Transport Makes Business with Brazil Hard, Say Syrians

Syrian businessmen are interested in buying more Brazilian products. They want to open a distribution center of Brazilian products in Damascus.

The request was made to the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (CCAB) by the Syrian delegation from the Damascus Chamber of Commerce, which participated in the business meeting in São Paulo, May 13.


After the business meeting at Hotel Renaissance, the group, which included around 10 businessmen, participated in a meeting with the directors of the CCAB. They discussed possibilities for simplification of trade between both countries.


In the meeting, the financial director of the CCAB, Paulo Sérgio Atallah, pointed out to the Syrians that the Brazilian government, together with the Brazilian Export Promotion Agency (Apex), is already working on establishing distribution centers for Brazilian products in foreign countries.


According to the president of the CCAB, Antonio Sarkis Jr., the Syrians want to purchase more from Brazil.


“They import more from Europe and the euro is becoming stronger,” he stated.


According to Sarkis, the Syrians stated that if transport difficulties were solved, they would purchase more products from Brazil.


Arab businessmen stated that the largest problem faced by them is maritime transport to Brazil and region.


“The CCAB heard the difficulties and is going to try to work to improve transport, especially cargo,” stated the secretary general of the CCAB, Michel Alaby, who visited the region.


At the end of the year, Emirates Airlines is going to inaugurate a direct flight between Dubai and São Paulo, which will help simplify business travel and collaborate to increase trade.


Apart from the interest in opening a Brazilian product distribution center in Damascus, the Syrian businessmen want to make Brazilian participation in fairs in the region regular and strong. The greatest interest is in the textile sectors, food and vehicle bodies.


The Arabs discussed free trade agreements that they have with over 10 countries and showed interest in an agreement with the Mercosur.


“The businessmen considered the CCAB initiative of organizing the business meetings with Brazilians very positive,” stated Alaby.


Last year Brazilian exports to Syria generated US$ 161.4 million, which represented an increase of 142% when compared to 2003. Sugar, coffee, automobiles, chassis and tractors were the main products shipped.


Imports in turn total led US$ 5.2 million, a 53% drop when compared to 2003. The main product bought by Brazil was naphtha for the petrochemical industry.


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

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