Brazilian companies’ interest in the Arab countries is on the rise. More and more companies in different sectors are getting ready to open units in promising markets, like the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, to mention just two.
The Emirates, for example, should receive foreign direct investment of US$ 6.2 billion in 2010, as against US$ 5 billion in 2009.
Such interest is the result of varied efforts in this respect, like the trade missions organized by the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce and actions developed by the embassies of nations in the Middle East in Brazil. Among the corporations, the search is growing, mainly in the sectors of food, franchises and vehicles.
“The closer ties between Brazil and the Arab countries have been generating good commercial fruit and investment,” said the secretary general at the Arab Brazilian Chamber, Michel Alaby. According to him, the choice for this or that country within the block depends on the project of each company: the Emirates attract mainly those working in trade, whereas Egypt and Morocco offer good competitive advantages for industries, for example.
And what are the best opportunities for Brazilians? “Business with barbecue restaurants, cafes and clothes brands have much space for growth in this block,” explained Alaby.
Faced with this scenario, companies like Brazil Foods (the result of the merger between Sadia and Perdigão), Vale do Rio Doce, Tubos Tigre, Odebrecht, Boticário, Via Uno and Arrezzo, among others, are also part of the team that has already got there.
According to information disclosed by Odebrecht Engenharia & Construção, currently present in the Emirates and Libya, the infrastructure sector in the Arab bloc has one of the main potentials for growth in the world.
The company is developing two constructions there: EVA Hotel in Abu Dhabi, at the International Airport, and the Third Tripoli Ring Road, in Libya. And the company has already developed projects in Iraq, Kuwait and Djibouti, having had revenues of approximately US$ 250 million for infrastructure services in the Middle East in 2009.
According to the Market Development manager at the Arab Brazilian Chamber, Rodrigo Solano, expectations are for investment to become more direct, as Brazil and the Arab nations come closer together. “In 2008, according to figures disclosed by the Bank of Brazil, the Emirates was the country that received most investment from Brazilian companies, with US$ 6 million. Countries like Bahrain, Lebanon and Libya received US$ 1 million each,” he said.
And what other attractions does the Middle East offer to foreign companies? “The possibility of investing with local partners, allowing 100% foreign property, customs taxes ranging from 4% to 5% for most items, the guarantee of no appropriation or nationalization of investment made and the respect to contract compliancy regarding private property,” said Solano.
This, of course, not to mention a consumer market of approximately 320 million people. And anxious to receive products and services made in Brazil.