After a visit to Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer, the Arab ambassadors to Brazil seemed impressed with the cutting-edge technology of the country's industry. The diplomats say now that they are willing to increase promotion of Brazilian aircraft and product quality.
"It would be interesting to establish a partnership, so that we could bring Arab professionals here to learn all of this Brazilian technology," stated the Tunisian ambassador in Brasília (capital of Brazil), Sefeddine Cherif.
At the Embraer plant, in the city of São José dos Campos, interior of the southeastern Brazilian state of São Paulo, the ambassadors got to know the assembly lines for executive and business jets, which are exported to 78 airlines in 45 countries, including the Arab market.
"The Arab world must get in touch with Embraer so as to acquire better knowledge of its aircraft. The company offers high quality airplanes at good prices," said the ambassador of the League of Arab States to Brasília, Bachar Yagui.
The United States, which answer to approximately 60% of the company's revenues is Embraer's largest client. In recent years, the airplane maker has been betting on the Arab market, where demand for business jets is strong.
The first unit of the company's most luxurious jet, the Lineage 1000, which costs approximately US$ 40 million, will soon be delivered to the United Arab Emirates. In the business aircraft field, Embraer has exported to Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Libya, and in the executive aircraft field, to the Emirates, Kuwait, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Libya.
According to Cherif, Tunisia has potential to be a large importer of Embraer's jets. Besides, the country could export parts to the Brazilian company, which usually purchases large quantities of items for aircraft assembly. The company, which has offices and service units in China, the United States, Portugal, France and Singapore, is also interested in opening an office in Dubai to better cater to its expanding market.
In 2006, Embraer delivered 131 jets. Last year, the figure increased to 169, and the forecast for this year is around 200. This rise in aircraft demand led the company to hire 4,000 new employees last year. The firm order backlog of Embraer reached US$ 20.3 billion in the first quarter.
Also in São José dos Campos, the ambassadors visited aerospace engineering company Avibras, and were also surprised by the know-how displayed by the company, whose main client is the Arab market.
Avibras, a maker of systems and materials in the areas of defense, communication and electronics, transport, aerospace, and chemicals, was a pioneer in the Brazilian aerospace sector. With a strong influence in the Middle East, the company has had an office in Saudi Arabia, its leading client, for approximately 20 years.
"We have long-standing relations with the Arab countries, dating back to 1980, and our clients have already become our friends," said the president at the company, Sami Youssef Hassuani, a descendant of Syrians and Lebanese. According to him, Arab importers of Avibras' products include the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman, Algeria, Egypt and Morocco.