Arabs Seek Trade Agreements with Minas Gerais, Brazil

The president of the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (CCAB), Antonio Sarkis Jr., and the organization’s secretary general, Michel Alaby, presented some of the opportunities to improve trade relations between the Brazilians and Arabs at a seminar Thursday, June 16, in Minas Gerais, in southeastern Brazil.

The meeting was part of the schedule of the visit that the Council of Arab Ambassadors in Brazil was taking to the state.


The CCAB president pointed out that the main products exported by the state of Minas Gerais to the League of Arab States are iron ore, sugar, coffee, cattle beef, iron and steel pipes, cars, dairy products and diamonds, which, according to him, have a special position in the state’s trade basket with the Arab market.


The Arabs, in turn, are potential suppliers of items like fertilizers, cotton, gum Arabic, plastics, electric material and food products like sardines, dates, olive oil, spices and canned products.


“We have been noticing significant diversification with regard to the businessmen from Minas Gerais, who are generating new business opportunities with greater added value products, among them jewelry, cosmetics and shoes. Many of them have been participating in sector fairs in the Arab market to show, for example, the differential of Brazilian fashion,” stated Sarkis.


According to him, the opportunities for partnerships between Arab and Brazilian businessmen may be connected to sectors like dairy products, sweets, chocolates, biscuits, grain, processed meats and civil construction, a sector that is in full growth in various Arab countries and may present large contracts for construction companies and electric material supply.


Sarkis also pointed out that, through partnerships with federal government organizations, like the Brazilian Export Promotion Agency (Apex), the CCAB will be participating in 15 international fairs in the Arab countries, in the most varied of sectors, up to the end of 2005.


“In the case of participation in fairs, the CCAB is prepared to assist the businessmen, not only with the necessary consultancy for negotiation, but also with the logistics and installation at the events,” stated Sarkis.


According to him, the CCAB is also responsible for reception of delegations, authorities and businessmen who are visiting Brazil.


Figures


Secretary Alaby was in charge of presentation of economic figures (like the GDP, population, main products imported and exported) of the 14 Arab countries that have diplomatic representation in Brazil.


The countries are: Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Sudan and Tunisia.


“It is important to know that, apart from trade, we have to invest in direct investment, and establish joint ventures, technology transfer, tourism, medical services, research, agrarian development and create aerial and water routs,” stated Alaby.


For these closer ties really to come true, pointed out the secretary general, it is very important for the country to invest in signing trade agreements.


“All countries want to export. It is therefore necessary to find forms to guarantee these closer relations and bilateral trade,” he stated.


At the seminar, the president of the Federation of Industries of the State of Minas Gerais (Fiemg), Robson Braga de Andrade, also made a presentation. He discussed the Fiemg system and the industrial sectors that present the greatest synergy with the Arab countries.


Another speaker was the Economic Development secretary of the state of Minas Gerais, Wilson Brumer, who discussed the state economy, partnerships and investment. He discussed sectors like agribusiness, cars, auto parts, shoes, cosmetics, gems and precious stones.


The Ambassadors


The group of Arab ambassadors who visited the state of Minas Gerais between June 15 and 16 was headed by the Palestinian ambassador and Dean of the Council, Musa Amer Odeh, and included another seven diplomats: the ambassador of Tunisia, Hassine Bouzide, of Algeria, Lahcène Moussaoui, of Libya, Mohamed Heimeda Matri, of Kuwait, Hamood Al Roudhan, of Lebanon, Fouad El-Khoury, of Morocco, Ali Achour and of Sudan, Rahamtalla Mohamed Osman.


Anba – www.anba.com.br

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