Second Day of Brazil-Arab Countries Economic Forum Puts Spotlight on New Order in International Business

  • Forum highlights emergence of new trade and economic ties between Brazil and Arab countries as new production chain develops post COVID-19

    Brazilian exports post robust growth amidst pandemic as agribusiness products exceed target of USD5 billion in first nine months of 2020

     

     

     

    By ; MohamedShawky

     

     

     Brazil’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Ernesto Araújo kicked off on Tuesday (October 20, 2020) the second day of the Brazil-Arab Countries Economic Forum, the first virtual high-level meeting among top-level dignitaries and business leaders from Brazil and Arab League countries hosted by Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (ABCC) in partnership with the League of Arab States and Union of Arab Chambers. The special online event puts the spotlight on emerging trends in international business and how Brazil and Arab countries are taking steps to move towards the post-COVID 19 era. The second day’s panel discussion, themed ‘A New Order in International Business,’ highlighted that Brazil’s trade and economic ties with Arab countries are expected to take on a more strategic engagement as new production chains emerge and key partners come into play, while building on new trust in business relationships. Brazil and the countries of the Arab community will have a fundamental role in the redesign of international trade and in the resumption of economic growth, Araújo said during the opening speech. “Trade revenue between Brazil and Arab countries is expected to reach USD 12 billion by the end of 2020. This is extremely encouraging because it is very important that Brazil is able to fulfill its mission in the area of food security, especially with the Arab community, and Brazil is proud to contribute to the consolidation of our commercial partnership with the Arab community,” he said. Latest economic figures from Brazil revealed that Brazilian exports of agribusiness products have already reached beyond its target of USD 5 billion during the first nine months of 2020, exceeding last year's revenue. The foreign affairs minister noted that the pandemic has created an impetus for greater cooperation in trade and commerce between Brazil and the Arab countries. He further noted that opportunities can be explored in terms of investments into the Brazilian economy, considering the potentials of Arab sovereign funds, with the participation of global funds to further explore trade and partnership projects. Rubens Hannun, President, Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, expressed that business relationships between Brazil and Arab countries continue to strengthen amid the unprecedented challenges posed by COVID-19, saying: “Brazil’s partners in Arab countries continue to value this relationship, which provides with quality and predictability, considering it to be one of the most visible actions towards food security for millions of people in the Arab region.” Hannun noted that the Chamber in the last few months has recorded ample requests from importers to find them Brazilian suppliers to meet their import needs as part of the efforts to ensure continuous food supply in the Arab world. This comes amid new challenges in international trade and business, especially in terms of logistics, health inspections, negotiation processes and technological tools, among others. The panel discussion talked about how the pandemic has accelerated a swift and major shift to a new model of business, defining how people interact, produce, purchase, and learn. Several other innovative solutions were also presented during the session, particularly the expansion of digital platforms such as e-commerce. Brazil’s Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Marcos Pontes, emphasized during the discussion the importance of investing in technology development in Brazil through partnership with other countries to overcome global challenges. He also cited some of the key projects under development. Pontes said: “The pandemic demands solutions that are also opportunities for small-sized companies that are able to present them. In these lines, Brazil is still struggling in educating technology professionals. The technology will be increasingly important in the composition of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), as it is in agriculture, healthcare, education and several other sectors.” The second day of the event also shed light on the situation of businesswomen amid the coronavirus pandemic during a lecture hosted by WAHI, the Women’s Committee of the ABCC, led by Kuwait Businesswomen Committee chair Hessa Al Sabah and Latin America representative of the G20’s Women in Business group in Saudi Arabia.

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