There is a need for Brazil to promote its goods overseas. Although trade has been growing in recent years and reciprocal investment is becoming more and more common, the Market Development Department at the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce says that there is still great lack of knowledge of existing opportunities in the Middle East and North Africa.
During the trips that they make to the Arab world, apart from meetings with businessmen, members of the government and of sector organizations, Arab Brazilian Chamber representatives usually meet with consultants, marketing professionals and market analysts to know about the image of Brazil, in the economic point of view, in specific nations.
"Brazil is never mentioned firstly as a supplier," said the Market Development manager at the organization, Rodrigo Solano. According to him, it is more and more important to show the Arabs that the country has already reached a level of development in several sectors that is as good as or even better than that of other nations.
In the Arab world, Brazil is greatly known as a supplier of commodities, especially agricultural ones, and the trade basket with the countries in the region is greatly focused on products like sugar, beef and chicken, although this concentration is dropping year on year.
Today, however, the reality of Brazilian foreign trade is another. Agribusiness is one of the great engines of the economy, but 60% of country exports are composed of industrial items, like ores, transportation material, processed food, metals and machinery.
Russia, for example, one of the members of the BRICs, alongside Brazil, China and India, has 60% of its trade basket concentrated on exports of fossil fuels and their products.
"We must show that importers have an option of an alternative supplier, which is as, if not more capable than traditional suppliers, not just in production capacity but also in quality," said Solano.
In this respect, he mentioned the example of the great volume of capital goods exports from Brazil to the European countries, which are renowned for their production of machinery and equipment.
Within this scenery, the Arab Brazilian Chamber plans to intensify among the Arab nations the comparison of figures regarding Brazil and other countries that supply to the nation, not just with visits to show the country potential as a supplier, but also as a destination market. Nowadays the country supplies just 1.3% of what the Arab world imports.
The idea is to start placing these comparisons in economic analyses published by the institution on its site (www.ccab.org.br), but also to talk about the theme in events in Brazil and in the Arab world, apart from providing incentives for Brazilian sector organizations to do the same. "On comparing the country with a nation that is better known, we call greater attention to Brazil," said Solano.
As examples of figures that may be shown to the Arabs, he mentioned the fact that Brazil is the main global exporter of iron ore, coffee, orange juice, soy in grain, beef, chicken, sugar and ethanol, among other agricultural products; the country also concentrates 50% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and population of South America, as well as having borders with almost all the countries of the region, excluding only Chile and Ecuador.
It is the 9th main economy in the world and has double the per capita GDP of China; the country is the leader in deep water exploration of oil as well as being the main producer of jets for regional aviation and the third main global producer of shoes and soft drinks.
Brazil also has the 7th main pulp and paper industry, is the origin of 12 of the 100 companies that became multinationals this century and concentrates 22% of all the arable land in the world.
Solano also recalled that, many times, products processed in Europe and imported by the Arab countries use raw materials from Brazil, and added that the country has the same capabilities for adding value to its inputs as any European nation.