, Wesgro. Premier Zille and the delegation will engage in several meetings and businesses seminars to explore trade opportunities between the Western Cape and Thailand. The second leg of the trip will focus on trade opportunities with Vietnam.
“We view Thailand and Vietnam as strategic trade partners. Both regions have shown significant interest in Western Cape products,” said Premier Zille.
“The Thai economy has proven relatively resilient in recent years despite natural disasters and other economic factors. Their economic prospects remain relatively favourable, with the World Bank forecasting growth at 3.1% this year and 3.3% in 2018. We are also encouraged by the fact that South Africa is among the top three fastest growing markets for Thai exports,” said Premier Zille.
Regarding Vietnam, Premier Zille said: “We believe that Vietnam is a strategic partner for the Western Cape – with one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia. Over the period 2012 to 2016, Western Cape exports to Vietnam grew by 14% per annum and imports grew by 7% in the same period. We hope to continue growing this relationship as part of this trade mission.”
Premier Zille will highlight the Western Cape’s offering in our priority economic sectors, guided by our provincial economic strategy, Project Khulisa. Our strategic focus areas are Agri-processing, Toursim and the Energy Economy, which includes the Oil and Gas Sector.
Wesgro CEO, Tim Harris said: “Wesgro considers the exportation of Halaal products and services as a major priority within the agri-processing sector, and our research has shown that countries such as Thailand offer the greatest immediate potential and demand for Western Cape products. To this end, 8 Western Cape companies will showcase their Halaal products at the Food and Hotel: Thailand Exhibition in Bangkok form 6-9 September 2017. Thanks to the networks we have developed over the years, Southeast Asian markets offer Western Cape companies preferential market and supermarket access. We have also established solid government channels to ease trade with these markets.”
“We have identified a number of opportunities in Thailand that are in line with the Western Cape’s strategy to become a forerunner in Halaal product manufacturing, processing and packaging, and look forward to capitalising on them,” said Harris.