Brazil plans to negotiate defense equipment with Arab Emirates

The vice-president talked investment at Expo 2020, in Dubai

Published in 04/10/2021 - 14:52 By Vitor Abdala, special envoy - Brasília

Brazil is interested in trading defense equipment with the United Arab Emirates. In a Sunday (Oct. 3) interview with the press, in Dubai, Brazilian vice-President Hamilton Mourão mentioned he plans not only to sell material to the Arabs but also buy from them.

He took part in the opening ceremony of the Arab Emirates–Brazil forum on sustainable economy in the Amazon, which drawn business people, investors, and government authorities from both countries.

“We have a protocol between the two defense ministers that must move forward. It is a great opportunity for both countries, because we both produce goods in this area, products of great value. So this is an are where we have to sit together and talk more, to make it move.”

The idea is to reach the $5.6 billion mark in the balance of trade between the two countries—twice what was registered in 2020. Among the opportunities for the Arab Emirates is the license for the purchase of 8x8 armored vehicles currently in progress in Brazil. On the other hand, the Brazilian industry is interested in selling its multiple rocket launch systems.

Also among Brazil’s goals is sales of Embraer jets for air companies in the region, which has a consolidated market in aviation. In the Arab Emirates alone, there are two major air carriers with significant international presence—Emirates and Etihad, in addition to others, like Flydubai and Air Arabia.

“There is an expansion in this region in terms of air transport. Even Brazil opened our air transport market to foreign companies, with no need for a Brazilian partner. So, if a company wants to settle in Brazil, it may acquire aircraft from Embraer. Embraer will also enter this new field of flying cars. There is ample room for progress,” the vice-president argued.

He mentioned, however, that competition is fierce alongside giants Boeing and Airbus, in addition to Embraer’s direct competitor Bombardier. “This is no simple competition. We have to carry this out really well, not just at diplomatic and governmental level, but also economically and commercially—the association between state and private enterprise, in the sense that we must have an effective force to be able to compete in a market where both major companies seek to control the market.”

Investment

Mourão also took the chance with Arab business people to talk about opportunities for investors in the Amazon, a topic he has underscored since he arrived in Dubai on September 30. In his view, there are investment possibilities in infrastructure for transport and energy—not just in the Amazon but also in other locations across the country.

“There’s ample room for investment—investment that should bring good money to those who bring money there. I know that the Arab Emirates have admirable funds, with great capacity for investing all across the world,” he said, adding that the Arabs have approximately $10 billion dollars invested in Brazil.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Claudia Felczak / Nira Foster

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