BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- More than 100 international and local exhibitors took part in the inaugural ASEAN EXPO 2013 at Bridex Hall in Brunei on Saturday.
The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a 10- member regional intergovernmental organization with a total population of 600 million including Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam.
The main aim of the five-day exhibition is to create awareness on business opportunities in ASEAN member countries and their partners such as China, Japan, South Korea, Russia, India, Australia, New Zealand, United States and Canada.
"The exhibition with the theme Towards Building A Sustainable Trade Community played a vital role in moving towards ASEAN goal that is to become an economic community by 2015, " Dato Jack Ting, the organizing chairman, said in his opening speech.
"By having this international exhibition to coincide with the recently concluded ASEAN Summit that was held in Brunei from Oct. 6 to 9, it can be seen as our contribution to provide a business platform to all members of ASEAN business communities," he added.
Pehin Dato Haji Halbi Haji Mohd Yussof, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, was the guest of honor at the opening ceremony.
Among the participants in the ASEAN Expo was a Chinese company, Hengyi Industries Sdn Bhd, the multi-billion dollar Petrochemical plant at Pulau Muara Besar that will start their first production by 2016. The plant is in the dredging and land reclaiming phase and will first produce two petrochemical products namely Paraxylene and Benzene once their production start. Paraxylene, a raw material for plastic bottles, will be produced at a capacity of 1.5 million tonnes per year, while Benzene, a raw material for plastic bags, will be produced at a capacity of 500,000 tonnes per year. The aim of their participation in the ASEAN Expo was to create the awareness to public on their refined products.
One of the highlights events in the expo was the promotion of Visit Malaysia Year 2014 by Malaysia Tourism Board. Statistics show in 2010, 34 million tourists out of the 73 million in ASEAN countries came from the ASEAN member countries.