Economy minister plans to deepen trade ties with Middle East

Guedes spoke during Brazil’s presentation at Expo 2020 in Dubai

Published in 01/10/2021 - 12:19 By Wellton Máximo - Brasília

The strengthening of commercial ties with the Middle East and the rest of Asia is crucial in expanding Brazilian exports and draw direct investment into the country, said Brazil’s Economy Minister Paulo Guedes during the presentation of Brazil’s pavilion at the Expo 2020 Dubai, at the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Relations, on Wednesday (Sep. 30).

“We’re connecting now to what may be the hub not just of our exports to the rest of the world, but the way we get investment. The Middle East has become an increasingly sophisticated financial center,” Guedes said during the ceremony.

The minister advocated that Brazil should export more food to India, as it has done with China over the last decades. “Our exports go there from here, and from there comes investment. We’re returning to the path of the East Indies,” he added.

To Guedes’s judgment, Brazil has “brilliant future ahead” if it manages to provide agricultural products to the rest of the world while preserving natural resources. In his view, the country is a green power, with potential to stand out as such.

“We’re a country of mass consumption, plunged in the digital era; a green power with a brilliant future ahead. This should be our first step towards the big axis of growth in the global economy today—those regions [Middle East and Asia],” he pointed out.

The only reason, the minister went on, commercial and financial relations with the Middle East and Asia have not taken off yet is how closed the Brazilian economy is. Guedes criticized decisions in the economic and diplomatic arena made by previous administrations, which, he argued, made the Brazilian foreign trade grow in isolation from the rest of the world.

Brazilian exports to the Middle East increased from $1.33 billion in 2000 to $8.8 billion in 2020. The best performance was reported in 2021, when Brazilian sales to the region added up to $12.27 billion.

Postponed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Expo 2020 Dubai was officially opened with a ceremony in the United Arab Emirates.

The Brazilian pavilion will be inaugurated today (Oct. 1). The ceremony is expected to be attended by vice-President Hamilton Mourão.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Fernando Fraga / Denise Griesinger

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