The government of Iran is interested in a trade agreement with the Mercosur. The intention was expressed during a meeting of Iranian authorities with the Brazilian minister of Development, Industry and Trade, Miguel Jorge, in Tehran, where he stayed on Monday and Tuesday, heading a trade mission that comprises 86 businessmen from Brazil.
The request should be submitted to the Ministry of Foreign Relations and also discussed by a technical group that was established by initiative of the mission.
The commission is going to travel to Iran again prior to president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s trip to the Middle Eastern country, due May, and will look into how to jointly develop industry-, investment- and trade-oriented cooperation, among other fields. The group will also discuss intellectual property rights.
On Tuesday, minister Miguel Jorge met once again with the Iranian minister of Industry and Mines, Ali Akbar Mehrabian, as well as with the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and minister of Trade, Babak Afghahz.
Ahmadinejad and Miguel Jorge had already met, during the trip of the Iranian president to Brazil, last year, on which occasion they discussed the possibility of the current mission – which also includes Lebanon and Egypt – passing through Iran.
At the meeting in Tehran, they discussed trade. According to Jorge, several Middle Eastern countries have trouble exporting to Brazil because their economies are too linked to the petrochemical industry.
However, according to the Brazilian minister, Iran has a large market. “The country has 72 million citizens, an industry to be reckoned with, and is organized, even though there is a high degree of state presence,” said Jorge.
The minister also claimed, during a press conference, that Brazil is willing to buy fertilizers from Iran. “We have one of the world’s foremost agricultures and we import lots of fertilizers. Presently, nearly 70% of our fertilizer imports come from an Asian country. Iran is a manufacturer of phosphate and urea, which are of interest to us,” he said. The minister invited private and state-owned Iranian companies to go to Brazil in order to sell their products.
“We are not interested in such a strongly unbalanced trade balance,” he stated. Brazilian exports to Iran totaled US$ 1.2 billion last year, whereas Iran sold the equivalent of US$ 19 million to Brazil. Jorge and the delegation will be on Egypt on Wednesday and Thursday. On Friday, the group will be in Lebanon.
Pará Sells Beef
Brazilian firm Angural Trade, a trading company based in the state of Pará, has signed a contract for shipping 2,000 tons of beef to Iran. The deal, worth US$ 6 million, was closed during a business meeting between Brazilian and Iranian businessmen held Tuesday in Tehran.
The group of 86 people traveled to the Middle Eastern country as part of a mission promoted by the Brazilian Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade. According to the trading company’s representative, Luis Carlos Porciúncula, out of the total sold, 60% consists of meat from the cow’s front half, and 40% from the back half. All of the beef will be prepared under the Halal system, a set of Islamic rules for slaughter and production.
This will be the first ever shipment of frozen beef by the trading company, which had only sold livestock thus far. It has already exported to Syria, Egypt and Venezuela. The first shipment to Iran will take place next month.
The sale was made to the Ayandesazane Beheshte Pars company, which is a trading company as well. The contract, according to Porciuncula, will take four months’ work from the company’s suppliers. The state of Pará has the fourth largest herd in Brazil, with 18 million heads of cattle.