Brazil has the chance of becoming one of the greatest agriculture products suppliers to the Arab countries, according to Brazilian Minister of Agriculture, Roberto Rodrigues.
“It will depend on our competence and capacity of growing in relation to the other competing countries,” said the Minister, Monday, August 15, during the São Paulo Exports Seminar, which took place at the Imigrantes Exhibit Center, in São Paulo.
At the lecture he gave to the businessmen participating at the meeting, Roberto Rodrigues recalled that agribusiness exports to developing countries, group of which the Arabs are part, are increasing above the sales to developed nations.
Agribusiness exports to the 22 countries of the Arab League advanced in 19.5% between January and July, with revenues of US$ 1.8 billion. In July they increased even more: 43%.
In general, exports in the sector increased by 9% from January to July and by 8.7% in July. The participation of the Arab world in the total of agribusiness exports went from 6.27% in July 2004, to 8.29% in July 2005.
The Minister stated that the meats sector is one of those in which the country may be one of the main suppliers to the Arab world.
The Brazilian Beef Industry and Exporters Association (Abiec) foresees that, in two to three years, the region will surpass the European Union and become main buyer of Brazilian beef.
Egypt was the second greatest importer of in natura Brazilian bovine meat in July and Algeria the fourth.
Rodrigues said that the greatest increase in sales to the developing countries is related to the good times world economy is going through.
“The recession the economists forecasted is not happening. The United States economy is growing, Japan is recovering from the crisis, Germany will also recover, even Argentina has shown a blatant growth,” he remarked.
The Minister explained that this generates a greater investment volume in the emerging economies and increases the demand for foodstuff in these regions.
“There is a surplus of money in the world, world liquidity is great, and so the rich countries are investing in the developing countries,” he said.
According to him, this makes these populations buy more food. “It is the first sector to react when there is a real gain in income,” he added.
However, according to the Minister, in spite of sales increasing more to the developing nations, there is an even greater growth horizon for Brazil as a supplier of agriculture products for these regions. The Arab countries, for example, import 90% of the foods they consume.
The Minister recalled that last year agribusiness responded for one third of the Brazilian Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Currently Brazil is the world’s greatest exporter of products such as coffee, orange juice, sugar and beef. The country owns 282 million hectares of cultivated land for agriculture, but still has 106 million to be exploited.
In the last 12 months up to the month of July the European Union had taken in 32% of Brazilian agribusiness exports, the United States 14.4% and Asia 12.9%. The regions are the three greatest buyers of agribusiness products. The Middle East bought 6.9% of national agriculture production exported.
During the first seven months of the year, Brazilian agribusiness exports yielded US$ 24.273 billion. In the last 12 months, shipments yielded US$ 41.044 billion, an increase in 8.6% in comparison to the previous period.
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