10/11/2022 03:12 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 10 (Bernama) -- The inaugural Africa Expo 2022 (AE2022), the first business-to-business tradeshow dedicated to African business professionals to showcase their products and services in Malaysia, begins today at the World Trade Centre Kuala Lumpur.

In a statement, the Governor of Bomet county, Kenya, Hillary Barchok said in his officiating speech that over the years, the economic growth of Africa’s private sector has reached impressive feats, and yet many Asian companies are not aware of Africa’s promising business climate.

“Following the recent African Continental Free Trade Agreement signed by its countries, Africa is a rising power that offers massive, scalable investment and partnership opportunities for Asian trade sectors.

“Thus, the Africa Expo comes at the perfect time to strengthen the alliance between Africa and Asia towards mutually benefitting these two economies,” he said.

In a separate speech, Barchok said that Africa’s fast-growing population and markets present lucrative opportunities for business in an environment of slowing global growth.

“At the same time, the continent is open to innovation and investment opportunities that are essential to meet its unfulfilled demand for goods and services, close the gaps in its infrastructure and create jobs.

“Here is what makes Africa prime for strengthening trade partnerships. Africa’s current population stands at 1.2 billion strong,” he said.

With a population of 56.5 million, Kenya is experiencing a growing consumer demand for products and services. It has a strong, diversified and fully liberalised economy with a gross domestic product (GDP) of just over US$110 billion (US$1=RM4.688) and an average growth of 5.5 per cent annually, he added.

The governor noted that the economic acceleration and improving business environment are underpinned by five long-term trends, including Africa’s fast-growing population and urbanisation, rapid industrialisation, progress in infrastructural development, agricultural innovation, and increasing digital and mobile access.

He expressed hope that through AE2022, the stakeholders including trade and commerce government bodies, chambers and associations would have identified new businesses and investment opportunities through strengthening partnerships.

From today (Nov 9) to Nov 11, AE2022 will feature 77 exhibition booths, summits and roundtable dialogues, business-matching sessions, industrial site visits and business awards for rising stars across industries.


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