In 2009, the Apex-Brazil (Brazilian Export and Investment Promotion Agency) intends to focus its efforts on 23 priority markets. Among them are Singapore, South Africa, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. "Not only are these countries large markets, they also hold potential for us to work with other destinations," said Alessandro Teixeira, the agency's president.
In addition to those countries, Panama, Turkey and Chile are regarded as "trader" countries, i.e., those that provide a gateway to other markets.
"It is easier, for example, for a Brazilian company to operate via the Emirates, because importers from neighboring countries buy from them. This is the best way for entering the region," said Teixeira.
By the same token, Egypt and South Africa serve as export platforms to other countries in the African continent. According to the executive, the Apex is either organizing or participating in five large trade fairs and three missions in the Middle East and North Africa, in addition to promoting actions turned to specific production chains.
Prior to the Gulfood, a trade show for the food industry to be held in February in Dubai, for instance, Apex is going to promote project "Sabores do Brasil" (Flavours from Brazil) in the emirate, so as to better position Brazil as a brand within the local food industry.
The agency is going to select 40 exporter companies to participate in business roundtables with businessmen from the Emirates and other countries in the region. The program also includes a press conference and will offer a dinner featuring Brazilian dishes to opinion-makers.
The Apex also intends to promote a Brazilian fashion show in the Emirates, so that importers from the country and other Middle Eastern nations may get to know items produced by national fashion designers.
Teixeira also said that the Dubai Business Center, maintained by Apex and the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, has "huge potential" when it comes to pinning down importers and investors.
In the area of investment attraction, the Apex is going to develop a project in partnership with the World Bank in order to provide training for state governments to receive investors.
Other markets that should get special attention, according to Teixeira, are the United States and China. Exports by companies supported by the agency to those two countries saw a decrease from 2007 to 2008. They rank respectively first and third among the destinations of Brazilian exports.