A group of 49 Jordanian, Iraqi, Lebanese, Yemenite and Palestinian businessmen should be arriving in Brazil on February 13. For two days, they will be participating in business roundtables in the city of São Paulo, the largest business center in Latin America.
According to the secretary-general of the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (CCAB), Michel Alaby, this will be a buyer mission.
“Only one trading company plans to meet companies in the cosmetics and pharmaceutical sectors to sell,” explained the secretary.
Apart from the roundtables, to take place on February 14 and 15, there will be a seminar where Jordanian representatives and representatives from the CCAB will talk.
The meeting will be opened by CCAB president Antonio Sarkis Jr. After that, the former Jordanian minister of Industry and Trade, Hamdi Tabba’a, will talk about the current Economy of Jordan.
Tabba’a is one of the main importers and distributors in the country. The mission will count on the presence of one more former Jordanian minister of Industry and Trade, Thabet Taher.
On the 15th, the theme of the talk, given by the Executive Director of the Jordanian Council of Investments, Reem Badran, will be The Investment Climate and Opportunities in Jordan.
“On that date, perspectives for economic cooperation between the Brazilians and Arabs will also be presented,” explained Alaby.
In parallel to the meeting, a small group will participate in meetings in class organizations like the Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo (Fiesp) and the state government.
According to the secretary, depending on the result of the roundtables, visits to Brazilian factories and industries may be scheduled for the morning of the 16th.
Among the list of products they want to purchase are auto parts, commodities, canned foods, diet products, agricultural machinery, electric material, steel pipes for water, medical and hospital equipment.
Included also in their list are equipment for rehabilitation (prosthetics), transformers, electric pumps, meat processors, textile equipment, garments, paper cellulose, construction material, cleaning material, tobacco, sunflower and maize oil and even disposable nappies.
The Arab businessmen will be in São Paulo up to the 16th, when they will be travelling to Foz do Iguaçu, in the state of Paraná, a region where there is strong Arab presence, and Rio de Janeiro, where they will see the main tourist sites in both cities. They will be returning home on February 20.
Brazilian companies interested in participating in the business roundtables and offering their products are enrolling at the Marketing Department of the CCAB.
The business roundtables should provide incentives to greater trade between Brazil and the Arab countries to participate in the event.
“It is hard to estimate how much it may grow. However, following the example of previous missions, we may state that there is always an answer. There is always greater trade after a mission,” stated Alaby.
In 2004 the trade balance surplus was favorable for Brazil in most cases. Brazilian exports to Jordan, for example, totalled US$ 63.2 million, mainly in aluminium plates, chicken, automobile chassis with engines, sugar, coffee, cattle beef and tobacco.
With regard to imports, mainly of insecticides, medications and electric conductors, they reached just US$ 411,400. The surplus for Brazil was US$ 62.8 million.
In the case of trade with Yemen, the surplus was even greater: US$ 117.7 million. Exports totalled US$ 117.8 million and imports just US$ 5,900. Between Brazil and Lebanon the surplus was US$ 79.4 million.
This total was generated by US$ 89.6 million in exports, against little over US$ 10 million in imports.
Only the trade balance between Brazil and Iraq was negative for the South American country. A total of US$ 61.5 million was exported to Iraq, and a total of US$ 473 million was imported.
In Alaby’s evaluation, the negative balance is due to the import of oil and to the fact that exports are through other markets in the region, like Jordan, Syria and the United Arab Emirates.
ANBA ”“ Brazil-Arab News Agency