The Brazilian minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, will make a tour through the Arab countries this month. The minister will visit Oman, Jordan, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Tunisia, Algeria, Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia between the 17th and 27th of February.
As well as talking about the Summit for the Arab and South American countries, which will take place in May in Brasilia, Amorim will discuss the bilateral relations between Brazil and the region, the reform of the United Nations (UN) and also topics raised during the visit of President Lula to the Arab nations in 2003.
In the ten countries, Amorim will get together with Foreign Relations ministers and local officials. The agenda is still to be defined by the Itamaraty, the Brazilian Foreign Office.
The first city to be visited will be Amman, in Jordan, followed by Ramallah, in Palestine, Beirut, in Lebanon, Damascus, in Syria, Jeddah and Riyadh, in Saudi Arabia, Muscat, in Oman, Doha, in Qatar, Kuwait City, Tunis, in Tunisia, and Algiers, in Algeria.
In Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, Amorim will lead a delegation of Brazilian businessmen between the 21st and 24th.
Twenty four companies have already confirmed their participation in the Brazilian trade mission to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Amongst the companies are Vale do Rio Doce, Embraer, Avibras, Petrobras, Comex and Docol Metais Sanitários.
Also representatives of the Bank of Brazil, the National Confederation of Industries (CNI), the Brazilian Association of Toiletries, Perfumes & Cosmetics Industries (Abihpec) and the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (CCAB) will join the delegation.
According to information from the substitute chief of the Commerce Promotion Operations Division of the Ministry of Foreign Relations, Rodrigo de Azeredo Santos, the participation of 40 to 50 companies is expected.
Registration, which can be made through the website www.braziltradenet.gov.br, is open until the 11th of February. As well as going to seminars that will be promoted by commerce chambers in the two countries, the companies will participate in business meetings and visit factories and distributors in the region.
In Saudi Arabia, Amorim will also participate, on the 20th, one day before the mission’s official program, of the 6th Jeddah Economic Forum.
Amorim will talk about Brazilian foreign policy, mainly of the relations with the Arab countries, and also of the Summit of Arab and South American Countries, to take place on the 10th and 11th of May in Brasilia, capital of Brazil.
The meeting in Jeddah is sort of a Middle East version of the World Economic Forum. Amorim will talk on the 20th in the afternoon.
The forum, which this year has the theme “Capacity Building: Developing People for Sustainable Growth”, will discuss international cooperation and economic solutions for global growth.
Amongst the 2000 people who should participate in the meeting are national and international officials such as the presidents of Nigeria, Afghanistan and Senegal, the prime ministers of Pakistan and Malaysia, the secretary general of the League of Arab States, Amr Moussa, the former secretary of state of the United States, Madeleine Allbright and the secretary general of the World Tourism Organization, Francesco Frangialli. Amorim was invited by the Forum organization to participate.
On the day following the forum, when the official program for the Brazilian mission begins, the delegation will participate in a seminar about the opportunities in trade and investments in Brazil and Saudi Arabia, at the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
In this space, Brazilian government and sectorial leaders will speak, among them Foreign Trade director at the Bank of Brazil, José Maria Rabello, and the ambassador Mario Vilalva, director at the Comercial Promotion Department at the Itamaraty.
In the afternoon, there will be business roundtables and the following day will be free for business meetings. The program will repeat itself in Kuwait City on the 23rd and 24th of February.
The aim of the Brazilian government, with the mission, is to present Brazil to the Saudis and Kuwaitis and increase trade relations between the two regions.
“We wish to show that we are capable of improving the relations and exporting new products,” says Azeredo. In the delegation there will be companies which do not yet export to the Arab countries as well as those which already do business with the region.
Avibras, manufacturer of aeronautical products, is one of the companies which will participate in the mission with the objective of strengthening the relationship with the Arabs.
The company has been exporting to the Middle East for 25 years. “The journey of the Minister of Foreign Relations is of extreme importance for Avibras, since it strengthens relations of the governments of Brazil and those countries, fundamental for the continuity of business of Avibras in the region”, said the president of the company, João Verdi Leite. The clients of Avibras in the Arab countries are the governments.
Trade Mission to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia
Date: 21 to 24 of February
Information: (+55 61) 411 6240
Translated by Silvia Lindsey
ANBA ”“ Brazil-Arab News Agency