Brazil offers Arab world robust business environment: Official
Trade flow between Brazil and 22 countries from the Arab league reached $24 billion in 2021.
Brazil offers the Arab countries a lucrative business climate and strong legal security for businesses, that has already attracted investments worth over $185.45 billion in key sectors such as infrastructure, energy, and sewage disposal, said Flávio Rocha, strategic affairs secretary of the Brazilian Presidency.
Rocha highlighted about the UAE-Brazil trade ties during a discussion which was held at the Economic Forum Brazil and Arab Countries, which brought together several notable players from both regions. Over 300 members, from diplomats and state authorities to entity heads and entrepreneurs, attended the event held by the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (ABCC) at the Renaissance Hotel.
According to Lucas Ferraz, Foreign Trade secretary of the Brazilian Ministry of Economy, the current business environment is the result of a series of measures adopted by the federal government to reduce the ‘Brazil Cost’ and expand the country’s global market participation. A few measures were highlighted by Ferraz, which included the reduction of taxes and bureaucratic barriers, as well as expanding trade agreements with other countries and economic blocs.
Similarly, Jair Bolsonaro, Brazilian President of the Republic, further stated how the Arab world is the third largest foreign market for Brazil, after China and the United States.
Trade flow between Brazil and 22 countries from the Arab league reached $24 billion in 2021, with exports to the bloc totaling to $14.42 billion, which is a 26 per cent increase in revenue. Similarly, exports from Brazil to the Arab world grew from $4 billion between January and April in 2021 to $5.2 billion in the same period of 2022.
In addition, the Arab blocs sealed the fifth place among the top exporters of goods to Brazil, with the purchase volume of Arab products reaching $9.82 billion in 2021, an 82 per cent increase from the previous year.
Furthermore, Brazil is now the world’s-largest exporter of halal protein. In addition to poultry and beef, exports of sugar, soybeans, and wheat have also increased significantly.
Osmar Chohfi, President of the Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce during the Economic Forum.— Supplied photo
Osmar Chohfi, President of the ABCC, believes the bilateral trade relationship between Brazil and the Arab world gained momentum at a past juncture in the global context when various nations had to adjust to novel and challenging trade and economic conditions.
He stated: “There is a need for more agreements of this nature, along with a forum, where we can identify ways to resolve obstacles and sensitivities that prevent free trade agreements between Brazil and Arab countries.”
Chohfi and Augusto Pestana, President of the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (ApexBrasil), signed a term of commitment to an agreement to promote halal business in the years 2022 to 2025 at the beginning of the Economic Forum Brazil and Arab Countries.
The agreement aims to promote halal products internationally, through initiatives organised in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Indonesia, South Africa, Malaysia, France, and the UAE. Additionally, it aims to position Brazil as a leading competitor in the market for halal products by highlighting relevant initiatives and accomplishments that will be published globally.
Sameer Abdulla Nass, vice-president of the Union of Arab Chambers (UAC) and President of the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), highlights another critical point in Brazil-Arab country relations being the elimination of logistical bottlenecks by establishing direct sea routes between Brazilian and Arab ports. This helped result in lower shipping costs and increased volume of bilateral trade, increasing revenue and improving strategic ties.
“The growth in trade between the Arab world and Brazil is evidence that we still have several opportunities to be taken advantage of, even in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic and the global economic crisis. In order to benefit from the numerous advantages already present in Brazil and the Arab countries, we must intensify our economic cooperation and make high-quality investments on both sides,” said Nass. The Economic Forum Brazil and Arab Countries is sponsored by Apex-Brasil, BRF/Sadia Halal. The event is also partnering with Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD), FAMBRAS Halal certification, Pantanal Trading, and Embratur. Other companies supporting the event also include Modern Living, CDIAL Halal, Antika, Travel Plus, Parque Tecnológico Itaipu (PTI), and Egyzone.
Evandro Oliveira, chief operating officer, Private Office of Sheikh Hamdan bin Ahmed Al Maktoum. — Supplied photo
Dubai-based Evandro Oliveira, chief operating officer, Private Office of Sheikh Hamdan bin Ahmed Al Maktoum, said Latin America’s largest economy witnessed growth accelerate in the first quarter as consumer spending and services activity got a boost with easing impact of the pandemic. Gross domestic product (GDP) grew one per cent from the fourth quarter, according to government statistics agency IBGE. Brazil’s unemployment rate fell to a six-year low in the three months to March, boosting household demand and services activity, which were the main drivers for GDP growth in the quarter.
“Our portfolio is very focused on Brazil and its key economic sectors. This will help us tap business opportunities that will enable growth and development in common areas of interest in both nations. We are actively tapping and studying innovation-based projects that will help us to diversify in futuristic industries,” concluded Oliveira.