Brazil-Arab Trade Grows to US$ 12 Billion Favoring Brazilians

The trade flow between Brazil and the Arab countries, i.e. exports plus imports, reached US$ 12.04 billion in 2006, a 14.47% increased compared with 2005.

According to data disclosed this January 10 by the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, Brazilian exports yielded US$ 6.67 billion, 28.13% more than in 2005, and imports amounted to US$ 5.37 billion, a 1.08% increase. Total exports from Brazil increased 16.2%.

The Brazilian trade balance with the Arabs, i.e. exports minus imports, saw a surplus of US$ 1.3 billion. "This was not the first time that Brazil had a surplus in the trade balance with Arab countries, but this was the highest one ever recorded," said the president of the Arab Brazilian Chamber, Antonio Sarkis Jr., during a press conference carried out at the organization's headquarters, in the southeastern Brazilian city of São Paulo.

According to Sarkis, several factors contributed to increasing exports, such as the appreciation of commodities such as sugar and iron ore – sugar had a strong participation in exports to the Arabs -, the entry of new, higher value-added products into the exports basket, such as aircraft, and the commercial promotion actions carried out by the Arab Brazilian Chamber, several of them in partnership with the Brazilian Export and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex).

Agribusiness products answered to two thirds of total Brazilian exports, or US$ 4.4 billion. "The growth in agribusiness exports was much higher than the national average," said Sarkis. Overall, exports from Brazil in the sector increased 13.4% in 2006.

According to Sarkis, the small increase in imports was due to the fact that Brazil, which imports mostly oil and derivatives from the Arabs, became self-sufficient in the production of the commodity in 2006.

Nevertheless, he claimed that the Chamber is seeking to promote other Arab products in Brazil, in order to restore the balance.

Anba – www.anba.com.br

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