Thailand to Host Two Trade Shows to Mark 20 Years of Trade and Diplomatic Ties with SA


Early morning sunrise over the city of Johannesburg, shot looking East with the M1 Highway in the foreground. Date 1 May 2008. Author Dylan Harbour Source


The Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP), Ministry of Commerce of the Royal Thai Government has announced that it will host two trade shows in South Africa in 2013, to mark the milestone 20 years of trade and diplomatic relations between the countries.

The first will take place from 18-20 June at the Cape Town International Convention Centre and the second from 25-27 June at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg.

“Two decades of trade and diplomatic relations between South Africa and Thailand have yielded significant benefits for both countries. Bilateral trade between the countries has enjoyed steady year-on-year growth. In 2012 bilateral trade grew to USD 5.256 Billion over the USD 3.5-billion of 2011, representing the highest level of two-way trade that the two nations have experienced in 20 years.

“It seems fitting to commemorate this anniversary with a double showing of our Thailand Trade Show,” says Dr. Chakarin Komolsiri, Head of the Office of Commercial Affairs at the Royal Thai Embassy in South Africa.

The Thailand Trade Shows will be the 15th and 16th such events hosted by the DITP in South Africa. The show typically attracts a strong contingent of local buyers, traders, importers, retailers, wholesalers, agents and distributors keen to explore new trade opportunities or to expand or diversify their relationship with Thai exporters.

Among the diverse sectors that will be on show this year, are food and beverage; health; beauty; textiles; accessories and fashion products, footwear; household and kitchen products amongst others.

Quality, flexibility, product diversity and an excellent business ethic are the key reasons that South African importers favour trading with Thailand. Thai exports to South Africa range from automotive to food and beverage, rubber and agri-industry products, among others, and totalled USD 2.428 Billion  in 2012.

Last year, food products accounted for three of Thailand’s top 15 exports to South Africa. Cereal (rice) ranked fifth, Prepared Meat & Fish (canned tuna and sardines) sixth and Meat (poultry) fifteenth.

“Food security is an issue of great importance to countries around the world at present and a particular priority for African nations. Thai food exporters will use the coming trade shows to demonstrate their strength in this market and their ability to reliably and sustainably provide food products of high quality and nutritional value to meet South Africa’s food security needs,” adds Dr. Komolsiri.

The Thailand Trade Show is first and foremost a business-to-business event that puts South African traders in direct contact with prominent Thai exporters and business opportunities.

DITP officials will also be on hand at the expos to facilitate introductions, answer trade questions and assist traders to source and establish communication and relationships with Thai trading partners across all trade sectors.

Thai cuisine is among Thailand’s most celebrated global exports and so, to provide both entertainment and flavour to the Thailand Trade Show, award-winning Thai chefs will prepare authentic Thai food for visitors to sample, at daily cooking demonstrations.

“It will be our pleasure once again to welcome South African traders to the Thailand Trade Show and to introduce them to the many available opportunities to trade with Thailand.

Finally, it is noteworthy to mention that while Thai exports to South Africa have grown steadily over the last few years, in mostly double-digit percentages, in 2012 South African exports to Thailand enjoyed triple-digit growth of up to 160% to 300% in various sectors.

Traders who wish to participate in the business-to-business networking events on the opening days in Cape Town or Johannesburg, should email to enquire about accreditation. For more information on the shows, visit

Members of the public are welcome to attend the Thailand Trade Show on the last day of the Thailand Trade Show in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

To enquire about trading with Thailand, call the Office of Commercial Affairs, Royal Thai Embassy, Office of Commercial Affairs at Tel: + 27 (0) 12 342 0835 or email Sean Kearns at

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