Exports of building material from Brazil to Arab countries generated almost US$ 380 million last year, against US$ 311.6 million in 2006, an increase of 22%, according to figures supplied by the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce.
With regard to the continuous growth in the building sector in the region, the evaluation made by the organization and by the Brazilian Export and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil) is that shipments may be expanded even further.
"Much of this growth is due to the participation of Brazilian companies in the Big 5 Show," stated Arab Brazilian Chamber secretary general Michel Alaby, referring to the main sector fair in the Middle East, which takes place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, every year.
Representatives of the Chamber, the Apex and sector organisations met in São Paulo May 27 to discuss this year's edition of the fair, to take place between November 23 and 27.
Brazil will once again have a 480 square-meter (5,167 sq feet) pavilion at the entrance of the Dubai World Trade Center. The structure, according to the coordinator at the Apex, Vicente Barbosa, will only not be larger as the exhibition center has no more space available. The pavilion may house stands of 36 companies.
The Apex Commercial Intelligence Unit has elaborated a study about the potential of Brazilian products in the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the Emirates, Kuwait and Oman. According to Ulisses Pimenta, of the nucleus dedicated to markets in Africa and the Middle East, three sectors were analyzed: ornamental stone, ceramics and non ferrous metals (taps, locks, etc.).
Simulations, according to him, show that there is much space for business, as, although Brazilian participation in the market is still relatively small, sales have been growing expressively, while more traditional suppliers, like Italy, have been losing ground.
In the case of exports of ornamental stone to the Emirates, for example, Pimenta said that Italy continues being the main supplier, but the country is losing market share. Brazil, according to him, is in the 10th position, and has been keeping its share.
In the area of metals, in turn, Brazilian exports are the ones that are growing most, even more than the Chinese, although the country's presence of products in the Arab countries is growing constantly.
In all three sectors, the main markets in the region are the Emirates and Saudi Arabia. The Apex study shows that in the area of stone, the most promising sector is granite, in the area of ceramics, tiles present the best potential, and in the area of metals, automatic locks and bathroom metals have good chances in the Emirates and taps and aluminum profiles in Saudi Arabia.
Companies in these three sectors are going to be the majority in the Brazilian pavilion at the Big 5, but there should also be space for companies in other areas.
Alaby pointed out that, apart from the Gulf, the Emirates serve as a business center for other countries in the region, the Arab world as a whole, part of Asia and former soviet republics.
"In Dubai there are great chances of selling to other countries and even to other regions," he said. Barbosa added that during last year's edition of the Big 5, a Brazilian company closed a contract with an importer from the United States at the end of the fair.
Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce
Tel: (+55 11) 3283-4066
Anba – www.anba.com.br