The Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (CCAB), in partnership with the Brazilian Export Promotion Agency and the São Paulo state government promotes today and tomorrow a meeting for businessmen in São Paulo. It is the continuation of the works started in BrasÀlia.
“This is one of the greatest Arab delegations that has been to Brazil, and with the greatest number of buyers. We are very optimistic, especially because the meeting will be the continuity of the business initiated during the summit in Brasília,” stated Antonio Sarkis Jr., president of the CCAB.
The business roundtable that starts today and follow until tomorrow, at the Renaissance Hotel, in the city of São Paulo, already count on more than 700 businessmen, among Arabs and South Americans, who have already registered.
The Arabs who confirmed are more than 100 and come from nine countries: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Sudan, Tunisia and Kuwait. Among them are importers and exporters.
Another novelty in this business meeting, according to Sarkis, is that, this time, the Arab businessmen will be able to visit Brazilian companies.
When they arrive at the hotel, in São Paulo, they will receive a questionnaire with options for sectors like technology, foods, carmakers and research institutes.
“They can choose the sector they are most interested in and see it personally,” explains Sarkis.
In the seminar, which happens today, from 9:30 a.m. to midday, general figures about São Paulo and trade between Brazil and the Arab countries will be presented.
The global trade (sum of exports and imports) between the two regions reached a volume of US$ 8.1 billion in 2004 – 50% greater than the US$ 5.4 billion in 2003.
The Arabs will be the first to see the São Paulo business itineraries, a programme recently developed by the state government in a partnership with the Chamber of Commerce (organisation of the São Paulo Trade Association) and the Federation of Trade Associations of São Paulo (FACESP).
“The itineraries sketch out the economic profile of every region, demonstrating the state’s whole potential. It is a meeting to really close deals,” emphasises Fernando Menezes, secretary at the State Secretariat for Science, Technology, Economic Development and Tourism in the state of São Paulo, one of the supporters of the event.
“The Arabs were interested in the aero-spatial sector (in the city of São José dos Campos), dentistry (Ribeirão Preto), petrochemical (Mauá, Baixada Santista), machinery and fuel alcohol production,” stated Menezes.
The meeting counts on the support of the Brazilian Export Promotion Agency (Apex), the Council of Arab Ambassadors in Brazil, the Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo (Fiesp), the Federation of Agriculture of the State of São Paulo, the Trade Federation of the State of São Paulo, and the Centre of Industries of the State of São Paulo (Ciesp).
Today, the business roundtables begin at 02:00 pm and end at 06:00 pm. On Friday, May 13, they take place in the morning. Brazilian businessman Rudi Konrad is one of the participants.
He will be representing three companies, Biolab, which makes pharmaceutical products, União Química, pharmaceutical and hospital products, and Agener União, a producer of veterinary products for small and medium animals.
According to Konrad, the companies are just starting doing business with the countries in Latin America and Africa and now, who knows, plan to enter the Arab market.
“I intend to analyse and study the possibilities of sales of our products to the Arab countries. And also to know the differences in the Arab legislation,” he explained.
Trading company Baska Comércio Exterior, which imports and exports products ranging from foods to projects for company installation, is also going to the meeting after new clients.
“We are going to participate in the business roundtables with the objective of prospecting the Arab market and knowing what are their consumption needs so as to identify the products we can offer them,” stated Alitéia dos Santos, the Baska trader. The company already sells on the European, United States and Mercosur markets.
From the cosmetics sector, Niasi, which has been exporting to the United Arab Emirates for one year, is prepared to increase sales to the region. “We notice, day by day, that the business possibilities with the Arabs are growing,” guaranteed Mauricio Campos.
According to Campos, the Niasi expectations for the meeting are ample in the sense of increasing international partnerships, aimed at growing the number of collaborators and also identifying other business possibilities in the Arab market.
Expanding business is also the objective of businessman Miguel Sabat, the export coordinator of Marchesan Implementos e Máquinas Agrícolas, based in the city of Matão, in the interior of the state of São Paulo. The company already exports agricultural implements, mainly harrows and ploughs, to Algeria, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
“We have been selling on the Arab market for 15 years, but the sales are always sporadic. Now our objective is to sign new contracts, preferably long term ones,” he declared.
The business meeting in Brasília, which ended yesterday, pleased the participants. “We made many contacts, it was very productive,” stated Eliseu Freitas, the commercial director of Ortho Face Implantes Especiais, a factory that makes dentistry and orthopaedic prosthetics, from the southern Brazilian capital of Curitiba.
Freitas stated that the trip to the Brazilian capital served, mainly, to obtain information regarding the Arab market, like, for example, from where the countries in the region are buying the kind of product Freitas makes.
Ortho Face only exports sporadically, but the intention is to make exports more constant. This was one of the reasons for which he decided to try to come closer to the Arab market. According to Freitas, the target is to raise exports to 30% to 40% of production.
Freitas believes that the documents signed at the summit between heads of state and ministers, like the framework agreement signed between the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the Mercosur are going to favour business.
“We are heading towards independence in the foreign market after this summit,” stated the executive with regard to market diversification.
Businessman Raphael Winkler, who was born in Switzerland but lives in Brazil took advantage of the meeting in Brasília to launch his trading company, which intends to export organic products – without chemical additives – produced within the halal norms. He is also going to work with non-genetically modified products.
So as to set up his business, however, Winkler is still after partners. At the business meeting, he spoke to people from various origins and established a network of contacts. “I accomplished many of my objectives,” he said.
Approximately 150 people visited the stand of the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (CCAB) during the first three days of the business meeting. According to the organizations Operations coordinator, Rodrigo Solano, the largest demand was for Brazilian companies interested in exporting or attracting foreign investment.
Various people who were also interested in learning what other kinds of products, apart from oil, may be imported from the Arab countries.
Among those who visited the stand, around 40% were Brazilians, 30% from the remaining South American countries and 30% Arab. According to Solano, however, those visiting the convention centre also includes businessmen of different nationalities, like British.
“They were after information about the Arab market and about the summit,” he stated.
ANBA – Brazil-Arab News Agency