The Brazilian minister of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, Luiz Fernando Furlan, was invited by the minister of Industry and Foreign Trade in Egypt, Rachid Mohamed Rachid, to participate in the 38th Cairo International Fair, multisector event which will take place from the 15th to 25th of March, in the Egyptian capital.
A spokesperson for Minister Furlan said that the minister “initially” accepted the invitation, demonstrated great interest in participating and should really go, if there are no “setbacks”. The confirmation for the journey, however, still depends on arrangements in his agenda.
The invitation was made in a meeting between Furlan and Rachid in Davos, Switzerland, last week, during the World Economic Forum (WEF).
According to Rachid’s press department, the Egyptian Minister left the meeting enthusiastic and has spoken of the beginning of “a new phase and new horizons in the trade and industrial relations between Brazil and Egypt”.
For Rachid, as of now, the economic exchange between the two countries will become much more intense.
Egypt already was one of Brazil’s main trade partners in the Arab world, but the relations strengthened after the visit by president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to the country in December 2003, the beginning of the negotiations between Egypt and the Mercosur for a tariff preference agreement, and the articulations for the summit for the Arab and South American heads of state, to take place in Brazil in May.
In 2004 the Brazilian exports to the Arab country added up to US$ 623.4 million, an increase of almost 35% in relation to the previous year. The imports, however, were a lot less, adding up to only US$ 33.4 million.
In January the shipments to Egypt yielded US$ 59.9 million, against US$ 42.9 million in the same month of 2004. The imports, on the other hand, came to a total of US$ 1.9 million.
With a big difference in the trade balance, Egyptian businessmen and officials have emphasised the need to increase sales from the Arab country to Brazil.
President Lula himself constantly says that in order for Brazil to maintain a healthy foreign trade, it is not enough to only want to sell; it is necessary to buy as well.
In this context, minister Rachid is programming a journey to Brazil, probably also in March, accompanied by businessmen from his country. Many of these entrepreneurs, according to his spokesman, will be visiting Brazil for the first time.
Brazilians at the Fair
For those who wish to verify in loco the opportunities in Egypt, the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (CCAB) will promote, for the seventh time, the participation of Brazilian companies in the event.
According to the secretary-general at the CCAB, Michel Alaby, this is the main trade show in Africa and one of the most important in the Arab world.
In partnership with the Brazilian Export Promotion Agency (Apex), the Chamber will have a 99-square-metre stand.
Last year, five Brazilian companies occupied a 35-square-meter stand at the trade fair and made about 450 trade contacts.
The Brazilian Zebu Breeders Association (ABCZ) also participated with their own space, in partnership with the Apex. The good results led the CCAB and Apex to increase the space for this year’s edition.
In all, five Brazilian companies have confirmed their presence at the fair and another three are interested, but still have not decided. It is still possible to subscribe with the CCAB.
According to the Chamber, the Brazilian products that have greater acceptance in Egypt are cattle beef, construction material, computers, raw material for cosmetics, electric and electronic products, shoes, pharmaceutical products, agriculture machinery, automobiles and machinery for industries.
Translated by Silvia Lindsey
ANBA ”“ Brazil-Arab News Agency