In the supermarkets of Qatar, the words chicken and Brazil are very close. Brazilian chicken dominates the shelves of large local supermarket chains.
A visit to Carrefour at one of the main shopping malls in the city of Doha, the City Center, shows this. The brands sold there are Sadia, Doux Frangosul, Pena Branca, Perdigão and Seara.
Even some local brands, like the Co-op Islami and Halal Frozen have the words “Made in Brazil” on them.
One of the professionals responsible for the meat sector at the Carrefour in City Center stated that the Brazilian product answers to 90% of the total offered.
Apart from frozen chickens, the Brazilian brands also sell greater added value products at the supermarket, among them chicken sausages, meatballs, breaded chicken, nuggets and hamburgers.
In these cases, however, the main products are made by Sadia. A 1.5 kg packet of whole chicken produced by Sadia is sold for around US$ 2.75 at the Carrefour in Qatar.
“The meat is very good,” stated Mohamed Assan, a resident of Qatar who buys at the supermarket. Assan stated that he buys the meat conscious of its Brazilian origin.
The Carrefour in Qatar also sells Brazilian coffee, packed in other countries, under the brand Brésil Pur Arabica, which belongs to the supermarket itself, but comes from France.
There is also another brand, Café Super Brasil, which is produced in Brazil but packed in Lebanon.
Chicken is, in reality, the main product exported by Brazil to Qatar. Last year, the country sold to the Arab nations a total of US$ 41 million, of which US$ 25 million correspond to chicken.
The other main products in the basket are iron ore, cattle beef, car parts and machinery and tyres.
The presence of Brazilian shoes is also visible in Qatar. At the Shoe Mart, in City Center, beside Italian and Thai shoes, you may also see Brazilian brands like Ferracini, West Coast, Dumond, Azaléia, Piccadilly and the less known Depp.
Dilip Biswararma, who is responsible for the male shoe sector at the store, where the Ferracini and West Coast brands are sold, stated that most of the buyers of Brazilian shoes chose them due to the comfort.
The person responsible for the female shoe sector, Ian Rodrigo, stated that among the Qatari consumers there is a certainty that shoes Made in Brazil are better than the Chinese. The Brazilian female shoes sold at the store are similar to those sold in Brazil.
In the case of Dumond, for example, one of the most sold shoes is an orange pointy pair. Rodrigo stated that Arab women look for coloured shoes for use at parties at the end of Ramadan.
At stores in the shopping malls of Qatar, few of the products are local, which shows the import potential of the country.
In Carrefour, it is possible to find clothes made in the United Arab Emirates, carpets made in Pakistan, shoes made in India and England, sugar from Hong Kong and coffee from Germany.
The country imports a large part of what it consumes, as it does not have a diversified industry. Most of the income of Qatar comes from the production of natural gas and petroleum.
Brazil and Qatar
Brazil had revenues, in the first five months of the year, of US$ 18 million with exports to the country, a growth of around 8% over the same period in 2004, when revenues totalled US$ 16.5 million. Last year, the growth over 2003 was 35%.
Brazil also imports products from Qatar, but at a smaller volume. Last year, imports from the Arab country totalled US$ 13,900.
ANBA – Brazil-Arab News Agency – www.anba.com.br