Forum discusses trade ties between Brazil, Arab League

Bilateral commerce was reported to total $24 billion in 2021

Published in 04/07/2022 - 15:10 By Ludmilla Souza - São Paulo

Reductions in export and import delays may bring trade operators gains adding up to some $20 billion each year, said Brazil’s Foreign Trade Secretary Lucas Pedreira de Couto Ferraz at the Brazil–Arab Countries Economic Forum on Monday (Jul 4). However, he expects trade with the Arab world to become more diversified. “Our agenda with the Arab countries is key, but we’d like to have a more diversified one, both for exports and imports,” said the official, who is attending the event on behalf of the country’s Economy Minister Paulo Guedes.

The secretary talked about commerce with Arab nations. “Our trade with these countries has reflected the challenges posed by the complex geopolitical moment, given the growth in the export of our agricultural commodities to the region and the increase in the supply of mineral commodities, especially for the fertilizer trade. Here, I’d like to underscore the role of Morocco and Egypt in Brazil’s fertilizer business,” he went on to declare.

Ferraz also discussed Brazil’s position on the global stage. “We’re key suppliers of agricultural, metal, and mineral commodities. Given the reforms conducted in Brazil since 2019 to enhance our business environment, Brazil’s ascension to the OECD [Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development] is now crystallized among the measures leading up to a better international business environment, boosting productivity, growth, and generating jobs as well as more income in the long run.”

The Brazil–Arab Countries Economic Forum is centered on the bilateral ties between Brazil and the 22 nations making up the Arab League. Under the theme “Legacy and Innovation,” the forum is held in a hybrid format in São Paulo and broadcast online. The event is slated to end at 5 pm Monday.

Brazil’s Foreign Minister Carlos França joined the opening panel. Despite the uncertainties brought about by the pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine, he noted, relations between Brazil and Arab countries have grown deeper.

“Our trade with Arab countries reached the historic figure of $24 billion in 2021 and still boasts enormous growth potential. Agribusiness products stand out: Brazil has become the world’s top exporter of halal protein. Outside the food sector, the demand for other items, like iron ore, is also on the rise,” the minister pointed out.

França also talked about imports in connection with the supply of fertilizers for Brazilian agribusiness. “Arab investment in Brazil has followed a positive trend, and the Brazilian market has become more and more attractive, especially for manufacturing, tourism, food, and infrastructure. Conversely, our companies are increasingly present in the region. A case in point is Vale, one of the top sources of Brazilian investment in the Middle East.”

The minister went on to mention the role of Brazil’s export and investment agency APEX in Dubai, crucial in identifying business opportunities and helping Brazilian organizations find their spot in the Arab market.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Maria Claudia

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