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Brazil’s Wooing the Middle East

The sales from the state of Paraná, in the South of Brazil, to the Arab countries had an increase in 21.4% last year in relation to 2003, stepping up from US$ 410.1 million to US$ 497.8 million. In spite of the small participation, for the first time in the last three years automobiles appeared in the list.

The vehicles responded to about 3.17% of the total volume, or US$ 15.8 million. The fact, however, indicates a tendency: the export basket from the state of Paraná to the region is diversifying.


Traditional supplier of foods to the Arab world, especially poultry and its products, Paraná wants to show the businessmen from the region they have more to offer.


Apart from agribusiness, there are good perspectives in the metal-mechanics (auto parts, for example), woods, furniture, ceramics and civil construction articles sectors.


“The options can be broadened,” emphasises Ardisson Nahim Akel, president at the Foreign Trade Chamber of the Federation of Industries of the State of Paraná (Fiep).


Last month, Akel received a group of Arab businessmen in the city of Foz do Iguaçu, the west of the state. He took the occasion to make a presentation on the new business opportunities in Paraná.


“They showed great interest in, during their next visit to Brazil, going to Curitba (capital city of the state) to participate in business roundtables,” says the Fiep president.


The increase in exports, associated to the drop in imports, increased the state’s trade surplus with the Arab nations and North Africa in 39%.


The volume went from US$ 309.3 million to US$ 427.7 million. In the period, Paraná purchases dropped from US$ 100.8 million to US$ 70.1 million.


The products with the greatest sales levels to the region were poultry cut in pieces and frozen (28.71 of the total), frozen edible bird giblets (9.45%) and cane sugar (9.87%).


The highlight items in the import basket, all of them raw materials for fertilizers, were superphosphate, content of phosphorus peroxide (46.2%), non-ground natural calcium phosphates (20%) and ammonium dihydrogen orthophosphate (13%).


Omar Nasser works for the Federation of Industries of the State of Paraná.


Translated by Silvia Lindsey


ANBA – Brazil-Arab News Agency
www.anba.com.br

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