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Arab Brazilian Chamber to intensify actions in 2007

To the organization, among the factors boosting trade with the Arabs are commercial promotion events, like trade delegations and participation in fairs. This year the Chamber is studying the possibility of participating in 16 fairs in Brazil and in the Arab world and in four trade missions.

Sérgio Tomisaki/Agência Meios

São Paulo - Among the factors that have been boosting the growth of trade between Brazil and the Arab countries is the organization of trade promotion activities by the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, including participation in trade fairs in Brazil and in the Arab world. Intensifying these activities is one of the organization's priorities for 2007.

"We are already scheduling at least two trade delegations, in the first half to North Africa and another to the Gulf," said yesterday (10) the president of the Arab Brazilian Chamber, Antonio Sarkis Jr. Two other missions are also being planned, one specifically to Saudi Arabia and another to the region and turned to the fashion sector.

The organization is also planning participation in 16 fairs in the Arab world and in Brazil, with two including buyer projects in the construction material and food technology sectors. The buyer projects will be developed in partnership with the Brazilian Export and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex). Projects like these include bringing foreign importers to Brazil to do business.

"We must show the potential of both parties, of Brazil and of the Arab countries," stated Sarkis. Among the sectors contemplated by these events are the shoe, furniture, construction material, auto parts, hotel, food technology and hospital equipment sectors.

The first event will be the 34th International Shoes, Sportsgoods and Leathergoods Fair (Couromoda), to take place next week in São Paulo, where the Arab Brazilian Chamber is going to have a stand to aid Arab importers and Brazilian businessmen interested in selling to the Middle East and North Africa.

Still this month, starting on the 24th, the Arab Brazilian Chamber is going to participate in Khartoum International Fair, in Sudan, which is multisectorial. The organization is also scheduled to participate in fairs in Egypt, Qatar, Libya, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria and Syria. Some of the events, however, are yet to be confirmed.

According to Sarkis, the organization of commercial promotion actions in Iraq and Lebanon is also being considered. In the latter case, the organization is analysing the possibility of participating in a fair turned to the reconstruction of Lebanon.


In the political area, Sarkis believes that the free trade agreement that the Mercosur, the economic bloc that includes Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela, is negotiating with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) should provide a further impulse to trade. "Brazil already has regular relations with the countries of the Gulf, which are important buyers and present a great potential for investment and purchases," he said.

Part of the treaty should be signed during the Mercosur Summit, to take place at the end of next week, in Rio de Janeiro, and the final text of the agreement should be signed at the GCC Summit, in June, according to forecasts by the Brazilian Foreign Office (Itamaraty). The GCC includes Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Oman.

In the cultural area, the organization plans to release an on-line version of the Arab-Portuguese dictionary developed by professor Helmi Nasr, international relations vice-president at the Arab Brazilian Chamber, and to publish the second edition of book "New World in the Tropics", by Gilberto Freyre, translated into Arabic by Nasr. The Chamber should also inaugurate a Study Centre, turned to those interested in learning more about the relations between Brazil and the Arab world.


The number of activities scheduled for 2007 is greater than that for 2006, when the organization participated in 11 fairs and promoted four trade delegations. Most of the events took place in partnership with the Apex. "The Apex is our main partner. The agency has made a great contribution to improving ties, the Arab market is one of the most benefited," stated Sarkis.

Among the events promoted last year was participation in Khartoum Fair, in a fair in Jordan, in Cairo International Fair, in a trade delegation to Abu Dhabi and Dubai organized in partnership with the São Paulo state branch of the Civil Construction Industry Association (Sinduscon), another organized in partnership with the Federation of Industries of the State of Santa Catarina (Fiesc) to the Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait, and fairs in the auto parts, hotel, furniture and construction sectors in Dubai, in Algiers International Fair, and also the organization of two seminars about franchising in the Gulf.

*Translated by Mark Ament



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