The president of the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (CCAB), Antonio Sarkis Jr., opened today, the meeting between Arab and Brazilian businessmen at Renaissance hotel, in São Paulo, addressing the importance of exports in the Brazilian economy.
“In 2004, Brazil presented growth of around 5%, a result largely generated by exports, which rose 32% when compared to 2003,” stated Sarkis.
The Arab delegation, which is composed of businessmen from Jordan, Yemen, Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon, will have a series of business activities in the country between today and tomorrow.
At the opening of activities, Sarkis also recalled that the growth of exports is due to the effort made by domestic companies. “They once again learnt to export, diversified their markets and the foreign trade basket,” stated Sarkis.
The CCAB president stressed the importance of the Arab countries in Brazilian foreign trade.
“The trade flow between Brazil and the Arab nations exceeded US$ 8 billion last year, an increase of almost 50% against the 2003 result,” stated Sarkis, adding that this trade may grow further and exceed US$ 10 billion.
Today and tomorrow, the businessmen in the mission will be participating in roundtables. Around 300 Brazilian companies have enrolled to participate in the meetings.
The head of the delegation of Arab businessmen in Brazil to negotiate with domestic companies, Thabet Taher, stated that Brazil is currently in a privileged position to negotiate with the Arab countries.
According to him, Brazil is no longer recognised as only a large exporter of coffee, and has become an industrial power, even having Embraer, the fourth largest aeronautics company in the world.
Although the volume of foreign trade between Brazil and the Arab countries reached US$ 8 billion in 2004, Taher believes that the figure is still below the existing opportunities.
“There is a great need to increase trade, tourism, investment and cooperation,” stated Taher, who is the vice-president of the Jordanian Businessmen Association and former Jordanian minister of Mines and Energy.
Translated by Mark Ament
ANBA ”“ Brazil-Arab News Agency