Agribusiness is one of the most promising Brazilian sectors for the attraction of Arab investment. This is the statement of the Marketing vice president at the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, Rubens Hannun, who is also honorary Tunisian consul in São Paulo, Southeast Brazil.
According to Hannun, the Arabs usually invest in sectors in which there is demand in their countries and in which they do not have strong internal operation. He mentioned the production of soy, sugar and meats as sectors that may generate the interest of businessmen from the Middle East and North Africa.
Last month, the consul discussed the attraction of Arab investment to Brazil with a group of members of the National Investment Information Network (Renai), which includes ministries and federal government organizations as well as development secretariats of states.
Hannun believes that Brazil must stipulate a specific policy to attract investment from the Arab world. In the same way as there are missions after greater trade, there could also be, according to him, programs turned to investment.
He believes that other sectors in the country, like construction and the financial system itself, are attractive to the Arabs. Nowadays, according to the Marketing vice president, Arab investment in Brazil is small and punctual.
Further information about Brazil in the Arab world and vice versa, according to Hannun, would increase the investment possibilities. "This influences investment. They are not going to invest in a country that they do not know," stated the vice president.
An increase in this investment flow, according to Hannun, would bring both regions closer together and, consequently, also increase bilateral trade. "They could place greater priority on our products," he said.
The potential of imports into the Arab world is very great. Together, the 22 countries that are members of the League of Arab States import US$ 292.5 billion a year. Per capita imports in the region, where the population is 324.3 million, is US$ 902, twice as much as in Brazil.
The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the region is US$ 1.03 trillion. Product import tariffs vary between 4% and 40%. Today, the main suppliers of products to the Arab market are Germany, France, Italy, the United States, Japan, China and Turkey.
Brazil is the region’s eighth largest supplier, with 1.6%. Germany, the largest trade partner of the Arabs, answers to 6.5% of all they buy outside their countries.
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