South Africa is expanding its trading ties in Asia by becoming the newest partner country in the Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), marking the first time a sub-Saharan country joins the regional body. Morocco and Egypt are also ASEAN partners.
The move marks an important effort by Pretoria to diversify its trading ties in Asia beyond its current dependence on China. The six countries that comprise the ASEAN market together have a population of 600+ million and is now one of the world’s fastest-growing regions, in part because it hasn’t suffered as much from the COVID-19 pandemic as other places.
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