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Posted On: 30 March 2009 08:58 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

Middle East’s trade with Brazil on the rise

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Trade between Brazil and the Middle East has been increasing since the last Arab-South American Summit in Brazil, the president of the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce said yesterday during the second Arab-South American Business Forum. “Bilateral trade between the Arab region and Brazil went up from $10.5bn in 2005 to $20.3bn last year. Brazilian exports went up from $5.2bn to $9.8bn and imports went up from $5.3bn to $10.5bn during the same period,” said Salim Taufic Schahin, president of the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce. “Almost four years after the last summit, we were able to strike a positive balance. We have evolved a lot in our commercial exchanges and diversified our import and export baskets,” said Schahin. Brazil mainly imports oil, gas and fertilizers from Arab countries and exports aircraft, automobiles, steel, iron ore, agricultural products, chicken and beef, among others. “Currently, the Arab nations are the fifth largest trade partners of Brazil and we want to increase our activities with the Middle East. It is very important to have these kinds of meetings… putting together businessmen from both sides with the help of each of the governments of the regions to put together ideas to develop relations between Arab and South American countries,” said Schahin during the forum at the Sharq Village and Spa. Schahin said they are also trying to promote Brazil as a tourist destination. “We want to market our country to the Middle East. We have beautiful places in Brazil, a lot of historical places, beaches… We are also trying to put together travel agencies in South America, mainly in Brazil, to show our businesses and to show how important the tourists’ role is in enhancing this productivity,” he said. According to Schahin, the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce will be “tackling these opportunities in tourism,” but they need to have airlines connecting the Arab and South American regions. Schahin said the Brazilian government is trying to propose talks with the Qatari government to “have this link between Brazil and Qatar.” “The Emirates started doing direct lines from Dubai to Brazil last year and it had been busy… The traffic was good and very busy. Now, we are thinking of having this link between Qatar and Brazil. It is important to have as many direct lines as we can to improve tourism in both countries.” The two-day Arab-South American Business Forum, which was organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Qatar, the Ministry of Business and Trade and the Qatari Businessmen Association, is a networking conference that acts as an international business platform where business leaders of the 34 countries from the Arab world and South American nations meet up.