Trade between Brazil and the Arab countries grew 28.3% last year and reached US$ 10.5 billion, as a result of Brazilian exports of US$ 5.2 billion and imports of US$ 5.3 billion.
In 2004, bilateral trade between Brazil and the Arab countries reached US$ 8.192 billion. These figures were supplied by the Brazilian government Foreign Trade Secretariat.
The president of the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, Antonio Sarkis Jr., commemorated the result. "Trade is balanced. Growth of exports and imports was practically the same," said Sarkis. Brazilian exports to the countries in the League of Arab States rose 29%, whereas imports grew 28% last year.
In 2004, Brazil had revenues of US$ 4 billion with sales to the Arabs and spent US$ 4.1 billion in purchases of products from the region.
"The negative result was also the same," recalled Sarkis. As happened last year, in 2004 trade with the Arabs also generated a negative result for Brazil, of approximately US$ 100 million.
Bilateral trade grew US$ 2.3 billion last year, of which US$ 1.17 billion corresponded to Brazilian exports and US$ 1.15 billion to imports.
"We have exceeded forecasts. Such large growth was not expected," stated the Arab Brazilian Chamber secretary general, Michel Alaby. At the beginning of 2005, the Arab Brazilian Chamber estimated an increase of 13% in Brazilian exports to the Arab world. The target was increased to 20% during the year.
The Arab share in Brazilian exports has also risen: from 4.18% in 2004 to 4.41% last year. "The growth was 5.5%," stated Alaby. The secretary general pointed out as the main factors for the increase in sales to the countries in the League of Arab States the elevation of oil prices.
"With the increase in oil prices, the Arab countries have accumulated foreign funds and have been able to invest more money in imports. The countries have grown due to oil," he said.
Antonio Sarkis Jr. also mentioned the summit between Arab and South American countries, which took place in the month of May, in Brazilian capital Brasília, as one of the factors generating greater trade.
The meeting brought together government and business leaders from both regions. "Today the Arabs know a little more about the Brazilian potential. We are starting to become better known in the Arab world for the quality and competitiveness of our products," stated Sarkis.
Alaby also pointed out the performance of the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce in promotion of trade. According to the secretary general, the organization participated in 17 events in the Arab world and received over 200 Arab businessmen in Brazil throughout 2005. For 2006, forecasts remain positive.
Anba – www.anba.com.br