Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer does not forecast recession in the Middle East in 2009 contrary to what it expects to see in the United States and Europe,Â This according to the president of the company, Frederico Fleury Curado.
The region has been gaining importance to the company in recent years. "We do not predict a recession, however the thriving growth should slow down," said the executive.
According to him, the crisis will affect the Middle East more mildly than the rest of the world. "They have resisted longer than the rest of the world, but it going to get to them," he stated. In addition to lower demand as a consequence of the deceleration of the world economy, the company informs that its clients in general are having greater trouble obtaining financing.
In the case of Arab countries, according to Curado, one fact that hampers growth is the steady decline in oil prices that took place starting in July. However, it is virtually a consensus among analysts that the price of the commodity should not remain at its current level, below US$ 40 per barrel, but rather that it should rise again over the course of 2009.
According to the executive, 2008 was a good year in terms of sales to the region. Embraer participated in two aerospace exhibitions, one in Egypt and the other in Dubai. In November, the company announced new contracts worth US$ 208 million with companies based in the United Arab Emirates and in Kuwait.
The Middle East has been an important market, especially in the executive aviation sector. The first deliveries of the Lineage 1000, a large-sized executive jet, are going to be made to clients in the region in 2009.
Curado also said, however, that the Arab countries have also gained importance in the commercial aviation area. Up until the third quarter of 2008, the company had already delivered 29 commercial jets to Arab companies.